Relationships, like all things in life, can loose their luster after a certain amount of time. In the beginning — the butterfly phase, as I fondly call it — things are exciting. You get nervous to see your SO, and everything you do together is fun, even if it's just watching a movie or running errands. After a while though, the butterflies stop to flutter and normalcy sets in. Though most people admit to missing the butterflies of the early days, there are certain things you should never say to your partner if you want to keep your relationship fresh, exciting, and fun. Because no matter how long you've been together, the butterfly phase shouldn't completely end.
Most of us know that these phrases should be off limits. But I bet you can admit to saying them anyway. I'm as guilty as anyone else. The time my husband and I had as a twosome was very short, as I got pregnant earlier than expected. Although we wouldn't trade our roles as parents for anything, it's easy to look back on our early days together and wish we could go back.
Marriage, or commitment in general, isn't always fun and it's possible to get bored if you're not actively trying to engage with each other in new and exciting ways. So next time you're tempted to throw in one of these thoughtless phrases when things seem particularly boring or "normal," try spicing it up in different ways instead of digging yourself deeper into boredom.
1. "You Always..."
This sweeping generalization is dangerous territory, but somehow you manage to go there anyway. "'Always' and 'never' can be dangerous words," relationship blogger Dave Willis said in an article for Stronger Marriage. "When we’re trying to make a point, we often make hurtful allegations about our spouse that exaggerate the truth." If you have to generalize like this, Willis suggested turning it into a positive statement like "you always make my day."
Nothing shuts down the potential for a good conversation like the one tiny letter. Whether you're texting your SO or having a face to face conversation, responding with "K" usually implies you either don't care what they have to say or you want the conversation to end. Even if you don't think they'll misinterpret your intentions, it's best to err on the side of caution with something a little less vague.
3. "Are You Gaining Weight?"
When you've been with someone long enough, you start to let your guard down. And maybe, in a moment of weakness, you want to point out that their body isn't the same as it's always been. Just don't even go there. Not only does this imply dissatisfaction, it can cause your partner to unnecessarily doubt themselves. And if they are gaining weight, they already know it. No need to point it out.
4. "You're Just Like Your Mother/Father/Etc."
Regardless of the relationship you have with your SO's parents, chances are this is meant as an insult. When you're trying to spice up your relationship, comparing them to anyone is never a good idea, whether its their parents, an ex, or someone on TV.
5. "We Never Do Anything."
It sounds innocent enough, and you probably say it all the time, but it implies a sense of boredom, not just with your surrounding, but with your relationship as well. Instead of asking "what should we do today?" or lashing out from boredom, call a babysitter and schedule a surprise weekend away so the two of you can have a night alone.
6. "You Used To Be So Fun."
It's easy to think back to your early days together — without kids, responsibilities, real jobs, you name it — and compare your partner to the way they "used" to be. This only sows discontent into your relationship and makes room for your partner to feel less-than. According to an article in Brides, "we can become very jealous, hostile, and resentful at all of the things our partner does not do, instead of valuing what they do bring to the table," which is never a healthy habit to start.
7. "Don't Start."
This not only implies a "been there, done that" mentality, but it tells your partner that what they feel isn't valid enough to be heard.
8. "Calm Down."
Never once in the history of mankind has telling someone to calm down actually worked. Hearing them out, on the other hand, just might do the trick. Even if you've been over the same argument 100 times before, listening to your partner lets them know that you're not bored of them and that you respect how they feel.
9. "I Don't Respect You Anymore."
A piece published on Psychology Today calls respect more important than love in a relationship. And while both are certainly essential, without respect, there's no way things will feel fresh, happy, or exciting.