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I read your opinion on handling pet peeves in a relationship and I appreciate it. But I decided to check up the meaning of a pet peeve in a dictionary, and the first definition that came up was “A pet peeve is a minor annoyance that an individual identifies to be more annoying to him/her; to a greater degree than others may find it”. So I realized that peeves tend to be a matter of opinion, and are most times linked to a person’s personality. Some people don’t like it when others sneak up on them; some don’t like it when someone says “whatever” whenever they are having a discussion; some don’t like other people talking through a movie, and some don’t like when people pick their noses. So, to avoid a bad break-up because of a minor annoyance from pet peeves, what should we do? You have to understand that we are both not perfect, and as your man, I would piss you off sometimes because I am human, and if you are waiting to date someone who will never piss you off in a lifetime, you might just have to wait for Jesus to come. So, how do we deal with pet peeves in our relationship without hurting each other? Note: this is for both of us. 1. Don’t raise your pet peeve in public Avoid nagging, or correcting my behaviour in public. Instead of embarrassing me in the presence of others, let’s talk about things in private and we can work on them together. 2. Compliment what you like See, there is no way I can piss you off all the time. If that is happening, something is either wrong with us or our relationship. So, when I do something you like, show appreciation, and I will do it again in future. Positive reinforcement works much better than just nagging. Always remember that if you compliment your partner generously and genuinely, you send a powerful message that can change his/her behaviour faster than criticizing. 3.  Consider solutions As you would have noticed, one of my pet peeves is a woman I live in the same house with watching some boring station from morning till night. So, if we get married and you would rather watch Africa Magic or some Telemundo drama when premiership matches are going on, I would simply buy a second TV and split the signals and solve the problem before it starts. So, if there is any pet peeve that can constantly bring arguments, nagging and resentment, the best thing to do is to try and find a solution to it. 4. Check in with yourself I said before that peeves are linked to an individual’s personality. Acknowledge that sometimes, your current mood magnifies the pet peeve. When we are stressed, anxious or upset, every minor irritation is magnified. So, you might be having a bad day at work, some issues are just pissing you off, or maybe you just woke up on the wrong side of the bed (I wonder which side that is) don’t take it out on me. If you can find a relaxing activity, please do, or just tell me you are having a bad day and maybe we both can find a way around your mood instead of snapping at each other. 5. Weigh what is important While you might be tempted to complain about my pet peeve every single time; it also helps to have perspective. Ask yourself if I were gone tomorrow, would you really care about this pet peeve? Would you miss me more than the pet peeve in question? We must accept some level of idiosyncrasy from each other, and sometimes, when you have a relationship that is worth everything, pet peeves become inconsequential. 6. Is it a pet peeve or a deal-breaker? It’s important to ask ourselves if it’s just a peeve or a deal-breaker, if it is something we can both live with and work around over time, or if it something we should not live with. If my behaviour constantly brings you emotional pain or physical harm, that has gone beyond a peeve, it deserves serious consideration and possibly counseling and hard decisions.  

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This article was first published on 15th May 2015


Chris Bamidele is a passionate and unapologetic Nigerian, who believes in God and humanity. He is a writer, blogger, and an aspiring Television Director; and an optimist to the core. He blogs at and tweets @Chrisbamidele.

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