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8 Bogus Communication Double Standards That Are Driving Your Relationship Apart

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communication in relationships
Love

Double standards go both ways — and they don't benefit anyone.

When was the last time you felt like your partner could get away with something, but if you were to try the same thing there would be an issue? When was the last time you felt like you weren't being heard?

These occurrences are the results of double standards when it comes to communication in relationships, and it's a framework that needs fixing. You might not even notice these double standards because they are so common, but that just goes to show how much people accept what isn't right or fair.

"She's just being a woman" or "He's just being a man" aren't good reasons to accept poor behavior. But understanding how to communicate effectively with your partner is something you can change. 


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Here are 8 relationship communication double standards, and you might be surprised to find out how imbalanced your relationship truly is. 

1. When a woman complains, she's being dramatic. When a man complains, there's a real problem. 

Men who always downplay the complaints of their lover do so because they think they're not that serious. They take it as fact that women are dramatic about the littlest things, and this notion discredits problems that could be very big.

When this type of man brings up their own complaint, though, it seems to matter twice as much. The reality is that even if you don't agree with why the other person is upset, or you think it is something incredibly minor, it still needs to be addressed.

If it matters to your partner, it should matter to you. Change your line of communication from "It's not a big deal" to "How can we make it so you don't feel this way anymore?"

2. One partner is always right and the other is always wrong. 

This double standard is so common it's really just seen as the standard. Couples often fall into a routine of one person winning argument after argument. No matter the situation, one person is always right and the other person is always wrong.

But no one can right 100 percent of the time, and that means that even a fraction of those arguments end up going one partner's way, even if they're the person at fault. Resolving a disagreement should not be a one-sided process. 

3. When a man confesses his feelings, it's endearing. When a woman confesses her feelings, it's overbearing. 

The word "clingy" is not only damaging to a relationship, but it is a total red flag. If two people are truly in love, there is no such thing as being clingy. Rather, it's just expressing your love and spending time with one another. The only way someone can say "I love you" too much is if the other person isn't vibing it. The same goes for expressing any other kind of feeling, such as sadness or anger. 

Women often get a bad rap as being over-emotional, but how come men don't get the same kind of rebuff for being emotionally shallow? It's like saying a man has good leadership skills but a woman is bossy, when in reality they are both saying and doing the same things.

Man or woman, humans are emotional beings and both have a right to express how they feel on equal footing. 

4. If he doesn't answer your texts, it's no big deal. If you don't answer his, it is.

In this day and age, text communication plays a big role in relationships. Texting is another avenue of communication in relationships that is important to the health and stability of your partnership.

If he consistently fails to reply to your messages, but then turns the tables on you when you stop texting him, there's a problem. It means he wants to receive attention and not give it equally. Communication requires more than one person, and good communication requires the same amount of effort from each party. 


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5. You can complain about his family, but he can't complain about yours. 

It is unfortunately very rare for people to get along 100 percent with their partner's family. There is almost always a parent or a sibling that you find obnoxious, or you just don't like how they treat you or your partner.

It is okay to vent about that and to talk about your issues and concerns with your lover. However, don't get overly sensitive or defensive if he does the same with you. It may be your natural reaction to shut him down, but you have to give him the same allowances that you're taking. 

6. When he wants sex is more important than when you want sex. 

Sex can be a huge issue for couples. In fact, sex is one of the biggest relationship stresses. It can be difficult for both people to feel in the mood for it at the same time. Often, one partner desires it more than the other, and the other either goes along with it or rejects it.

If you find that he is rejecting your desires and only wants to have sex when he wants it, then you're living under a double standard. Many women think that when it comes to sex, they have to cater to the man's needs, otherwise the man will grow disinterested. This doesn't have to be true. Be vocal about your physical wants and needs and get yourself on a level playing field. 

7. You can yell at him, but he can't yell at you. 

Ideally, no one should be yelling at anybody, but sometimes arguments get a little heated. I know many women — and I've been guilty of it myself — who like to dish out criticism but don't want it back. Some people think that they have a right to yell at their partner when they are upset, but if it happens the other way around it's crossing the line.

Communication between romantic partners needs to be equal. If you don't like when your partner snaps at you or gives you the business, then maybe you should reconsider how to communicate effectively and approach them differently in the first place. 

8. He has to give you compliments, but you don't have to give him compliments. 

He hasn't called you beautiful in a while. He didn't say anything about your new outfit. For you, this is grounds to be ticked off! But when was the last time you gave him a compliment?

Believe it or not, men want to be complimented, too. You need to feed his self-esteem just as much as he needs to feed yours. Positive communication between partners can do wonders for keeping a relationship healthy. 


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Taylor Markarian graduated from Emerson College with a B.A. in Writing, Literature & Publishing. She is a freelance writer and editor who enjoys writing about about music, lifestyle, culture, the arts, entertainment, and literature. Check out her LinkedIn and her website.

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