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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 February 11, 2021

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

Perceptual Barrier

The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

Attitudinal Barrier

Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

Language Barrier

This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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Emotional Barrier

Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

Cultural Barrier

Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

Gender Barrier

Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

Reference

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