Love is about making sacrifices. Sometimes, that means working two jobs to support your significant other while they go back to school; sometimes, it means watching them bite their fork every single time they eat spaghetti. Come on—who does that?
People aren’t perfect, and everyone wishes they could change a few small things about their partner. In several Reddit threads, users shared their relationship pet peeves, and the responses were just as petty and frustrating as you might expect. Fortunately, they were also ridiculously entertaining.
We collected a few of the best responses, then edited them for grammar and readability. Keep these in mind the next time your partner bites their fork—everyone’s got their issues, even when they’re in otherwise happy relationships.
Unsurprisingly, food seems to be a major point of contention among couples.
One of the most common pet peeves was nicely summarized by reddit user jmtheo21:
“Never. Knowing. What. She. Wants. To. Eat.”
User NefariousNeezy evidently has the same problem and shared this example of a typical pre-meal conversation:
“‘So, where do you wanna eat?’”
“‘Do you wanna go to this new thing here on this street right here?’”
“‘Where do you wanna go?’”
“‘Eh, I dunno.’”
If that sounds familiar, ToushiroHikaru has a solution.
“We sort of developed a system for that,” he wrote. “Strike out generic foods—no burgers, no Chinese, etc.— then roll [dice] for the specific restaurants that are left over (for example, Taco Bell, Chipotle, Pizza Hut, Little Caesars, etc.). That usually happens between 9 and 12 at night when neither of us want to cook dinner for each other.”
Of course, you could just eat at home…but if you do that, make sure you’ve got a system established for dealing with the dishes.
“The rule is: One person cooks and the other person [cleans] the dishes,” RollAd20 explained. “Usually, he is cooking and I am cleaning the dishes…but what annoys me is that when he cooks, he doesn’t clean up after himself. All the packaging, wrappers, and bags will just be left out. When I am cooking, it just feels like a natural part of the process to throw that stuff out as you go. I use the last of the carrots? I throw the bag away. I use the last of the seasoning? I throw the thing away. He won’t.”
“Also, he won’t rinse off his dishes. We have cereal and I will rinse my bowl while he just leaves it out or puts it in the sink. Then that night when I am doing dishes, I have to work hard just to get the cereal bits that have seemed to cement itself to his bowl. (If he does this before I finish, I will rinse his bowl out for him. And I have asked him a few times to try and get into the habit.)”
Ideally, your partner is friendly…but not too friendly.
“[My pet peeve is] a double-edged sword, but mostly good, I think,” wrote Flance. “He’s super friendly, but it’s also like, okay, do you have to talk to everyone you see?”
Other Reddit users weighed in with similar concerns.
“My [significant other] is the worst at parties because of this,” Asian_Ginger wrote. “He’s super fun to be around, but because he’s so friendly and because everyone is having such a good time, he has to stay at the party until it’s absolutely over.”
“So, we’ll go to a party at, say, 6 p.m., and I’ll be tired at like 11. I’ll start hinting that maybe we should think about going in a couple of hours. Then, people will start to trickle out, and I’ll remind him that it might be a good idea to get going soon. But he’s having such a good time talking to people, and they’re clearly having a great time talking to him, too!”
“So we always end up being, like, the very last people to leave a party at 2 or 3 a.m. I don’t think that he does this deliberately. It’s more that everything is so fun that he completely loses track of time.”
Of course, there’s an easy solution: Drive to the party separately. Granted, that’s not an option for every couple, but we’re just trying to offer solutions here.
If you need an alarm clock to wake up, be respectful of the person sleeping next to you.
“When the alarm rings, instead of getting up, he will set it to go off at a later time, maybe 10 minutes, maybe more,” wrote shinybird. “This would not be too bad, except I am hard of hearing and an extremely deep sleeper, so no alarm suitable to apartment living can wake me.”
“So he forces me to get up later, too, and now my whole schedule is out of whack. Gah!”
Unfortunately, alarm clock misuse was a common complaint among Reddit users.
“[My partner] presses snooze five times,” wrote Sirnando138. “[The] first one wakes me up. Only, I have the option of sleeping another hour—I had the option.”
We had to wonder: What are people thinking when they force their terrible alarm-clock etiquette on their partners? Fortunately, Reddit user ScruffsMcGuff weighed in.
“I’m guilty of this,” they wrote. “I love the feeling of waking up to the alarm, looking at the clock, and going, ‘Ha! I can sleep for nine more minutes’ until I absolutely have to get up. I actually started setting my alarm even earlier, because I just love hitting snooze and flopping back into bed.”
To us, that sounds absolutely insane. Still, it’s not the worst thing that a person can do when sharing a bed with someone else.
“He’ll slowly take up part of my side of the bed at night and leave me almost falling down between it and the wall,” wrote another Reddit user. “Also, he’ll stretch his arms out in him sleep and hit me in the face. I don’t know how he could stop that.”
At least he didn’t shout at her.
“One time, my boyfriend and I were sleeping together in the bed, and at some point in the night the covers had come off both of us and were sandwiched between us,” wrote happyspeck. “I was cold, so I tried pulling at them to put them over me, but it was difficult because he was laying on them. In his sleep, he thought I was trying to take them away from him, and so he mumbled ‘f*****g greedy bastard.’ We had a good laugh about it when we woke up.”
And while some people wake up their partners by accident, others are more purposeful.
“She wakes me up in the morning,” wrote ArseElbow. “It’s not even mildly annoying, it’s fully annoying. She uses a cutesy voice, like that makes it any better. I’ve not punched her yet. I think that’s how I know I love her.”
When Ben King sang “Stand By Me,” he wasn’t speaking literally.
“My wife is a chronic stand-in-the-wayer,” wrote openletter8. “It is infuriating. I’m polite, and I’ll tap her on the shoulder if she lingers, or I’ll ask if I could get to what she’s standing in front of. She’ll always move, but it takes a minute to register that she was in the way.”
Lest you think that his story ends there, think again—he’s got examples.
“I’m heading into the kitchen for something, guess who also needs to go in there?” he wrote. “Oh, and she wants to ask me about something in the doorway. Then she goes to where I am going and takes up residence, still mid-conversation.”
“[Or] we’re at the grocery store, walking down the aisle, me pushing the cart, her leading. Just getting our stu…she’s stopped! I stop hard to not run into her. ‘Oh, here’s the peas!’ Oblivious to the fact that I almost ran her over.”
“The worst is the fact that our 4-year-old daughter is starting to do the same thing. I love them dearly, but damn, girls. Stop standing in doorways and standing in front of the sink when someone is holding an empty cup.”
We think we’ve got a solution: Walk full speed through anyone standing in your way. Also, there’s probably a reason we’re single.
Oh, and while we’re on the subject of physical touch…
It’s important to have boundaries. Several female Reddit users (and a few males, we’re sure) had issues with tickling.
“Laughing [does not equal] enjoyment,” khitsule wrote. [It’s] painful and kinda scary because tickle attacks are always accompanied with being overpowered and having to realize just how little I can defend myself. No one takes your screams seriously if you’re laughing uncontrollably. Also applies to male family members.”
Fortunately, other Reddit users provided some…ahem…helpful advice.
“Start coughing loudly to the point where it sounds like you can’t breathe—like you’ve choked on your own spit,” donaisabelle wrote. “I’ve never had a time where this didn’t work to get someone to stop tickling me.”
That’s a fairly gross way of dealing with the problem, but hey, we can’t judge.
True love is sharing a Netflix account without strangling each other.
“My husband will spend more time looking for a movie to watch than it takes to actually watch a movie,” wrote PrescribedNaps. “When Blockbuster was still a thing, he’d make me go with him as he walked up and down aisles looking for some diamond in the rough. Blockbuster was my version of Hell.”
To be fair, Blockbuster was everyone’s version of Hell. We’re definitely not missing those late fees. Netflix has made entertainment much less stressful—for some people.
“Scrolling through Netflix with [my partner] is hella slow, because she has to stop and read the description of everything—even the movies and shows she’s seen,” wrote Avoidingsnail.
These might seem like minor quibbles, but according to a survey from Netflix, our binge-watching habits have a significant impact on our relationships: 51 percent of respondents said that sharing a Netflix password means that the relationship is serious—and 17 percent said that they wouldn’t share their passwords until they’re engaged.
Some pet peeves boil down to simply being inconsiderate.
“When he leaves a room, he turns the lights off,” wrote Septoria. “Now, this is the opposite of a problem…if he’s home by himself. What irks me is when he does it when I’m still in the room he’s walking out of.”
That’s a bad habit, but at least it’s less awkward than this next one.
“When we’re walking somewhere and she’s leading the way, she constantly walks me into stuff,” wrote OPs_Mom_and_Dad. “It doesn’t matter if I’m on her left or her right, she’ll constantly walk me into other people, plants, walls, etc.”
There’s no excuse for being inconsiderate—particularly when you’ve just met someone.
“I went on this date with a girl I met at a mutual friend’s barbecue,” wrote one Reddit user in a comment that has since been deleted. “We ended up going out for dinner a few nights after we met. We were being seated, and she ran off to talk to someone she knew that was at another table in the restaurant…and chatted for a good 10 minutes while I sat at the table alone.”
Guys, think twice before ordering food for your date.
“I once was on a date and the guy asked what I was thinking of getting and I told him,” wrote a Reddit user whose account has since been deleted. “However, after looking at the menu a bit longer, I had changed my mind. When the waiter came over, the guy ordered for me and before I could say anything, the waiter was gone (it was a busy restaurant on a Saturday). I still think of the steak that I could have had.”
“I think if you’re at a restaurant where one person has no experience with the food being served and it’s confusing (sushi, a French restaurant, etc.) it might be acceptable to order for someone—if you know what foods they usually like. But when a guy orders for me within the first few dates, I feel like I’m being treated like a little kid.”
Where does that custom come from? We looked into it, and according to a piece on Chowhound, it dates back to the 19th century. At the time, women wouldn’t think of addressing men outside their circle of family and friends, and because men usually paid anyway, the ladies would simply relay their orders to their male dining partners.
These days, there’s no reason to order for someone else—it might feel classy, but it’s an unnecessary complication.
If your pet peeves are building up, you might need to talk to your partner.
User soomuchcoffee has quite a few pet peeves, and he’s not afraid to share them.
“‘Hey, I was thinking…’ never precedes good news,” he noted. “If she wants something, she won’t just say, ‘Could you hand me that apple?’ She will say, ‘Hey, would you mind just handing me that apple when you get a second?’ It’s always ‘just’ some action, and it’s always ‘when I get a second.’ Even when I am obviously not doing anything.”
That seems somewhat obnoxious, but he seems especially annoyed by his significant other’s inability to look things up for herself.
“She thinks I’m Google,” he wrote. “‘Hey, how do you spell apprehensive?’ ‘I don’t know, why not ask the pocket computer you are literally holding right now?’ Fine! App-re-hen-what? Uh, ‘n’ as in ‘night.’ Yeah. Start over? Oh, come on. App-re-hen-sive. I’m not mad. I’m not. It’s fine. What do you mean you were thinking? We saw your parents two weeks ago!’”
At least they were communicating (well, sort of).
“I’ll ask or say something to [my partner], and he completely ignores me,” wrote _Probably_Downvoted_. “‘Getting tired of that video game you were playing the other day?’ Silence.”
“It doesn’t matter whether it’s a serious topic he doesn’t want to talk about or [something] more light hearted. He does this on either occasion. Some kind of acknowledgment would be nice, but he will literally say nothing.”
Of course, some partners over-explain their feelings.
“[She’s] constantly telling me how tired she is and [how she] wants to go to bed as soon as she gets home,” wrote The_Mad_Gasser. “This also shares a spot with telling people she has a high pain tolerance, yet constantly complains (or yelps as loud as she can) if she feels any discomfort.”
“I love her to death, but she can be a drama queen. No, she doesn’t have any issues, she just likes to let me know when she is feeling any discomfort. We’ve been married for 15 years.”
Other pet peeves seem completely inexplicable (and totally frustrating).
“My husband doesn’t drink the last few sips of his tea, ever,” wrote stone_opera. “He also puts them down on the floor randomly, because he refuses to use a coaster and knows that I’ll be pissed if he messes up our new furniture. So we both end up kicking over random cups of unfinished tea on the floor. Jerk.”
And life’s especially difficult when your partner isn’t contributing to the upkeep of the home.
“He has no concept of cleaning up after himself,” wrote one Reddit user whose account has since been deleted. “He opens a package and the box/cellophane/plastic it came in goes straight on the floor or counter or ottoman. In the same vein, if he took a day off and I worked, when I come home, I can see the trail of everything he ate during the day sitting on the counter.”
These complaints are petty, but that’s why they’re so relatable.
“My wife, for some reason, is completely unable to just answer the question I’m asking,” wrote djhp. “I love her to death because as soon as I get the question out, she’s trying to figure out what I really want. This leads her to give me a response that not only doesn’t answer the question, but forces me out of my train of thought because I’m just expecting a simple answer.’”
If there’s one constant in all of these pet peeves, it’s this: In any relationship, communication problems are frustrating.
“He sighs every time I ask him on my days off if we could go somewhere,” wrote Burritoni. “Like to the grocery store, to eat out somewhere, see a movie, just anything to get out of the apartment. It’s mildly annoying and it passes, but holy s**t, I just want to do something fun for a few hours instead of being stuck at home doing [nothing] without the attitude!”
One Reddit user even complained about cuddling. Seriously, cuddling.
“She needs to lay on me, almost constantly,” reincarN8ed wrote. “Whether I’m in bed trying to sleep,or on the couch playing video games. Sometimes I want to cuddle, but not all the time! I’ll be in the middle of a game, and she’ll just plop her head on my arm and wiggle and writhe her way into my lap. Then, after about an hour when my hand is starting to turn purple, I’ll pull my arm out from under her and she’ll scold me for making her uncomfortable. Not to mention her body is about a thousand degrees, so trying to get to sleep in summer is a nightmare.”
“Babe, I love you, but when two people become one, they do not literally have to become one!”
If you’re a competitive person, try to keep it under control during family bowling night.
“He is so competitive,” wrote Lot48sToaster. “And even worse, he’s one of those people that is good at everything he tries. When he’s losing at a game, it’s like he’s shocked he’s losing and is such a grouch.”
“It’s always because there is something wrong with the game, never because he’s just not playing as well as other people. He can’t accept that someone is better. But when he’s winning, he won’t shut up about how awesome he is.”
“Either way, it’s really irritating. I can’t even remember the last time he and I played a game together, because when the idea gets brought up, I suggest something else.”
Before you start a relationship, make sure you’re on the same page.
In some cases, a pet peeve is significant enough to keep a relationship from getting off the ground.
“There’s a big difference between having actual knowledge that you enjoy sharing with others, and acting like an intellectually superior [jerk] because you read The New Yorker,” Lydious wrote. “They’re the ones who are constantly correcting people’s grammar and spelling, sneering at people who enjoy popular music, and peppering their conversations with big words just to sound smarter. My ex was like this. He knew everything and made damn sure that you knew he knew everything, too. If you ever contradicted him—well, he’d just have to lecture you until you realized he was right! I can’t even stand to be in the same room with people like this, let alone date them.”
Don’t be a know-it-all…and don’t be too negative, either.
“From depressing outlooks on life altering situations, to being a Debbie Downer over the littlest things that don’t make a difference, a s****y attitude won’t get you anywhere with me,” gummybears_n_scotch wrote. “I’m not saying the person has to be all gold stars-rainbows-Disney-Channel kind of positive, but resilience and a strong desire to advance [or] move forward are admirable qualities. S*** happens… put your head down and power through it. Everyone is fighting a battle of their own.”
Ambition isn’t everything, but it’s certainly something.
If you don’t have a job of some sort, you’re going to have a tough time starting a relationship in the modern age.
“It’s not a money thing,” lizard_wings wrote. “It’s a responsibility thing. If you can’t take care of yourself, and are not bothered by that fact and actively trying to fix I want nothing to do with your ass. I’d date an unemployed or underemployed man who is looking for a job, I don’t give a s*** if he can’t take me out to dinners.”
“I would not ever date a man who’s working part time, but is comfortable with the status quo because his mother pays his rent. Even if his mommy budget allowed him to buy me expensive presents. That guy is a child, and I hate children. I’d rather be with the guy working his ass off to make ends met, even if I had to pay for all of our dates.”
Really, that sums it up: If you’re going to be in an adult relationship, be an adult. Try to find ways to cut down on your partner’s pet peeves, and they’ll probably reciprocate—and if not, well, you’ll need to actually communicate with them. Now, with that in mind…what do you want for dinner?