When your man sings along to Rihanna during car rides do you seriously consider dumping him?* If so, you're totally normal, according a new study out of the University of Michigan. Apparently (and not surprisingly), the longer a couple are together, the more "irritating and demanding" they seem to become. The study, which focused on more than 800 subjects, not only found that partners perceive one another more negatively as time goes on, but that children and friends become less irksome. (People weed out more demanding friends over the years, and kids, of course, eventually fly the coop.) But the group reporting the most negative relationships overall? People in their 20s and 30s.
Here's why: According to Kira Birditt, a research fellow at the university's Institute for Social Research, older people are less likely to report having conflicts (they also tend to "deal" with issues by avoiding confrontation and discussion altogether; apparently, the senior-citizen solution to an irritating spouse is to simply ignore him!). But there is a silver lining of sorts in all this: Not only is negativity normal, it can be a sign of emotional closeness. Explains Birditt: "It's possible that negativity is a normal aspect of close relationships that include a great deal of daily contact." So the next time your man is up in your grill, squawking along to Top-40 radio, just remember: It's true love! And if that doesn't help, fantasizing about Adrien Brody or ponies always works for me.
*Mine did just that this morning, but so far, we're still together.