The “just don’t say it” series presses on with all of things you should avoid saying to a new couple. Understand that the term “new” is highly relative. Some couples go weeks between dates for any number of reasons (distance, schedules, etc.). Some couples who have been dating for a few weeks have been on numerous dates and may not be considered a “new” couple. With that in mind, here are the things you should avoid saying to the new and budding couples in your lives:
“Are you going to get married?!”
- For the love of all things good and holy, when there is a ring on her finger, y’all will know it. Until then, don’t ask! Let the couple pray about it and discern marriage with God, and without your opinions (unless they ask you for it)!
- Kissing is not a spectator sport and a new couple (or any couple, except for MAYBE at their wedding!) should not be required to kiss on command. What are we, dogs? “Sit, Ubu, sit!”
“Are you two just so in love?!”
- Every couple says “I love you” at different rates, so when someone outside of the relationship asks this, it has the potential to make things very awkward. “Uh, well…I think he’s swell.”
“Oh my gosh, you two would have the CUTEST BABIES!”
- I have no idea how the mind of a guy works, but saying this to a girl has the potential to cause her ovaries to jump out of her body. Why rush the relationship? It is perfectly acceptable to tell a couple how cute they are or how good they look together without rushing them into imagining their future children.
“How will you two handle _____?”
- Fill in the blank: raising children, your finances, where to live, their crazy mother, etc. Unless the couple brings it up first, don’t mention it. Especially in a new relationship, other folks would be wise to let the couple have these personal and private conversations in private first. Later on, depending on how close you are with the couple, and how serious the couple is about pursuing marriage, then it might be okay to bring up these topics.
“Have you two kissed yet? Is he/she a good kisser?”
- This is especially awkward when the couple is actually standing next to each other. It is one thing for girls to ask this when they are not surrounded by people (and it can still be awkward then), but even more so when you are standing together! Furthermore, how far a couple has gone, be it hand-holding, cuddling, kissing, or anything else, is between the couple and God. And perhaps a confessor. That’s it.
“That would just be SO hard!”
- It almost doesn’t matter what the circumstance is that the person is referring to, saying this doesn’t make it any better. Whether the couple is long distance, has an odd work schedule and rarely get to see each other, one of them has a child, etc., reminding them of their hardships doesn’t make the budding relationship any easier. I can almost guarantee you that the couple is well aware of the things working against them or that create a struggle in the relationship. What is far more beneficial to say is something along the lines of, “That would be difficult but I know that God will give you the gifts and tools you need to overcome that obstacle” or “I will be praying for you and if you’d ever like any advice, let me know (I went through/have a friend who encountered a similar situation).”
“Well, he/she is cute, but I liked ____ for you better.”
- I wish I could say that I’ve never heard this, but I have. With a wonderful guy by my side I’ve literally had someone tell me (so that the new guy can hear), “He’s nice, but I thought so-and-so-old-boyfriend was a much better match for you.” If anyone can explain to me how it even makes rational sense to say this, given these circumstances, then I will owe you…something awesome. I’m still perplexed!
So what DO you say to new couples? Share in their joy, assure them of your prayers for them, and be happy. Don’t push them to go faster than they are. If you are really close to both people and trust your friendships with each of them, then share what God has put on your heart. But if not, don’t blurt out your opinions or disapproval to both of them at the same time. Remember that there is a big difference between criticism and constructive criticism, just as there is a difference between tough love and projecting your own bad experiences on the new couple. There is something wonderful when our friends can share in our excitement about a new relationship, so be happy! 🙂