We can probably all agree that judging, criticizing, and putting down a significant other are surefire ways to snuff out the fire of a relationship — real quick. But there are definitely a few things you should make extra sure not to judge your partner for, because if you love someone, these little things just really shouldn’t matter.
A key part of building a lasting relationship is recognizing that we all make our own individual choices, and we make those choices differently based on our upbringing, our beliefs, and many other cultural factors. So unless your partner is engaging in some disturbing or destructive behaviors, accepting their decision-making process — without judgment or contempt — will be a critical part of loving them in a healthy, lasting way.
Here are nine things you definitely shouldn’t judge your partner for, because we’re all different and that’s what makes life ~beautiful.~
You have a past, your partner has a past — it’s part of what makes you you. But there’s nothing worse than judging the person your partner is now based on the person they may have been 10 years ago. We all change, and we all learn from our experiences. Not to mention, your partner might be perfectly proud of their past, and your judgment will only make them feel alienated and far away from you.
2Their eating/exercise habits
Unless you’re seriously worried about your partner’s health, don’t judge them for eating a cookie every afternoon at work, or for skipping the gym for a few days. If you spot major changes in their eating or exercise habits, that might signal a bigger issue. But day-to-day judgment is just a confidence killer — and a guaranteed way to chip away at the precious bond you two share.
3Their quirky behaviors
Does your partner chew or burp a little more loudly than you’d like? Sneeze five times in a row at inopportune moments? Eat crackers standing up in the kitchen right before bedtime? None of these things make your beloved a “bad” person. They’re just habits, behaviors, and quirks that can’t be helped — so let them go and try to see them as endearing rather than annoying.
No one chooses their family, plain and simple. So if your significant other has a particularly unsavory sibling, or a parent who’s a little toxic, that’s that person’s problem — not your partner’s. Just be there to support, love, and cherish your SO, and to celebrate the healthy choices they make regarding their family.
5Whether or not they completed a task to your liking
This one becomes a challenge the longer you’re in a relationship, but it’s important to maintain perspective or you can end up alienating your partner. If, for example, you ask your love to pick up 10 items from the grocery store and they only manage to find eight, they did a pretty good job completing the task at hand. If you’re judging them on a pass/fail basis, though, you’ll be pissed that they didn’t find absolutely everything — and that can lead to unnecessary and toxic contempt. Keeping perspective and appreciating your partner are key to a healthy and lasting love.
Whether it’s that horrible Hawaiian shirt, an ill-fitting hat, or a hairstyle that doesn’t make you tick — let. these. things. go. You love this person, right? So let them love themselves by wearing what they like, which will help them feel comfortable in their own skin. And more comfortable with you.
7Their thoughts and feelings
Truly bonding with someone means being open and receptive to their thoughts and feelings, not closed, cold, and judgmental. Even if you don’t agree with your partner — and there will be many instances where you don’t — use empathy to see where they’re coming from and respect (and cherish!) the fact that they shared something vulnerable and intimate with you.
8Their guilty pleasures
Whether it’s cake for breakfast or Keeping Up With the Kardashians marathons on the weekend, we all have our guilty pleasures. Chalk them up to the quirks and pleasures of loving another human being, and let your judgment melt away.
9What you’ve heard about them from other people
The truth is, we’re all inherently judgmental, and that means people who know your partner — friends, colleagues, family members, etc. — will have opinions about the person you’re with. You can listen politely, sure, but remember that only you know what your love is like when you’re together, and what matters most is how you treat each other.