Understanding relationship rules and responsibilities is a concept that a lot of people struggle with. As each person is so different from another, it can be quite daunting to think of, and adhere to a set of rules that would work in all relationships that you should not forget.
If you are one of those people who are currently anxious to understand what rules a relationship needs to help bring you closer together and deepen your bond and respect, then we have some of the most effective relationship rules for you. These tips are extremely important if you wish to start a family.
21 Core Relationship Rules To Deepen Your Bond
While each relationship is unique, there are a few rules to keep in mind and focus on to ensure that your relationship has a fighting chance. Remember, these are not “rules” in the same way that laws are rules. These rules cover general behavior and characteristics that every healthy relationship, including a marriage, needs to survive. What you are about to read are some of the most important rules of a relationship.
1. Learn to listen
This is probably one of the few common ground rules in a relationship, and it is one that every relationship counselor will advocate for. You have to be willing to listen. This isn’t just for the important topic like their fears, hopes, or dreams, but also for the minor inconveniences they face in their life as well as when they are just talking without actually having a point to make.
For a strong and successful relationship, your partner needs to trust that they will be heard without the fear of you judging them for what they say. This is one way to increase the love connection between you two.
2. Communication is key
This is one of the relationship rules you cannot ignore. For a healthy and fruitful relationship to develop, you and your partner have to learn how to communicate with each other. It is important to remember that communication does not mean talking. Communication means talking, understanding, and trying to fulfill the roles and obligations that your partner expects of you.
I am sure by now every piece of relationship advice tells you to communicate, and they aren’t wrong. Bad communication in a relationship harms it. You’ve probably heard it so often you might think that it’s a cliché. And you’re right, it is a cliché. But it is a cliché because it works, so do not dismiss effective communication.
3. They are your partner, be nice
If you are looking for relationship ground rules that cannot be ignored, the first rule is to be nice. Now you might be thinking to yourself “What a weird thing to say. Of course, I’ll be nice to my partner, I like them.” This is a fair line of thinking, but that’s not what being nice means.
It’s easy to be nice when you are happy with your partner. But for a healthy relationship, you need to be nice to your partner when they make you angry, when they disappoint you, and even when their behavior embarrasses you. Being nice when you’re happy is easy, you need to learn to be nice when you’re unhappy and are struggling through tough times.
4. You’re a team, teams discuss everything
One of the golden relationship rules for couples is to discuss everything together. You might think that you already do this since you tell your partner about your day and you listen to them, but having a discussion is not the same as talking about your day.
A discussion means talking about, and finding some middle ground for important topics, these could include:
- Where to live
- A possible career or job change
- Joint finances
- How to spend your days
In other words, always consult your partner when there is a decision that affects you both especially if you are looking for a long-term relationship.
5. Never forget to make time for yourself
One of the common rules for a good relationship that most people tend to ignore is to take some space from your partner, and to give them their space as well. A mistake that new couples make is that they try to spend all their free time with each other. This is unhealthy as it gets quite easy to lose yourself, and you might become someone your partner is not attracted to anymore.
No matter how much you love your partner, you need to take some time for yourself for your own hobbies, passions, interests, or goals. This will help keep you grounded in your relationship and will help you grow as a person as it enables you to understand your feelings. You need to take this time to form a connection with yourself
6. Learn to compromise
This is the most common advice for relationship rules that you will ever receive. Everyone knows that you need to compromise for, and with your partner, but no one knows how to do it right, or with respect. People think of compromise as meeting someone halfway or a 50/50 split. This is incorrect, all this does is ensure that neither you nor your partner gets what they want. There are many tips to compromise the right way in every relationship.
A true compromise is when you do exactly what your partner wants to make them happy even when you don’t want to, but tomorrow, they do the same for you. Another way of saying this would be “Today I will do everything to make you happy, but some time later, you will do the same for me.” This is what an actual compromise looks like in a happy relationship. This is also a great way to show your appreciation to your partner.
Related Reading: Why Is It Important To Be A Good Listener?
7. Adhere to rules
Every successful relationship has rules, if you want to give your relationship a fighting chance, you have to ensure never to violate the rules of a relationship. As each relationship is unique, the rules for each relationship will also be unique and will depend on your feelings towards each other. You and your partner need to decide those rules together. Some common rules are
- How much quality time you spend together
- How you interact with people of the opposite sex
- Nicknames to use/ Nicknames to avoid
As you can see, there is no correct answer to any of this, so talk it out with your partner, define the rules, and then stick to them religiously.
8. Partake in your partner’s hobbies
A very simple relationship rule is to partake in your partner’s hobbies. It is very likely that you do not understand your partner’s hobbies, nor may you be interested in it, or it could be that your busy schedule does not allow it. However, to deepen your bond with your partner, it is critical that you take the time to understand why they like their hobbies and try to involve yourself in them.
This is a wonderful way to show your appreciation for your partner and their hobbies. This isn’t to say that you always need to join your partner when they are working on their hobbies, but joining them occasionally and showing that you’re trying to understand them will work wonders for your relationship.
9. Keep secrets to surprise them
This one sounds counterproductive to a good relationship, but keeping secrets can be healthy, especially if you wish to surprise them. It is no secret that relationships tend to fall into a routine over time, and surprising your partner by trying to focus on their likes is a good way to deal with this.
Learning to keep a secret from your partner will only make the surprise more meaningful, some surprises could include:
- A romantic date
- Buying them the item they have been eyeing for a while
- Planning a vacation
All of these are examples of good secrets to keep. As such, keeping secrets is a healthy rule in a relationship, and it doesn’t receive the appreciation it deserves.
Related Reading: 20 Simple And Easy Ways To Be Romantic
10. Be the support your partner needs
This is the most important relationship rule. Support your partner through hell or high water. This may seem easy but it is actually one of the most difficult things to do. It’s easy to support your partner when you agree with them. The real trick is learning to support your partner when you disagree with them.
You need to remember that your partner is their own person, they have their own temperaments, difficulties, feelings, and life philosophies. You need to learn to support their choices even if it is different from what you would have done in their situation.
11. Learn to forgive
Learning to forgive is a healthy relationship rule, yet it may also be the most difficult. Your partner will mess up, they will hurt you, disappoint you and at times might even make you question the validity of the relationship and its intimacy.
In these troubling moments, you need to reflect upon and focus on all the good that your partner has done, and try to forgive them for their current transgressions provided they show some remorse for their actions. Forgiveness will not come easy, but it is something that you have to do for the relationship to succeed. In other words, you need to treat your partner like family, and family should not hold grudges.
12. Don’t threaten to leave
If you are looking for ground rules in a relationship, this is one you cannot ignore. No matter how often you argue, how bad the arguments get, or how angry you are, never threaten to end the relationship unless you are actually willing to do that.
You see, threatening to leave might get your partner to change their behavior. The first time you do it, they will listen but they will walk on eggshells from that moment on. By the fifth or sixth time you threaten to leave, they might not even care or respect you enough to stay, and simply end things themselves. So if you want a healthy relationship, never threaten to end it.
Related Reading: Sexual Compatibility – Meaning, Importance And Signs
13. Seduction is a powerful tool
One of the really good relationship rules for couples is to keep seducing and flirting with each other. Sometimes, when a couple gets comfortable, they stop trying to seduce each other. This makes sense as seduction is hard work. But it is work that cannot be ignored for a true connection to form.
However, to prevent the relationship from getting stale, it is important to keep flirting and seducing each other. It lets the other person know that you are still attracted to them, and it helps boost their self-esteem and improve their mood. Never forget this as a relationship ground rule, never stop flirting, and make sure to plan out a night where you only focus on your partner’s desires.
14. Indulge in consensual kinks
Another important rule for a healthy relationship is to indulge your partner’s kinks and fantasies, and ask your partner to do the same for you. The power of physical touch as a love language should not be underestimated. Sex is a very personal topic, and it is not uncommon for people to hide their kinks out of shame or fear of judgment.
However, trusting your partner enough to expose your fantasies and indulging in them without fear or shame is a great way to deepen the bond the two of you share. So remember to indulge their fantasies and make some time to indulge in your own as well.
15. Don’t repeat negative cycles
Humans are creatures of habit. You see it every day, every single person follows a routine of some kind with a schedule that hardly changes. This is also apparent in their behavior and temperament. The problem is that we also tend to repeat our negative traits over and over again. This is disastrous for a good relationship, and you will be in the wrong if you continue those cycles. A few examples of negative cycles could include:
- Getting angry quickly
- Going back on your word
- Acting in a way that causes your partner to lose faith in you
It is imperative that you recognize your negative patterns and try to overcome them. Your relationship’s future literally depends on it.
16. Have a common goal
One very healthy relationship rule to have is to set common relationship goals which both of you can achieve together. You might think that this is frivolous as you are two individual people with individual goals. While that is true, you are also a couple, and couples are a team. Teams have common goals. This will also deepen your relationship’s spiritual intimacy.
The relationship goals do not have to be huge or life-altering, they can be simple ones such as:
- Saving for a dream vacation
- Getting a pet
- Undertaking a project
The goal itself is not important, but setting and achieving goals together will deepen your bond and make you trust the other person more. True love will only have a chance to blossom if you spend enough time succeeding together.
Related Reading: How To Use Words Of Affirmation As A Love Language?
17. Understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses
We have all heard the phrase “marrying your better half”. What this means is you have gotten together with someone who understands you and is willing to cover up your weaknesses. Your partner isn’t perfect, and neither are you. They have their strengths and they have their weaknesses. One of the important rules for a healthy relationship is knowing the difference.
The trick here is understanding who your partner is, allowing them to take the lead when it is an area they are strong in, and taking the lead yourself in areas they are weak in. This will let your partner know that they can depend on you when the time comes and will help forge a strong mental connection between you and your partner.
18. Let go of past relationships
Another rule in a relationship which many people often forget to talk about is not letting go of past relationships. You might wonder why this rule needs to exist at all. The thing is, if you have been wronged in your past relationships, you will constantly be on the lookout for “red flags” in your new partner because you are afraid of being hurt again.
While this sentiment is understandable, it causes more problems than it solves. This mentality will cause you to distrust your partner, preventing you from forming a deep emotional bond. Your partner will also pick up on this and will feel unfairly criticized as you are letting your experience with your ex, taint your relationship with your partner. Leave the past behind where it belongs.
19. Learn how to handle their negative emotions
One very important relationship rule is to understand how to handle your partner’s negative emotions. During the course of your relationship, your partner will get angry, sad, depressed, anxious, and every other negative emotion a person is capable of feeling.
In these instances, it is your duty to know how to calm them down and prevent them from spiraling into a depressive episode and not thinking that there is a lack of emotional connection. Knowing how to handle your partner’s negative emotions is critical to sustaining a healthy relationship without fostering bitterness. This is a skill you have to develop if you want your relationship to last.
Related Reading: 25 Ways To Show Someone You Care
20. Learn their love language
Another of the healthy relationship rules is to learn your partner’s love language, and then shower them with love in the way they respond to the best. Every person has a different love language, and you might be surprised to find that your partner’s love language is very different from you. Below are a few examples of the different love languages and how they can be utilized:
- Gift-giving: This is a common love language that needs no explanation. Buy, or make something that you can gift to your partner to show your appreciation
- Physical Touch: If this is your partner’s love language, it means that they feel appreciated best by physical acts of love which include platonic cuddling, kissing, handholding, sex, etc
- Acts of service: If your partner’s love language is an act of service, that means they will appreciate all the small things you do to make their life convenient. This includes chores, massages, handling small day-to-day tasks, etc
- Words of encouragement: This is a very common love language. For this, all your partner needs from you is to be supportive, understanding, and encouraging.
21. Keep improving together
This is by far the most important rule to follow in a healthy relationship. Never stop improving yourselves. There is always something you can do to be a better person. The better a person you become, the better a partner you can be. There is no greater commitment than self-improvement.
There are many ways you can improve yourself, some of them are:
- Join a gym
- Accumulate knowledge
- Learn a skill
- Expand your hobbies
Constantly improving yourself has the benefit of keeping things alive in a relationship, and it also makes you a better partner as a side effect. All in all, this is one rule you should not ignore.
- Understand your partners, strengths, weaknesses, hobbies, likes, and dislikes to behave in a way that behooves them
- Be loving, kind, gracious, and flirtatious to keep the relationship invigorated
- Do not threaten to end the relationship under any circumstances
- Improve yourself as a person, and your partner will do the same
By now, you should have a pretty clear idea on how you can deepen your bond with your partner. Following these relationship rules will help you be a better partner while simultaneously helping bring you and your partner closer together. It is also important to remember that your relationship is supposed to be fun. So don’t stress yourself out by thinking of all the things you should be doing. Be yourself, trust your partner, and work to keep each other happy. That’s all you need for a good relationship.
There are none. Each relationship is unique so there can never be a rule that is set in stone. Talk to your partner about their boundaries and expectations, and let yours be known. That will help you create rules for your relationship.
Talk and listen. It really is that simple. Talk to your partner about what you would like and not like your relationship to be, and listen to their version of what a relationship should be. Talk to each other, find common ground, and build the relationship from there. There is no better way.