5 Things You Should Never Say To Your SO (If You Want Things To Last)

Whether you’ve been dating for one month or one year, relationships can be tricky. After all, it can be hard to know the right or wrong thing to say. While every relationship is different, there are certain phrases that can be deal-breakers if you’re not careful. To help guide you, we’ve put together a list of phrases to avoid when you’re with your SO (unless, of course, you want things to end):

1. “I haven’t told my friends/family about us.”

After all, this is no longer middle school. Even if you’ve only been dating your SO for a few weeks, they may feel offended if you’re afraid to tell your friends and family about them. This could be a deal-breaker right off the bat if you can’t be mature enough to introduce them to those close to you, and it will inevitably hurt your SO’s feelings in the long-term if they don’t feel important enough in your life.

"Ask them why they're not comfortable addressing the relationship," says Lauren*, a freshman at Indiana University. "If they're not willing to acknowledge the relationship, that's not fair to you. However, if they're just nervous about you meeting their family, you could always invite them to meet yours first as a way to break the ice."

2. “I don’t like your friend/family member.”

This one is especially important if you just started dating your SO and haven’t had a chance to get to know their friends and family very well. Announcing right away that you don’t like a certain one of their BFFs or siblings could really hurt them, especially if they’re super close. While you’re not expected to get along with every single person you meet and every single person in their life, it’s important to give every person time when getting to know them. "Part of being supportive of your significant other is being supportive of their family and friends," says Lauren. After all, if your SO really does like them, there’s probably a good reason why.

However, if you feel like one of their friends or family members is being especially rude to you, it's okay to address it in a considerate way. 

Related: 5 Reasons You May Be Feeling Unsettled In Your Relationship

3. “I don’t want you to go out with your friends.”

This one is crucial even for the most serious and long-term couples. Being willing to say “have fun!” and letting your SO have a night out with their friends is one of the healthiest things you can do for your relationship. Not only will it give you time to catch up with your friends, but you’ll just be that much more excited to spend time with your SO after being apart for a night or two.

"I know from personal experience that saying this has really upset my boyfriend," says Lauren. "You have to understand that it's not up [to] you to determine the other person's schedule, and you need to be flexible and considerate of their plans." However, if you feel like you're not getting enough time with your SO to maintain a healthy relationship, it's okay to talk about it. "Ask them to compromise with you. If you want to be invited to hang out with their friends, make sure you're always willing to return the favor."

4. “I don’t think you should go for it.”

It goes without saying that positive peer pressure can be a great thing, and talking your SO out of a bad situation or idea is important when you’re in a relationship. However, one of the worst things you can do is hold them back from opportunities that they’re excited about. Whether it’s an internship or job in another state, a change in major, a transfer to another school or anything else that they’re passionate about, it’s important to support them 100 percent. "I think being able to act independently in a relationship is so important," says Carter Barrett, a sophomore at Indiana University. "It helps each person bring fun and interesting things to the table."

After all, no one is expected to put their romantic relationship in front of their career or life goals when they’re only in their 20s. It may be hard, but if you really care about them, you’ll know deep down what’s best for them.

5. “Why can’t you be more like…”

We all know from high school that there’s nothing worse than the feeling of being compared to someone else. Pointing out someone’s flaws, weaknesses or little quirks in light of others is one of the most hurtful things you can do to another person, whether they’re your friend or SO. "A relationship should be a way to better yourself and the other person," says Carter.

Recognize your SO for the qualities that make them great and compliment or encourage them regularly. You know you’d want to be treated the same.

While communication is arguably the most important component of a healthy relationship, it’s important to approach tough conversations with caution. Every relationship is different, and certain conversations that work for one couple might not work for another. Regardless of what you’re discussing, remember to keep an open mind and heart. It’s possible to say what you’re feeling without completely hurting the other person. Best of luck, collegiettes!

*Name has been changed.