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You Asked: Why Do I Become Irrationally Irritated by the Men I Date?

Dear Sugar,

I am 25 years old and have been in and out of committed relationships for roughly the last 10 years. While I don't have any trouble starting up relationships, I can't manage to maintain them past a few months (six months is my personal best). Though the circumstances obviously vary in each case, the bottom line is the same — I break up with every man I date because sooner or later, I become uncontrollably irritated by almost everything he says. Irritated to the point that even a mundane text message will leave me shaking my head in disgust. Sometimes it's one particular action on his part that gets me into this mentality and other times I just gradually find him less and less charming until one day I suddenly wake up wanting to duct tape his mouth shut! I realize that the 'honeymoon period' can't last forever, but surely it's not normal to feel this way about every man I date. I have tons of friends (male and female) that I've stayed close with for years without this problem happening, so I don't see what the difference is when it comes to my romantic life. I hate this tendency about myself, so can you please help? — Picky Penny

To see DearSugar's answer

Dear Picky Penny,

It sounds to me like you're just really picky when it comes to the people you date, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. The good news is that you're capable of being in a relationship — the bad news is that you just haven't met the right person yet. Long-term friendship is a completely different relationship next to being romantic with someone and essentially sizing them up for a serious commitment. Have you ever asked yourself if you're truly ready to meet someone special? Perhaps this irritable reaction is your subconscious telling you that the timing just isn't right. If you feel like you are in a place to seriously date someone exclusively, be patient. Meeting a quality guy can be really difficult, especially when you aren't settling. When you do finally meet someone you're compatible with, things that typically used to annoy you will become endearing — I know that might seem hard to believe, but it's true.

Hang in there and keep playing the field. Since it usually takes a few months for people's true colors to show, it might be a longer process than you'd like but unfortunately trial and error is the only way to weed out the bad seeds. Good luck!


Join The Conversation
pixelsugar pixelsugar 9 years
I get like this a lot, and once I catch myself feeling this way it's hard for me to stop it. I know what you're going through, it sucks. And without knowing much about your relationships, here's what I do to avoid to avoid this problem. I set expectations very early in the relationship, seeing each other once or twice a week. I like to keep that "new" feeling as long as I can, and doing this helps with that. I also make it very clear that I am a person who needs a life separate from my partner. I don't need to see them every single day. It gets old, and when you start to see them every day (even if you have errands to run or want to spend time alone), you start getting really irritated with them. I hope that helps... This is something that I'm working on myself, and so far this has helped me. Good luck!
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
I think how you approach this should depend on what your goals are. Do you want to start looking for a serious relationship that could lead to marriage ASAP? If so, then I think you should talk to a therapist and find out what is going on, or if you have some issues that really need to be dealt with so that you can be better equipped to deal with this problem the next time a bf seems irritating. Honestly, if I were in your position, and only 25, I would just avoid relationships. Date around, have fun, but like someone said, why are you in a committed relationship with these guys after only 2 months? If you are having a problem with these relationships, date around until you are more mature and want to settle down (see plan A) or until you find a guy you actually like. Maybe you just aren't ready for a serious relationship, and so you don't want to "settle," that makes sense to me. You might stumble across someone who doesn't irritate you so much.
isle-of-view isle-of-view 9 years
The way you say "in and out of committed relationships for roughly the last 10 years" makes me believe that you usually are always in a relationship. You also say your personal best is 6 months. For six months to be considered 'a commited relaionship', you obviously have to really be into the other person for you to think that it's really that serious. Take some time and be single for a while and to realize what you want in a relationship, then when you figure that out, just date around. No one says you have to just be with one person. After dating them for a while, when you find one that you really want, that's probably the point when you should consider being 'commited' to them. Also, the way you say that you get irritated probably means you could be spending way too much time with them. Better to be the girl who takes her space than one who is too clingy. :]
michelleannette michelleannette 9 years
well, there is hope. i used to be like this. i would be really into a guy and then little things would begin to get on my nerves. i went through a few guys and now i'm with someone who doesn't irritate me at all. it pays to be picky because there isn't one thing i would change about my boyfriend.
trixiefire trixiefire 9 years
Wow, I'm not gonna kiss your ass like everyone else. You obviously have issues with not being able to forgive your mate's flaws, probably because you find yourself to be so perfect and expect your partner to just be aware of your grandious expectations. How immature. ISSUES.
Muirnea Muirnea 9 years
P.S. You're doing good, every girl should be like you!!!! Good luck finding the right guy!!! :D
Muirnea Muirnea 9 years
I think that you are just picky and know what you want. And there is nothing wrong with that. I agree with everybody that when you find the right guy, you won't be irritated anymore. You just figure out whats you don't like about the guys you date a lot faster than other people, so you will find the right one a lot faster too. You also know that you will only settle for the right one, so you won't be unhappy like some people that never move on even when they are unhappy.
ccsugar ccsugar 9 years
luvthebosox that's good advice, and that's what I'm trying to do with the current guy I'm dating. I used to rush into relationships really quick b/c I would be crazy about the guy, but we would spend so much time together that I'd get sick of him after a few months. And geebers I like the way you spin it.. I'm just more "in-tune" to my relationship needs. 8)
luvthebosox luvthebosox 9 years
I've had this problem before too, but for me it was a symptom of the relationship being too much too fast. I'd be so into the guy that I'd want to spend every second with them, but after a couple months everything they did or said irritated me. I've learned to slow it down a bit and take in their quirks slowly. Like mindgrapes said, concentrate on yourself and what you want. I've found that keeping the focus on myself keeps me from going overboard with a guy. Plus it's much healthier too!
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Well dear I am in the same boat too! But the thing is - my current bf doesn't piss me off at all! And it's been a year! Every other past boyfriend I have had has done thigns that just drove me NUTS! Absoulte bonkers!!! Then, because they pissed me off, I would be a totally bitch to them and they wouldn't know why! You just need to find a guy that suits you. One day you will. And it's awesome :)
geebers geebers 9 years
I was this way too. Then I met my current boyfriend and realized it wasnt really ME being picky- those guys just were not right for me and it was my subconscious trying to get me out of the situation. That is what you need to understand- that if you meet the right guy- you will not find him irritating to the point of disgust. You will WANT to be with him and work it out. Hang in there and just realize you are better intuned to your relationship needs than most girls-who put up with bad relationships because they think they have to.
emmebeth emmebeth 9 years
Everyone I care about does things that irritate me irrationally. I just have to keep reminding myself that no one it perfect.
brown_eyed_grrl brown_eyed_grrl 9 years
This happened to me all of the time. I would like someone for awhile, then get completely annoyed by everything they said or did. Even just sharing the same air space got on my nerves. Sooo, when I met my last boyfriend, I decided to really stick it out. I mean, my parents argued. My best friend was always in some high-drama relationship. So I thought that if I didn't learn to stick it out, I'd end up alone. Two months into the relationship, the signs were there that this guy had the potential to be a real ass. I stuck it out for a year, though, and I was miserable and unhappy. Two months after it ended, I started dating the man I've been with for the past four years, and we're getting married in April. That fingernails-on-the-chalkboard feeling hasn't come up with him at all. In fact, most any time I do feel grouchy, it's due to something going on with me (typically PMS), and I've learned to take a time-out and decide if I'm really annoyed by something he's said/done, or if it's just my own bad mood. I've never felt like it was time to jump ship, though. I've never been so irritated that I can't stand being in the same room with him. To cut to the chase, I think the feeling will go away when you're with the right person.
mindgrapes mindgrapes 9 years
Penny, I can relate all too well! I too thought there was something wrong with me that I would get so fed up with a guy and break up after only a few months (and guys that I was initially very charmed by!) Instead of examining the "type" of guy I chose to date, I looked closely at myself. I am very independent, intelligent, and career-driven. I would never settle for less in my professional life, why should I in my personal choices? I now focus on myself, my friends, my career and I am very happy. If a cute guy comes along its like: 'bonus.' Figure out was is most fulfilling for you and concentrate on that. Chances are you will find happiness with or without some dude. I hope this doesn't sound bitter. Being picky and embracing it is sort of liberating and in the end, more satisfying.
Kristinh1012 Kristinh1012 9 years
Are you always attracting the same type of men? Maybe you should sit and try to figure out what type of men you have been dating and what attracted you to them in the first place. Try dating someone a lot different than the ones you've previously dated. Or like Dear Sugar said, maybe you just aren't ready for a relationship. I'm sure you'll figure it all out and Mr. Right will come along when you are ready, don't rush! Good luck.
ccsugar ccsugar 9 years
Oh my God. It's like this was written about me. :rotfl: 6 months is my personal best too!! I just get so sick of them! I will be very interested in what others have to say. Thanks for the posting and answer, Dear.
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