Relationship Advice: Addressing Your Partner’s Annoying Habits


When in a relationship, you spend a lot of time around your partner and whether you live together or not, you may find that their bad habits become particularly grating upon you. We all have bad habits and annoying traits that can get on someone’s nerves, so take it with a grain of salt. This is someone you love, so you can’t let a few annoying traits ruin your relationship. Instead of constantly arguing about your mate’s lesser traits, here’s how to find a polite way to address the problem at hand.

Figuring Out What Is Worth Bringing Up

Most annoying habits are small, so there are two fairly simple ways to deal with them. You can either decide that there are so many other great things about your S.O. that you can ignore one or two tiny annoyances, or discuss the issue calmly together. Oftentimes it can be good to combine both methods. Attempt to fix the problem, and if your mate just can’t break the habit, let it be. For instance, if your boyfriend leaves his towel on the floor instead of hanging it up when he’s done with it, find a neutral time to discuss it with him.

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Don’t approach him right when he’s committed the act, or you might say something harsh in your moment of anger. Wait until later and casually mention that you couldn’t help noticing his towel on the floor. Tell him you know it may sound silly, but it would mean a lot to you if he’d hang the towel up the next time he uses it. If he doesn’t follow through, wait a few days and try again. If things don’t work after a couple of tries, accept that the trait isn’t going away. Then you can either elect to ignore it, or just accept that you’ll be hanging his towel up from now on. If that makes you angry, try to remind yourself that you probably have one or two bad habits yourself. That will ground you a little.

HOW To Talk To Your Partner About Their Annoying Habits

One of the most important things to avoid is accusing your partner of embarrassing you or being unworthy. Even if your girlfriend is the world’s most annoying gum smacker, you need to be tactful when you talk to her about it. You’re setting up an argument if you ask her to stop her trashy gum chewing in public. That just makes her defensive. Instead, try suggesting that her annoying trait might be making people think she’s less classy than she is in reality. Point out that you know she’s generally refined and fun to be around, and that she might want to reconsider her habit’s ability to give people the wrong impression. By working in compliments and pointing out what you love about your significant other, you’re effectively buttering them up to get better results.

What About Your Bad Habits?

If you really want to get results, you should be prepared to do some work yourself. Strike a bargain with your mate and agree to kick one of your bad habits if they’ll stop theirs. Pick a habit of yours that you know really bothers them, or ask for their input. When they suggest a habit for you to break, be ready to suck it up and accept the challenge. If you promise to stop cutting your toenails on the couch as long your S.O. stops popping their knuckles regularly, you’ll both appreciate it. It also helps remind you that nobody’s perfect; ending bad habits can be difficult. You’ll have more empathy for each other during the whole process.

Nobody’s perfect, of course. You’ll never be able to eliminate all of your partner’s bad habits, nor they yours. The main thing is to remember that you both love each other, and that your good qualities outweigh the bad ones. Keep a cool head, try for little changes, and don’t have ridiculous expectations. Patience and acceptance will win out in the end.

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