7 Rules for a Successful Romantic Relationship
For a long time, I thought good communication in a romantic relationship, meant getting everything off your chest. But there was only one problem! That might mean never shutting up. Over the years and after several failed relationships, I evolved to understand that even a successful romantic relationship is based on effective communication and a few rules. Love is a pretty confusing mirage. But, every romantic relationship has the potential to bloom into something beautiful with effective communication and clearly defined boundaries. Boundaries help us set lines of clear distinction and can also prevent confusion. This establishes who owns and maintains the ambiguous relationship space, along with the rules that apply. All healthy relationships have clearly defined boundaries which are respected. Most assume that boundaries in romantic relationships means giving up one’s freedom. However, boundaries are rules that gives more freedom. Freedom which occasionally allows for the lines to be crossed through mutual understanding. However, when the boundaries are violated to take advantage, then it is likely the trust will be broken.
Romantic relationships unlike that of our friends differ in the that, the boundaries in romantic relationships are distinctly critical and more sensitive. Just like laws of the land, there are laws of relationships. Our romantic partners inhabit each other’s very personal and intimate space including emotional and sexual. Sustaining a romantic relationship takes more work as opposed to that of our friends. It takes time, real effort, and wisdom.
It is with this understanding that I am opening up my romantic partner rulebook of wisdom, to share seven rules for a successful romantic relationship.
- Compromise is crucial to relationships: While there is a complexity to compromising, it is important to recognize it’s all about creating a healthy balance. Compromise coupled with sacrifices in a relationship, is an absolute necessity to make it work.
- Say “I Love you”: While action does speak louder than words, take a moment every now and then to verbalize your feelings. A simple yet heartfelt “I love you” goes a long way.
- Accept that no one is perfect: Remember that the perfect person does not exist. Everyone has flaws and it is human to make mistakes - forgive each other.
- It’s healthy to argue. But never go to bed angry: If honesty is important, there are bound to be disagreements. Deal with issues in the moment. Going to bed upset is not acceptable. Offer an olive branch, even if hugging is the last thing on the mind. Ego and pride has no place in a relationship.
- Positive criticism please: Partners are supposed to help make you better. But while constructive criticism is important, who can survive on feeling judged all the time? Don’t sweat the small stuff, let everything but the important issues go.
- Never take each other for granted: Show appreciation and give compliments, even for the everyday stuff. Build each other up by constantly encouraging and supporting the little acts of love.
- Don’t pretend to be someone else: Be your authentic self, and if it is important to you, voice it. Share more than you would with anyone else: from your likes and dislikes, to your dreams and fears, and even your achievements and mistakes.