1. Cool it with the insulting “jokes.”
A deprecating sense of humor is fine… in controlled doses. While you may be able to handle mean jokes, your partner may find your shade-throwing far more hurtful than you know.
2. Try your best not to overreact to stupid shit.
When you’re in *a place* with the person you love, every little annoying thing they say is likely to piss you off. Breathe, and try to react appropriately. It’ll do you both good.
3. Measure the weight of your words.
Be aware that what you say can have far-reaching, negative consequences. Our words are so easily taken out of context, misheard, and misunderstood—make a conscious effort to say what you mean, and watch how you say it.
4. Show your appreciation for one another.
It doesn’t take much to let your partner know that that you’re grateful… both for the little things they do for you, and for the little ways they excel at life, generally. So let ‘em know.
5. If you’re not tryna will it to happen, don’t mention breaking up.
Casually saying “maybe we should just break up, then” in the throws of an argument is NOT chill—unless, of course, you really mean it. If you’re just saying it to say it, though… don’t. You may think it’s NBD, but mentioning the demise of your relationship is super toxic.
6. Don’t yell!
If you’re annoyed, that’s fine—but talk about it, don’t scream it. Yelling at each other is corrosive. It breaks your spirits, even if you don’t really realize it.
7. And shut up with the “shut ups.”
Silencing each other is SILLY! It’s mean, it’s babyish, it’s bad. Just don’t do it.
8. Talk about what’s bothering you.
You’re not wearing decoder rings. You’re not mind-readers. And while it may often seem like your partner should just “get it,” relying on their telepathic powers is no bueno. If something’s irking you, speak up.
9. Quit going out of your way to make each other jealous.
Making your partner jealous in a twisted effort to turn them on is never productive. If makes you feel stupid and petty, and it makes them feel like shit. Cut it out.
10. Stop putting each other down.
All those snide little comments you make (almost reflexively) when your partner makes a minor fuck up? Swallow them. There’s nothing more disheartening than feeling like you have to walk on egg shells around the person you love—so do your best to create a kind, supportive environment to grow that love.
11. Don’t cross *the line.*
The one that, after it’s crossed, is impossibly difficult to cross back over. Be super careful to avoid saying something in the heat of an argument that you never un-say.
12. Give unexpected, genuine compliments.
When your relationship is struggling, a heartfelt, “damn babe, you’re looking on point!” can go a long way.
13. Please don’t publish your problems on social media.
While it can be incredibly entertaining, subtweeting is some childish relationship poison.