When Should Our SO’s Opinion About Us Matter?

When Should Our SO’s Opinion About Us Matter?

Criticism is hard, especially if it’s from the one you love the most



If there’s anyone in the world whose opinion matters the most (next to our own), it has got to be our significant other’s. Whether it be as small as what they think of your outfit that day or as big as their thoughts on major aspects of our lives, just the idea of their disapproval is sickening. But do all our SO’s opinions about us need to matter? Where do we draw the line? And how exactly do we manage views about us that simply don’t sit right?


Ahead are some insights we gathered from people who know a thing or two about what it’s like to struggle with these same questions. In sharing exactly how they’ve set boundaries to establish when their partner’s opinion about them genuinely matters, they share a common sentiment: Opinions will always matter, but how you deal with them makes all the difference.


RELATED: Six Things I Wish I Knew Before Entering My Six-Year Relationship


An opinion can uncover a misalignment worth discussing

Be understanding, tread lightly and practice sensitivity


Being faced with a negative opinion about your most cherished quality can be one of the toughest pills to swallow. Take it from Hailey, whose partner at the time had something to say about the depth of how work-oriented she was, a quality she continues to care about. “I cared about excelling academically, but [my SO at the time] was more nonchalant about schoolwork. Our standards of satisfaction were not [at the same] level.” Despite this never causing an explosive argument, Hailey realized that having similar ambitions in life was something she valued in a relationship. And so, with differences in life direction and general ambition, Hailey and her partner broke the relationship off (on mutual and respectful terms).


In a way, this opinion uncovered a deeper misalignment in their relationship, one that impacted their connection and hit the core of who Hailey was. And in situations where opinions uncover misalignments, Hailey shares that it’s important to come from a place of understanding and sensitivity. “Admittedly, my partner’s opinion would always matter, which is why their words carry so much weight. If you’re not careful, that weight may crush [your partner].” E


Expressing an opinion is a risk, and many times, it’s up to the receiver to take it all in. Hailey’s advice: Receive opinions lightly and discuss them openly. It’s important to have discussions and allow perspectives to mingle. And when the discussion simply fails to see things through, find grace in the separation, no matter how difficult it may be.


An opinion allows discomfort to thrive

And every relationship needs a bit of discomfort to grow


For Santi, expressing an opinion about a partner and understanding how to receive it properly is one of the spaces in a relationship where discomfort is meant to thrive. In discussing with his partner (at the time) about how they felt about being friends with exes, the unsettling argument that erupted out of it was an uncomfortable place to be. 


In uncomfortable circumstances, Santi advises to “communicate what makes you feel uncomfortable.” Dismissing the discomfort will only make things worse. Having discussions in spaces that seem not to allow for calm communication is a challenge that every relationship must learn to face. Still, Santi says that this is often the only way a relationship in disagreement learns to grow.


@giaaldisert advice from a girl in a 6 year long relationship #relationshipadvice #arguments #communication ♬ original sound – gia


An opinion becomes an avenue to exercise love

Mutual protection and mutual love, always


When Keith’s partner commented on a toxic trait he tends to fall back on time and time again, it was only fitting to expect a huge argument to break out. However, the discussion reminded him of how much his partner loves him. He says, “We agree that we will call each other out for our toxic behaviors in a healthy manner and always reassure each other that we love each other at the end of the day.” 


Keith’s advice is to treat moments of critiquing your partner as an exercise to show what true and gentle love is all about. “We both need to be level-headed when criticizing each other about our flaws and always be sure that boundaries are set for your protection as much as theirs because you love them.” He advises us to master our partner’s love language in order to show them how much we love them in a manner they appreciate most. Because, in the end, an opinion you share about your partner must always come from a place of love and a desire to protect their inner peace and identity.


An opinion is less about the message and more about the delivery

Kindness is in the melody, not just the lyrics


Lawrence knows that the power of words isn’t in the words themselves but in their delivery. When discussing differences in priorities in work and health with his partner, they come across multiple disagreements that never seem to meet in the middle. 


However, in all their disagreements, major fights have never broken out simply because of one rule Lawrence keeps in mind: Always dial down the aggression. “Just remember to make sure that your tone is more respectful and considerate rather than aggressive and berating your partner; trust me, this will lead to fewer fights.”


@motiversity Be kind in your tone but ruthless in your actions. #motivation #inspiration #matthewhussey #lisabilyeu ♬ original sound – Motiversity


An opinion proves the value your partner places in you

A refusal to see you be less than who you deserve to be


In a TikTok that Darrence came across, he learned that one of the best ways to view opinions from your SO is to see them as coming from a place of respect—and not just any kind of respect, but one that refuses to see you be less than who you deserve to be. 


@thekoreanvegan Cooking for my husband @thepianoprofessor. #soondooboo #koreantofusoup #foodietiktok #foodtok #vegan ♬ Storytelling – Adriel


Taking it as an observation of someone who is always rooting for your best interest, an opinion or criticism from a partner should be seen as “advice from a life coach” or someone who is doing everything in their ability to make sure you’re becoming the person you’re meant to be each and every day. It’s a positive way to look at your partner’s opinion about you, especially if you’ve assessed their criticism as genuine love, concern and respect. 


We can’t deny that our SO’s opinions about us matter a lot, but it doesn’t mean that these opinions must be the be-all and end-all of your identity or preferences. Be sensitive, be understanding, set those boundaries and learn to view criticism from the perspective of love and grace.



Words Vanessa Tiong

Art Macky Arquilla

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