I Love My Partner, But He’s Getting On My Last Damn Nerve

by Diana Park
Originally Published: 

I was listening to a podcast yesterday and the therapist was talking about how distance equals desire. Yeah, no shit.

When COVID first hit I was so thankful to have a man I was in love with to talk to. We are both divorced, both have kids, and we’re both trying to co-parent and run our households the best way we can while doing all the things to make sure everyone has been adjusting as well as they can.

It was a blessing to have someone to talk to in my COVID bubble who shared the same views on staying away from crowds, wearing masks, and not letting our kids have sleepovers. Oh, and bonus, we were having amazing sex.

It made me realize after a few years going up and down Tinder town that I’d finally settled down, and didn’t have to worry about wearing out my vibrator or trying to date virtually.

Needless to say, he was the only person (besides my kids) I saw for months. Our kid-free date nights of going to the movies, out to eat, or to a friends house stopped, and we began to get comfortable staying in.

I didn’t mind at first, but then I started to feel like I was going to break a board over my knee every night as he snored in my ear.

While making dinner, I realized he slurped the canned vegetables that were simmering over the stove. Like, he goes up there with a spoon and stands over the pan — and instead of taking a bite to see if they’re warm enough, he has to fucking slurp the damn green beans. Not once, but at least four times.

When we go for a drive to get out of the house, he has the sports channel blasting so loud the whole neighborhood can hear it. But also, the heat is on full blast blowing up in my eyelashes and the windows are down. Getting in the car with him leaves me so overstimulated, I need quiet time in my room alone for a few hours to recover.

He has his speaker phone on for every call. He watches videos his friends send him (that are really dumb) at least five times over.

We both love ice cream, and going out for a cone has been a COVID staple for us, but when he eats it he smacks his lips. At every bit. So he can “really taste it.”

Now, I’m not perfect — I take a really long time to shit. I spend too much money on shoes. I have to have my pillows arranged on my bed and sofa just so. I only eat certain things on certain days. I have a smoothie addiction, and let’s just say my blender ain’t quiet.

I have to go to bed early whereas he’s a night owl, and lately it takes me a really long time to orgasm.

I realize I probably annoy the piss out of him too.

My point is, ever since March there are things about him that used to be endearing (or that I didn’t even notice) that now drive me to the brink simply because he’s my COVID buddy. He’s my safe place. He is the one I go to when I’m struggling, or happy, or need advice. We are together all the time without the buffers we once had — the friends, the family, the movie theater, the game nights — and most of the time I literally have to hold in my screams.

I can’t duck out and go to spin class. He can’t go to his friend’s house where he usually watches games because they have their elderly parents living with them.

I know we aren’t the only couple who are muddling through the COVID chaos. We both work from home, are able to make our own schedules, started working out together when gyms closed, and making every meal together, and we are comfortable and in love.

But damn it all to hell, he is getting on my last nerve. No distance equals no desire, and we need some desire up in here. Just the other night he turned up the television a few decibels and I almost lost my shit.

So to all the couples out there who feel like they are sick of seeing their partner’s face, hearing them breathe, smelling (yet another) shit wafting from the bathroom, and listening to their stupid voice on a conference call, I’d like to say we are in this together. But, alas, we are not. There’s nothing I can do to make this easier on you, and there’s nothing you can do to make this easier on me, aside from listening to each other vent.

We are, however, in this with our partner. And I don’t know about you, but I’ll take the slurping, snoring, and all the other things he does (just to annoy me and make me feel like running away) because I believe if you can make it through COVID with someone, you can make it through anything.

And honestly, when things take a change and we start doing our own thing a bit more, I bet I’ll miss the hell out of him.

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