3 Things You Should Never Say to Your Romantic Partner


, ,
Things Never Say Romantic Partner

When it comes to having a happy and stable relationship, it’s natural to go through ups and downs sometimes. But no matter how much you might be fighting with each other, there are certain things you should never say to your partner. More specifically, there are 3 things you should never say to your partner.

If you want to grow vegetables, the soil in your garden needs a healthy ratio of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium.* Your romantic relationship also has a formula for success. Research by Dr. John Gottman has found that we need a 5:1 ratio of positive to negative interactions with our intimate partners in order for love to thrive.

Folks in the field of interpersonal neurobiology say that this finding makes perfect sense. Dr. Rick Hanson, for example, says that the default setting in our brains goes like this: our brains are Velcro for that which is negative and Teflon for that which is positive.

In other words, one little snide comment will stick in our brains (and gets replayed over and over), while compliments and kind gestures tend to “count’ less. I know this tendency of ours confers an evolutionary advantage by keeping us on our toes for all of the dangers that proved deadly to our ancestors, but in modern life, this tendency is basically a major pain in the ass.

It plays out in my life all of the time, as I’m sure it does in yours. For example, when I am lecturing to a room full of people, rather than focusing on the many who are smiling, nodding, and taking notes, I get all weirdly focused on the one dude snoozing in the back row. Sigh. Our brains are Velcro for negativity and Teflon for positivity.

Related: 8 Things You Should Never Say To The One You Love

So what does that mean for our love lives? It means that we need to be proactive about building a thick cushion of warmth and support so that we can weather the inevitable rough moments when they happen.

It means that we need to always be looking for ways to do more of the good and less of the bad. And it means that we need to be really mindful of what we say and do if we want to create the conditions in which love can flourish.

Toward that end, let’s look at 3 things that you should never say to your partner. First a caveat: I am leaving out obvious stuff like name-calling, lying, threatening, and giving ultimatums.

These three are more moderate and less dramatic, but they are problematic nonetheless… and I have heard them lots of times in my therapy office!

3 Things You Should Never Say to Your Partner

1. “If you loved me, you would….”

What you are saying when you say this is that you really really want your partner to say or do something. The problem is that your partner can easily say back to you, “Well, if you loved me, you wouldn’t ask me to…”

It is far more “intimacy-inviting” (as I call it in my book) to say instead, “I am having such a hard time understanding what is keeping you from doing X. The story I am telling myself is that you must not love me very much.”

3 things you should never say to your partner

2. “Why isn’t it like it used to be between us?”

When people say this, they are fighting against the reality that love changes over time. The way you feel in Year 1 of your relationship is not the same as the way you feel in year 7. Wishing the relationship was the way it used to be, keeps you stuck in a fairy tale. Instead, ask for what you want, right here right now.

“I want us to go out on dates like we used to do” or “I would love for you to give me a massage like you used to do.” More vulnerable? Yes! More likely to get you what you want! Hell yes!

Related: 8 Things That Couples In Healthy Relationships Should Never Say

3. “You’re acting just like your mother!” (or your father, or your Great Uncle Saul)

Unless you’re saying it in a complementary way (“You’re acting just like your mother who shows tremendous grace under pressure”), just don’t. Even if your declaration holds some truth, it is guaranteed to start a fight! A comment like this is below the belt and likely to trigger nothing but defensiveness in your partner.

Instead, describe the specific behavior your partner is exhibiting and talk about what that behavior stirs up within you. “You are raising your voice a lot right now. When you do that, I feel shut down and frustrated. It makes me want to pull away from you.”

Love is hard work and bumps in the road are 100% inevitable. The challenge is to figure out how to work together against the rough patch instead of against each other. When you’re feeling too angry to work together, it’s far braver to say, “I’m going to take a break. I love us too much to say something now that I will regret later.”

The climate between lovers is fragile, and comments like those featured above are guaranteed to shift the space between you and your partner toward greater distance and hostility.

See what happens when you think about your romantic relationship like a tomato plant, remembering that it’s your job (and your partner’s job) to do everything you can to create the conditions that yield maximal yumminess and growth.

*I have no clue about nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. I just googled “healthy soil conditions” because I needed an analogy. My gardening skills are woefully lacking, as evidenced by the 4 tomatoes and one oddly shaped cucumber that my daughter and I managed to harvest last summer.

Want to know more than the 3 things you should never say to your partner? Check this video out below!

Things you should never say to your partner

Written By Alexandra Solomon   
Originally Appeared On Dr. Alexandra Solomon
Things Never Say Romantic Partner pin

— Share —

— About the Author —


  1. Mlafave Avatar

    I am so in love with one of my best friends from thirty years ago. Our biggest problem I think is we live far from each other. I do complain about him not calling or texting because I feel communication is really
    Important. Especially when there’s such distance. How else do you learn each other? He just wants online things like Pinterest, which I do too. But it’s hard not to be able to see him or hear his voice and of course touching him. Hugging and cuddling. I know he’s a very romantic and charismatic person.
    But I do get bitchy because I miss so much. It’s frustrating. I told him to leave and I don’t mean to hurt him, it’s frustration! He of course takes it to heart, I would too!how do you get a handle on frustration
    when you feel hurt or neglected which we both do.. even if I apologize he just is done now.

Leave a Reply

Up Next

15+ Quotes From “Bridgerton” That Depict Obsessive Yearning

Best Bridgerton Quotes About Love And Romance

If you like romances and things from the Regency era, these Bridgerton quotes show how obsession can be a form of longing. This Netflix series features several love stories in which the characters experience intense desire and emotions.

Through eloquent dialogues and passionate interactions, “Bridgerton” powerfully reveals the aspirations that motivate its characters.

The series effectively frames the relationship between Daphne and Simon as an embodiment of smouldering attraction while at the same time conveying other major figures’ secretly yearning for each other.

Here are some Bridgerton quotes about love that perfectly sum up obsessive yearning.<

Up Next

TikTok’s Ultimate Couples Psychometrics Test: Which Iconic Pair Are You and Your Partner?

Couples Psychometrics Test: Fun Results Of Fictional Couples

Do you want to explore your relationship dynamics in a fun and insightful way? Take this Couples Psychometrics Test, the newest sensation making waves on social media, particularly TikTok!

Forget zodiac signs and typical personality quizzes; this one goes further to study your compatibility with your partner’s and give a famous fictional couple from TV shows or movies as your match.

This is a test attempts to find the perfect on-screen duo for you. It checks out our personalities, styles of communication and other oddities that make us real-life couples.

For those of you who are just wondering about which legendary pair represents your love story in th

Up Next

10 Signs You Are A Rebound And Nothing More

Signs You Are A Rebound And Nothing More

The dating world can sometimes feel like you are on a wild roller coaster ride of emotions, full of exhilarating highs and heart breaking lows. And you might find yourself unknowingly become someone’s rebound. But how do you gauge that? What are the signs you are a rebound, and nothing more?

Being someone’s rebound means being an emotional pit stop for them; it’s like they are taking a short break where they are seeking temporary solace before moving on for good. It’s not a good place to be in, honestly.

Today, we are talking to talk about all those glaring signs you are a rebound, so that it’s easier for you to decide if you want to remain one, or let go and wait for someone who gives you the love and respect you deserve.

Up Next

What Are Yellow Flags In A Relationship? Is Your Relationship Sending Warning Signals?

Identifying Yellow Flags In A Relationship and How To Deal

Have you ever felt a tinge of uncertainty in your romantic relationship? A flickering doubt, a slight unease? Relationships are complex, and it’s normal for them to have ups and downs. However, it’s crucial to pay attention to the subtle yellow flags in a relationship that may indicate potential issues down the road. 

These early warning signs can offer insights into the health and sustainability of a relationship. Let us explore what does a yellow flag mean, how to identify them, and most importantly, how to deal with yellow flags to foster a stronger and healthier connection.

What Does a Yellow Flag Mean in a Relationship?

A yellow flag in a relationship is a cautionary sign that som

Up Next

Mirroring In Relationships: How It Shapes Romance

Mirroring In A Relationship: Examples Of Love And Support

Do you ever feel that you could almost read your partner’s mind, or have you ever experienced the baffling feeling of finishing each other’s sentences? If yes, you must have encountered a mysterious human behavior called mirroring in a relationship.

So, What Is Mirroring Behavior In Relationships?

Mirroring behavior psychology is an unintentional process in which people imitate one another’s actions, gestures, and emotions.

Up Next

8 Questions To Ask Yourself If You Want To Avoid Marrying The Wrong Person

Marrying The Wrong Person? Important Questions To Ask

Picture this: you’re standing at the altar, surrounded by beaming friends and family, moments away from saying “I do” to the person who you thought was your soulmate and the love of your life. But deep down, you can’t ignore the nagging feeling that something doesn’t feel right. Could it be possible that you’re marrying the wrong person?

The fear of marrying the wrong person lingers in the hearts of many, and it’s a fear worth exploring, because this is your life we are talking about. In this article, we’ll dive into eight essential questions that you should ask yourself before taking that leap into forever.

So, grab a cup of coffee, get comfortable, and let’s unravel how to avoid marrying the wrong person.

Up Next

63 Conversation Starters For Deep Dialogues With Your Partner

Conversation Starters For Deep Dialogues With Your Partner

Why conversation starters? Over time conversations with your partner might begin to feel shallow and focused more on the daily grind than topics that actually matter. This is normal. It’s probably not a dangerous red flag that your relationship is about to end, but it is likely unsatisfying and monotonous.

It’s quite easy to reignite the spark with your partner by enjoying deeper and more meaningful conversations just by becoming more intentional in carving out time to talk.

We all know that communication is key to a healthy relationship, but let’s be honest; talking about what’s for dinner or whose turn it is to walk the dog just won’t cut it.

If you’re yearning for a deeper connection, it’s worth dedicating ten to fifteen minutes a day to one of the most important people in your life.