10 Most Annoying Things People in Relationships Do (By Someone in a Relationship)

by - Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Alright, I think the various pros and cons of love have been well-covered this week in preparation for Valentine's Day. For the record, I think there is nothing wrong with the holiday, because people should celebrate whatever the hell they want to (are you surprised? not even a little?). Sure the whole thing can become single shaming, and at its worse it is pretty heteronormative or marriage-centric (when did every holiday become about proposals? If a person proposes on a gifting holiday, they are lazy).

 Falling in love with someone really is a miracle. I mean, why would a person you meet turn out to be the person you want to see like everyday for the rest of your life. Craziness! Still, like so many other milestones that lots of people (though certainly not all) take part in, people get a little too impressed with themselves and can take it in some really lame directions. I know The Boy and I could be charged with some of these, but these are my biggest pet peeves.

10. Talking crap on each other- Ugh. I know that when someone talks badly about their partner, I just feel incredibly awkward. Many of us have done it, but it is so important to be judicious about where we lay our venting out. If you tell your friend what a jerk Doris has been lately, it just makes it awkward for the friend when Doris comes around.

9. You always assume the other person is invited- Sometimes, people want to hang out with just you. Because you can have friendships based on common interests, and you can have relationships where not all of your interests are exactly the same. Or at least let us hope.

8. Using the term "Always"- As in, "Hank ALWAYS eats his omlets with baby hearts in it." Blech, no he doesn''t. Not to mention, unless you were raised together, Hank has gone through phases. Ones you missed.  If he hasn't, there is a whole other set of problems to think about. A cool, strange part of loving someone is that you really do become an expert on them. That is certainly a real phenomena, noted by the philosopher Ted Mosby, but that doesn't mean you need to illustrate that knowledge to others. Really, no one cares.

7. Giving single people horrible advice about love- From my (admittedly limited) experience, finding a relationship is not a major life achievement. In fact, it is more luck than anything. Your advice about "love coming when you least expect it" or the dreaded "have you tried online dating?" isn't helping anyone. It is condescending, not to mention functioning off the oft incorrect assumption that said single person wants to be like you, when maybe they just don't. I know plenty of people who are better off single than in a relationship. Don't get stuck into the mental trap that people would just be happier if they were more like you.

6.Using "We"- sometimes I hear myself saying this, and I float out of my body and just sort of hover around in shame. "We did"= fine. "We feel"= Oooof. Something dangerous and unhealthy is going on here.

5. Only wanting couple friends, so they can talk about couple stuff- Maybe I just have a complex, because I don't think I have figured out what couple friends is supposed to look like. I don't understand why people try so hard to make this happen, and even though it is sometimes alright, I hate going to events where it is all couples. We went to a superbowl party like that, where everyone just sat coupled up, and were weirdly affectionate with each other? Like every time Seattle scored they had to pull a little closer to their person? Really? Do hot wings make you feel that romantic? When I get into situations like those, I feel like it is so awkward. Being friends with someone purely because they have a similar family or life structure as you seems to be a really shitty base for friendship to me. Because if all you can talk about is washers and driers or what car you want to buy next, you have run out of actually interesting things to discuss, and that is the ultimate bummer. Hanging out with other couples makes me feel like a grown up in an all bad way.

4. Brag on each other excessively on facebook-  You know, you probably don't need to mention to everyone that Hank is your best friend or he is the best partner ever. When people brag on their partners, I feel like it is just a humble brag on themselves. If you are really that proud that you scored Doris, that's great. Really. But telling me says that you think this somehow reflects on you in a way that I need to know. And maybe I just don't.

3. Us against the world attitude- This kind of solidarity/antagonism can go too far quickly. Good example: You are never doing your partner a favor to contribute to or fan the flames of their conflicts with family or old friends. I get really sick of this kind of team "they don't understand us" attitude, because it is such a dead end.

2. Constant texting- Ack! This is my pet peeve. Who hasn't been to dinner with someone when they were distractedly peeking at their phone while you are trying to have a conversation with them. If Hank is on fire, he will call you. Otherwise, do you really need to hear what he is doing at this very moment? If you are going to get all coupled, you need to avoid becoming so co-dependent that you can't hang out with others. Seriously, I would give my left leg to never have to sit in awkward silence while someone texts their partner "at lunch with Barbara, man she is bitchy about texting" (I am, I own it, and I want to throw your phone into the ocean).

1. Any public communication that could really be private- do you find it cute when other people do it? I think one of the tricks here is that an inividual perceives themselves as impressing others or illustrating a dynamic they are proud of. But I am not convinced that people actually are impressed by each others relationships.  They want their own, and if they wanted it to look like yours, they would just be you. On the other hand, feel free to fight on facebook, because it is so deliciously uncomfortable and just weird.

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