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

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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?”

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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 November 18, 2021

10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

  • honest
  • reliable
  • competent
  • kind and compassionate
  • capable of taking the blame
  • able to persevere
  • modest and humble
  • pacific and can control anger.

The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

Abigail Van Buren

3. How does this person take the blame?

Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

5. Read their emails.

Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

  • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
  • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
  • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
  • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
  • Too many question marks can show anger
  • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

6. Watch out for the show offs.

Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

8. Their empathy score is high.

Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

“One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

Stendhal

 10. Avoid toxic people.

These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

  • Envy or jealousy
  • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
  • Complaining about their own lack of success
  • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
  • Obsession with themselves and their problems

Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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