In this day and age, your relationship is pretty much on show to everyone. With Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram etc granting perfect strangers a glimpse into your personal life, it’s almost a surprise that some of us even have secrets. With my blog alone, people can already tell what kind of girlfriend I am. People use social media as a platform to proclaim their love, or air out their dirty laundry, and that’s fine, because for every 1 negative person making fun of them for over sharing, there are 1000 people being empowered to learning from that persons mistake, it can’t be all bad right?
Relationships nowadays are seldom sacred and so people applaud those from modern times who withstand the test of time and last longer than 1 year with their significant other. My Partner and I have been together for over 4 tumultuous years and each year we celebrate our anniversary we high five. Our norm differs from others like we understand others have their own standard comfort level. We don’t display our love all over the internet all of the time, in fact we hardly do it now, it doesn’t mean we don’t love each other, or that we don’t want to share our happy memories, nor’ does it mean we judge those who do.
Couples are often faced with deadlines given to them by external factors, whether this relates to children, marriage, settling down, it can make relationships difficult to fight for. Romance is hard enough without people constantly interrogating you with questions and expecting you to have answers already laid out.
My partner and I don’t even know what we’re going to do on our weekends together let alone what our 5 year plan involves. I’ve gathered 10 awkward questions, people have asked us during our time together, that I advise and plead others not to subject to another couple, mainly because they seem harmless but are not! But also because really…it’s not any of your business.
- When will you get engaged?
If I had a penny for every time someone asked us this question. We’re so used to being asked this that we both simply reply with we’re engaged to be engaged, an answer we got from Paranormal Activity, a horror movie…. So yeh, that basically sums up our relationship (we’re okay I promise!) This question puts so many people in such an uncomfortable position because as harmless as it is to ask, even in a jokey way, it’s still so awful to have to come up with an answer when you don’t have one. You don’t know what stage a couple is in, regardless of how long they’ve been together. I think for me it’s particularly awkward because I know what it’s like for couples to be essentially in two different places in their relationship, whilst some couples break up because of this others fight through it and come out better on the end, but the fight is long and difficult and it’s all about trying to meet each other half way, it’s hard to take a step backwards in a relationship so for one half of the couple, meeting their partner half way is particularly difficult, to ask this question when it’s a sore topic for the couple can further divide them, and usually it’s not easy to spot when a couple is in this situation unless you are particularly close to them, and if you were close to them, then don’t you think they would have already talked to you about the status of their would be, would not be engagement?
- When will you get married?
It sounds crazy but people will ask this question even when there is no ring on anyone’s fingers. It still surprises me that people can ask when everyone knows that it’s such big news that the whole world would know about any engagements or marriages. So just a heads up, without a ring and/or announcement, questions about marriages should be a no go unless something has indicated this is an appropriate question (or unless the couple have a really good sense of humor).
- When will you have kids?
There’s been a lot of talk about this one so I won’t bore you with major details. But I want to speak to you on behalf of someone who suffers from polycystic ovaries, and who has a partner who has also been diagnosed with (let’s call it a ‘situation’) that will make it difficult for him to also have children, this questions rings heavy on our hearts. We don’t have plans to have kids yet but the thought of the process we will have to go through and the challenges we will be faced with can really dampen our moods and we often shy away from conversations like these. It’s difficult for us to really talk about it with people close to us let alone perfect strangers or mere aquaintances. I know people ask because a baby is such a joyus thing to have in this world, to be blessed with a child is such a precious gift, but honestly, not everyone feels that way. Some don’t want kids, some can’t have kids and some others may be unsure, and those are all okay and valid. We think about our situation most days and so it is constantly on our minds, the last thing we want is for someone else to bring it up, we don’t want it to be the main focus of our relationship or our lives. I will say just for myself and my partner, we are trying to consider our options, we had our heart set on conceiving using the old method (not that any other method is wrong, in fact we love those methods too!) but we have also considered that maybe it’s not meant to be, so we’re trying to figure out if we can be happy just us two for the rest of our lives to see if having children really needs to be on our future plans. We don’t want to limit ourselves to just one answer, and I doubt other couples do either. When will we have kids? Well we don’t even have the answer for that ourselves so we can’t answer that question for you. It’s such a simple question but the story behind any answer someone could give you runs far deeper than I think anyone really cares to listen to. It’s painful, its ugly and sometimes it’s just not worth asking, because the combined we of those who feel the same way, do not have the time to tell you the full answer.
- Where will you raise your family?
In a house, somewhere safe hopefully? It’s such a random question and yet we’ve been asked this so many times. Does it matter where we raise our family? Will you suddenly want to move if we tell you we hope to become lifelong neighbors? I know it’s only human to be curious but I think this question adds unnecessary stress on couples that don’t have everything quite figured out yet. When did you decide where you wanted to raise your un-birthed, yet to be formed family? Maybe thinking about that will help you refrain from asking other couples?
- Who will be the breadwinner of the family?
Everyone’s normal family unit differs nowadays, gone are the days of a nuclear family, we now have multiple parents, extended families etc living in one household. Not just that but stay at home father’s are becoming the new normal too so asking this question could make people uncomfortable. Despite there being a rise in house husbands some men still feel a little insecure about admitting it, they shouldn’t but they do and we’ve got to respect that. My partner and I have agreed that when the time comes, and if we decide one-person should/wants to stay at home with our 6 rugrats, then we decide who stays through a series of reasoning, 2 of those criteria’s that will be considered are, 1. Who earns more and 2 probably the most important of them all, who actually wants to stay at home? Unfortunately there are couples or parents who don’t get to have such choices, and by saying the person earning the most will be the breadwinner can make the other feel less than they are for simply earning less, this is not the case as a persons salary does not always reflect how hard they work, I can vouch for this, and I’ll show you my blood pressure and pay slip to prove it.
- Who wears the trousers in the relationship?
For some reason everyone asks this question to everyone. The question itself doesn’t really make sense in modern times so really they’re saying who is the dominant and who is the submissive? Whilst it’s comical to ask this and often couples will humorously reply with the standard, she is but he likes to think he is, or whatever smart answer can go with that, it’s also a way of embarrassing one or both people in the relationship. By asking this you’re almost saying, who is the owner and who is the pet, and if you put it into those words, it’s actually very offensive, you wouldn’t ask someone that question so why ask who dominates?
- Do your parents approve of your relationship?
You know my answer so let’s move on with me explaining my side. This is wrong, I won’t go into detail or some sort of story, so let me just tell you WHY it’s wrong, this is a wrong question to ask because not everyone is close to their parents, not everyone has supportive parents and some parents think much more about their preferences than their own children’s happiness, I know shock horror, lock them up! Parental approval is so important to a lot of people but it’s not always easy to get, and if you’re an unlucky person chances are you’ll ask this question to the wrong person and that person will feel just awful for not being good enough for their partner, according to their parents.
- Do you get a long with their family?
Much like the parent’s approval, family dynamics can be very difficult. It may be that personality clashes that your boyfriend doesn’t get along with your sister, or your girlfriend doesn’t get along with your Mum. Every relationship varies and with how different people can be it’s hard to find two people who can have a genuinely good friendship let alone an entire family with a person who they aren’t related to. Family relationships are not always important to people, some are closer to their friends than their blood so maybe it’s best to just avoid this question.
- Who makes the most money?
Again, it’s none of your business, but still you ask. Why does this even matter to anyone? How does it affect them? People are curious and it’s natural but it’s such a faux pas to discuss money with people you aren’t close to or aren’t in your inner circle. Money, salary, differences in wages to job roles are such a sore topic for most hard working individuals that people don’t usually get paid fairly. This can cause rifts between couples who are competitive and take money matters very seriously, take strong independent women who don’t like the idea of relying on a man, well if he’s earning more money in the relationship, and that is obvious then isn’t she going to feel less than the man when that may not necessarily be true?
- Is he/she the one?
Let me answer your question with another question, would I still be with him/her if I didn’t think he/she may be the one? There are some sicko’s who are with people just purely out of fear of being alone or sheer boredom. But most people, I’d like to think, are in romantic long term relationship because they seek a mate to live the rest of their lives with. Surely there aren’t people in long term relationship for the sheer banter? And similarly surely no one goes into a relationship thinking, he/she may be the one, I don’t know, I doubt it but I’ll still stay with them….NO! You go into something with optimism. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been with 1 man or 20 men, each of those times they’re going to be ‘the one’ and that doesn’t make your current man any less, or any of the previous ones anymore, it just means that in that moment, or days, months, years you’re with that person you believe they are the one, and no one should make you question it, you’re the one living with them forever, not the nosey people asking you unnecessary questions.
So those are my 10 no go questions that I highly advise you do not ask couples. There are so many you could ask that it shouldn’t be too hard to not ask these questions.
Remember that to you these questions may seem innocent but they can cause backlash between couples later on. Think about it this way, if you’re not comfortable answering these questions then what makes you think they would? And if you are comfortable with them then maybe just try to test the waters with innocent questions first? We know you don’t mean harm but that doesn’t mean your questions are harmless.
Do something to make your parents proud today, your kids proud someday, and you proud everyday!
Peace and Love,