If you keep snoring, I’ll smother you

Lindsay Montgomery

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Looking past your other’s uglier side

When a friend of mine dates a new guy, she narrows in on his vices.

He chews with his mouth open. He won’t let her finish a sentence. He picks at scabs until they bleed.

Eventually, those annoying ticks were all she could see — even the sweetest, most loving, intelligent creatures are reduced to a heap of unwashed dishes. Don’t let your relationship suffer the same fate.

I date at the opposite end of the spectrum, preferring to give people more credit than they’re due. I’ve nearly perfected the art of dealing with others’ foibles — usually with these three tactics, ranging from basic to complex:

Confronting

Stop being passive aggressive. If you want this relationship to work, you can’t just hint at how much it bothers you that your girlfriend flirts like she’s slutty and single. Your boyfriend won’t stop giving you hickeys during sex unless he knows it makes you feel trashy.

One of my ex-boyfriends loved video games — perfectly reasonable. It’s never been my thing, though I’d play (terribly) or watch (half interested). Then, “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” threatened to make me a gamer widow.

I sat on the couch in his Crossings dorm, watching him shoot the enemy. His roommate, who seemingly never left, wasn’t around. I waited patiently for him to seize this perfect opportunity for illicit dorm sex, and finally, he sat with me … for a few minutes.

And then went back to ‘C.O.D.’

I left. Maybe he would have gotten around to me eventually, but that wasn’t soon enough.

You have to face issues like this head-on. Some problems will grow worse if ignored or can’t be fixed by you alone.

The confrontation is worth it long term. After I fumed over this video-game cock blocking, he made sure it never happened again.

Understanding

Your lover isn’t perfect — but neither are you, princess.

In relationships, differences can chip into your comfort zone. You wash dishes as soon as you’re done using them, so your girlfriend’s sink full of them seems disgusting.

My boyfriend does things I don’t — he bites his nails and avoids mornings whenever possible.

But those traits aren’t flaws. They help shape who he is. I know he’s deep in thought when he starts gnawing at his fingertips, and I like making him coffee before he gets out of bed.

You should frame vices and less-desirable quirks with your darling’s wonderful qualities. You know she has them; that’s why you’re with her.

Do you consider her texts excessive and repetitively sappy? She cares about you, jerk. Appreciate it.

Reconsider your perspective. Someday, you may miss traits you treated like imperfections.

Compensating

Some shortcomings just aren’t their fault. Your boyfriend snores, and it drives you crazy. Stop getting mad — what the hell is he supposed to do about it? He’s not trying to deafen you. Buy earplugs.

At a point, I realized my most recent ex-boyfriend’s absentmindedness is just a part of who he is. Yes, I was annoyed the second time we walked to Lot 18 to find he left his keys in the Student Union. But when I admitted his forgetful nature isn’t intentional, that maybe I couldn’t expect him to be as organized or over-prepared as I am, I was much happier.

I’d had this revelation before we drove to Orlando one time, when I asked him to grab me a gyro from Hovan on his way from Riverside.

When he sent me a text that he was leaving, I reminded him about it in my reply. And then I searched GoogleMaps for Greek restaurants near my apartment.

When he arrived, guilt faced and sans lunch, we resorted to my fallback and drove to Orlando without lingering resentment.

If you love someone, you’ll make it work — start with those three simple things. You have the privilege of being your partner’s most important support system. The rest of the world will be hard enough on him; he doesn’t need your nagging. She does, however, need you to challenge and support her as only you can.