I have no clue!

Have you ever asked your partner a question that resulted in an abrupt response like, “I have no clue”? This has happened to me on occasion, and I’ve often pondered the meaning of that retort. Is my partner being dismissive because he is preoccupied with something else? Is he simply disinterested in that subject and unwilling to help me explore further? Or, is it perhaps that I’m annoying him by asking a question I should have the intelligence, independence and curiosity to answer myself?

I’ve witnessed many a spat between partners, and have been a participant in a few standoffs myself, simply because the two parties had dramatically different communication styles. Whether you're the asker or the askee, take note of your intentions when requesting or responding to seemingly unimportant questions. A routine brush-off can add up and, in time, turn into a relationship “blister” that, when continued to be rubbed raw, becomes a bigger wound that is difficult to heal.

The next time you ask a question and your partner comes back with, “I have no clue,” first analyze the tone in which that response was said. Then, take the time to clearly state your reason for asking. Next, hear out your partner’s objections. Going the extra mile here might save some unnecessary misunderstandings; also, you just might find the answer by searching for it together.