Relationships come in a so many different forms and shapes. That is no surprise.
After all, a relationship is the combination of two complex, fully-formed human beings that have enough in common to invest in moving through life as a pair.
All that complexity, though, means things will absolutely NOT be smooth sailing all the time.
So some couples out there have devised ways to keep things strong and committed in the face of those inevitable hangups—a lovable law and order of sorts.
Some Redditors gathered to share the unwritten relationship rules to live by.
"If the cat is on your lap, you can ask your partner to do or get stuff for you, no questions asked." -- TheDanishThede
"We call this 'cat paralysis.' " -- ellenasophia
"We call this being encatted. The ask for a cup of tea or something usually goes a along with a helpless sweeping arm gesture that says, 'I'm clearly in a predicament here.' " -- gdytdjgsrws
"That we will always try our best not to project our own bad feelings onto each other. Instead, to ask directly if we need something."
"Had a bad day at work and I'm feeling depressed and I would really like a long hug and for her to tell me how she loves me? But she's not a mind reader and she might be occupied with some other stuff."
"So instead of sulking for hours and then, later on, when she asks me what's wrong, saying something to the effect 'I had a really shi**y day and all I needed was a hug, but you never have time for me,' I'd just say it directly when I come home - 'I had a really shi**y day today and I need a hug. And I want you to tell me that you love me.' "
"And then, in 95% of cases, we will be able to give each other what we need without having to read each others minds."
"It takes a surprising amount of balls to get started, but once you make a habit out of stating your emotional needs honestly and directly, it makes life so much simpler."
Not Taken for Granted
"We always take a moment to thank each other for providing the meals. If my wife cooks for the family, after we are done eating we all thank her for her efforts. Same goes if I cook, or even if one of us pays at a restaurant or takeout."
"It's simple and means a lot."
A Daily Anchor
"Always come to the door to welcome the other with a kiss and a huge hug when he or I get home at the end of the day. Been doing that for 10 years and it keeps very much the love alive :)" -- CamLesky
"For their entire 32 years of marriage my dad has always kissed my mom when he comes home from work. In the early 2000s he was working from home, and he would still do it at the end of the work day."
"And he still does it now even though he's been WFH since March." -- McIgglyTuffMuffin
"If I'm being an a**hole and my husband suggests that low blood sugar might be a contributing factor and asks me to have a snack before continuing to argue, I'm not allowed to get mad."
"Sometimes I still get a little mad because I'm not totally in control of my hanger, but I always apologize once the food hits my brain."
The Nether Regions of the House
"We have a downstairs bathroom that we refer to as his 'office.' It is strictly for #2 as the main bathroom of our home is attached to our bedroom. When someone goes to the office, the other does not go downstairs so they can have their privacy." -- Anxiety-Aficionado
"Dude...sounds like your guys just need to eat more fibre." -- [deleted]
"Once a day we hug for 30 seconds. Just a big old squeezy hug. No talking. Nothing else. Just a big hug." -- Valkerian
"This is so lovely. I think I'll borrow it" -- peepeeface69
"Omg my family does that to me. The ones that understand me the best, especially. Big squeezy hugs no questions asked are the BEST. I call them the Rebooters." -- MMXXfan
Simple, and Pivotal
"Don't touch her feet, don't look at her feet, don't acknowledge her feet exist. She hates the idea of feet." -- Nelik1
"What if you needed to draw attention to her feet without saying anything?"
"Leg bottoms ? You have a wasp on your leg bottoms?" -- Jerkin-my-gherkin
"We don't shout at each other, no matter how angry we get - Mrs R grew up in a house with an angry violent dad, and no matter how pissed off I am, I'm never going to cause her to relive that part of her childhood." -- rehgaraf
"Bless. Most of my memories of my dad are of him screaming at my mom or us kids. My SO knows all of the details and has never raised his voice to me in anger. It's a surefire way to shut me down entirely and he refuses to do that to me."
"Grateful for gentle souls like yours and his." -- happy_dance
Spark Joy Repeatedly
"Say I Love You CONSTANTLY, like dozens of times a day. Whenever we're going to sleep, or one of us leaves the house without the other, always have it be the last thing we say, even if we're pissed off or in a cranky mood."
"Also, don't get weird about little things, like the fact that they talk to their appliances like friends, or get excited about free toys at the supermarket (looking at you, Ooshies)."
"It's cute and adorable, and we just appreciate the other for the kid-at-heart that they are, that can find joy in the everyday. Just laugh and tell them you think they're adorable and hilarious. Make eye contact as you both laugh."
"It's the little things that bond you."
Transparency Without Pressure
"If either of us want to have sex, we state it plainly. (Dirty talk is still fine.)"
"If the other person isn't in the mood, the subject is dropped and no one gets mad."
"If you weren't in the mood recently, you make an effort to have sex soon to make up for it."
"If that still doesn't happen, you apologize, acknowledge their feelings/needs, and make a point of banging."
"No one ever feels sexually obligated or ignored. It works for us."
A Team Battle
"When the wife's at game, husband stays away (she used a mic and I don't want to embarrass her during League matches)."
"I don't game myself (I play Pokemon casually, and some phone games), but it's important to her, and I support her whenever I can!"
Ticking All the Boxes
"He picks up the dog poop and acts like he's still under a stay-at-home order. (My immune system sucks)"
"I do dishes and make coffee, and deliver his coffee downstairs to his office every day."
"He gets rid of the spiders, I get rid of the bees and wasps."
"He doesn't bi*** to me about my cancer diagnosis, and I don't make morbid jokes about it to him. That's what our respective groups of friends are for."
"We use please, thank you, excuse me, I love you, and sorry whenever they're needed."
The Host and the Guest
"Whenever we cook for each other, we always make it more convenient for the other. If we only have one nice plate left, the person that cooked will eat off the lesser fancy."
"If we only have one soup spoon, the other will use a regular spoon. If one chicken breast doesn't look so pretty, the person that cooked will give the other the nicer one. It's really sweet."
"We never talk about it or acknowledge it besides a simple, 'thank you,' but I've noticed that we both do it without fail. Love him to pieces."
Keep It Clean
"Oral sex does not happen unless you have recently had a shower." -- bears-bub
"That's why we do it in the shower" -- maltymawma
"If one of you runs out of TP and yells out, the other has to drop what they're doing and come to the rescue."
"Comin into the bathroom while your in there is ok as long as it's #1 but NOT #2. Also, if in the act of the latter and they barge in you have to announce in some way('don't come in here!')"
"Whoever lays in bed first gets 'tucked' in" -- bangersnmash13
"Whoever gets out of bed last, makes it." -- obscureferences
"Hah that's adorable" -- XxOlive
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