Recently I was asked by a friend what relationship advice for women was actually essential. Honestly, dating and relationship advice is super easy to come by on the internet. I mean, I’ve personally written hundreds of articles about it, adding up to hundreds of thousands of words. And that’s just a drop in the ocean of other relationship advice out there.
That’s why today, I’ve chosen to distill the most important truths I know about keeping love alive into something short and sweet. Lots of these apply to men too.
Here we go:
1. Keep your pink slip both financially and emotionally.
2. Water rises to its own level. If you want to attract different partners, be a different partner.
3. Keep your hobbies, interests and goals.
4. Make the relationship conform to your lifestyle instead of vice versa.
5. Don’t chase after men.
6. Don’t settle.
7. You need physical attraction, but once you’ve got that, choose someone based on emotional compatibility. If you pick for exterior reasons, you’ll end up with something very hollow.
8. Don’t try to convince anyone of your worth. Believe in it yourself, live it and only date people who appreciate it.
9. Require and give respect.
10. Don’t treat the other person like a fix-it project.
11. If you’re not happy, deal with yourself first. Don’t automatically assume the relationship is at fault or that he can magically fix it.
12. Your relationship can and should only supply about 25% of your happiness. Trying to get any more out of it is asking too much.
13. Stay in your own lane. Don’t compare yourself to other people’s love affairs. So much happens behind closed doors that it’s laughable to compare yourself to anyone else.
14. Jealousy is corrosive for everyone involved.
15. Marriage is NOT a destination, it’s a road.
16. Don’t convince, cajole or negotiate with a man on having a relationship with him. Either you have a commitment or you don’t, but never try to talk anyone into spending forever with you.
17. The white picket fence gets old if you don’t have a solid purpose in your life.
18. The grass is NOT greener on the other side.
19. People want what they can’t have. That’s why sharing EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME with anyone gets old fast.
20. Acceptance and appreciation are love glue.
21. Never, ever tolerate abuse.
22. You’re beautiful, worthy and valuable just the way you are.
23. If you’re in a committed, monogamous relationship with someone, you can’t expect them to give up sex for an extended period of time unless you’ve both explicitly, honestly agreed to it. Withholding intimacy is powerfully dangerous and selfish.
24. Cheating is expensive both in energy and emotional toll.
25. Being emotionally honest does not mean brutal honesty about anything and everything.
26. Strive to be kind. If you have to choose between kindness and honesty, choose kindness.
27. Pick your battles.
28. Don’t ask someone else to compromise their family of origin for you.
29. Defend your partner to your family if they deserve it. It’s your job to make your partner feel welcome with your people and theirs to make you feel welcome in their clan.
30. Allow space so that both of you are free to cultivate and enjoy your own separate interests.
31. Learn new things together.
32. Don’t expect to have a happy relationship when you continually give the excuse that you’re too busy, exhausted, distracted or whatever to spend time with your partner. If you want a great relationship (or any relationship at all), you’ve got to make the time for it. Otherwise no matter how much love there is between you, it won’t work out.
33. Don’t assume the worst.
34. The more duty and obligation you heap onto a relationship, the harder it is for love to breathe.
35. Deal with your fears by yourself. If you try to make someone else reassure you, you’ll always feel insecure.
36. Before you talk about expectations, consider whether they’re reasonable and understood by others.
37. Don’t let the bastards get you down.
38. Don’t give to get.
39. Staying attractive to your partner is important. No one wants to feel like they’re settling.
40. Sometimes no amount of effort on your part will make love last.
41. You may fall, but never stay fallen.
42. Revenge is not worth it. One day, all anyone will have of you is a memory. Don’t make yours needlessly sour.
43. If you’re brought to your knees by something they said or did, consider whether the wound is new or brought on by past hurts and disappointments. Having a huge reaction to something means this present hurt is likely tapped to something in the past.
44. Trying to get someone’s love or approval is a surefire way to not get it.
45. Attachment is not love. Love is not attachment. Attachment leads to dependency and pain. Love never does.
46. All of your emotions, thoughts and ideas come from you. Someone else cannot EVER, make you feel anything. Take responsibility for your own emotions.
47. Defensiveness invites attack.