There are obvious dating and relationship don’ts — like don’t lie, don’t cheat, don’t divulge your entire romantic past on a first date (!), but this one kind of creeps up on you and before you know it — it’s game over!
It’s called criticism, and I am sure you have heard of it. It can cause the demise of even the most promising relationships over time. I have seen it happen again and again, unfortunately.
What do you gain from criticizing your partner? Maybe a little ego boost, an “I am right and you are wrong” vibe, which screams of esteem issues to me. Is that temporary feeling of power worth the negative results it causes? Obviously not. Even the most secure person can feel beaten down and defeated when they are criticized. Their emotional walls will eventually go up, the communication suffers, and you know what comes next.
I was watching an episode of Oprah years ago, and never forgot this couple who were on her show and had been happily married for decades. Their secret? Absolutely no criticism allowed. That always stuck with me and even though I can’t say I have abided by that 100% — I sure try.
Another thing criticism does create is disdain, which statistically is a relationship killer and a leading sign of divorce, according to this study and many others we have read about.
You don’t earn the right to be critical of your partner, regardless of the length of time you’ve been together. There is a difference between being honest and putting someone down. Let this serve as a little reminder to us all. Kill ‘em with kindness, people!