In so many relationships, couples simply learn to put up with each other's quirks and habits. This is fine for short term relationships, but in the long term, it becomes problematic. You see, when we merely put up with our significant other's habits, we aren't loving them as are. We aren't valuing their unique personality. Thus, our love is somewhat conditional. It's like saying, "Honey, I love you except for the fact that you (insert habit here)." This is fine and dandy if you're not looking for any kind of serious commitment, but in long term relationships, it simply won't work.
I'm not saying that you have to love your partner's habit of leaving trails of socks or speaking with his or her mouth full of food. What I am saying is that it is vital to love your partner for who they are. Their unusual or quirky habits are what make them who they are just as your habits make you who you are. My mom used to quote, "Watch your habits, for they become character." How right she was! Our habits are what reveal our character. The boyfriend or husband that leaves his socks everywhere has probably always been more of a laid-back kind of guy, and there's nothing wrong with that! It's simply who he is.
Sure, you may wish he didn't leave his socks everywhere, but it's important to remember that he's still the same laid-back guy you fell in love with, perhaps just a bit more laid-back than before. Of course, if his sock habit bugs you, there's also nothing wrong with calmly confronting him about it and constantly reminding him to put his socks where they belong. Obviously, it's easier said than done, but it's something that we should all strive for in our relationships. After all, clear, calm communication exists in every healthy, thriving relationship.
Like all couples, Josh and I can get pretty impatient with each other at times. Yet, we are always pushing forward and strengthening our lines of communication. We are always striving to unconditionally accept and love each other. Every now and then, I'll ask Josh something like "What if I got this pierced?" or "What if I dyed my hair this color?" Most guys would probably flip out or criticize me. Not Josh. He has always responded in love. He'll tell me his thoughts first and then make it clear that my decisions are my own and he'll support and love me no matter what. If that's not unconditional love, I don't know what is.
Once, when I "dyed" my hair with blue hair chalk, I actually shocked Josh. At first, he didn't know what to say about my blue streaked hair. Finally, he told me that he had loved my natural hair color as it was, but said that my new blue streaks would probably grow on him and that I had beautiful hair no matter what color it was. Another time, I got another piercing on one of my ears, which also surprised Josh, but he told me that the more he looked at me and my new piercing, the more he actually like it. He's even told me that it looks cute on me because it's become a part of me.
I used these examples to give you a clear idea of what I mean when I say that it is important for couples to accept and love each other's uniqueness. Though Josh may not always agree with what I say and do, he always makes it perfectly clear that he loves me for ME. He doesn't just love me when I agree with him nor does he just love me and put up with my quirks. He loves me completely and unconditionally, just as I love him.
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.