Relationships aren’t easy; we all know that. But one thing that can make it even harder is when you have terrible relationship skills. If you aren’t so great at communicating with a significant other, the good news is you can learn. Becoming a good partner takes work, but if you remain open to learning from your mistakes, you can build a lasting union.
Still, no matter what some people do, they’re still clueless when it comes to being a good partner. Are you one of them? Take this quiz to find out if you truly suck at relationships.
1. Your partner planned a romantic date. The restaurant reservations are confirmed and all you have to do is show up after work. How does the date end?
A. You forget you even had plans. The date never happens. Once you remember — two hours later — that you were supposed to meet at the restaurant, you call but get their voicemail
B. You arrive a few minutes early for the date with a bouquet of flowers. Then you ask how your partner’s day was and thank them for taking time out of their busy day to meet up for dinner
C. You ask if you can cancel plans and spend time together at home instead
Best answer: B
If you answered A, shame on you. Forgetting plans is the kiss of death. This behavior not only shows disrespect for your partner’s time, it also shows irresponsibility. Get your act together. If you answered B, you’ve answered correctly. Late arrivals, unless you have a good reason, are a no-no. Arrive early or at least on time. Also remember to thank your date for their time. Everyone’s busy, so if your date makes an effort to block out his or her schedule just for you, don’t take this lightly. Cancel plans and stay in? If you’ve been together for a while, maybe. But if the relationship is still new, you’re being lazy. Get dressed and go out.
2. You and your partner had an argument and now you’re both angry. How do you handle the situation?
A. Apologize for the role you played in the argument and try to kiss and make up
B. Storm out and give the silent treatment. Ignore all phone calls, texts, and emails
C. Change the subject and act like nothing is wrong
Best answer: A
Sometimes it only takes one really bad argument for a relationship to crumble. One misunderstanding or poorly timed comment is enough to end things for good. It takes skill and maturity to successfully navigate an argument. If you answered A, you have better conflict resolution skills than most. When encountering conflict with your partner, it’s best to apologize for your role and aim to resolve things as quickly as possible. The longer you wait to work things out, the more opportunity there is for bad feelings to fester. Handle things sooner rather than later. If you answered B or C, you need to learn a few things about what it takes to make a relationship work. Avoidance will only cause things to escalate.
3. It’s your partner’s birthday, how do you celebrate?
A. Every day is special. Birthdays can be celebrated whenever. It’s no big deal
B. You forgot it was your partner’s birthday, so you pick up an apology gift on the way home
C. You planned a surprise party three months ago, so you’re going to celebrate with your significant other, as well as family and friends
Best answer: C
Put some thought into your partner’s special day. Forgetting or treating their birthday like any other day just won’t cut it. Use this day as an opportunity to show how much you love and appreciate all they do. Sure, every day can be special, but birthdays are just a bit more special than the other days. Demonstrate how much you care. If you chose answers A or B, you’ve likely had a lot of fights with your significant other over this issue. If you have trouble remembering important dates, use calendar reminders on your phone or put a calendar on your wall at home, then circle the day with a bright red marker. Then you have no excuse for letting it slip your mind.
4. Your partner is upset about getting passed over for a promotion. How do you respond?
A. Console them by offering a hug and going out to their favorite restaurant to drown their sorrows in ice cream
B. Tell your partner to just get over it. People get passed up for promotions all the time
C. Tell your partner to talk lower so you can hear the game
Best answer: A
When your partner is disappointed, do your best to be a shoulder to cry on. Your significant other should be able to share not only their joys but also their sorrows. If you chose answers B or C, you’re selfish — and mean. You have more than a relationship problem; you have a people problem. You need to learn how to treat people better in general.
Follow Sheiresa on Twitter @SheiresaNgo.