The first few months of a relationship are the absolute best. Finally, you found someone! And they’re amazing and fun and you can just talk for hours and everything is just so incredibly easy. And then… Well, then, everything changes. You begin to notice things about the other person that aren’t so perfect, some even bug you, some even drive you crazy… This is a good time to remember that nobody’s perfect, and no relationship is perfect either. Admit it—even you have faults. And that’s okay.
There are a lot of annoying things that happen during a relationship that are true for pretty much every couple. (Yes, even the ones who try to pretend to be perfect on Instagram.)
Here are a few relationship pet peeves we’ve all either dealt with or been guilty of at one point or another:
For those of us who are feeling defensive, a simple, “Can you take out the garbage?” can be interpreted as “Why don’t you ever take out the garbage?” And when you’re with someone who’s defensive, you constantly need to reassure them that you’re not attacking them. (Which, let’s face it, can get old real quick.) Most of us have days where we’re sensitive for reasons that have nothing to do with our relationship or the garbage. All relationships include stupid fights about nothing important, and a lot of these happen when we have our guard up. If you haven’t had a fight like this yet, don’t worry, your time will come.
Letting you do all the work.
Although every relationship is different, this is more often true in relationships that involve kids or living together. If you’ve ever heard your partner say, “I would have done it if you just asked me!” then you may have slipped into the role of the default planner in your relationship. You mentally know what to do, and when to do it. If you have kids, you’ll be responsible for remembering the pediatrician appointments and youth soccer game schedules. Even though it’s not your mom, you remember your partner’s mom’s birthday and buy, wrap, and mail her gift so it’s there on time. It’s just what you have to do for your relationship and your lives to function. Your partner, however, might ignore those crumbs on the counter, forget that birthday, or depend on you to set their personal daily schedule. Ugh. So annoying.
Expecting you to read their mind.
It’s true that nobody can read our minds. But many people have the expectation that after a while, their partner will learn how to pick up on obvious cues or that they’ll just know them so well that they’ll be able anticipate their needs and wants.
That’s just never going to happen. Not ever.
But don’t get discouraged—not even couples who label themselves as soulmates can predict what the other person is feeling all the time. LIf your partner is constantly disappointed in your for not knowing what they want, tell them that you need them to be more explicit.
If you want or need something from your partner, if you’re upset with them, or if you’re excited about something or happy with them you need to let them know. They may know you better than anyone else in the world, but they can’t read your mind.
Commenting on your driving.
After a few months together, the two of you have likely shared a car. It makes sense if you’ve planned a trip together, or just want to head to the grocery store to pick up some snacks for a date night. Now, everyone has different driving styles, but there’s just something about the way your partner drives that leaves you a little alarmed. Maybe they don’t use turn signals correctly, or maybe they don’t brake at the first sign of a red light. Mentioning this will likely lead to an argument, followed by, “Well, why don’t you drive?”
Here’s a tip. Usually, it’ll take some time to adjust to the driving patterns of another person. But if your partner is truly unsafe—and partakes in activities like refusing to wear a seatbelt, excessive speeding, or driving under the influence—don’t feel bad refusing to get into a car with them.
Being a different person around their friends.
Maybe they’re shy and quiet with you, but loud and obnoxious when their friends are around. When you meet your significant other’s friends (especially if they’re old friends) sometimes it’s hard to figure out who you’re actually dating. People change around different groups, and even though it’s normal, it can often lead to a lot of resentment.
Staring at their phone.
As a generation, we never saw our parents face down with a cell phone during dinner. Probably because cell phones weren’t around—but also because dinner time was a sacred tradition. Even though phones are a big part of how we function today, avoiding eye contact with a partner during dinner is still downright rude. It’s hard to have a conversation with someone who’s only half-paying attention. Consider making mealtime tech-free.
Taking you for granted.
During the honeymoon phase, you probably got a lot of gifts from your significant other. Just because. And then when you cohabitate, the gifts stop because you have to pay the phone bill. In that time of cohabitation, you’ve done more and more around the house. You clean every dish, and you’re the only one who remembers to wash towels. You’re putting more in, but receiving less. Let your partner know that these tasks don’t magically get done. You put the time in, and deserve a little recognition. It doesn’t have to be a physical present—it could just be some affirmative words.
Whether it’s good stuff or bad stuff, it probably doesn’t belong on Facebook. Still, some people like to parade their relationship around for likes or attention. Make sure to let your partner know about your feelings on this kind of stuff early on, since it’s possible they’ll take your refusal to share stories online the wrong way. Privacy is still an important thing for many people to have, and if you don’t want your acquaintances from middle school to know every detail of your relationship that’s totally valid.
All of the issues above are annoying, yet absolutely normal. Just remember that in order for bad habits to change, the two of you need to learn how to effectively communicate. If you’re looking for change, sometimes you have to be the one to get the gears in motion. Sometimes, bad habits take some time to fix themselves. So, if you’re in the relationship for the long haul, and know the person you’re with truly wants to make things work, have a little bit of patience.