1. Understand that their world does not always have to revolve around you. Your significant other will spend time with their other friends and engage in other completely normal activities that will require their attention to not be solely focused on you. This is okay. Allow them to do so. Chances are, between every 3 pointer, kill streak or commercial break, they will think about you, even if it is only occupying 10% of their thought capacity at the time. You’re on their mind the other hours of the day. That’s 21st century love.
2. Respect the time they spend that isn’t devoted to you alone. Under no circumstances should you ever chastise your significant other for playing their favorite video game or having a “guys” or “girls” night with their friends. God forbid you triple-text them when it takes more than twenty minutes for them to respond… (example: 1. “Hey boo, just checking in! *emoji*” 2. “Babe, what are you guys doing, lol.” 3. “Is a video game/movie/your friends really more important than me??? I thought I meant more to you than that.”) With each ping of their phone and each interruption of their solitary evening, red flags are sent. Alert, alert, crazy up ahead, turn back now!
3. If your significant other knows how to properly treat people and has respect for humanity in general, they will have other female friends. There is no doubt about it. Yet, not every person out there is ready to sink their talons into their flesh and copulate like bunnies (though, I’ll admit, some may). If your significant other is a kind, funny, respectful person (which, if you’re dating them, they should be…), those are the same qualities anyone would want in a friend as well. Read it again. Friend. People can be friends without having sex. Friends. The sooner you get that through your head, the happier and more trustworthy your relationship will be.
4. We no longer live in an era where men are expected to be the sole provider and giver in a relationship. Every romantic gesture should not come from one side of the relationship. Girls and guys can both reciprocate those little post-it notes left to show you that the other person cares, and you can give them a little something just to let them know they’re on your mind, especially after the 4th bouquet of flowers they’ve sent you within the last four months. Balance is essential.
5. That being said, we also live in a world where someone will compliment a woman, and she immediately rejects the sentiment and says they’re wrong. Her refusal to accept such lavish remarks is, in a way, refusal of a something far more special than a pound of chocolate or two dozen roses. This person has gone beyond just spending money to spoil you. They has chosen something even more special and even more creative. Finding the words to express how much you mean to them takes more time than picking up something at a store. You may not honestly believe you are the “most beautiful girl in the world” (hello, Jennifer Lawrence, Beyonce, Scarlett Johanson…) but you have someone out there who believes that you are. That has more value than red carpet dresses, a personal stylist, and designer jewels combined. Accept their compliments, treasure their words, and take the time to give them some uplifting thoughts of your own.
6. Let your significant other be themselves. No “fixer-uppers,” no changing them into something you like better. If you cannot accept them as they are, you cannot accept them as they will be. Let them be themselves, and in return, they will let you be yourself. The best and most memorable moments in a relationship come from the raw, naked exposure of you and your partner’s honest personalities combining into an experience even more special than it would have been if you were by yourself. Every moment in your life since your relationship has been made even more special because you have someone to share it with. True love, in any century, is honest and natural.
7. Just love. Unconditionally, undramatically, and openly share yourself with someone else and they will do the same.