11 Questions You Should Think Twice About Before Asking Your Partner
You probably already know way more than you need to know about your partner, and yet there's always that desire to find out just a little bit more. It's natural to be curious, especially about someone you love and may very well spend your life with. But that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of questions you should never ask your partner.
While it may be tough to leave these topics be, it's important to have some sense of boundaries — even if you two are generally pretty open. "Everyone has the right to their privacy regarding certain matters," says speaker and counselor Davida Rappaport. "While some people may be an open book, there are some areas that can be embarrassing, create emotional distress, or make them want to leave."
Avoiding certain questions can also be important for the sake of your mental health, as well as the health of your relationship. "While it may seem like a good idea to know some of your partner’s secrets, it can ruin your relationship," Rappaport adds. "Just know there are some areas that have a 'do not enter' sign." And that's totally OK. Read on for some things you should never ask your partner, for the sake of your relationship.
1. "Is something on your mind?"
While it's important to note when/if your partner looks truly upset, you should both allow each other free range to think quietly without constantly asking if something is wrong. As Rappaport says, "Some people tend to mull things over until they come up with a solution or two. Only then, may want to discuss it."
2. "What was your ex like?"
If you two feel comfy talking about exes, then go ahead and chat it up. But most of the time, it's just to let it remain a mystery. "The last thing you need to do is to compare yourself," Rappaport says. "The past should remain in the past."
3. "Are you cheating on me?"
If you have bonafide proof that your partner is cheating, then it's incredibly important you have a discussion. But do refrain from tossing this question around whenever you feel the tiniest bit paranoia. "If you ask them, it will put them on the defensive," Rappaport says. "If they are not cheating, you will have hurt them and you may have damaged the relationship." A better option? Finding ways to feel more secure in your relationship.
4. "Do you love me?"
Saying "I love you" should happen naturally, so don't force it or demand your partner say it on cue — especially if it makes them uncomfortable. "Better to just bask in the glow of their affection and be grateful they are a good partner," Rappaport says. As long as you feel loved, that's what should matter.
5. "So are we together together?"
You have every right to ask your partner if you're truly together, exclusive, etc. if that's important to you. But sometimes it's a better idea to let that convo happen in its own time. "In many relationships, partners have ghosted or ended their relationships because they are not ready to call it a committed relationship," Rappaport says. "If they do not seem to want to change that status of your relationship and you are exclusive, that should be sufficient." At least for now.
6. "What's your password?"
Some couples feel that sharing passwords is a sign of trust, but it's certainly not a requirement for a healthy relationship. "While I believe it's important to be open and honest about everything, I don't believe that necessarily means you have to know all the passwords to his/her accounts," says author and speaker Radesha "Desh" Dixon. Everyone should be entitled to a little privacy.
7. "What'd you talk about in therapy today?
It's fine to be concerned about your partner's health. If they're in therapy, it's only natural to want to know how it went or what was discovered. But do give them some space to share if and when they want to. "Therapy is your own personal business and unless it is shared because the person wants to share the details, it should always remain a private matter," says relationship expert Audrey Hope. Simple as that.
8. "Who's your celebrity crush?'
While it can be fun to talk about hot celebrities and Hollywood crushes, asking who your partner's "number one" is can lead to hurt feelings. As NYC-based therapist Kimberly Hershenson, LMSW says, "None of these questions are furthering your relationship or helping you have a better understanding of your partner. Knowing the answer will only make you feel worse about yourself and lead to comparisons to others."
9. "Where'd ya go today?"
Again, there's a difference between asking a sweet question about your SO's day, and prying because you feel insecure. If the latter is true, it may be time to work together to build up some trust. "Trust is one of the most important characteristics of a strong relationship and respecting someone's privacy goes along with trust," Hershenson says. "It's also important to maintain independence in a relationship. Giving someone privacy allows them to maintain their own autonomy." And that's always a good thing.
10. "How do I look in this?"
This age-old question seems innocent enough, but it can cause problems if you're not ready to hear an honest answer. Not to mention it can put your partner in a tough spot. "No one likes to feel they are walking into a trap," says licensed professional counselor E.J. Smith, M.S., NCC, LPC. "If you do get smacked with a hurtful answer, it's OK to let them know and express your feelings — but do so in a way that leads to a productive conversation."
11. "How many people have you been with?"
Unless you really and truly don't care about the number, it's probably better not to ask. "Knowing is going to change your perception of that person, [either positively or negatively]" says sex educator Tiffany Yelverton, in an email to Bustle. "There isn't anything that can be done to change how many or how few there have been." So if you don't like the answer, you're kinda SOL.
Plus, it doesn't really affect your current relationship. Which is, I think, the overarching theme here. Unless there's a problem you need to talk about, it's important to give each other the right amount of privacy. You'll have a much happier relationship as a result.
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