1. Your spouse isn’t going to be perfect. You’re not going to be perfect. There will be mistakes and misunderstandings. What really matters in a relationship is not being perfect, but how you handle the imperfections of yourself and your spouse in a respectful, reasonable way.
2. When you disagree, remember that you’re on the same team. You’re supposed to fight a problem, not the other person.
3. Always be mindful and thoughtful to that person’s ‘love map.’
Like they might need a quick text every morning when you get to work letting them know you’re safe. Makes ZERO sense to you but knowing it’s something small and means the world to them, well why the hell not?
They might get stressed out and you helping to clean the house for when they’ve finished work might mean more to them than someone else you’ve been with who wanted flowers to show love.
Know what it is that your partner loves and makes them feel loved too.
4. In an ideal relationship the contributions are 60-40 where both partners are the one trying to give 60%.
5. Learning how to be bored together is important. You don’t have to be on the go, doing stuff and planning stuff and being fun and exciting all the time. It’s okay to just sit around and not do anything and not talk to each other. It’s not unhealthy. I promise.
6. Relationships are work – they aren’t always fun, you won’t always be madly in love, and you can’t put them on a shelf and ignore them.
7. Sometimes you can give everything you have and be your absolute best self and still have it not be enough for someone.
If that happens, it’s on them, not you.
8. Just loving someone is not enough. If you’re serious you need to constantly put in effort/time/trust.
9. Not every mood is about you. Like, barely a fraction are. Your partner can have feelings that have nothing remotely to do with you, sometimes people just have bad days.
If you need to make everything about you, you’re gonna break it yourself.
10. Date yourself. Be comfortable being single. It allows you time to work on yourself (therapy is gold and I wish more people would bite the bullet and go), time to get to know yourself, and time to examine what your goals and wishes are. It’s ok to be single and fuck around (don’t ever let anyone shame you for getting laid, but have some respect for yourself and don’t trust someone you don’t know to handle all the responsibilities of birth control), but keep in mind you should do regular std screenings if that’s your choice.
11. During an argument, never say something you’ll regret later
Arguments are temporary, but people don’t forget hurtful, personal comments.
12. It’s fine to not always want to spend 100% of your time with your spouse. Not every moment of every day is going to be bliss and sometimes it really takes some effort. I love my wife to bits, but there are some days when I would just like to do things by myself. It doesn’t mean our relationship isn’t great but it can be really refreshing to just take a stroll around a shopping center, or go and get some food alone or something.
13. Your partner should also be your best friend and somebody you can have fun with, as if you were both still children.
14. Don’t cheat. It can really fuck with someone mentally. If you don’t want to be with a person anymore, just tell them.
15. Accept when you’re wrong, accept that your partner won’t always accept they’re in the wrong. Accept apologies. Accept compliments. Be accepting.
16. You may be super compatible in every way, and they may make you feel like you’ve never felt before. That still doesn’t mean it would work out. They might not love you the same way. Everyone has their own demons, and sometimes they spill out and sour the relationship even when no one wants it to happen. You can only let go, and stop clinging to your memory of that person.
17. Marry someone you don’t mind doing the mundane stuff with.
18. Don’t stay with someone to make up for how bad a partner you’ve been. In fact, generally stay clear of having to do something to make up for something, especially sex.
19. Watch how a potential mate treats others – waiters, people in the drive through when getting fast food, other people in line at the grocery store, their family members, etc. Pay particular attention to how they treat people over whom they have a social advantage – subordinates, employees, the uglier/awkward friend, and so on.
Do they talk behind their backs? Do they mock them? Do they give a look of disgust when they turn away? That’s how they’re going to eventually treat you.
20. Some relationships aren’t meant to be permanent.
Some friends, family, and lovers, are only supposed to be in your life for a short time. They will impact your life, for better or worse, but don’t feel obligated to keep them around forever.
This too shall pass.
21. There’s a reason it’s called the honeymoon phase and eventually you won’t have as much to talk about other than how the day went or might not always feel those butterflies in your stomach when you think about them. That’s when it becomes a test in the relationship and you both have to work on it to make it work. You will get into fights but learn to get over them or I doubt it’ll last. Resentment can kill feelings for someone.
22. If you feel like you’re having a hard time getting a girlfriend or boyfriend, then you’re doing it wrong. It’s not something to get. It’s a vibe you have with someone and it’s not promised.
23. You are NEVER obliged to stay in a relationship.
Doesn’t fucking matter what someone has threatened. If you aren’t happy fuck ’em.
24. Don’t let your or your partners’ parents destroy your relationship with their behavior.
25. If you are having doubts that the person you are with isn’t the right partner for you, that’s a pretty good sign that they aren’t.
To clarify, a bit of doubt is normal sometimes, but if you find yourself questioning your relationship more than just a couple of times, it’s not worth it. Move on and find happiness.
26. Don’t marry someone you can live with. Marry someone you don’t want to live without.
27. Pick your battles. You can disagree without making it known, if it’s really not that big of a deal.
28. Don’t argue if you’re hungry or tired.
Don’t argue if you’re angry about something else that they have nothing to do with.
Don’t argue if you’re distracted by something else.
Don’t argue over texts/PMs/etc.
Don’t argue about things neither of you can control.
Take a nap, get some food, let other things pass. If it’s still a problem, then argue.
29. Don’t be with bad or mean people. Or at least not bad in any way that bothers you. Also don’t be a bad or mean person.
Successful relationships are really just two decent, good people who like each other a lot. Because they’re decent and good, they are going to be nice to each other. Because they’re good, they actually want others to be nice to them. So it all works out!
30. People say to not date your best friend. Don’t listen to that. If you become best friends first, trust me, they’re worth it. Enter a relationship without planning on it ending. Being best friends helps the communication, love, trust, and truth be real.
31. You WILL eventually get bored. Its up to you to bring the spark back somehow.
32. A great relationship isn’t a 50/50 split. You need to be able to put forth more than 50% sometimes to help when your partner isn’t all the way there and vice versa.
33. Don’t lose your “you” in your pursuit of “we” because “we” might not last forever and there may be no “you” left when you are all alone.
34. Choose them. It’s not about winning an argument, making a point, having enough time, or giving enough gifts; any of that shit that makes your heart either soar or tremble in the moment. It’s about choosing them, knowing them, learning them. Equally as crucial, they choose you back. It’s about choosing this person to hold your hand through every moment, of every day, for the remainder of anything an everything you will ever experience. Every decision you make has them as a factor. It’s about respect and admiration, and giving credit where it is due. It’s about the truth, about trusting them with the truth, and trusting them to tell it. Choose them, completely.
35. Healthy boundaries. It’s important to be supportive when your partner is going through a hard time, however it’s not healthy to take on your partner’s burdens as your own. Analyzing the unhealthy patterns in your early relationships can be helpful for figuring out difficulties you may have in this area.
If you’re starting to doubt a relationship – do not drag it out. End it so you don’t waste precious time finding someone who is a better fit.
36. Don’t lose yourself as an individual in a relationship.
37. Love is a choice, not a feeling (NOT talking about sexuality here). The butterflies go away eventually, it’s inevitable, but you can choose to be committed anyway and build something beautiful together.
38. Never marry, move in with, have a kid with, or make serious financial commitments to anyone until the honeymoon period is over.
39. “Don’t go to sleep angry” is bullshit, especially if you have little kids. If you and your partner are sniping at one another, disengage and get some sleep if it’s possible. Most of the fights my husband and I ever had was because one or both of us were exhausted and or hangry.
40. Everyone is a dick sometimes. Everyone does stupid shit. Everyone makes mistakes.
Don’t go into a relationship with the expectation that your partner isn’t going to fuck up, or hurt you. They are human, and they will have times of poor judgement, high stress, and depression. Think of all the times in your life you’ve unintentionally hurt someone? Your partner will do that to you, and you will do it to them.
Don’t expect perfection, because you aren’t perfect. A long term, healthy relationship is not one where both partners are perfect 100% of the time, it’s one where you can say ‘Hey, you’re being a huge fucking cunt right now’ and your partner says “You’re right, and I’m sorry’.
41. Without bypassing the obvious one which is the importance of communication, my mother always told us that how you say something is as important as what you’re saying.
From the tone, to how a subject is approached or delivered can make the difference between opening a dialogue or having an argument.
42. Win together. Lose together.
43. Intimacy is way more important than most people realize.
44. Prioritizing the relationship correctly helps a lot. My roommate is my best friend, but he’s a roommate first, a coworker second, and a friend third. We talk about finances and housework completely differently than we shoot the shit; this helps maintain efficient lines of communication regardless of what’s going on.
45. Your partner should add value to your life. If they only bring you hardship and stress, cut them out of your life.
46. When someone shows you who they are, believe them.
If they’re mean, if they’re vindictive, if they use you, if they show you that they don’t really care about you, believe them. If they make you feel inadequate, on edge, scared, nervous, unworthy, or like a disappointment, believe them. If they’re entitled, narcissistic, sociopathic, manipulative, or unfair, believe them.
Life isn’t a movie, you cant fix people who don’t want to be fixed, more often than not they just are who they are. So take off the rose colored glasses and stop thinking love will find a way. If it isn’t working, change it. Don’t spend your precious time lamenting over a person who wouldn’t genuinely lament over you.
This sounds bleak I know, but relationships and love are supposed to be the most beautiful thing in the universe. If your relationship is not improving your quality of life on the aggregate, you need to seriously reassess what you want in life, because you deserve better.
You only get so much time to find people in your life that make it worth living, don’t get caught up on people who will make you wished you never lived it.
47. If you go into a marriage/long term commitment with the impression that you’ll be happy all the time and your life will only change for the better, you are absolutely wrong.
Be realistic that there will be days you won’t be able to stand each other, your lives may absolutely hit rough patches and you will not agree on how or why that situation occurred or even how to get out of it, and the like.
48. Space is healthy, just because your in a relationship doesn’t mean you have to live in each other’s pockets.
49. Sometimes you have to spend years with shitty people to realize what you deserve. It was never a waste, you needed the experience to figure out what works best for you or what to avoid. You’ll never forget your exes, they were there for a reason.
50. Communication is the foundation upon which everything else is built. They say “don’t go to bed angry” not because anger does something while you’re sleeping, but because it means you didn’t communicate properly and you’re giving up on trying. Be calm, actively listen, do not dismiss your partner’s statements, assume good faith. It’s “you and me vs. the problem” not “me vs. you.”
If something’s bugging you, talk to your SO about it. If you feel enraged about something, wait until you’re well-fed, well-rested, with warm extremities before talking about it, but talk about it at the first opportunity. Calmly, rationally, and honestly. Keep the discussion limited to that one narrow thing.
If something’s bugging your SO, hear them out. Never think “well I’m not bothered by that, so it’s not a problem.” Think “my SO is bothered by this, and that’s a problem.” If you think the concern is unreasonable, frame the discussion as solving the problem of your SO is being unhappy.
The worst fights and arguments happen over trivial things, because it’s not the trivial thing that’s actually causing the problem. It’s probably a series of things, or a general lack of satisfaction, and the toothpaste cap being left off is just the instigator of the fight. If you communicate often and openly, these things will not fester, they won’t pile up, and you won’t get into such fights.