All 72 Relationship Guidelines from my book, It’s Not You, It’s Us: A Guide for Living Together without Growing Apart.
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Guideline #1: When looking for a life partner, look for someone who is resilient in the face of adversity.
Guideline #2: An educated, self-supporting, mature woman is a powerful ally in a marriage.
Guideline #3: If you’re choosing to share your life with someone, have you given any thought to how you are going to be happy together?
Guideline #4: One surefire way to spot a happy couple: they laugh together.
Guideline #5: You need to like each other in order to properly love each other.
Guideline #6: Long-term happiness and love is an inside job. It starts with YOU.
Guideline #7: The quality of your relationships is a direct reflection of how you feel about yourself.
Guideline #8: Good relationships help you become your best self.
Guideline #9: Check in with your partner whenever you perceive a mosquito in your relationship.
Guideline #10: Ask for what you want. No drama.
Guideline #11: The secret to a long and happy marriage is an abundance of kindness.
Guideline #12: It’s HOW you love each other that matters. Love Agreements help you figure this out.
Guideline #13: No one should be doing certain tasks just because of their genitalia.
Guideline #14: The more polarized you are on things, the more tension there will be in your relationship.
Guideline #15: Don’t mistake sharing everything for true intimacy.
Guideline #16: Your appearance matters to your partner.
Guideline #17: Ladies do fart. They just hide it better.
Guideline #18: Smelling nice. It’s not just for first dates.
Guideline #19: Never stop courting each other.
Guideline #20: Treat your personal finances like a business and beware of bad investments.
Guideline #21: Money problems in a relationship are often communication problems in disguise.
Guideline #22: Men need man-caves, and women need she-caves.
Guideline #23: Everyone deserves something to call their own, even if it’s just a favourite cup.
Guideline #24: Don’t build a romantic relationship on convenience.
Guideline #25: Have hard limits and soft limits.
Guideline #26: Compatibility is more important than chemistry in a long-term relationship.
Guideline #27: Your behaviour influences your hormones. Your hormones influence your sex life.
Guideline #28: Take responsibility for your behaviour and your hormones if you want to enjoy your sex life.
Guideline #29: Foreplay begins outside the bedroom (like, with unloading the dishwasher).
Guideline #30: Sex is like exercise: you almost never regret doing it. So, “Just do it.”
Guideline #31: If we’re stressed out, we are in survival mode, not reproductive mode.
Guideline #32: Feeling sexy and confident = more and better sex.
Guideline #33: Your lifelong challenge (in a marriage) is to continually date each other.
Guideline #34: A relationship without sex is simply friendship.
Guideline #35: You don’t have a sex life; you have a life, and sex is part of it.
Guideline #36: State your needs as simply and clearly as possible.
Guideline #37: When everything is urgent, nothing is urgent.
Guideline #38: Small, daily acts of kindness and specific words of appreciation keep a couple from growing apart.
Guideline #39: Build trust, and you build security in your relationship.
Guideline #40: Where there is shame, there is an apology waiting in the wings.
Guideline #41: Sometimes we need space to just be.
Guideline #42: A lack of privacy in a relationship signals boundary and trust issues.
Guideline #43: Privacy becomes secrecy when there is a conscious motivation to hide something.
Guideline #44: Make time for personal time.
Guideline #45: Alone time can enhance intimacy.
Guideline #46: By making time for personal growth, we serve the Self. By making time for each other, we serve the Relationship.
Guideline #47: If you want to be happy, have more fun experiences, not more things.
Guideline: #48: Be there for others, but never at the expense of your own happiness and well-being.
Guideline #49: Surviving is not thriving.
Guideline #50: Embrace your greatest strength. Acknowledge your hidden hurts.
Guideline #51: Healing our hurts is an act of self-love.
Guideline #52: Heal your pain, and you heal the world.
Guideline #53: When it comes to family, “You mess with one bean, you get the whole burrito.”
Guideline #54: Your partner is not your project.
Guideline #55: Good people will respect your beliefs; bad people will try to shame you for them.
Guideline #56: Focus on shared values, not religion, to make your union work.
Guideline #57: Deed before creed.
Guideline #58: If you want peace, lower your expectations of what is possible for you in the first six years of your child’s life.
Guideline #59: You can be successful at everything, just not everything at once.
Guideline #60: The couple that plays together, stays together.
Guideline #61: If our vulnerability triggers contempt, we are with the wrong person.
Guideline #62: Be real, but also be kind to one another to minimize shame.
Guideline #63: A healthy, powerful relationship requires emotional courage.
Guideline #64: Where there is defensiveness, there is often insecurity.
Guideline #65: To accept and reflect on criticism with dignity and grace is a sign of maturity.
Guideline #66: Criticize the behaviour, not the person.
Guideline #67: When arguing, check your ego. Choose to listen. Seek to understand. You may learn something.
Guideline #68: Happy couples behave like good friends, and treat each other gently during conflict.
Guideline #69: Failure is a form of progress.
Guideline #70: Be fearless (but kind).
Guideline #71: Master the 1–10 scale for decision making.
Guideline #72: Opinions are not facts.