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The top 10 struggles of living with a significant other

You never knew one person could make so much mess...

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Two years ago I moved in with my then-boyfriend. Two months later, I moved out. And while I'm not going to say that living together was why we broke up, I'm not not going to say it either (there are only so many tiny hairs in the sink that one girl can take).

Of course, there are plenty of people—a.k.a. anyone who's married—who make cohabitating work. But even they have complaints, according to a new survey by Sofary, that revealed the 10 most common pet peeves about living with a significant other. Below are the results according to both men and women, plus some of our experts' top tips on how to tackle chore duty with your partner.

What women complain about...

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More mess = more stress.

The survey found that the majority of women get annoyed at their partners for their not-so-clean habits and their snoring.

  1. They're too messy
  2. They snore
  3. They don't help with the cleaning
  4. They expect me to take care of everything
  5. They don't do any chores
  6. They spend too much money on nonessentials
  7. They don't help with the cooking
  8. They play video games all day
  9. They have gross/unsanitary habits
  10. They watch TV all day

What men complain about...

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He said, she said.

Men, while also irritated by their partner's messiness, also dislike how much their significant other spends on frivolous things—and how much they're expected to do around the house.

  1. They're too messy
  2. They spend too much money on nonessentials
  3. They expect me to take care of everything
  4. We often can't agree on a show/movie to watch
  5. They don't do any chores
  6. They watch TV all day
  7. They're too neat
  8. They snore
  9. They don't help with the cleaning
  10. They don't help with the cooking

How to avoid pissing off your partner

Whether it's dirty dishes left in the sink, smelly laundry strewn around the bedroom, or soggy towels balled up on the bathroom floor, the number one annoyance that people have about their significant other is that they're too messy. But trying to approach the subject can lead to arguments and hurt feelings if you don't do it correctly.

Our updates editor, Seamus Bellamy, says communication is key. "Learn how to discuss and argue. Set ground rules for how you talk to one another about high stress issues like chores," he suggests. "Don’t bring past issues into the current conversation. Focus on what’s wrong and work it out."

And our VP of product development, Sunil Doshi (who admits that he was the one who had to change his habits), recommends reading Overwhelmed: How to Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time. "It was super important to both of us," he says.

How to divide chores with your significant other

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Two is better than one when it comes to cleaning.

While a lot of people recommend rotating duties (so you don't always get stuck cleaning the kids' bathroom), our kitchen and cooking editor, Cassidy Olsen, says it's more important to find what works for you. "I used to rotate chores with my significant other but people are much better about doing one or two things consistently that they don't hate than rotating between things," she explains, adding that "it's also important to set clear boundaries and expectations and communicate about them regularly so people aren't resentful or doing a ton of invisible labor."

And if you both just can't stand the thought of spending your free time vacuuming and dusting? "It's a huge privilege, obviously, but having a cleaner come in once every few weeks—or once a month—if you can afford it is a life changer," Olsen says.

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