You schedule regular date nights with your partner, appreciate the small gestures and put your phone away when you’re together (aka phubbing). Congrats—you’re definitely off to a great start. But relationships take work and if you want to boost yours, you might want to pay attention to the words you use, say experts. And there’s one word in particular that therapists advise against if you want to keep your bond strong: should.
“I see many couples fall into the trap of the ‘shoulds,’ couples therapist Dr. Lauren Cook tells us. “This comes from their own internal judgment while also inserting perceived judgments or comparisons to other couples or society at large.”
FYI: the word ‘shouldn’t’ isn’t so great, either.
Think: You shouldn’t spend so much time playing video games or you should try harder.