10 Couples Reveal What They Secretly Can’t Stand About Each Other (But Tolerate Anyway)

1. “She says the most random stuff in bed.”

“During sex, my girlfriend says the most unacceptable, least sexy things. Once, when I was mid-thrust, she asked if we should spend the holidays at my parents, or hers. Another time it was, ‘Sorry, but if I don’t mention that the lightbulb above the medicine cabinet needs to be changed, I know I’ll forget.’ I love the woman, but I’d so much rather shit in darkness forever than talk about light fixtures while fucking. Otherwise, she’s sexual dynamite. My real problem with the nonstop chattering is that it’s hard for me to stay focused when she says such random shit.”

— Cameron, 24

2. “He fishes for compliments constantly.”

“My boyfriend seems to need affirmation for literally everything he accomplishes—whether it’s unloading the dishwasher, making me orgasm, or recycling. Maybe his mom babied him too much, or he went to one of those schools that gave every student a paper plate achievement award for ‘excellence in classroom cleanup’ and ‘mastery of cursive handwriting,’ or he was in a soccer league that distributed end-of-season trophies to every player. It’s hard to fake enthusiasm every time a grown man crosses an item off his To Do list. Once, he was staring at me with that expectant look that tells me it’s time to compliment him, and I suggested we start a household star sticker system like the kind they have in kindergarten classes. The joke was totally lost on him. Luckily, he has a lot of other positive qualities.”

— Brooke, 30

3. “She watches terrible TV with the phone glued to her ear.”

“My girlfriend does this thing where she sits on the couch watching television with her cell phone glued to her ear so she can discuss the plots of the most mind-numbing reality shows with her best friend as they unfold. It’s so whack. No one needs to dissect the evolution of the dynamics between Kardashian sisters in real time. No one. My girlfriend is a smart person but it’s hard to remember that sometimes.”

— Ethan, 25

4. “He’s obsessed with making me orgasm, which sounds way better than it is.”

“My boyfriend of five years refuses to believe that I don’t need to orgasm every single time we have sex. Whenever he comes before me, he insists on fingering me or going down on me to get me off, even if I explain that my vagina would rather rest than get massaged or licked or whatever he wants to do to it. I’ve tried explaining to him that women don’t get blue balls like guys do, so it’s not a tragedy if we don’t climax, but the reality hasn’t registered. To avoid all the unwanted vaginal attention post sex, I had to start faking it. I’m really good at moaning and groaning now, which isn’t such a bad thing.”

— Amanda, 28

5. “She buys worthless souvenirs on every vacation we take.”

“When my girlfriend and I first fell in love, she suggested buying a corny knickknack from every place we visited together, whether we were on a weekend getaway or taking a longer trip. I hate nothing more than a tacky memento and the tourist trap shops that sell them, but I told her it was a great idea because I was so smitten back then. We’ve been together seven years now, and our collection of worthless, cheesy memorabilia is ridiculously comprehensive. I don’t have the heart to tell her I think the whole fucking this is pointless, but I have considered torching the house just to get rid of the box containing all that shit.”

— Will, 28

6. “He can’t help playing amateur psychiatrist.”

“My husband does this thing where he says ‘good morning’ to greet people no matter what time of day it is. It’s his way of evaluating people, he says, as if he were some kind of psychiatrist employing a highly sophisticated technique for reading strangers on the sly. I guess the great big mystery is: Have we encountered someone compelled to correct a person who misspeaks, or one who’s more likely to let a mistake slide? If I have to see one more perplexed expression in response to a late-afternoon tribute to the AM, I might just lose my shit. I know he’s just getting his kicks, but I really wish he’d stop.”

— Darlene, 26

7. “He becomes a total baby when he’s sick.”

“When he’s sick, my boyfriend seems to expect me to drop everything and play 24-hour bedside nurse. He also has a way of exaggerating his symptoms, which is cute for exactly ten seconds before it becomes totally unsexy. When he had the flu this past winter, he kept whining that his brain was boiling. Then he begged me to Google whether or not it was actually possible for the human brain to boil. He had a fever of 101 degrees Fahrenheit, not even high enough to justify a trip to the emergency room. Growing up, I only went to the doctor for annual physicals, or if I was seriously injured—like gushing blood, bones protruding injured—so it’s hard for me to swallow the whole man-baby thing. The good thing is, he doesn’t get sick that often.”

— Allison, 32

8. “She’s so smart, but she has such lowbrow taste in books.”

“My wife devours YA novels like they’re laced with crack cocaine and I think it’s embarrassing. We met in college. Now I’m working towards my Phd, and she’s regressed to reading at a fourth grade level. Every time she giggles whiles she’s curled up on the couch in the midst of a stupid book written for preteens, I want to drill a hole in her head to let the sap out. The sordid truth is, I’m mostly just jealous she’s able to find joy in something simple so easily.”

— Peter, 38

9. “She’s way too type-A to loosen up during sex.”

“I respect my girlfriend so much. She’s a corporate lawyer who manages to cook these amazingly complicated dinners all the time and to create these thematic—what does she call them?—tablescapes. And if I mention offhandedly that I want to try a new restaurant or something like spinning, she’ll do a whole bunch of research and send me a bulleted list detailing whatever she finds out. It’s great. Except when she applies that attitude towards our sex life. Like we need a list of Sexual Positions To Experiment With This Summer. If you want to have mind-blowing sex, you have to relax into it. Mouth-watering meals like the kind she whips up deserve to be followed by wild, passionate lovemaking.”

— Rex, 29

10. “She can’t stop using my high school nickname.”

“I’m lucky to be married to my high school sweetheart. It’s nice to share a really long history with someone. What’s not nice is being called the nickname you earned at sixteen decades after the fact. I understand old habits are hard to break, but if I hear ‘Dickbot’ out of my wife’s mouth one more time, I might have to post the video footage I have of her dancing naked while lip synching Tiffany’s ‘I Think We’re Alone Now’ to Facebook. Maybe then she’ll manage to kick the habit.”

— Richard, 35 TC mark

thumbnail image – Dimitry B.

Mélanie Berliet

I adore the following, in no particular order: knee-high tube socks, acrostic poetry, and my little brother. Click here to learn more!

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