"Last week I caught him in the bathtub, using my very expensive face mask..."

Quirky or annoying? Relationship flaws we can't stand

I AM in what's generally referred to as the "honeymoon phase" of a relationship.

That's the part where you find it difficult, but not impossible, to find flaws in your new partner, mainly because you're having lots of oxytocin-producing sex.

I think it might be Nature's way of fooling you into breeding but, fortunately, I have passed that stage. Had I not, it might have progressed to baby brain.

Let's face it, when you're a new couple, pretty much everything your partner does is amusing or interesting to you. Later on, it may drive you so crazy that your friends urge you to either get counselling or a divorce.

Certainly my current boyfriend has some endearing quirks that may wear over time. One question can prompt a 15-minute monologue on the meaning of life - he's about to graduate from psychology - and, when he goes shopping for clothes he prefers to strip naked right there, next to the clothes racks, rather than use the dressing room. He's also kind of a one-man destruction zone, leaving a trail of clothes, dishes, CDs, or newspapers in his wake. And last week I caught him in the bathtub, using my very expensive face mask.

I think all of this is probably tolerable, or fixable, but I'm certainly interested to see how it progresses. I did have to deduct points for starting dinner on Saturday night but then abandoning the process after three beers, but add them back in for doing the housework while I went to work.

Nevertheless, it has prompted me to think about what I can live with and can't live with, just in case things go a bit further down the track.

Here, some friends share their deal breakers.

  1. Smoking
  2. Any kind of obsession with the Kardashians
  3. Religion fanaticism
  4. Bad hygiene - eg. doesn't floss or wear deodorant
  5. Bossy/demanding attitudes - controlling
  6. Chauvinist
  7. Racist
  8. Animal hater
  9. Right wing
  10. Slobby dresser
  11. Prone to road rage
  12. Mean with money
  13. A tendency to sleep around
  14. Consistent drunkenness
  15. Narcissist

What are your can't live withs or can't live withouts? I think it's worth thinking about, maybe even making a list and then, as my friend Suni did, abandoning it all when true love comes calling.

The little things, well, who cares? It's the big things - kindness, consideration and, sure, cleanliness, that you have to be ticking off.

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