9 "Annoying" Habits Your Partner Has That Means Your Relationship Will Get Better With Age
If you've been with your partner for a while, you've likely picked up on a few of their more "endearing" quirks and eccentricities. These are traits that can make them tricky to understand, and may cause you to disagree. But when you take a closer look, these very same qualities can actually be a sign your relationship will only get better with age.
In some instances, negative qualities can be positive traits in disguise. They may just seem annoying because you spend so much time together, or because you've begun to take each other for granted. But before we get into those, let's talk about other signs your relationship might do well, in the future.
First and foremost, you're off to a good start if you argue, but do so while remembering you're part of a team. "Couples will argue, but moving toward a solution, versus a victory for yourself, is a key predictor of long-term relationship success," Joshua Klapow, PhD, clinical psychologist and host of The Kurre and Klapow Show, tells Bustle.
And the same is true if you communicate often, including what you like, don't like, what scares you, and so on. "Talking about these things strengthens the bond between you, and will help the relationship," Dr. Klapow says. If yours has these qualities, as well as the ones listed below, it could be a sign your relationship will only get better with age.
1. They Love To Compliment You
If your partner's always complimenting you, it can start to lose its shine after a while. But as long as they're doing so in a genuine way, their flattery can actually be a good sign.
"It shows how much they care and how much they are paying attention to what you say and what you do," Dr. Klapow says. "It shows they want you to feel good, they notice you, and they are engaged, which are great signs for a long-term connection."
2. They Worry About Your Wellbeing
If your partner constantly needs to know where you are, or is always checking in, it might mean they're controlling. And that's something you'll want to discuss. But if they are simply concerned about your wellbeing, this level of dedication may be a quality worth appreciating.
"They ask you how you are feeling, they ask if anything is wrong, they want to hear about your emotions," Dr. Klapow says. "This is another example of something that can grow tiresome when it is done too much. But is also a sign that your emotional state is registering on their radar, and that's important for long-term relationship success."
3. They Want To Be Close
Everyone's different when it comes to how much physical attention they want and need. So if your partner is invading your space, feel free to have a discussion about it, so they can be aware of your boundaries.
Do, however, try to see where they're coming from. "A hug, kisses, pats on the back, holding your hand — these are all signs of love," Dr. Klapow says. "If you have been together for more than a year and this is still happening, it shows how much they care. And that is a very good sign for the strength of the relationship."
4. They Like To Spend Time Alone
On the flip side, being with someone who enjoys spending time alone might mean you'll have a healthy relationship going forward, especially since long-term success relies heavily on you both remaining individuals.
"A relationship is a union; but it’s not two people becoming one — it’s two individuals learning to co-exist," clinical psychologist Daniel Sher, tells Bustle. "Therefore, if your partner enjoys occasionally spending time alone (or vice versa) this is a good sign, not a bad one. It means that they have the emotional maturity to be able to set appropriate boundaries and to do what needs to be done in order to ensure the longevity of the relationship."
5. They Argue With You
While arguments are always difficult in the moment, the fact your partner is willing to respectfully speak their mind — even if things get emotional — should be seen as a positive.
"Relationships involve an ongoing process of negotiation and connection between two separate individuals," Sher says. "Conflict gives you an opportunity to re-negotiate your respective identities and boundaries. The healthy resolution (not denial) of conflict is absolutely imperative to the development of a healthy, long-term relationship."
So while arguments may not be fun, they're a necessary part of keeping a relationship healthy, and moving in a forward direction.
6. They're Incredibly Honest
Honesty can be a trait that's not always easy to deal with, especially if your partner tends to say exactly what's on their mind. But as long as they aren't being rude or hurtful, this quality can come in handy.
"You may need to have a conversation with them about the sorts of comments and conversations that are and aren’t appropriate," Sher says, "but don’t allow your partner’s transparency to dissuade you."
7. They're Always Positive
If your partner has a tendency to see the world through rose-colored glasses, it may cause you to roll your eyes at times. But this sunny quality can make for a healthy relationship.
"One benefit is they see best in even the worse situations," Dr. Klapow says. "They are confident things will work out, and they see meaning in challenging situations."
Since life can be tough, optimism really will be a key factor in long-term happiness. As Dr. Klapow says, "They have it and they infuse it into your relationship, which is ultimately a good thing."
8. They Try To Make You Happy
If your partner is constantly going out of their way to please you, do nice things, and help out, "it can feel a bit much and it can get irritating," Dr. Klapow says. "But this means they care about you. This is a sign of dedication to your happiness, which is good for the long haul."
To keep things balanced, be sure to give back to them, too. Some people are naturally more giving than others, but it's a trait you can both work on, and bring to the relationship.
9. They're Willing To Compromise
It's easy to take a partner's ability to compromise for granted. But remember that few qualities are better than this one, if you plan to stay together.
"Relationships are essentially all about compromise," Sher says. "If both you and your partner are able to compromise in a healthy manner — i.e. unconditionally and without resentment — this is an incredibly powerful sign of relationship health."
Of course, these are all qualities you can work on as a couple, if they don't currently exist in your relationship. But if they're already there, try to appreciate them. While certain traits may be a bit much, at times, they can also be a sign your relationship is going places.