A friend recently asked me if it's OK that he gets annoyed when his girlfriend will read texts, then leave them unanswered. While communication is vital to a healthy relationship (and seeing that someone has read receipts and didn't respond to you is one of the most infuriating things to come out of the digital age) I know that their differing ideas on responding to messages doesn't have to be the death of their relationship. Everyone is unique, so it's nearly impossible to see eye-to-eye with our partners on everything. And while some behaviors are unforgivable, other habits aren't necessarily dealbreakers.
"Most bad habits can be addressed," Justin Lavelle, dating expert and Chief Communications Officer of online background check platform BeenVerified, tells Bustle. "Asking your partner to change a bad habit is not the same as trying to change someone. If a habit is bothersome enough, talk about it."
If you're feeling guilty for disliking one of your partner's annoying habits, don't. It's totally normal to not like everything about a person (even the one you love!), but some behaviors are easier to live with than others. Whether you decide you can deal with the habit or choose to discuss it with your partner, many small annoyances can be fixed. Here are seven relationship issues that experts say aren't total dealbreakers:
1. They're Constantly Swearing
Not everyone sees cursing as a big deal, but if it's used excessively in public or around other people, it could start to get on your nerves. In order to figure out if this is a real dealbreaker, Lavelle says you should ask yourself, "Does the problem bother you enough to speak up? Is it offensive to everybody or have you become so focused on it and are hyper sensitive because you are embarrassed in front of your friends or family?"
If the swearing is making both you and everyone around you uncomfortable, it's definitely worth discussing. But if you're worried what other people think and no one actually seems to mind, it might be best to just let it go.
2. They Don't Help Out Around The House
If your partner is avoiding things like emptying the dishwasher, putting away laundry, or bringing in the mail, it can be a real problem — or something that you just need to talk through. "Your partner may not be aware of their behavior and certainly not the extent to which it impacts you," Lavelle says.
Maybe your partner is used to living with someone who's always done those things for them and doesn't realize that what they're doing (or not doing) is actually bothering you. This could turn into a dealbreaker if you've told them a thousand times to put their dishes away and they never do, but you shouldn't let it get to you before you ever confront them about it.
3. They're Messy
Everyone tolerates messiness in different ways. Some people have a place for everything and everything has to be in its place. Others have what they call an "organized mess" where things may look untidy, but they do know where things are. But if you're on the neater end of the spectrum, dealing with a partner's disorganization might drive you crazy.
"There’s always that one person that's more on the messy side and tends to leave their clothes everywhere," Lori Bizzoco, a relationship expert and founder of CupidsPulse, tells Bustle. "If your partner happens to be that person, it’s likely they do because it doesn’t bother them or simply because they’re not used to sharing their space with someone else." Again, talking about the issue with your partner could resolve the problem, but you might need to meet them halfway on this.
4. They Chew With Their Mouth Open
Even though I wasn't dating them, I used to have a friend who was guilty of being an open-mouth chewer. While our friendship didn't end over it, I started avoiding situations where I'd be eating with her (which probably put more strain on the relationship than confronting her about it would have.) But when you're seeing someone romantically, enjoying meals together comes with the territory — so you can't strategically avoid every dinner date.
"While it might make your date night a little unpleasant, most people don’t even realize they’re doing it (which only drives your insanity further)," Bizzoco says. "Try finding a time to kindly let your partner know or make them aware that they are guilty of doing it."
5. They Snore
"The moment when you find out your partner snores loudly is the moment you feel as if your peaceful nights are over," Bizzoco says. "But before you start hitting them with your pillow to get them to stop, remember that you can’t blame them for doing something while they’re sleeping." This is one of those habits that you really need to decide if you can live with it or not. With a pair of earplugs, it doesn't have to be a dealbreaker.
6. They Can Never Make Up Their Mind
Dating someone who's indecisive could really start to get under your skin – especially if they can't decide things like where they want to eat or what they want to do when they're with you. "Remember that this habit simply reflects personality differences," Bizzoco says. "You can’t expect your partner to be just like you in every way."
As someone who's uttered the words, "I don't know. What do you want to do?" way too many times to count, I can attest that this isn't the easiest trait to overcome. It's not like indecisive people enjoy being this way; it's just that there are so many options and we don't want to choose the wrong one. So, please bare with us.
7. Their Texting Technique Is Different Than Yours
Some people think they should be texting their significant other consistently throughout the day, while others are fine leaving messages unanswered. "It should be considered a problem when they aren't willing to communicate with you by any other means," Taccara Martin, a relationship expert and author, tells Bustle. If your partner would rather talk about their day with you over dinner than through hourly texts, this could be something easy to work through with a bit of compromise from both you and your partner.
It's normal to have pet peeves, but they shouldn't hinder you from having a healthy relationship. If something your partner does is really getting to you, the best thing you can do is try to tell them nicely that it bothers you. If they don't change, it's up to you whether you're going to deal with it or turn it into a dealbreaker.