People Explain Which Relationship Rules They Absolutely Live By

Couple on roof with candles, overlooking city
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Anyone with any amount of dating experience knows at least a few things that they love in a relationship and a few things they find unsavory.

Just like discovering our boundaries and what qualifies as a relationship deal breaker, most of us generally have a few rules that we tend to live by in every relationship, whether it's romantic, platonic, or professional.

Curious to learn some rules to live by, Redditor aytmamatov_musa asked:

"What relationship rule have you memorized forever?"

Actions Speak Louder than Words

"I can't remember the exact wording, but something to the effect of: Pay more attention to how invested your partner is in the relationship, not how much they say they are."

- why_im_single

Know Who Holds the Power

"I remember when I first realized that the person who has the most control in a relationship (especially ending it) is the person that cares about the relationship the least."

"When I thought of all the relationships that I had been in (not just sexual) and how one person decided sometimes months ahead of time that the relationship was over, I remember how oblivious the other person was when it ended."

"By the way, this can also be applied to employment relationships as well."

- Mo_Jack

Don't Fight for Someone's Attention

"If someone does not want to hear you, there is no way you can phrase anything to make them listen."

"This applies to all types of relationships, but I learned it from trying so hard to have a healthy relationship with my mother. Then when I left at 25, she responded by filing a missing person's report, hiring a PI (Personal Investigator), harassing my friends, and hacking my email and bank accounts to monitor my activity."

"This also ties into: abusers see you taking away their ability to abuse you, as an egregious theft of their rightful property."

- CurrentSingleStatus

Be a United Front

"Problems aren’t You vs Me. They’re Us vs The Problem."

- FilecakeAbroad

No Codependent Relationships Here

"You cannot help someone who does not want to be helped."

- Diesel07012012

Be Honest About Your Feelings

"Listen to how you describe your partner to friends, or how you think at the moment how you're describing your partner to them. That will tell you a lot about how you feel about them."

"If you're nervous about introducing them, listen to why. If you're apologizing for their actions, pausing to reframe positive ways to speak about them, or ignoring the red flags, then listen to that instinct. If you're constantly talking about the problems or hiding them, pay attention to why."

"I remember being in one relationship and having those feelings of, 'Should I introduce her to the family, when I talk to others about her, I'm exhausted from some argument, etc.'"

"I remember another relationship, thinking, 'Oh, I would love her to meet the family, she'd get along with everyone's kids, my friends would love her, I just had this great moment with her, and I wanted to tell people about it, I enjoy talking about her.'"

"When you experience that difference (and you have the wisdom and experience to know you're not being deluded by things like abuse or newness or getting caught up in a big fire that's going to burn out fast), it tells you so much."

- ConvenienceStoreDiet

Be Mindful of Reciprocation

"Something a friend of mine once told me was, 'Always ask yourself if this relationship isn't taking more from you than it is giving you.'"

"It saved me a lot of heartbreak."

- Interferonno2fan


"If they don’t respect your boundaries while dating, they won’t respect them in marriage."

- Rachel1578

Cheaters Gonna Cheat

"My best mate got with a woman who cheated on her then-boyfriend to be with him. Then my mate and she stayed together for four years, but she ended up cheating on him with another guy that she is now dating."

"I warned him in the beginning and advised him not to get into a relationship with her to start with. If she can do it with one guy, she can do it with another."

"His argument was that her then-boyfriend was not good enough for her which was why she is cheating on him. But what he failed to realize was that no one is the best in the world, and if she decides that he isn’t good enough for her in the future, then she will cheat on him too. And that is exactly what happened."

- dp9116

Acknowledge Red Flags

"Red flags look like normal flags when wearing rose-colored glasses."

- Mezame_Drgn

Common Interests Aren't Everything

"Having a lot in common doesn’t equal a good relationship. It’s just a decent starting foundation."

- ironicallyunstable

Don't Go to Bedroom Angry - Or Do?

"I wouldn't say forever, yet, but since becoming a wife, I have learned that it's okay to sleep off a fight. Don't have to 'resolve' everything right then and there. Give each other space to let steam off and talk in the morning."

- beanedjibe

Be Loved for Who You Are

"Do not change your personality if you don't want to... I didn't realize until the breakup, that my ex did not like me, just the idea of what I could be..."

- Bethedr

Know the Difference

"When an argument comes out of nowhere, ask 'Are you yelling at me, or to me?'"

"It's helped with a lot of arguments. Sometimes we just need a backboard to scream at, and nine out of ten times, that backboard is your significant other."

"A lot of arguments get bad just because they don't know you are releasing anger, which is healthy in the right way."

- spenser1994

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