8 Couples Reveal The Secret Quirks That Make Their Relationship Unique
Come on, just admit it. We all do weird things when we're alone, especially when we're single. We all have those weird habits that feel great to us but we'd never want anyone else to see, whether it's eating a cheeseburger in bed at 10 a.m. on a Saturday morning, spending hours painting and re-painting your toenails, or jumping around your apartment to 90's hip-hop. So when you finally meet an S.O. you're really serious about and spend more and more of your time with — maybe even start living with — you may not put a stop to all of your "Secret Single Behavior," but you pick up a whole new set of odd habits, this time with a partner in crime. You could call it Secret Couple Behavior. Twice the fun, twice the weirdness!
Those strange little shared traditions, idiosyncrasies, and shorthands that happen behind closed doors are a true sign of compatibility — but people rarely talk about them. That's why we teamed up with Real Is A Diamond to ask eight couples to share the unusual things they do when no one else is around, because it's when couples stop being normal that they start getting real.
We Don't Wear Pants At Home. Ever.
"As soon as me and my girlfriend walk through the door, it's pants off, all the time. No pants allowed. No pants while cooking, no pants while eating, no pants while Netflixing. We even shout 'Pants off!' as we undo our belts. Our rule: No shoes, no pants, no problem." — Rob, 25
We Watch Separate Movies
"My boyfriend and I both write about pop culture for a living, so we go to the movies together almost every weekend ... although saying 'together' might be a stretch. We drive to the theater in the same car and stand in line for tickets and popcorn together, but from there, we almost always kiss and split off and go to different movies. Our tastes are totally opposite and pretty much go down stereotypical gender lines: He loves superhero and action movies, even if they're terrible, and I like rom-coms and weepy dramas, even if they're terrible. Afterwards, we eat at the diner next to the multiplex and talk about the movies we just saw. Even if we don't like watching each other's movies, we love hearing each other's witty commentary. On more than one occasion, I've bumped into friends in the theater who are like, 'Why are here by yourself?' and I'm always like, 'I'm not! Brad's two auditoriums over!' But since we're both movie buffs, not being forced to sit through movies we hate is really important to making our relationship work. There are always exceptions, though — if there's ever an animated movie about a talking fish or a ridiculously raunchy comedy, we're sitting together in the theater, reaching for the same tub of popcorn." — Chelsea, 26
For Us, "Hi" Means More Than Just "Hi"
"Sometimes during serious phone calls or complicated subjects, my BF restarts the conversation with, 'Hi.' It gives us a chance to come back down from whatever emotions or stress we're feeling and allowed us to return to our present state. This 'Hi' became the way we would check in with each other, whether that's at parties, in the middle of a work day, or separated by coasts when he was visiting home. I think it showed that we didn't need a complicated stream of words, questions or sentiments, to express what we were feeling, which was essentially: 'I'm thinking of you.'" — Erin, 27
We Sing Loudly While The Other Is In The Bathroom
"The first night after I moved into my now-fiancé's tiny studio apartment, I had a realization: I had never gone to the bathroom (No. 2, I mean) in the same building as him ... well, I'm sure that's not true, but never in such close quarters. In that tiny apartment, there was no way not to know everything that was happening in the bathroom at all times. I knew he'd never judge me for having natural bodily functions, but I felt self-conscious anyway — I worried that it'd immediately take us out of the "honeymoon phase" of our relationship. So the first time I had to "go," I was as uncomfortable as if I were going in a stranger's apartment — but suddenly, I heard loud, bad, out-of-tune singing coming from the living area. He had randomly started singing at the top of his lungs, and I knew it was to make me feel more comfortable, to show that he wasn't hearing anything I was doing. I started laughing, and totally eased my anxiety in the moment. I started doing the same thing — singing at the top of my lungs whenever he went into the bathroom, too. Two weeks into living with each other, we were already totally comfortable with each other about everything, including the bathroom, but we kept singing at the top of our lungs, really loud. It's just fun, and it reminds us of a time when we were still feeling each other out." — Marina, 28
We Have Pet Names For Our Pet And Each Other
"For me and [my boyfriend] R, our quirks are language-based. It's also centered on the fact that we have a cat that we treat as our child. [Our cat] Brazil responds to verbal cues, so we have a tradition of announcing when we're feeding him. He eats at 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., so the verbal cue we both use to him is, "Do you want foos?" rather than "food," in a higher-pitched tone. I have no idea where it came from, but when we say it Brazil gets excited and runs to the kitchen. The weird idiolect we developed involves pet names for each other, too. I frequently call him "bb." "Boo bear." "Bubba." Usually b-names that now I'm thinking about it!" — Justin, 29
I Examine My Fiancé's Hair Every Sunday
"This one’s weird, so get ready. My fiancé is a confident, sweet, successful guy in his late 20s with a full head of hair. But he’s irrationally terrified of going bald. Like, PARANOID. He’s not vain in any other way, and I’ve told him a million times that even if he lost all his hair today, he’d be just as sexy to me, but nothing reassured him.
"One day, he asked me to do him a big favor: look carefully, all over his scalp, and tell him if it looked like he had any thin patches in his hair. He made me promise to be 100% honest about what I saw. At first, I didn't want to – I thought it was weird and didn’t want to enable his paranoia, and honestly I found it unattractive. But he kept asking and asking and asking, and I figured he happily indulges my insecurities all the time, so I finally agreed to look. I spent like 10 minutes examining him, like I was looking for lice. His hair couldn’t have been thicker. It made him so happy, and he kept asking me to do it again, maybe once a month. After about a year of doing this, I noticed some slight thinning above the sides of his forehead. It was a tiny amount, and no no one who hadn't been examining his scalp for a year would have EVER noticed. I briefly considered not saying anything, but I remembered how he made me promise to be honest. So I told him, worrying he’d freak out … but he was surprisingly calm about it. He thanked me for being honest, immediately called a hair specialist, and is now taking meds to treat the “problem.” He’s much less paranoid now that he’s actually taking action, but I still check his head while we’re watching TV to make sure the treatments are working … plus, I’ve grown to kind of like the intimacy of combing through his supposedly thinning scalp, like some gorilla picking nits off her mate. I think most people would think it’s weird, but it’s just one small, stupid thing I do for him because he needed it." — Mary, 29
We Make Crazy Noises At Each Other
"Somewhere around the six or seven month mark, I started growling at my boyfriend for no apparent reason. The sound started as kind of a drawn-out "raaawr" sound, but has now morphed into a siren-esque "a'reer-reer-reer" sound. We've been together for over a year, and now every time we see each other, we'll randomly start "reer"ing. In bed, on the bus, in the middle of restaurants, on the sidewalks. People have definitely given us looks." — Allison, 26
We Remind Each Other How We Feel Every Day
"We literally just say, 'You're my favorite' to each other on a daily basis. It's our way of reminding each other that, yes, love is great and all — but we are each other's FAVORITE person, which is pretty powerful. To us, it means that not only do we love each other, but we like each other, too." — Kelly, 27