The longer you're with someone, the longer your laundry list of their faults... luckily, you also learn to cope with them.
I've been with my current boyfriend for 6 months. Annoyances in no particular order:
- His English is crap and he isn't really trying very hard. All of our conversations are in Japanese... all of the movies we watch on tv are set to Japanese-dub (with his hand on the remote control)... I've bought him textbooks, I've tried giving him lessons, I've brought him to parties and introduced him to other foreigners, but at the end of the day, we always settle back into Japanese in everything. It's incredibly frustrating to have to express everything in a language that you aren't completely comfortable with when your partner doesn't seem to be making a similar effort.
- He's very stubbornly "Japanese". Yesterday we had an argument about whales. I found out that they're killing and eating dolphins in two small fishing villages in Japan and was horrified. He didn't know either. We watched the videos together and he patted me on the head and said "I've never eaten a dolphin. Don't worry." I told him that the whole dolphin thing was a huge "image-down" factor to Americans and brought up Japanese whaling. He got incredibly offended saying that Japan only killed whales for research purposes and that if they were being hunted anyway, it was a waste not to eat them. He also said that the number that Japan kills is decreasing and that they NEVER hunt endangered species... he cited population control and said that there were too many whales so they HAD to hunt them. I said he'd been indoctrinated to believe that by the Japanese government and that it wasn't true. I looked up the stats and showed him on multiple websites that Japanese whaling was in fact increasing and was considered a rogue act by most world environmental organisations. He demanded Japanese language websites... and curiously enough, there aren't any. He called Greenpeace terrorists, blamed the near-extinction of tuna on the popularity of Japanese food overseas, and said I'd been brainwashed by the American government, who uses more oil than any other nation in the world ("including Japan's share")... this spiraled into an argument about Hiroshima, Pearl Harbor and who started WWII. This doesn't happen a lot... but it happens... and there doesn't seem to be a lot of common ground we can reach on it.
- He's clingy. He comes over all the time, he emails constantly, he calls nightly... he can't handle being away from me for long periods of time and is a bit of a baby about me not being able to spend time with him, even if I'm really truly busy.
- He isn't interested in the same things I am and doesn't always expend a great deal of effort trying to get interested in them.
- He's embarassing! He'll start a conversation with ANYONE over ANYTHING. And as cute and sweet as that is, it can be embarassing when he drags me into his conversations with huge tour groups of elderly women or starts asking police officers for details about crime scenes.
All that said, I love him to death and am quite happy with him just as he is. Now if only the Japanese would start questioning their government instead of just regurgitating everything it tells them.