15 Essential Relationship Rules

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Romantic relationships are a never-ending topic for discussions and arguments. Millions of fancy relationship tips tell you how to find a common language with your loved one or what steps to take to keep that fire of love burning. They teach us that long-term relationships are all about feelings, passion, compatibility, etc. The list goes on and on.

What’s the key difference between couples that live in a healthy relationship and stay together for a long time (or even a lifetime) and those that quickly break up? Some say that the first was just lucky to find their soul mates. They believe that their idyllic lives won’t change over the years, but in fact, without effort, the routine will wash away all the positive emotions partners give each other. If you cherish what you and your special someone are building together, be sure to follow a few simple rules for a good relationship.

rules in a relationship

General relationship rules

Love is built on equality. We’re not talking about finances or duties but about efforts needed to make a relationship work. Imagine that you and your partner are separated by twenty steps. Each of you needs to take ten steps and stop. If you don’t meet in the middle, never take the eleventh step because there will always be the twelfth, thirteenth, and so on. That’s the main rule but not the only one to remember. Here are some more.

Make sure your loved one shares your views

On children, family, your roles in the relationship, marriage, money, religion, etc. Naturally, you’ll never get a 100% match. In life, people rarely have the same views on every aspect of their life, especially at the very beginning of a relationship. But you can always see in which direction your relationship is developing. The more values you share, the fewer problems you’ll have to deal with. At the very least, some things should be discussed and worked out if you don’t want to set a ton of relationship rules and limitations. It’s much better to enjoy your union if you’re both pragmatists.

Love like you don’t expect anything in return

If you want to be loved, all you need is to give as much love as you can. And the more you give, the more you receive. Love is like a boomerang – it always comes back. It may not always come from the person you gave it to, but it will return to you a hundredfold. It’s important to remember that love is an unlimited resource. We don’t lose it when we give it. You can run out of love only if you don’t give it to others. The reason why people don’ get enough love is that they wait for someone else to love them first. Imagine a musician who says, “I’ll only play music when people start dancing.” True love is unconditional; it asks for nothing in return. The secret formula for a happy relationship is to always pay attention not to what you can take but to what you can give.

Sincerity saves feelings

Love isn’t motionless; it’s like a plant that either grows and blooms or withers and dies. It all depends on what we do with it. Sincerity and honesty are like water; without it, a plant can’t survive. Discuss your desires, attitudes, and feelings. Let your partner know that you love and appreciate them. Never be afraid to say I love you. Tell how strong your feelings are – this is one of the basic rules for a relationship. Compliments are like the sun for a plant that will breathe new life into your relationship.

Polyamorous relationship rules

Few of us manage to build a long-term relationship with first love. There are so many potential loved ones around, and maybe you even have friends who love two people at the same time and suffer from it. All this may be a good reason to rethink your views on relationships. Polyamorous people go beyond the limitations of a traditional family of two people and kids. After all, not everyone likes monogamy; besides, love for one person doesn’t deny love for another. If you can love several at once, why not use this to your advantage? These polyamorous relationship rules might help.

casual relationship rulesMake sure this type of relationship is for you

You shouldn’t invite someone into your relationship if you’re not sure that it will benefit it. If you have a partner and think you can try a polyamorous relationship, discuss things with your loved one before taking any steps. And if you got someone into the relationship, you must clearly understand that their feelings now concern you. If you offered this person physical or emotional intimacy (or both), you are responsible for this. It’s just unacceptable to talk a person into joining your couple, make them vulnerable, and then turn your back to them, saying “My partner and I aren’t yet sure whether we’re polyamorous.” Your partners are people, not property. If you want them to treat you well, take your feelings into account and treat them with sympathy and respect, you should care about them too. Understand this firmly and discuss the rules and restrictions with your partner. Don’t force people to seek boundaries by trial and error. If you’re not sure whether you’re in a polyamorous relationship, then you’re not in it.

Don’t make assumptions about your partners and relationships: talk about everything

Many people either hate talking about feelings and rules of a relationship or consider such conversations as heavy duty. The problem is that, as a result, you may find yourself in a situation where you think that your partner approves something or that you have the same opinions on your relationship, but your special someone may have a different view on things. Finding this out in a conversation is much less painful than when crossing a boundary you weren’t even aware of. You’ll be much happier if you clearly understand what the partner expects of you and what you expect from them.

Consider the consequences of your actions

Keep in mind that your decisions and actions will have consequences both for your partners and the relationship as a whole, and you are responsible for these consequences, even if you believe that your actions are permitted by some healthy relationship rules. A good example of unintended consequences is a relationship where one partner has veto rights over other romantic relationships of their partner. Usually, this right is mutual.

However, if your partner falls in love with someone, and then you put a veto on this relationship, you’ll almost certainly hurt their feelings. The fact that they trusted you with this right doesn’t matter. Breaking a romantic relationship can be painful. That's the way people are. When you hurt your partner, this usually affects your relationship. It’s not that you should never use the veto right; we’re only saying that when you make decisions that affect your special someone, you should think about how they will influence them and take responsibility for them. Say something like, “Yes, I know hurts you, I'm sorry.” Be aware that your decisions can influence your relationship and take responsibility for these consequences, even if they aren’t unintentional.

Open relationship rules

Nowadays, it’s hard to surprise someone with the concept of open relationships. We’re all different, and if you feel that freedom in relationships is what you (and maybe your partner) needs, then it's time to discuss this with them. Here are some open relationship rules to consider.

Talk about jealousy

Leave all illusions behind – jealousy will show itself any case, no matter how many platonic relationship rules you set. That’s why you should honestly discuss in advance what can make you feel that you’re not being paid enough attention because of a new crush. For example, tell that you might be hurt if someone texts your partner while you have breakfast and ask if they’re OK with your companions leaving comments under your photos on Facebook. Everyone can have their own sore spot, and it’s better not to press on it. A sincere and open conversation about this will help both of you cherish each other's feelings, especially in those moments when you’re with someone else.

Discuss whom you can’t sleep with

You may ignore other rules for an open relationship, but this one is a must, and this list can include anyone – relatives, friends, ex-partners, or colleagues. You can generally agree that common acquaintances are a no-no (though usually, it’s one of the common friends that you want to see in your bed). But you should think carefully about people you don’t want to see next to your partner. The same goes for your companion. If sex with their best friend might be a blow for them, choose someone else.

Make your own rules

Traditional exclusive relationship rules won’t work because of all that freedom you give each other. But this freedom still doesn’t give you the right to sleep with people whenever you want. Well, it kind of does, but not always. Discuss with your partner how you see casual sex with others. Maybe you’re both OK with threesomes, or you’d like to date people separately. Will you talk to each other about new partners? Think about everything that can upset you in this context and tell each other about it.

Casual relationship rules

Relationships are a wonderful thing, but unfortunately, we don’t always have enough time and energy for them. If you’re one of those who don’t dream of great and bright love but are ready to plunge into a relationship without annoying obligations and dramas, we have a couple of casual relationship rules for you.

relationship rulesNo control

Perhaps this advice works for many couples, but if phrases, like “where are you?” and “what are you doing?” can be considered a sign of tenderness and care in a normal relationship, in your case, this is perceived as an attempt to violate personal (and untouchable) boundaries. Friendly sex doesn’t imply jealousy, claims, and any mutual interest other than sexual. Let us explain: there’s nothing wrong with setting some rules for a platonic relationship, but you shouldn’t be interested whom your partner is with now, whether they slept with someone today or yesterday, and whether they will tomorrow. And please, don’t overwhelm them with touching messages and calls. We all know that this is just another way of manipulation.

Never stay overnight

Your relationship should be strictly regulated. Leave all those breakfasts, dinners, shopping trips, and relationship rules for couples to those who actually love each other. With all those things, you risk plunging headlong into the illusion of a relationship. And in no case should you attach too much importance to what’s happening between you and your partner. The weaker the emotional bond, the better.

Don’t cross any boundaries

In fact, this rule comes from the previous one. Always remember what binds you – sex. Not love. Not affection. Physiology is what drives you, so don’t let your feelings spoil the fun. After all, the plus of being friends with benefits is that you get what you need without family meetings, birthday parties, and other stuff for real couples.

Long-distance relationship rules

Often, loved ones have to stand the test of distance. Is this possible to keep the passion alive when you’re separated by hundreds of miles? Of course! Follow these long-distance relationship rules, and your feelings won’t be damaged.

Stay in touch

It’s not that hard to keep contact when you can call your loved one any moment and hear their voice. Modern means of communication offer a dozen ways to put a smile on your partner’s face. Combine love messages with evening video calls.

Decide what relationship you want

The amount of time during which couples can keep their love and fidelity depends not only on some rules in a relationship but on how they treat each other, as well. Your love mustn’t make you hostages of the situation. After all, each person tolerates separation in different ways: one can wait for years, while the other constantly need to feel the energy of their loved one. Discuss how both of you treat polygamy. This will help to avoid unwanted questions, jealousy, and quarrels.

Surprise each other

Don’t let the distance between you become an obstacle. Try to add romance to your regular call-ups. There’s a huge variety of messengers to choose from – use them to surprise your loved one with sweet words or good news. This way you’ll feel closer to each other both literally and figuratively.

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