- When they get stuck or have a hard time with something, do they ask for help or seek out advice?
Flexibility and the willingness to adapt in the face of adversity is one of the single greatest attributes when it comes to choosing a partner. Not only will you be able to get through tough times together with a minimum of stress and conflict, but your partnership will just be a hell of a lot more fun.
Yeah, yeah, so they like to get the last word in. It’s annoying, but that can’t be a deal-breaker, right?
Look, we all try and get the last word in every once in a while. We all like to feel right, and justified, and that we’ve “won” the conversation (as stupid as it seems in retrospect).
What’s problematic is if you notice a consistent pattern of having to get the last word in during conversations and disagreements.
If someone can’t help themselves from always needing to get the last word in, it’s often symptomatic of much more troubling underlying issues. Namely, they’re too insecure to tolerate acknowledging someone else as right. Their ego is so fragile that it can’t take “losing” even a single argument, regardless of who’s actually right.
If they can’t handle being wrong about where they parked the car, how are they gonna handle men seeking women for sex being wrong about forgetting to book a DJ for the wedding or missing your kid’s piano recital?
It might seem like a little thing that’s easy enough to tolerate, but it’s often a sign of much bigger problems below the surface.
6. They Constantly Ask for Reassurance
Perhaps the biggest myth people buy into when choosing a partner is the idea of complementarity as a good basis for a relationship:
- He’s so confident and self-assured that it really helps me with my anxieties and insecurities.
- I love how social and gregarious she is. She really helps me get out of my shell.
- I love how clever and funny he is. Our conversations always make me feel so much smarter.
- She’s so independent and creative. As a life-long rule-follower, she really helps me push the boundaries when I need to.
If you’re dating someone who insists on getting the last word in, maybe you should insist on going your separate ways?
You hear couples say stuff like this all the time. And while there’s nothing wrong per se with a partner who’s temperament or preferences complement your own, it’s dangerous to rely on them or think that they’re always beneficial:
- No matter how confident you are, it’s never going to fix your partner’s insecurities.
- No matter how sociable you are, it’s not going to change the fact that your partner’s an introvert who generally enjoys low-key activities with a few good friends.
If you’re dating someone with significant issues of self-worth, anxiety, and low confidence, you cannot fix them no matter how many times you reassure them and tell them it will be okay. In fact, there’s a very good chance that you reassuring them makes their anxieties worse.
What’s more, it’s very likely that over a long enough period of time you begin to resent them for it. You will resent the fact that they increasingly rely on you to make them feel secure and confident, and consequently, that they use your confidence as an excuse not to work on themselves.
Now, I’m not at all suggesting you absolutely shouldn’t date or get involved with someone who struggles with anxiety or insecurities. My point is that you should think very carefully about it.