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10 Questions You Probably Don’t Know You Should Never Ask Your Partner

10 Questions You Probably Don’t Know You Should Never Ask Your Partner

There are some obvious things we all know we shouldn’t say to the ones we love. However, some things may not seem so clear. Here are a few questions you should never ask your partner.

1. Am I the best you have ever had?

It is understandable to wonder where you stand in your lover’s eyes when compared to past suitors. Asking the question though could put your partner in an uncomfortable position.

Remember two things: First, no matter who they were with in the past, there is a reason they are no longer with them. Second, confidence in the boudoir is sexy. Show your partner you are secure in the relationship. Also be willing to listen and learn to be better. Ask instead: “What do I do that you like? What/how could I do it better?”

2. Do you think you could fall in love ever again if I died?

We are all guilty of a little narcissism now and then, like wanting to believe that should we die the world would stop spinning and those around us would be crushed with mourning. Morbid, I know, but true nonetheless.

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Temper these moments of narcissism by remembering that the world will keep going whether you are here or not. Think of the love and happiness you have with your partner and mentally allow them permission to find such love again should you be gone. If you find yourself dwelling on these thoughts, ask your partner: “Should I die, would you do something special once a year in honor and remembrance of the life and love once shared together?”

3. Do you like my mother/ family/ friends?

Our lives are filled with overbearing mothers, crazy family and annoyingly-goofy friends… but we love them because they are ours. When you and your partner make the decision to belong to each other, you unwittingly sign on to adopt whatever baggage your partner brings with them, which includes family and friends.

You have to have patience with your partner, as they may not automatically fall in love with all the other people you love. Don’t try and force it. It may come over time or it may never come at all. The important thing is how you feel about each other. Ask your partner if they will commit to spend one night a month with your family/friends in exchange for one night a month spent with theirs.

4. Are you done yet?

Communication is one of the most challenging aspects of a relationship and the bedroom is no exception. You and your partner could be compatible in nearly every way… except in regards of the timing of intimacy.

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Some partners sprint to the finish before the race has even started and other partners are like the Energizer Bunny of marathons. Wait for a private, yet non-romantic time and ask your partner, “What is your ideal, sexual time frame?” Then you can work together to find a happy compromise.

5. What would you do if I cheated?

This should be a non-starter from the get-go, yet it is not uncommon to get into hypothetical discussions such as this. Asking this question though could put your partner in the uncomfortable frame of thinking about you cheating. This can lead to fear, doubt and uncertainty in the relationship, all based on a hypothetical question.

Instead of worrying about what they might do if you cheated, try and make sure that you are not giving them a reason to cheat. Ask them, “What could I do to make you happier or more satisfied?”

6. Do you think we will make it?

It is not new news how prevalent divorce has become in our society. But this hypothetical question has a similar pitfall as number 6. It implies that you doubt or fear that your relationship might not make it.

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You and your partner are a team and to make it you must act as a team. Sit down with your partner and discuss mistakes you have seen others fall into or mistakes you yourselves have fallen into. Then ask, “What changes/practices could I apply to improve our long-term relationship?”

7. Can we afford that/ do you want me to pay for this?

A person’s financial-worth is often considered to be the same as their romantic-worth. This, combined with the fact that one of the most common problems in relationships are arguments about money, makes it easy to see why the topic of finance is sensitive

Asking if they can afford something or if you should pay for them can be extremely humiliating to your partner, especially when in public. Try to write a budget together and encourage each other to stay accountable. If you must ask these questions make sure it is in private and you are sensitive and understanding of the financial situation.

8. Are you really going to wear that?

This one sometimes slips out before we have really thought through the consequences of our words. You see your partner walking out dressed for dinner in that overused pair of sweatpants with the hole or that shirt they love that doesn’t quite fit them anymore, and the words seem to just volunteer themselves. Once said, the situation can be a hard one to salvage. Instead, try, “That looks nice. But I’d love to see you in that… outfit. Would you try it on for me?”

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9. Have you gained/lost weight? Are you pregnant?

No matter the size, most people are a little sensitive when it comes to issues of weight. Still, it is not uncommon for us to make casual observations about other people’s appearance without thinking about the effect it may have on them.

Unless it is a compliment, it is usually best not to comment someone’s weight; this goes doubly so in reference to women suspected of being pregnant. If you must comment, leave it at, “You look great today – is something different?” If they want to expound on any bodily changes, they will; if not they will accept the compliment and move on.

10. Why do you always do that?

No matter how much you love someone, if you spend enough time with them, they will eventually begin to annoy you. This can lead to lots of silly squabbles that can pile up into a much bigger problem. Before you lose your temper and lash out over something trivial, remember that you are just as annoying to live with.

This is the person you love. Approaching with anger and frustration as you vent your feelings will only make them get defensive. Instead, tell them how you feel with patience and love. Make it an open dialogue by not only kindly telling them what they are doing that annoys you, but asking, “What are things that frustrate you, that I can work on?”

If you are still asking these questions in your relationship, you should probably stop. Try the alternative questions instead and hopefully you will find the results to be a peaceful and harmonious relationship.

Featured photo credit: happy young couple in love outdoor in autumn via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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