Relationships are not always going to be rainbows and butterflies, however, majority of the time they should be, right? I'm certainly not an expert at "love" but I do have a few relationship rules I follow which have helped me to remain happy and in love with my significant other. I have been with my partner for over three years now and he truly is the person I turn to for anything and everything. Being in a long-term relationship can be tough sometimes, especially when living with one another. At the end of the day, everyone’s relationship is different, and every individual’s hopes and expectations are never going to align perfectly. Through plenty of trial and error, here are the rules I follow in order to keep that relationship spark alive and going for me.
Relationship Rules I Live By:
TRUST. One of the most important aspects needed in a relationship. If there is no trust, you are always going to question the other person’s every move. Doing so can and most likely will create imaginary scenarios in your mind which probably aren't true, and which will eventually lead to pointless arguments. Don't question your partners every move.
COMMUNICATION. Let your partner know how you’re feeling and communicate all of your expectations in a relationship and everything you want to come out of it. If you're upset about something, let them know because it won't get fixed if it’s not brought up. Don't expect your partner to magically know what you're thinking or feeling. After all, we’re not mind readers.
RESPECT. I have your back and you have mine. Take pride in your relationship and never let other people bad-mouth it (that goes for you also). Stand up for one another when it's needed. Don't provide the opportunity for others to speak poorly about your relationship because it depicts that you could care less about it.
NO GOSSIPING. This is extremely disloyal. Your friends and family do not need to know the dirty details of your relationship because in the end, others will begin to form their own negative opinions (whether you like it or not). Don't spread your private business.
NO SECRETS. Keeping something you might feel would upset your significant other from them is the worst thing you could do. Being open and honest about everything is key to working things out. Don't lie in attempt to avoid an argument because it will only make the issue worse in the end.
SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER'S DREAMS. If I want to quit my job and become a dolphin trainer at SeaWorld, don't automatically tell me "no." Talk about how we can make this work and support my every move. Don't make your significant other feel that his/her dreams and goals do not matter to you. Later down the road, it could cause some sort of resentment.
ADMIT WHEN YOU'RE WRONG. Nothing irks me more than when someone knows they made a mistake but refuses to admit it. If you realize you made a mistake, or you did something maybe you shouldn't have, admit it, apologize and try not to do it again. The first step to fixing something is realizing the origin of the issue. Don't always assume your way is the right way. Have an open-mind and have the drive to become a better person than you were yesterday.
FORGET ABOUT THE PAST. Not all of us are lucky enough to meet "the one" in high school (I recently saw a meme that stated "If I dated you before age 18, you're not an ex-boyfriend, you're a childhood friend" *inserts crying emoji here* because this is very true). Chances are, you have dated plenty of people before meeting your husband/wife, so forget about the past and move on. Your partner is with you for a reason... because they want to be. Don't allow the past to affect the present or future, it's not worth it.
BE INDEPENDENT. Whether you’re the “bread-winner” in the household or not, don’t expect to be taken care of by your spouse. This can be a tricky subject because some families have no other option but to have one adult work and the other stay home due to childcare needs (and I completely respect this) but if you’re not in a similar circumstance, I strongly feel like it’s extremely important for you to have your own set of goals, stream of income and plan for your life, aside from your significant other. Helping one another out when it's needed is granted and expected but overall, be independent and try not to depend on your spouse for too much. In the end, you’re my partner, not my child.
STAY POSITIVE. Energy means everything. If you're always thinking and speaking negative, it will transpire into your relationship. Try to keep things upbeat and optimistic. Don't look at the glass half empty, see it half full.
DON'T ABANDON DATE NIGHT. Easy for me to say because we don't have kids... right? I mean this in the nicest way possible... I don't care if you have children! Ask grandma/grandpa, auntie/uncle or even your best friend to babysit for a couple hours, or even the whole night. Quality and alone time are necessary to keeping that spark alive. If you abandon your intimacy, you may be abandoning your relationship as well. Prioritize time without the kids because I promise, the kids will survive those five hours without you and I’m guessing that your sanity is needed in order to successfully raise a child anyway. Try not to feel like having a child means your lives and intimacy end.