“I don’t love you.”
“You’re not good enough.”
Once these words have escaped your mouth, there’s no way to unspeak them. And the damage they do may never be fully healed.
There are so many words that could be said, so why choose ones that only cause pain?
Sure, telling someone you don’t love them is okay, but only if you really mean it and want to end the relationship. If you don’t want to end the relationship, no matter how angry you are, you need to choose your words carefully.
There are some things that your partner should never say to you, regardless of the circumstances and emotions that might be causing them to say them. Words hurt just as much as physical pain, and sometimes more.
This doesn’t mean that you should only say what your partner wants to hear or censor yourself to the point that you must walk on eggshells when you’re around them.
However, there are things that shouldn’t be said in a romantic relationship for it to have a future. These things are most often mean and said only in the heat of the moment. They hurt a lot and typically lead to feelings of regret.
Maybe your partner is the one who says mean things to you, and you let it slide. Don’t. Keep reading to see a list of things that should never be spoken to a romantic partner.
30 Phrases Your Partner Should Never Say
1. “We’re over!”
Don’t ever threaten your partner with a breakup unless you’re willing to go through with it and actually end the relationship.
Even then, ask yourself whether you want to end the relationship because you’re in the heat of the moment or if it’s a conscious decision that you’ve spent some time thinking about.
Threatening a breakup is not a way to end an argument or get what you want; it’s a way to end a relationship. So, if your partner frequently threatens to leave you, stop them from doing so by setting clear boundaries and banning the word breakup altogether.
Alternatively, you could call them out on their bluff and let them leave, but this is not the best way to handle the situation.
2. “It’s all your fault.”
It’s never all your fault. Don’t ever let your partner blame you for everything. After all, it takes two—it really does!
Your partner shouldn’t point fingers; they should take their share of the blame. When all they do is blame you, you have every right to be upset.
Your partner should never make you feel like you’re not doing anything right. They shouldn’t blame all the problems in your relationship on you. There’s no way you could possibly be the only one at fault.
So, start calling your partner out on their mistakes and agree not to play the blame game anymore.
3. “You’re crazy.”
Your partner shouldn’t make you feel like there’s something wrong with you. They shouldn’t make you feel like you’re crazy, let alone say that you are.
You’re probably not crazy for believing, saying, or doing whatever it is that you choose to believe, say, or do. If your partner is trying to make you doubt the things you believe in, you should definitely look up the term “gaslighting” and make sure that it’s not happening to you.
4. “You’re imagining things.”
Your partner could also try to convince you that what you’re thinking isn’t true. They could say that you’re just imagining things, and this phrase is usually a red flag that often indicates gaslighting and, in some cases, even cheating.
Don’t let your partner make you doubt your common sense. Whatever it is that you believe, or that you saw or heard, might be entirely true. They could be lying to you, so keep your guard up.
5. “You’re overreacting!”
You have every right to feel what you’re feeling and respond to it the way you see fit. Your partner shouldn’t accuse you of overreacting. If something feels like a big deal to you, it is a big deal, even if it doesn’t feel that way to others.
Your partner should care about the things that are important to you. When you’re making a big deal of something, you’re not overreacting; it just matters to you that much, and they should be able to understand that.
6. “You’re too sensitive!”
Are you supposed to grow a thick skin to be in a relationship with them?! Don’t let them accuse you of being overly sensitive. It’s okay to feel what you’re feeling and process it at your own pace.
You’re not too sensitive for being hurt by something your partner (or anyone else) said or did. And your partner shouldn’t make you feel afraid of opening up to them by calling you overly sensitive when you do.
7. “You’re too needy!”
Maybe you need constant attention, validation, or reassurance. Even so, your partner should talk to you about the issue, not dismiss your requests by calling you needy.
Perhaps you would like them to give you more of their time, attention, energy, love, or effort. You might be asking for more than they can give you right now, but they should have a talk with you about that, not simply accuse you of being too needy for wanting to spend time with them.
8. “I told you so.”
No one likes to hear “I told you so.” If they told you so, you’re probably aware of it already. They don’t need to rub your nose in it.
Saying “I told you so” implies that your partner cares more about being right than about finding the solution. If something bad happened, they should be there to comfort you and make you feel better, not emphasize that you’re the reason it happened in the first place.
9. “You can’t do anything right.”
Does your partner make you feel like a failure? If they tell you that you can’t do anything right, they’re making you feel bad about yourself. Maybe you even started doubting your own capabilities because of this comment.
This is just a rude thing to say to someone when you’re mad at them, and it’s never accurate. However, it might hurt as if the words were actually true. So, tell your partner not to hurt you by saying things that they don’t really mean.
10. “What’s wrong with you?”
As already mentioned, your partner shouldn’t make you feel bad about yourself and doubt your capabilities. They should make you feel like you’re the best person in the world because they see you that way.
When they ask you if there’s something wrong with you, they’re being mean and attacking your confidence, probably for no valid reason. Don’t let them make you feel bad about yourself, because there’s nothing wrong with you, there’s something wrong with saying things like that.
11. “Are you that stupid?”
Your partner could even make you feel like everything you say or do is stupid. Because of this, you’ll be afraid of saying certain things and doing certain things in front of them. In addition, you’ll start thinking that maybe you really are stupid.
You’re not, and the value of your thoughts and opinions shouldn’t be under-minded in a relationship. Your partner shouldn’t put you down and make you feel like your opinions don’t matter. They should value your views and take your advice into consideration when making big decisions.
12. “Don’t wear that.”
Your partner can advise you on how you look by telling you what they like and what they don’t like, as well as what best contributes to your features. However, the choice of what to wear should still be entirely up to you.
Your partner shouldn’t tell you what you can and cannot wear, and if they do, it’s a major red flag. For instance, if you want to look provocative and show off your best features, this is not the wrong thing to do just because you’re in a committed relationship. You should be able to wear whatever makes you feel good about yourself.
13. “My ex would do that for me.”
Comparisons are always a bad thing in a relationship. Your partner shouldn’t compare you to anyone else, let alone their ex. They most certainly shouldn’t try to convince you into doing things for them just because their ex did those things.
Don’t let your partner lump you in with their exes. Things are different now, and they can’t expect the same things from you that they did from their exes. They shouldn’t talk that much about their exes to begin with.
14. “You make me want to slap you right now!”
Threatening you with physical violence is still a major red flag, even if you’re sure that your partner would never actually do what they’re threatening.
Your partner is not allowed to put their hands on you in anger, and they can’t threaten you either. Don’t risk watching them go through with it just because you let it slide.
15. “If you loved me, you would…”
Manipulating you into doing something for them because you love them is also wrong. Your love for them shouldn’t turn into a weapon that can be used against you.
When you don’t want to do something for them, it’s probably not out of a lack of love. So, stick to your reasons and don’t let them convince you that love means being agreeable and generous.
16. “You complete me.”
While in a way, it sounds romantic, “You complete me” can be a scary sentence as well. It could mean that your partner depends on you to the point that they “can’t live without you.” If they use these words, they’re probably not looking at things realistically.
It’s great when someone falls head over heels for you. However, when they tell you that you complete them, it often means that they depend on you much more than they should. They are incapable of feeling like a complete person when they don’t have a romantic partner. This is not healthy.
17. “That’s just the way I am.”
When you tell your partner something about them bothers you, they shrug it off by saying, “That’s just the way I am.” It’s similar to the expression, “Boys will be boys.”
It’s just a random excuse that is meant to keep things the same, because it’s easier that way. But don’t let your partner get out of things because “that’s just the way they are.” Their bad behavior and shortcomings aren’t their entire personality. They need to take some responsibility for their actions.
18. “You never…” or “You always…”
There’s absolutely nothing that you always or never do. These are just things people say when they want to exaggerate the issue. Try to stop this from happening by mentioning examples of what you “never” did or “always” do.
Don’t let your actions be left unacknowledged and taken for granted; your partner should appreciate the things that you do.
19. “Remember the last time…?”
If your partner keeps bringing up the past, chances are they are doing so to hurt you. While in some cases, this might be helpful in order to resolve the situation, it’s often used as a reminder of past mistakes you’ve made.
What’s more, it insinuates that you will undoubtedly make the same error again. All in all, it’s a negative phrase that doesn’t belong in your relationship.
20. “Grow up!”
Telling someone to “grow up” or “man up” is mean. Even if you are a bit childish, this phrase is often used purely to hurt the other person.
Grown-up people don’t tell other people to grow up. The odds are, your partner is behaving just as childishly as you, if not more.
21. “Can’t you get a real job?”
Your partner most certainly shouldn’t make you feel bad about your career. Whether you’re a lawyer, a painter, a teacher, a stay-at-home dad, or a housewife, you already have a job.
Don’t let your partner make you feel like you don’t have a real job just because you’re following your passion or dedicating all your energy to maintaining the household. You already have a job, and if it’s a good job in your opinion, no one else can say otherwise.
22. “What do you do all day?”
If you don’t have a “real job,” and even if you do, your partner will sometimes ask you what you have been doing all day. They’ll say that they’ve worked hard and brought home the big bucks, but what did you do?
You can even get creative with this one and write down all the things you do during the day. Give the list to your partner and tell them to never ask “What do you do all day?” ever again.
23. “I wish I had never met you.”
Saying “I wish I had never met you” is cruel and probably not even true. This is something that a person might tell you when you’re breaking up, but it’s not supposed to be used as a weapon in a fight.
Your partner shouldn’t hurt you with words like that, especially if they don’t even mean it. If they frequently take back what they’ve said, let them know that they can’t erase the damage their words have caused. They should think before they speak from now on.
24. “Getting involved with you was my biggest mistake.”
This phrase is normally reserved for a breakup—and a bad breakup at that. Even when a person wants to end their relationship, they shouldn’t attack their partner with words such as these.
Maybe they regret the relationship, maybe they have been hurt by you or the relationship was just toxic from the beginning. Even so, telling you that it was their biggest mistake is likely a massive exaggeration, and one that is designed to hurt you.
25. “I wish you could be more like…”
As already mentioned, comparisons are always bad in romantic relationships. Your partner shouldn’t compare you to anyone else.
This means that they shouldn’t say things like, “I wish you could be more like that person,” or “Why don’t you ask that person about how they did it.” You should be you and no one else.
26. “That’s probably why your ex left you.”
This is a very mean, even cruel, thing to say to someone you love. The odds are, your partner is saying this with the purpose of hurting your feelings, and there’s no excuse for it.
Being mad at you is not a valid reason for hurting your feelings, and you shouldn’t tolerate it.
27. “I don’t have time for this.”
Your partner should have all the time in the world for a crisis in your relationship. Saying “I don’t have time for this” and shrugging it off as if it’s meaningless isn’t fair to you.
You should be able to tell your partner about what’s bothering you. When they don’t have time for your complaints, they don’t have time for a relationship with you.
28. “I hate you.”
“I don’t love you, I never loved you, I hate you,” and so on, are sentences that can be spoken purely out of rage. Your partner shouldn’t say these things unless they are sure that they mean them.
You can’t really take back “I hate you,” even if you didn’t mean it. Help your partner understand that they should mean everything they say even when angry.
29. “I can’t stand you.”
During a fight, couples might not always say “I hate you,” but they’ll often use “I can’t stand you,” and this is just as wrong.
Your partner should be aware of their love for you even when they’re blinded by anger. So having a big fight isn’t an excuse for saying something like this.
30. “Your friend looked hot tonight.”
Naturally, your friends are always off-limits. When your partner says that your friend looked hot, it’s not like they’re cheating, but it’s just as offensive to you.
Your partner can compliment your friends, but not in a way that would indicate that they’re sexually attracted to them.
So, what should you do when your partner says some of these things?
You need to stand up for yourself. Speak up about how these words make you feel. Let your partner know that they can’t use these words anymore.
Let’s face it, people do say these things in relationships; that’s why they sound so familiar to everyone.
However, that’s not an excuse. If you make sure to speak up about how much their hurtful words bother you, your partner should remember to hold their tongue the next time they want to use them.
While these words do hurt—sometimes a LOT—your partner may not intentionally be trying to hurt you. Maybe they are unaware that these words aren’t supposed to be used in relationships because they’ve heard them being used before.
Once you point out the words, they should make an effort to remain calm and refrain from using those words in the future. Set boundaries by communicating calmly and clearly, and learn to say “no.” Stick to your boundaries by speaking up for yourself if your partner uses some of these phrases again.
You could even ask your partner to read this article so they can see the types of phrases that need to be avoided.
Once your partner is aware of what is and isn’t acceptable, it’s possible that they may still choose to speak out of turn. So keep in mind that you’ll need to persist in banning these words from your relationship by sticking to your boundaries.
When there are so many beautiful words you could say to each other that could easily make your relationship better, why would you choose to use ones that cause pain?