Ever since I was little, my mother always told me, “There is no such thing as a stupid question.” Although she was somewhat right about this positive statement, there are still some questions that shouldn’t be asked. You shouldn’t ask a perfect stranger how much they weigh; no matter how much you know someone, it’s still uncomfortable to ask a person how much their salary is; and, it’s not always polite to ask somebody how many sexual partners they have had. So, let’s change, “there is no such thing as a stupid question” into “there is no such thing as a stupid question, but there are questions you should probably keep to yourself," which includes questions you shouldn't ask your partner.
When you’re in a romantic relationship, you and your partner ask each other questions daily. Some questions are well thought out, and some you ask out of habit. “Are you going to take the dog out for a walk today?” “Will you pick up my clothes from the dry cleaners?” “Do you want to have kids?” “What went wrong in your last relationship?” Not all questions are the same, and not all questions are treated equally. That is why it’s important to think before we ask, because we might not love the answer we are going to get.
Here are some questions you might want to reconsider asking to your other half.
1. "Am I _____ than her/him?"
Nobody likes to be compared to another person, so you should avoid purposely asking your partner to compare you to someone else. Questions like “Do you think he’s more attractive than me?” or, “Am I the best you’ve ever had?” are asking for trouble. If what you want is reassurance, there is a better way to get it than asking a leading question.
2. "Are you going to do x, y or z?"
When we are annoyed with our partner’s lack of motivation, we tend to ask questions like, “Are you going to finally clean out that cupboard?” or, “Are you going to send out resumes today?” This style of asking isn't productive. Instead, we need to be more direct with how we are feeling. By asking your partner a question, rather than just saying how you feel, you run the risk of being passive-aggressive. Try going for a more straightforward approach and say, “I would appreciate it if you cleaned up today” or, “I would love if you helped me around the house tonight."
3. "What’s your problem?"
Asking your partner, “What’s your problem," might actually cause a problem between you two. Asking this question will sound rude and will most likely make your significant other go on the defense. Instead, simply ask your partner, “Is everything okay? I notice you seem sad/upset/angry today.”
4. Questions About Their Ex
Curiosity killed the cat. And, curiosity about the ex-boyfriend/ex-girlfriend killed the relationship. It’s normal to be curious about your partner’s previous relationships. But, make sure you are only asking the need-to-know questions. Any information that can affect your relationship today is important, but other frivolous details shouldn’t be shared unless your partner feels comfortable divulging it.
5. "Why don’t you ever do A, B or C?"
“Why don’t you ever do the dishes?” Or, “Why don’t you ever initiate sex?” only makes your partner go straight to defense mode, instead of really answering your question. By using words like “always” or “never” you are making things sound more severe. Sure, maybe you would like your partner to do the dishes more often or initiate sex, but there is a better way to approach them. Telling your mate that you would like them to do A, B or C is a much healthier way of communicating. You are still being heard, but in a more approachable manner.
6. "How many partners have you slept with?"
To some, this can be a very personal question, and to others, not so much. Just because you are in a romantic relationship with a person doesn’t give you the right to know every single thing about him or her. If your partner wants to keep some things private, he or she has the right to do that. If your mate has no problem sharing this information, then go ahead and ask away. However, beware that we may not always love the answer we get.