General Question

antimatter's avatar

What is the most important rule or thing you should apply in your relationship?

Asked by antimatter (4229 points ) February 20th, 2013

It’s my first year anniversary after my divorce and I started dating again and this time I want want to do things right and keep my relationship alive, I did a lot of things wrong in the past and don’t want history repeat itself I think there should be one very important rule regarding relationships.

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22 Answers

janbb's avatar

You must be able to talk out issues and not let them fester.

deni's avatar

The past is the past. A lot of people have trouble accepting that.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Seperate bank accounts and jealousy is a waste of time and energy.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Communication is the key, on all issues. (Why do people insist on putting these types of questions in general. I had a good social answer ready to roll as soon as I saw this).

rojo's avatar

Easiest and simplest?

Do unto others….......

ucme's avatar

Mutual trust & respect for each others individuality, yeah we’re a team, but a little slack is okay too.

Seek's avatar

I’m digging for lurve from @filmfann, I know.

I like Kahlil Gibran’s ideas:

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

Kardamom's avatar

Communication and mutual respect. If you don’t have those two things, you don’t have much of anything.

Pachy's avatar

Hmmm, let’s see what I’ve larned from past relaitionships…

1. Hard work rather than auto-piloting
2. Willigness to confront tough issues head-on
3. Mutual space
4. Honesty and trust
5. Shared responsibilities and, to a practical degree, separate finances
6. Luck

wundayatta's avatar

Your credibility is your most important asset. What you feel and what you say should be the same thing. If they aren’t you have a problem. If you don’t fix the problem, your relationship is in trouble.

marinelife's avatar

Love your partner and want their happiness more than your own.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr That’s really lovely.

Bellatrix's avatar

Don’t bring the baggage from your old relationship into your new one. If you think you will find that hard – get some counselling now to help you exorcise the ghosts and remaining resentments. Plus all the posts prior to this one.

Judi's avatar

Be nice.

hearkat's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr‘s response is perfect.

I have been through a few bad relationships and now have the best relationship I can imagine. The main reason for that is because we are very compatible as introverts. Secondly, we are each independent and had gotten to a place in our lives where we are OK with who we are, and therefore didn’t bring neediness or expectations into it. Thirdly, we were friends first; and got to know each other’s dispositions and histories before there was any emotional investment.

Once we realized that we had a strong potential to be more than friends, we chose to put in the effort to “do it right”, like you. Being 100% open and honest is absolutely imperative. Trying to be something you aren’t or to say what you think they want to hear are surefire ways to set yourself up for failure. “Authenticity” and “transparency” have become popular terms, but they really are about being your true self, with all your human flaws and faults, and letting the other person love you ‘as-is’ (or not… but you really don’t want to be with someone who doesn’t love the true you). Being respectful seems obvious; but for someone like me with a lifelong history of dysfunction, it is something I am still learning.

Forming a partnership to objectively handle the practical business of life without involving emotion, control issues, or scorekeeping is also key when advancing to the co-habitation step. Expressing love, affection, and appreciation freely and often is also highly recommended.

hearkat's avatar

I want to add that separate finances is not a rule. I had it in prior relationships, but in this one we pool everything. I was hesitant to do so at first, but the trust between us is unwavering, and we fortunately don’t have to watch every dime.

I think that each couple has to discuss what works for them and how to divide funds and budget. We’ve had threads on here in the past about whether bills should be 50/50 or each puts in an equal percentage of their pay, etc. There is no set rule, because we all have different saving and spending styles. There has to be a serious discussion before moving in and there has to be flexibility and compromise over time and with varying circumstances.

Unbroken's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I love Kahlil Gibran as well! He distills everything to a simple understandable essence.

I am currently rereading Women Who Run With the Wolves and came upon this passage:

To make love, if we are to love, bailamos con La Muerte, we dance with Death. There will be flowing, there will be draining, There will be live birth and still birth and yet born-again birth of something new.To love is to learn the steps. To make love is dance the dance.

Energy, feeling, closeness, solitude,desire, ennui, all rise and fall in relatively closely packed cycles. One’s desire for nearness, and for separations, waxes and wanes. The Life/Death/Life nature not only teaches us to dance these, but teaches that the solution for malaise is always the opposite; so new action is the cure for boredom, closeness is the cure for loneliness, solitude is the cure for feeling cramped.

Without the knowledge of this dance, a person is inclined, during various still-water times, to extrovert the need for new and personal action into spending too much money, doing danger, roping reckless choices, taking a new lover….

I don’t know if you will consider this helpful @antimatter but in any case wish you the best in your quest.

seekingwolf's avatar

Be friends first. Romance is best only when you have a foundation of friendship. If you peel away the romance from my relationship, you’ll find years worth of friendship under there that involves mutual interest and respect.

My boyfriend and I now live together but we are very open with each other. Deep down, he will always be my best friend. I’ve had a few lovers but I’ve only had two best friends and he is one of them. Our friendship and rapport is what makes our relationship great. Awkwardness? What’s that? There is none!

antimatter's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr thank you that is true I thank that is the key and the right answer I have been looking for, thank you and thank you again

ebasboy's avatar

There are attitudes that people carry, but such attitudes are revealed in the midst of the relationship. Learn your partner’s attitudes and try together to eliminate the posible and compromise the impossible, but if you cannot compromise do not go further. But it is not just about our partners always, our attitudes as well. Assess each other in a loving way and see if you are compatible given your circumstances.

kitszu's avatar

I think you’re ‘boxing in your relationship’ with that “ONE all important rule”.

Every relationship works differently. Good relationships involve couples that establish ‘rules’/‘guidlines’, both independantly and together. (In the end, you comprimise, whether implicitly or explicitly).

This requires that you talk and have a good understanding of one another.

antimatter's avatar

@kitszu it’s true what you say and funny or ironically the following day I read another blog regarding relationships and what you said is the truth, there is simply no set of rules to a relationship.

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