When you’re in a relationship, it’s easy to slip into being comfortable, but even if you’re avoiding the most major bothersome habits, you might be doing acting in a way that can get on your partner’s nerves. There are a number of surprising habits that might make your partner not want to be around you, despite how much they love you. Becoming aware of these little quirks can help ensure your relationship goes smoothly, as you never want your partner to crave time away from you, no matter how independent you may both be.
“It’s important to pay attention to all of the little things in a relationship, as small, seemingly inconsequential decisions or habits can cause a negative shift in how you feel about each other,” says therapist Sarah E. Clark, LMFT, LMHC, CVRT over email. “It’s the little things that mean the most when you are with someone long-term. Ask them if they have any pet peeves. Ask them if there are any of your habits that may bug them. Then pay attention to their responses. You shouldn’t have to change who you are to be with someone, but we can always change a habit if it is going to cause a problem for the ones we love.”
Here are 11 common, but surprising habits that might make your partner not want to be around you, even if they love you.
1. Insensitive Joking
It’s important to share a sense of humor with your significant other, but the wrong kind of humor can be very detrimental. “If you tease and make fun of your partner, they may not enjoy being around you as much,” says Clark. “This goes for humor that your partner may find inappropriate or offensive as well. Make sure you are both laughing at the situation and not using humor as a weapon.”
2. Not Taking Care Of Yourself
“Whether this involves laziness with hygiene, or something bigger like not managing any health issues, it is your responsibility to take care of yourself,” says Clark. “It can be extremely frustrating and cause major relationship issues if your partner starts feeling like they have to take care of you or you won’t do it for yourself.”
3. Nit Picking
When you care about the person you’re dating, you want to help them become a better person. However, you don’t want to make them feel bad about every little thing they do. “If you are overly critical of your partner, even if you think it is for their own good, it will slowly erode the foundation of your relationship,” says Clark. “You may find that they don’t want to talk to you as often or be around you if they feel like they are just going to be criticized.”
Part of loving your partner is wanting to always be around them, but you want to give them the appropriate space. “Every couple needs to determine for themselves what level of affection and PDA they are comfortable with,” says Clark, “Make sure to respect your partner’s boundaries and wishes. If you are overly affectionate, it can become something that your partner wants to avoid.”
5. Not Eating Politely
Your partner will likely still love you even if your manners aren’t the best, but they might not want to be around during meal times, which can pose a problem. “Scraping a fork against a plate while eating can get on the nerves of a person who is bothered by it to the point they won’t eat with you unless it’s with paper plates,” says psychotherapist and Stacy Kaiser, editor-at-large of Live Happy, over email. Same goes for loud chewing. “The chewer typically becomes immune to the sounds of smacking and chomping while their partner may not be able to be in the same room,” she says.
6. Spending Too Much Time On Your Phone
It might seem harmless to play around your phone all the time, but it can make your partner feel poorly. “This can make the other person feel invisible or disrespected,” says psychologist and relationship counselor Dr. Paulette Sherman over email. Give your partner the attention they deserve, and save playing around on Instagram for when you’re alone.
7. Dominating The Conversation
Part of being a good listener is not only focusing on somewhat else is saying, but giving them time to speak. “Your partner may avoid you if they feel you monopolize the conversation or lecture them, not allowing them to respond,” says Sherman.
8. Making Noise During Sleep
“Sleep is important to many people and your partner may be irritable if they are woken up by your inconsideration or noise,” says Sherman. “Another issue is one person snoring and not trying to do anything to address it. This can cause the other partner many restless nights.”
9. Always Discussing Chores & Responsibilities
It is important to be a responsible team and to discuss responsibilities, but your relationship also needs fun and positivity. “Your partner may avoid you if you always feel like their parent, slave driver, or the principal,” says Sherman.
10. Being Reckless With Money
“Money is a big generator of problems, arguments, and resentment in long-term relationships,” says psychotherapist Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. over email. “If one of you is fiscally responsible, and the other is not, be sure you get that out on the table before you make a serious commitment. As a marriage counselor, I’ve seen many otherwise good relationships be ruined by one partner’s debt.”
11. Leaving Things A Mess
If you are more messy or even more tidy than your partner, and you don’t work it out together, the differences can cause friction. “It’s a great idea to check out each other’s living spaces and understand what each other’s cleanliness habits are,” says Tessina. “Then talk about the differences and work out a deal. Drastically different decorating styles, neatness, and organization levels can become sources of argument.”