Of course, if you want a happy relationship, no one would suggest you lie to your partner, but sometimes it makes sense to rein in the truth to avoid hurting someone’s feelings unnecessarily…
“Your mate Dave is sooooo funny”
Comedy is a competitive sport among some lads, so going giggly over his mate’s jokes while not laughing at his, might hurt him. You don’t need to pretend he’s the new Jack Whitehall but if his pal IS the new Jack Whitehall, then try not to bleat on about it.
“My dad said my ex-boyfriend was like the son he never had”
So not only have you told him your dad – who he’ll be keen to impress – might prefer the ex-boyfriend, but he’s got to deal with the fact you’ve even had an ex-boyfriend. Of course, he knows you’ve both got your own histories but the less said about them when you’re still getting to know one another the better.
“Those jeans HAVE to go…”
Even though they weren’t nice when he bought them a decade ago, don’t judge him on his choice of trousers. If you start attacking his dress sense he might think you’re trying to change him or worse – wanting to mother him.
“Does my bum look big in this?”
If you want to make him feel awkward, go ahead, but first ask yourself, what do you really want him to say? If it’s clothes advice you’re after, you’re better off asking your mates.
“Is that a bald patch I can see?”
This is a big no-no. If his hair is thinning he’s likely to have spent hours obsessing about it in the mirror already. There is no need for you to bring it up too.
“Why don’t you stop and ask for directions?”
The SatNav’s on the blink and he’s determined to find his way without a map, but after getting acquainted with the one-way system for over an hour, the last thing he wants to hear is your helpful advice.
“Can you squeeze this spot for me?”
In the early days of a relationship there really is nothing more unromantic than popping zits. By the same token, don’t offer to squeeze his until you’re sure he won’t be grossed out by it.
“I love my men a bit paunchy”
If he’s like most men he will have spent a few minutes every week gazing at his gut side-on in a mirror. Beer is good, but beer bellies are not, especially when the love of your life points it out. Take a positive tack instead and suggest you both exercise and get fit together so you have a shared goal.
Spontaneity is a wonderful thing, isn’t it? But the challenge you’ve just set him is likely to send him into a tailspin. Either let his surprises be completely out the blue, or – if you must task him with a surprise – offer a few pointers so he knows he’s not going to disappoint you.
“I’d love to introduce your brother to my friend Clare”
You’ve found love but who knows if it’ll work out so well between his associates and yours? If it goes horribly wrong, you and he will have to be the go-betweens, so steer clear of engineered situations and let your friends make their own choices.