No matter how long you’ve been dating, you and your significant other are bound to have habits and mannerisms that your partner finds annoying and vice versa.
More of these come out of the woodwork as you get more and more comfortable with your partner, however, it might be all you can do to not let them drive you crazy! How do you deal with your partner’s annoying habits?
Dear Dan and Jennifer,
Hi, I’ve been going out with a girl now for about 2 months. And she’s picked up a bad habit – Smoking. I love her a lot, and she loves me too, but I don’t like it when she smokes. I don’t know what to think or do. I don’t want to control her or anything and I asked her to stop but she said if I love her it shouldn’t matter. Is this true or not true?
— (YouTube viewer)
Your partner has an annoying habit, such as smoking or nail biting, that simply drives you up a wall. You love your partner, but their habit, or habits, are getting to be too much. What can you do to help curb your partner’s bad habits so you can be happier in the relationship?
Accept them or change them?
First, you need to realize you have two options here. You can learn to accept your partner’s bad habits, or you can do what you can to change them. By changing them, that doesn’t mean throwing away your partner’s cigarettes or secretly dipping their hands in Tabasco sauce while they’re asleep.
You can try to change your partner’s habits from your end, such as asking your partner to stop, or you can end the relationship. That is, if you can’t learn to accept and let go of their habits.
If you want to try to talk to your partner about their annoying habits, don’t be critical. Don’t give them an ultimatum and certainly don’t chastise them. You’re their partner, not their parent.
If you want your partner to stop smoking or stop biting their nails, let them know that it bothers you and simply ask if they can stop. Don’t entertain them if they get defensive, just let your partner know that you were just asking. After that, the ball is in their court.
What if they won’t change?
Your partner may decide that they can’t, or won’t, do anything about the habits that bother you. If your partner doesn’t want to or can’t quit their bad habits, the ball is back in your court. You have to decide your next move. Will you tolerate the habits or will you end the relationship with your partner?
It may seem silly to end a relationship over a few bad habits, but if they really get to you and your partner is uncompromising, there might be no other way.
What is important in a relationship is that both partners are happy and comfortable with each other. If your partner’s annoying habits keep you from being that way, you might want to evaluate the relationship.
Can you let it go?
If your partner’s annoying habits bother you but not quite that much, you might want to consider simply letting the issue go. It can be difficult to do, but with time you can learn to accept your partner’s bad habits. For example, nail biting might be annoying to you, but it’s not your nails. It’s theirs.
There’s no need for you to control your partner’s every move, so learning to let go of a small bad habit like that can actually enrich your relationship with your partner.
First and foremost, you need to have an open and honest conversation with your partner about what bothers you. See how your partner handles it. They may choose to nip their bad habits in the bud. If not, take some time and think about your next move, whether it’s accepting your partner’s annoying habits or letting the relationship go.