Does your boyfriend tell you that you complain too much? Does he ever get frustrated when you point out that his shirt’s not tucked in properly? It’s natural for women to complain and nitpick. But nobody wants to be around a Debbie Downer.
When it comes to love, relationships can be like looking in the mirror. You can’t stop pointing out all the improvements to be made. Many people who tend to be too critical or a perfectionist believe that they are only trying to be helpful. But in relationships, too much criticism can be toxic.
Below are some signs that you are being too critical of your BF:
1. You frequently hint that he lose the shirt he’s been wearing since he was fifteen and that his hair always looks like he just rolled out of bed.
2. You ask him to wash the dishes for you. He does, but you still complain to him because he didn’t wipe the counter around the sink when he was finished.
3. You tell him to order a salad with his burger instead of fries because you don’t want him to become too pudgy.
4. You continuously repeat yourself about the same things he does (or doesn’t do) that bother you (not putting away the dishes, forgetting to take out the trash, cracking his fingers, leaving his dirty clothes on the floor, telling him to sit up straight, etc.)
5. You do each of these things within a span of 20 minutes.
Constructive or destructive?
There are characteristics about your man that are a part of who he is, such as his sense of style or the way he speaks. These things will most likely always be there and it’s not up to you to change them. Then there are things that can actually be detrimental to your relationship. In order to not come off as a nagging girlfriend, you must learn to differentiate between the two.
Asking him to put on a different shirt whenever you see him will not help your relationship, nor will it help his confidence. But expressing the way you feel when he shows up an hour late for a date with no notice is valid. You are telling him that communication is important (as it should be) and that you would appreciate it if he could let you know if plans change.
Stop the blame
Next time you feel tempted to yell at your man for leaving the trash by the door, ask yourself, “Can it be overlooked?” If it’s something simple, see if you can just do it yourself. It might be hard and frustrating at first but it will reap better benefits than spewing out another critical remark. He might see the effort you’re making and be more willing to help out more.
Also, show more gratitude for the positive contributions he makes. Men like to express love by doing things and they need to feel competent. When the things they do that make you happy are noticed and acknowledged, they will keep doing it.
Be the change
If you want change, change yourself. Change your habit of mind from a critical one to a more positive one. Rather than being so occupied with your boyfriend’s every mistake, keep an eye out for the good things he does. Catch him doing something right, even if it’s small, and express your sincere appreciation. Not only will he feel better about himself and the relationship, but you will learn to notice the fine details about your man. After all, isn’t that how you fell for him in the first place?
If you feel that after a while you are still bothered by the same things, it might not be up to either one of you to change. It could be the relationship that needs changing. While it’s good to be less critical, it’s not good to ignore your own feelings.