Sometimes our secret thoughts just slip out in a clumsy splutter of word vomit, and boom – we’re in the doghouse again. We present you with seven things you should never say to your partner. Ignore this at your peril.
What not to say, rule 1: “My ex used to do that too!”
Whether you’re complimenting your partner, or highlighting a less than favourable flaw, comparing your current partner to an ex is not, under any circumstances, a good idea. Telling your other half how a former flame used to give excellent foot massages, or even a catty comment about their awful dress sense, will not go down well with your lady/gentleman friend and is a recipe for disaster as your other half wonders why this ex is on your mind in the first place. Next time you experience boyfriend or girlfriend déjà vu, do yourself a favour and keep it on the down-low.
What not to say, rule 2: “Don’t you think [insert relevant name] is pretty/handsome?”
This question is just plain annoying and sets your partner up in a lose/lose situation, which is a recipe for disaster. There are plenty of conversation starters out there that can be used without having to resort to this, so avoid questions based on other people’s looks. The first trap you set up for your partner with this question is if they disagree with you. We’ve all done it; they disagree and you brand them as a liar and say you wouldn’t have minded if they agreed with you in the first place (Pfft, of course they can say that someone else is attractive – you’re not that insecure!). The second major pitfall that your partner runs a high risk of falling into is agreeing with you. ‘Yes’ they say, ‘she/he is gorgeous’, and boom – they’ve been figured out. You knew they fancied this person all along. Mind games aren’t a good recipe for a successful relationship, so avoid them at all costs.
What not to say, rule 3: Don’t drool over the opposite sex
Some people don’t struggle with an answer when asked if they think someone else is attractive. If you do find someone of the opposite sex good-looking take a moment to gather your thoughts before you start panting in agreement with your partner’s passing comment. When asked if you think a member of the opposite sex is attractive, it’s often a plea for attention or reassurance neatly disguised as an innocent question. Yep, this is an invitation for you to gush to your lover about how much hotter he/she is, so be tactful with your reply. Try something along the lines of “She/he is alright, but they’ve got nothing on you”. Oh you little charmer!
What not to say, rule 4: “Can we wrap this sex session up? [Insert favourite TV show] is on in five”
This one is self-explanatory. Having their sexual performances ranked below a TV programme can lead to severe feelings of inadequacy for your other half. Even if you have been desperately waiting to find out what happens in the next instalment of your favourite programme, just beware of the trouble this could cause if you express your thoughts out loud. Cutting off a sex session is a big time deal breaker.
What not to say, rule 5: “I’m fine”, when really you’re not
The classic passive-aggressive comment “I’m fine”, when you’re clearly annoyed that your other half has just switched channels without asking your permission first, creates all sorts of trouble for ten minutes time. As you sit there wallowing in your own little bubble of anger, you feel the tension building in the air and you’re both just sat there waiting for the other person to talk to break the stressful atmosphere. By the time you get around to actually solving the first problem, you’ve created a whole string of others by being in such a mood in the first place. You’ve both said things you didn’t mean and now you’re just in a tangled web of problems that could easily have been avoided. When asked if you’re okay, use this is an opportunity to outline what’s bothering you, not a chance to feel sorry for yourself and create a drama.
What not to say, rule 6: “Do you think it’s wise to eat that?”
Asking your lover if they really think it’s wise to be eating the chocolate smothered doughnut that is about to disappear into their mouth is a bad move by anyone’s standards, particularly if your partner is female. It’s basically a sugar-coated version of the phrase, “You’ve put on weight, stop eating junk”. If you have uttered either of these phrases, duck now. Leave the house. Don’t ever return.
What not to say, rule 7: “What are you thinking riiight... NOW?”
It’s a question that some of us like to hurl at our partners when they’re least expecting it. We say it so fast that our other half doesn’t have the chance to make up a false reply or even to think straight, which leads him/her to stutter, and then we accuse them of thinking of their ex or having rude thoughts about someone else. The chances are, they were just pondering what they’re having for tea or how to tackle a difficult situation at work, but when put on the spot they can’t really remember what they were thinking, let alone put it into a coherent sentence. Even if they did happen to be thinking of having sex with a porn star or getting back with an ex, the last thing they’ll do is admit it so this will never really be a constructive question unless they answer “thinking of you”, but then we’d probably tell them they’re lying anyway. Our partners simply can’t win.