If there was ever a relationship bible, it would include the most crucial rules all couples should abide by with no exception. Although one doesn’t exist, we’ve got the next best thing for you to refer to. A healthy and happy relationship is one that never forgets the fundamentals.
Your relationship is so important to you, and to treat it with the supportive care that it needs to survive over the long-term.
Follow these relationship rules in your own relationship, irrespective of whether it’s new or old. As long as you’re committed to creating a better relationship, you’d have no trouble creating a magical experience out of love.
1. Be Honest
Be nice, but be honest. Trust is vital. Trust is gained through honesty.
2. Fight Fair
You and your partner will argue, but knowing how to fight fairly will be an important skill to keep your relationship solid through the years. Things will not always be fair, but they should always be respectful of both partner’s needs. If one partner doesn’t get their way now, make sure that there are opportunities for them to get their way in the future.
There’s a complexity to compromising. With gender roles ever evolving it’s important to recognize it’s not about who wears the pants. It’s about balance. Compromise is an inherent part of a relationship. You will have to sacrifice in a relationship.
That’s the nature of relationships. If you want your way all of the time, stay solo. It’s about finding a healthy balance in compromise. Both people in a relationship must understand that necessity of compromise and sacrifice in a relationship to make it work.
4. Keep The Past In The Past
Your past, your partner’s past, and any exes should stay there. The same goes for the mental file of your partner’s past bad behaviour. Let it go or the weight of that baggage will drag your relationship down.
5. Allow Your Partner More Freedom
No one wants to be caged up, and the more freedom you can allow your partner to have, the greater their appreciation of the wide boundaries that you provide. In a study of breakups and relationship expectations, researchers found that partners who left wished that they had more freedom outside of the relationship.
We are not talking about the freedom to stray, but if you have restricted your partner’s coming and goings, activities, and friends, they are not likely to like being with you. For this golden rule, allow as much freedom for your partner as possible, because you cannot expect to keep someone who is chained to you happy.
6. It’s Healthy To Argue
It’s healthy to bicker. It’s not healthy to have screaming matches. Some couples brag about “never fighting.” That’s nothing to brag about. It probably means that one of you is holding something in.
7. It’s Not Your Job To Fix The Person You Love
You can’t fix them. You can only help them fix themselves. You can’t resolve their work issues or wipe away all of their insecurities or get their parents back together. All you can do is be there for them and help them through it. Getting frustrated about your inability to fix your partner will agitate their struggles and strain your relationship.
7. Give More Than You Receive
Be as supportive as possible to your partner for this golden rule, or your partner may find the support elsewhere. Be the best friend and companion to your partner as well as a romantic mate.
8. Know Your Partner Well
Provide what your partner likes and needs. Know their love language and give them love in the way in which they like to receive it.
9. Know How To Manage Differences
it’s the key to success in a relationship. Disagreements don’t sink relationships. Name-calling does. Learn how to handle the negative feelings that are the unavoidable byproduct of the differences between two people. Stonewalling or avoiding conflicts is NOT managing them.
10. Understand Your Significant Other’s Background
It is important to recognize the person you’re with has not always been that person. They’ve gone through things to make them that person. Appreciate and understand their past. Put them in context. Maybe he doesn’t express his feelings because his family is not particularly expressive, or maybe she is so insecure because her ex was very critical. Be conscious of this.
11. Think Long-Term
Today is not where you will be ten years from now. Where was your partner headed before you met? Did you derail them from reaching their goals? They probably have not forgotten what they dreamed of before they met you, so be supportive of their future goals as well as your own.
12. Solve Problems As They Arise
Don’t let resentments simmer. Most of what goes wrong in relationships can be traced to hurt feelings, leading partners to erect defenses against one another and to become strangers. Or enemies.
13. Learn To Negotiate
Most modern relationships no longer rely on roles cast by culture. Couples create their own roles, so that almost every act requires negotiation. It works best when good will prevails. Because people’s needs are fluid and change over time, and life’s demands change too, good relationships are negotiated and renegotiated all the time.
14. Do Not Underestimate The Power Of Thoughtfulness
Listen. Pay attention. There is nothing more meaningful or memorable than mentioning something in passing and then having your partner bring it back up later.
15. Do Not Limit Expressions Of Love To Grand Gestures
It’s impossible to keep up. Fancy dinners or luxury vacations are wonderful, but love does not have a dollar value. If given the option between a weekly sunset walk or an annual vacation, the majority would pick the weekly walk. Money does not show love. Gestures show love. A free gesture also holds value.
16. If You Are Not Getting Something You Need, Ask For It
Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. Your partner is not a mind reader.
17. Nobody Understands Your Relationship
And you don’t understand anyone else’s. There are no exceptions to this rule.
18. Take All Advice With A Grain Of Salt
nobody knows your relationship. Advice/tips can help, but only you and your partner know what’s right for you and your partner. Don’t take any outside material as an absolute truth.
If you have a relationship question or need advice, the internet/books can be helpful tools. There is nothing wrong with getting some perspective and advice from outside sources.
20. Value Each Other’s Interests
If you have different interests, which is perfectly fine, make sure you value what their interests are. Even if vintage airplanes or nail art don’t interest you, do your best to pay attention and have respect for what your partner likes.
21. Follow The Harry Burns Airport Rule
Do not stop doing things you used to do in the beginning of the relationship. If you used to take your guy/girl to the airport, still take them. You should never stop trying to show your significant other that you care. Nothing is worse than hearing “How come you never anymore?”
22. Spite Will Get You Nowhere
If the other person hurts you in a relationship, hurting them back on purpose will likely destroy your relationship. If you feel the need to “get back at” the person you’re with, you shouldn’t be with them.
23. Split The Bills
Relationships should be even or close to even. It is not a romantic idea, but it is fair. Communicate about what you each feel comfortable with. No one person should put more effort into a relationship than the other, so no one person should put more money into a relationship. It will allow resentment and discomfort to build.
24. Accept That No One Is Perfect
It’s about finding the right person, not the perfect person. The perfect person doesn’t exist. Everyone has flaws. Everyone makes mistakes. Prince Charming probably had one beer too many on occasion. Cinderella probably spent too much on shoes.
25. Work Hard At Maintaining Closeness
Closeness doesn’t happen by itself. In its absence, people drift apart and are susceptible to affairs. A good relationship isn’t an end goal; it’s a lifelong process maintained through regular attention.
26. Don’T Be Afraid To Have The Tough Conversations
If the relationship is strong and going somewhere, you should bring up the tough stuff. If you’re falling in love but have some concerns, bring them up sooner rather than later. It’s difficult to have serious conversations but it’s better to discover deal breakers earlier on.
27. Take A Long-Range View
A marriage is an agreement to spend a future together. Check out your dreams with each other regularly to make sure you’re both on the same path.
28. Be Mindful In Your Relationship
Mindfulness of your emotional state, your partner’s feelings, the significance of this moment in the scope of your relationship…all of these are things that deserve our full attention. When we are shielded from experiencing the fullness of our relationship, we miss out on the wonderful moments.
29. Sex Is Good
Pillow talk is better. Sex is easy, intimacy is difficult. It requires honesty, openness, self-disclosure, confiding concerns, fears, sadnesses as well as hopes and dreams.
Anyone can make a mistake. Repair attempts are crucial—highly predictive of marital happiness. They can be clumsy or funny, even sarcastic—but willingness to make up after an argument is central to every long-term relationship.
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