DATING 101: Dealing with differences (pt. 1)

Every couple has their differences and every couple has to learn to deal with them. Unfortunately, one of the easiest and most common mistakes people make is to air those differences out to the world. One of the fastest ways to tank any relationship is to openly criticize your significant other. Why? Four reasons. First, it represents a breach of trust. Couples share things with each other that have no business being aired out to BFFs, family, co-workers, classmates, teammates or anyone else for that matter (including social media). Out those things—even in a positive way—and you have failed the test of trustworthiness that healthy relationships require. Second, being openly critical represents a lack of respect. Dictionary.com defines respect as, “esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person…” When you go behind the back of someone you’re supposed to be encouraging and supporting to be critical of them you are NOT showing esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person. Third, open criticism of a significant other demonstrates selfishness in yourself. Instead of putting them first, you are taking your own side. Instead of lifting them up, you are standing over them. Fourth, it stains their reputation. People will often form lasting impressions of your partner based not on their personal knowledge of him/her, but on what they hear from you. Tell them, “He’s always getting us lost in the car,” and they’ll never trust him to drive again. Tell them, “She’s such a drama queen,” and they’ll always expect her to break down at the first sign of trouble. In the end, even small cuts sometimes leave scars and every time you open your mouth to share about your partner disparagingly (even in jest) you are slicing them open a little bit.

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