Take a look at each other’s annoying habits and consider if you will be able to live with them for a lifetime, or if they are likely to drive you apart.
We all have them, those annoying little habits that have the power to drive the people around us crazy. I’m talking gum-popping, sock-leaving, snort-laughing, and, dare I mention it, poor dishwasher-loading skills. I’m thinking about people who don’t know when to stop talking or have a limp handshake, the ones who always leave the peanut butter knife on the counter or never swap out the empty toilet paper roll or drive too far on empty. You may or may not even be aware of your behavior or its power to inspire strong negative emotions among your fellow humans. Whatever your vice is, it’s poison to some people and irrelevant – or at least tolerable – to others. When you are a DIVA looking for your perfect partner, understanding your potential mate’s annoying habits and your tolerance of them, is crucial.
This may seem like nitpicking to you, but ask yourself, as you gaze adoringly into his eyes, can you really stand the fact that he just trimmed his toenails on your coffee table and left the trimmings right there scattered where they fell, and can you stand it if he does that for the next 50 years of wedded bliss? I can’t answer that one. Only you know what your threshold on that one would be.
Why Can’t You Just Change?
You may be thinking that you would just set him straight, but let me tell you, this does not work. You can’t love someone unconditionally at the same time that you are trying to change them. I see this all the time in my practice as a Relationship Advisor. Women who were taught that men are diamonds in the rough and must be polished before they are ready to wear. No, Ladies, let’s move on over to a healthier mindset.
People will grow and change over time and through life’s circumstances, but you can’t pick a life-mate with the notion that you will fix those parts you don’t like. You must love your man for who he is, and if you cannot tolerate parts of what that is, don’t make the commitment. This is important: don’t settle for someone who makes you unhappy, unattracted, or ashamed, and don’t think that you’re going to make him into something that he isn’t. It’s not fair to him, and it won’t serve you either.
Instead, when you find yourself falling for someone, pause and take off those love-colored glasses, and look carefully at the good the bad and the ugly in both of you. Now think about the chemistry when you combine your separate flaws and virtues. Will it make for smooth sailing or will it produce a series of explosions?
His and Hers: The Chemistry of Annoying Habits
For example, if you are an OCD neat freak, and he is a slob, there will be tension. You will notice every discarded sock, every pile of mail, every tool out of place – and he will feel incessantly nagged. If your social approach does not mesh, it can cause conflict, but then again, it may smooth the way for each other. If you both talk too much, who’s going to listen? If one of you tells stories about the other to get a laugh, you are sure to end up with hurt feelings. If one of you stutters when forced to speak to strangers and the other never met a stranger, it could be great, as long as one doesn’t mind doing the talking. But if your man is a gossip, and you don’t trust someone who can’t keep a confidence, maybe you’d better keep moving.
Your different approaches to life may point out much deeper divisions, or they may complement each other. I’ve worked with couples where she was a couch potato and he loved the great outdoors, but instead of resulting in frustrations, they worked that difference out as a good opportunity for some healthy alone time. But if he is a starving artist who disdains working for ‘the Man’ and you are a high-maintenance kind of girl, there will be money issues, unless you like being his sugar mamma, of course.
You get the idea, the variations I see in my practice are endless. Annoying habits can make or break a relationship. So as you are taking the effort to get yourself right and find the perfect partner in a safe and joyful way, take some time to consider the daily nitty-gritty and enter that relationship with a mindful choice concerning the little things, because after all, the little things always add up.
If you would like to work with a relationship counselor to help you understand how best to address the annoying habits, check out my services and book an appointment today.