#1: Don’t map it out.
Relationships should be natural and un-scripted; if virtually nothing else in life goes exactly according to plan, you’re only setting yourself up for disappointment by expecting your relationship to unfold precisely as you intend it to.
#2: Be forgiving.
Whether you’re religious or not, it’s wise to heed the words of Jesus in this case: forgive someone 77 times as opposed to only 7. In fact, it’s probably best to modernize that total to an even 1,000.
#3: Be genuinely forgiving.
So, don’t say you forgive your partner if the forgiveness is actually only going to last time until the next time they disappoint you (or semi-disappoint you).
#4: Offer love and support during “sickness and in health.”
It’s a corny line, but the general notion is vitally true. When your partner is having a bad day, week, or month, that’s when they need your love and support most (even if they’re not exactly fun to be around, from your perspective).
#5: Don’t resist growth or change.
“A [person] who views the world the same at fifty as [they] did at twenty has wasted thirty years of [their] life.”—Muhammad Ali.
#6: To put it another way—adapt.
Look what adaptation or evolution has done for mankind. I mean, you get the point.
#7: Have faith in people and things.
Whether it’s spiritual, religious, moral, or even political, genuinely having something that you genuinely believe in enough to trust and stand behind on feelings alone can benefit your life overall (including your relationships).
#8: Travel together.
You’ll learn quickly if you can rely on each other (or not), and it will result in growth or evolution in your life and your relationship.
#9: Travel apart.
You’ll learn quickly if you can trust each other (or not), and it will result in growth or evolution in your life and your relationship.
#10: Have and maintain personal interests.
It’s best not to do everything together, and not to be interested in onlythe exact same things.
#11: Make friends together.
It should go without saying that you should keep your old friends and not shy away from introducing them to your partner, but also add to your collective friends networks by meeting new people together.
#12: Don’t track chores.
Don’t be afraid to tell your partner if you’re starting to feel as though you’re a housekeeper, but don’t keep a running list of who’s doing what when and for how long.
#13: Stay fit.
Not Cosmo fit, but fit enough to keep the odds of living a long, happy life in your favour (and your partner’s).
#14: Be aware of yourself.
Are you being a good person in general? Are you being a good partner? Should you be doing more to make your life and the lives of the people around you more comfortable or enjoyable?
#15: Admit it when you’re wrong.
And even when you only might be wrong. Be the bigger person not to be the bigger person, but because it’s the right thing to do.
Anniversaries, promotions, and anything good in general.
Dinner, breakfast, a gift, a party—just keep things at least a little spontaneous and original.
#18: Do positive “little things.”
Take a moment to do something small which will simply make your partner smile or laugh.
#19: Eliminate negative “little things.”
Take a moment to do something small which will prevent your partner from frowning or cursing.
#20: Improve on your qualities and skills.
This goes back to continuing to grow and better yourself. This will often rub-off on your partner, and even if doesn’t, you still benefit very much personally.
#21: Keep a “one at a time” washroom policy.
#22: Talk about sex.
And not just right before, during, or right after.
#23: Be encouraging.
Genuinely convey the notion that you want your partner to succeed in the manner in which they desire—and that you’re truly eager and willing to help with this.
#24: Keep secrets, but don’t be secretive.
You really don’t have to tell each other everything, but you should tell each other almost everything.
#25: Don’t beat around the bushes.
Be direct without being snarky.
#26: Keep a “seat down” toilet policy.
#27: Be tidy.
Again, don’t be anally-tidy, but at least put your socks, underwear, and towels in the hamper etc.
#28: Don’t exaggerate.
It breeds dishonesty.
#29: Don’t call each other names.
Like stupid, idiot, dumbass, etc. Even if the name is accurate at the time someone uses it, try to think about the bigger picture (and the overall person).
#30: Do more brainstorming than criticizing.
Finding solutions is good, but simply recounting and analyzing problems in general is not.
#31: Read often.
It’s a great way to escape reality, and a great way to make reality (and yourself) better.
#32: Practice equality.
Regardless of who makes more money or who does more around the house.
#33: Offer compliments frequently.
As long as you are being genuine about them (or can be).
#34: Respect your partner’s friends.
Obviously, you always need to stand-up for your own morals, beliefs, and integrity, but otherwise, give them as much respect as you can muster (regardless of whether you’d tolerate their company if you weren’t in a relationship with their friend).
#35: Learn to take hints.
Some partners really do want to know if a certain outfit looks good on them, but some partners do not—discover and remember which type of partner yours is as soon as you can.
#36: Give your partner’s personal interests a chance.
As mentioned, it’s not beneficial to like all of the same things, but it is beneficial to find out which interests you do share.
#37: Try-on your partner’s shoes.
Not literally, but do put for the time and effort to see things from their perspective: how much of a worthwhile investment would a new kitchen countertop seem to be to your partner?—or how about a new TV?
#38: Allow personal space and time.
You don’t need to begin spending time together the second either of you get home after work.
#39: Take pride in yourself.
Don’t “slack-off” just because you’re no longer single and don’t have to try as hard anymore.
#40: Maintain healthy hygiene.
Avoid long toenails, bad breath, too many skipped showers, etc.
#41: Don’t assume your partner “doesn’t need that” anymore.
From old receipts to old (and falling-apart) hockey nets, always ask before you dispose of something that isn’t yours.
#42: Include your partner’s friends and family in some parties.
Definitely not all of them, but at least every once in a while.
#43: Send cards and letters to family and mutual friends.
Yes, e-cards and e-mails will suffice.
#44: Don’t be immature.
Everyone forgets things or does something stupid every so often—don’t make a big deal about these types of things.
#45: Be able to sustain yourself.
Even if your partner usually does all of the cooking or all of the laundry, don’t expect them to, or neglect doing something because it’s your partner’s “job.”
#46: Joke around.
Whenever possible and appropriate.
#47: Be well-mannered.
No yelling, door-slamming, or sneezing in the other person’s face (etc.).
#48: Be responsible.
Don’t waste money, time, or effort. Be dependable.
#49: Say thank-you often.
And mean it (even it seems trivial at first).
#50: When it comes to happiness, think long-term and short-term.
Don’t abandon the relationship if it doesn’t seem like you’ll both be happy in the present and in the future—but do take steps to increase the odds that you will experience lasting happiness. It should go without saying that not every relationship will work-out, but it should also go without saying that many relationships which didn’t work out could have if more worthwhile work was undertaken before they were ended abruptly.