The Relationship Guidelines

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.