In our series — Love Island Singapore — Mothership brings you on an exploration of different aspects of love as it is expressed and felt by folks on our sunny island.
You will find authentic anecdotes of love and relationships, as told to our writers by Singaporeans.
This month, in the fourth story of our series, we bring you nine stories of the moments the person we love the most is coincidentally the person we hate the most.
Sometimes our partners do the most amazing things, filling us with a sense of happiness and joy rarely found in life.
Other times, there are the mundane, annoying habits that they have.
It seems that being driven up the wall is just part and parcel of being in a relationship with another human being.
So, we wanted to find out the perennial pet peeves that Singaporeans tolerate in their so-called better halves, all in the name of love.
As told to Mothership by "Abby"
My partner leaves cotton buds everywhere.
I think he uses them to clean his ears (well at least I hope that's what they're for).
His habit probably stems from way before we started dating, but it was when I moved in with him that I really took notice of it.
Sometimes I'll find them in the pockets of his shorts, on the floor under the TV console, on his work desk, on our nightstand, and even on the bed's headboard.
They literally show up everywhere in the house, and whenever I spot one it grosses me out and makes me jumpy — just like a cockroach would.
When this happens, he'll grin and slowly tiptoe towards the scene of the crime to discard the cotton bud.
I don't understand why he doesn't just clean his ears in the bathroom like a normal person.
As told to Mothership by "Grant"
You know the feeling you get when your partner pretends to give you a choice, but in reality she knows what she wants?
That's how I feel when my partner asks me to watch the trashy reality TV show "Love Island" with her.
By now, I've seen every season available on Netflix and I can tell that even though its called "Love Island", a more accurate name for it would be "Drama Island" — or at least that's what I say in my head every time we watch it.
If I have to pick one season to recommend it would be the first season of "Love Island Australia". It has hot babes, but hotter fights.
About a month ago I finally convinced my partner to try a different show for once — "RuPaul's Drag Race".
That's all we've been watching for the past month.
Now I've resorted to secretly watching other shows on Netflix under the blanket while she sleeps.
As told to Mothership by "Siti"
I used to find it really irritating when my husband told dad jokes.
Here's one he told the other night when we were watching Netflix.
There was a character who was a military colonel, so I asked him: "In the army is the colonel rank considered high or not?"
"Oh it's different in different countries," he replied.
"Eh, how come?"
"Because in Singapore, the Colonel is lower than Ronald."
This is just one example; he never misses an opportunity to tell a lame joke.
I guess dad jokes are just his way of expressing his daily musings.
The innocent smile
As told to Mothership by "Cheryl"
Sometimes when I'm chilling with my partner, he'll call me over as if he has something serious that he wants to talk about.
Then he'll flash an innocent looking smile before letting rip with a pungent fart.
Needless to say, it's gross.
Nowadays, I've wised up to it a little bit and whenever I see that deceitful smile of his, I'll make sure to evacuate the area.
As told to Mothership by "Sarah"
When I'm standing near the bed, my partner likes to playfully push me or some times even pick me up and slam me onto the mattress.
I don't know what triggers his sudden urge to be a WWE wrestler, but I'll just be standing around talking to him or whatever and next thing I know I'm in the Royal Rumble.
It's not painful or anything because the bed's pretty soft.
But it's just very annoying because it messes up my hair and crumples my clothes.
As told to Mothership by "Benjamin"
My girlfriend can sometimes be too frugal for her own good.
Once, she dropped her phone, causing a 1cm strip on the left side of its screen to become cracked and unresponsive.
Rather than take the opportunity to replace it, seeing as it had served her well for four (!) years, she found a way to still access the keyboard by rotating the phone sideways.
In addition, because the crack rendered certain punctuation symbols and numbers unusable, she made do by using emojis to convey what she wanted to say.
After weeks of persevering she finally gave in and allowed me to help her pick a new phone.
As told to Mothership by "Jessica"
This happened a couple days ago when we were leaving the house to go and buy lunch.
As we were talking and grabbing our belongings — phones, masks, etc. — he suddenly kicked a tennis ball to try to nutmeg me (roll the ball between my legs).
I'm pretty sure he failed and subsequently for the next few minutes we ended up repeatedly trying to nutmeg each other.
Once we finally settled down, left the house, and reached the food court, I realised that because I was too busy avoiding getting nutmegged, I'd forgotten to grab my wallet.
Obviously it was his fault.
Honestly, I should've made him buy me lunch.
These nutmegging attempts are a regular occurrence and I find it so annoying.
Sometimes, we'll just be having a pleasant conversation — or so I think — and then suddenly he'll be slyly kicking the ball at me.
To be fair, he's usually good about not doing this when we're having a very serious conversation or a fight.
When he does succeed, he'll either yell "Olé!" or pump his fist in the air and celebrate like he's scored a goal.
The only way I can get back at him is to nutmeg him too; never fails to wipe the smile off his face.
As told to Mothership by "Xinhui"
My partner and I go to the gym a lot, which is nice except that he constantly nitpicks my form.
If he happens to be anywhere near me while I'm doing a lift or an exercise, I'll get at least one comment.
"Drive through your heels" or "Could be your glutes not strong enough, that's why"; basically just annoying "advice" like this.
Most of the time I'll just reply curtly with a "you then not strong", but he's probably right sometimes cause my form isn't perfect.
But I don't think I have bad form, you know?
As told to Mothership by "Susan"
I know it can't really be helped, but my pet peeve about my partner is how loud he sneezes.
It's really a deafening audio experience; I don't know how he does it.
This is excusable, I guess, because it's something of a natural bodily reaction.
But what annoys me even more is when he hears someone else sneezing loudly — sometimes we'll hear it from the coffee shop below.
When this happens, he'll declare loudly: "Wah! A new challenger!".
This was the fourth story in our series Love Island Singapore. Read the first story — on the feeling of relief while navigating the initial stages of online dating — here.
Our second story features 12 moments Singaporeans said "thanks, but no thanks". It can be read here.
Our third story featured a moment of collateral damage involving an arguing couple and their Grab driver. Read it here.
For our next article we're looking for people to share their NS Break-up stories with us.
If you a story that you'd like to tell, write in to us at [email protected] with the subject line “Love Island Singapore”.
Top image adapted from PBS' "Arthur"