Things You Should Never Say To Someone You Love

Things You Should Never Say To Someone You Love

Even loving relationships have rough patches, but how you speak to your partner during those times makes a big difference. Here are some phrases to avoid to keep your bond strong, even when you’re upset.

1. “You always” / “You never”

Blanket statements like these are a recipe for disaster in any relationship, Psychology Today warns. Not only are they rarely accurate, but they also put your loved one on the defensive faster than you can say “I’m sorry.” Instead of going down the “always/never” rabbit hole, try to focus on the specific issue at hand. Use “I” statements to express how you’re feeling, and give your partner a chance to share their perspective too. Remember, the goal is to find a solution, not to assign blame.

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2. “You’re just like your mother/father!”

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Ouch. This one cuts deep, especially if your loved one has a complicated relationship with their parents. Even if you think you’re just making an observation, comparing someone to their mom or dad can feel like an attack on their very identity. So, instead of going down that road, try to appreciate your partner for the unique individual they are. Focus on the qualities that make them special to you, and leave the family comparisons out of it.

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3. “You’re so selfish.”

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Calling someone selfish is like throwing a grenade into your relationship — it’s explosive and hard to come back from. Plus, it’s a surefire way to make your partner feel like their needs and desires don’t matter. So, before you lob that accusation, take a step back and try to see things from their perspective. Maybe there’s a reason behind their actions that you haven’t considered. Approach the conversation with curiosity and empathy, and work together to find a solution that feels good for both of you.

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4. “I wish you were more like [insert name].”

Comparing your partner to someone else is like telling them they’re not good enough — and that’s definitely going to affect their self-esteem. After all, nobody wants to feel like they’re constantly being measured against some impossible standard. So, instead of wishing your loved one was more like someone else, try to appreciate them for who they are. Focus on the qualities that made you fall in love with them in the first place, and let them know how much you value their unique quirks and characteristics.

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5. “You’re too sensitive.”

Dismissing your loved one’s feelings as “too sensitive” is a way of invalidating their emotional experience. You’re saying that their reactions are overblown or unwarranted, and that they need to toughen up. Instead of minimizing their feelings, try to approach them with empathy and compassion. Ask questions, listen actively, and validate their experience, even if you don’t fully understand it. Remember, everyone is entitled to their own emotions, and the last thing they need is someone telling them they’re wrong for feeling the way they do.

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6. “I’m not attracted to you anymore.”

Hearing these words from your partner can feel like a punch to the gut. Not only does it shatter your self-esteem, but it also leaves you wondering what the future holds for your relationship. So, before you drop this bomb, take a moment to reflect on what’s really going on. Are there underlying issues that need to be addressed? Can you find a way to reignite the spark? If you’re truly committed to your partner, try to approach the conversation with love and respect — not criticism and rejection.

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7. “I don’t trust you.”

Trust is the foundation of any healthy relationship, and telling your loved one that you don’t trust them is a way of eroding that foundation. It’s a way of telling them that you don’t believe in their integrity or their ability to be honest with you. Instead of making blanket statements about trust, try to be specific about the behaviors or situations that are causing you concern. Approach the conversation with an open mind and a willingness to listen to their perspective. Remember, trust is something that’s built over time, through consistent actions and open communication.

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8. “You’re not good enough.”

These four little words can do a lot of damage in a relationship. They can make your partner feel like they’re fundamentally flawed or unworthy of love — and that’s a heavy burden to bear. So, instead of focusing on what your loved one isn’t, try to celebrate all the things they are. Remind them of their strengths, their talents, and the qualities that made you fall in love with them in the first place. And if there are areas where they could improve, approach the conversation with love and support — not judgment and criticism.

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9. “I don’t need you.”

Independence is great, but telling your partner you don’t need them is like saying they’re disposable. It’s inevitably going to make them feel unappreciated and unimportant. So, instead of emphasizing what you don’t need, try focusing on what you value about your relationship. Let your loved one know how much they enrich your life and make you a better person. Because at the end of the day, a healthy relationship isn’t about need — it’s about choosing to be together because you genuinely want to, Stylist notes.

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10. “You’re overreacting.”

Dismissing your loved one’s reactions as “overreacting” is a way of minimizing their emotional experience. It’s a way of telling them that their feelings are invalid or exaggerated, and that they need to calm down. Instead of judging their reactions, try to approach them with empathy and curiosity. Ask questions, listen actively, and try to understand where they’re coming from. Remember, everyone reacts to situations differently, and the last thing they need is someone telling them they’re wrong for feeling the way they do.

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11. “I’m done.”

You’re basically saying that you’re giving up on them and your relationship. It’s a way of telling them that you’re no longer willing to put in the effort to make things work. Instead of resorting to ultimatums, try to approach the situation with a willingness to find a solution. Express your concerns and feelings, but also be open to hearing their perspective and working together to find a way forward. Remember, a healthy relationship is one where both partners are committed to growing and improving together.

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12. “You’re acting crazy.”

This is a way of accusing them of not being in touch with reality, and saying that their perspective is invalid. Instead of labeling them as crazy, try to approach the situation with empathy and understanding. Ask questions, listen actively, and try to see things from their point of view. Remember, everyone’s reality is shaped by their own experiences and perceptions, and the last thing they need is someone telling them they’re wrong for seeing things differently.

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13. “I don’t care.”

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Apathy is the enemy of any healthy relationship. When you tell your partner you don’t care about their needs or concerns, you’re essentially saying they don’t matter to you. And that’s a very quick way to erode trust and intimacy. So, instead of brushing off your loved one’s feelings, try to approach them with curiosity and concern. Ask questions, listen actively, and show them that you’re invested in their well-being. Because at the end of the day, caring is what keeps a relationship strong.

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14. “You’re not listening to me.”

Mature married couple fighting, blaming and accusing each other, having relationship problem at home. Middle-aged man and his wife on verge of divorce or separation, arguing indoorsistock

Accusing your loved one of not listening is a way of putting them on the defensive and shutting down communication. You’re saying that they’re not hearing or understanding you, and that they need to do better. Instead of making accusations, try to approach the conversation with patience and clarity. Express your thoughts and feelings in a way that’s easy to understand, and be open to hearing their perspective as well. Remember, healthy communication is a two-way street, and both partners need to make an effort to listen and be heard.

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15. “I hate you.”

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Hate is a powerful word — and it has no place in a healthy relationship. When you tell your partner you hate them, you’re not just expressing anger or frustration — you’re attacking the very core of your bond. Kiss goodbye to trust and intimacy! So, instead of resorting to hateful language, try to express your feelings in a way that’s honest but respectful. Use “I” statements to communicate how you’re feeling, and be open to finding a way to work through your differences. Because at the end of the day, love is about choosing to be kind — even when it’s hard.

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16. “I give up.”

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When you say this to someone you supposedly love, you’re basically abandoning them and your relationship. You’re telling them that you’re no longer willing to put in the effort to make things work, and that you’re ready to walk away. Instead of giving up, try to approach the situation with a willingness to find a solution. Express your concerns and feelings, but also be open to hearing their perspective and working together to find a way forward. Remember, a healthy relationship is one where both partners are committed to growing and improving together, even when things get tough.

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Phoebe Mertens is a writer, speaker, and strategist who has helped dozens of female-founded and led companies reach success in areas such a finance, tech, science, and fashion. Her keen eye for detail and her innovative approach to modern womanhood makes her one of the most sought-out in her industry, and there's nothing she loves more than to see these companies shine.

With an MBA from NYU's Stern School of Business and features in Forbes and Fast Company she Phoebe has proven she knows her stuff. While she doesn't use social media, she does have a private Instagram just to look at pictures of cats.
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