Sometimes, it seems like you can't even look at a potential significant other without receiving a truckload of unsolicited advice from your family, friends, and even frenemies. You've been there, right? When someone decides you'd really like their opinion on your relationship without you actually asking? Or when they're trying desperately to find a compliment for you, and they just can't quite seem to reach one? Some people seem to be experts with compliments about your relationship that aren't actually compliments. Really, if they weren't hurdling thinly veiled insults at you, it would almost be impressive.
Maybe you're not even in a relationship. Maybe you're the one trying to compliment your friends. Sometimes, meaning well can take a turn. Words that might sound positive to you can sound negative to another person. So the next time you're thinking about "complimenting" your friends in a relationship, double check your strategy. There's nothing worse than meaning something as a compliment and having someone take it as an insult. Words are tricky that way, aren't they? So are relationships. Just remember that you don't know everything that's going on in anyone else's relationship, and your words might be the last thing they need to hear. When in doubt? Remember what your mother always said: If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.
1. "I Don't Know How You Do It."
What do you mean you don't know how we do it? Because one of us is better than the other? Because you think we're incompatible? Because somehow our relationship feels like a lot of work to you? Thank you so much for your unsolicited backhanded opinion.
2. "It's So Crazy That You've Made It This Far!"
Is it really that crazy? Don't say this, just don't. It makes it sound like you took a bet on how long my relationship would last, and you lost, because I'm still in it. Think twice before you dole this out as a so-called compliment.
3. "You Two Are So Different!"
Is this code for what are you doing with your current partner? Because that's certainly what it feels like. Besides, didn't anyone ever teach you that opposites attract?
4. "I Didn't Even Know You Were A Couple!"
If this is supposed to be a compliment on how my significant other and I are able to hold our own at social functions, and aren't clinging to one another 24/7? Just keep this observation to yourself.
5. "You're So Different From Their Last Partner!"
Are you saying this because you loved their last partner? Or because you miss the good old days? Maybe you like me. I really can't tell. This is the most open ended and questionable compliment on the market. Honestly? I would hope I'm different than his last partner. Otherwise, that would be mildly creepy.
6. "You're Such An Interesting Couple!"
Interesting? That's the best word you could come up with to describe my relationship? Any friend worth their salt knows that interesting is really just code for weird/bad/sad/horrible/trainwreck.
7. "You're So Good For Them."
So what you're saying is, you think my partner is an idiot without me. (OK maybe I would still take this one as a compliment.)
8. "You're So Cute On Instagram."
This seems a little bit like a passive aggressive way of telling me that I post too many pictures of my significant other and I on social media. Do you, girl. And I'll do me. (And my partner. With a hashtag.)
9. "You Spend So Much Time Together!"
So you think we're codependent? That we spend too much time together? Are you amazed or just jealous that we have such a functional relationship and actually like spending time together?