10 Relationship Rules That Keep Relationships Strong And Healthy
Updated on April 5, 2022 by Team ShineSheets
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Relationships are all about human connection done through love and understanding. But without proper relationship rules, it can turn out to be rather difficult to keep that connection strong…
Through every couples’ journey together, a few or even several hiccups inevitably occur and make things a little tainted. Mostly, this happens because you encounter a difference in your opinions, or one of you feels insecure and becomes jealous. Sometimes, life happens with all the bills, responsibilities, and not enough energy (or good mood!) to deal with it all. It’s just how it is.
Nevertheless, setting a few healthy relationship rules can help you to manage your relationships and keep them strong and flourishing. A little bit of commitment, effort, and care can be your secret keys to having a good connection with your loved one.
“Yeah, well, who are you to give me this advice?”
I’ve been together with my partner for 14 years now and I am happy to say that we kept our relationship burning through all these years, even though we’ve been through many ups and downs together (downs outweigh the ups, unfortunately). We’ve had our disagreements, we had health, money, family, and work issues – we’ve been through fire and ice together and no matter how hard it was, our bond grew stronger and stronger every single day.
I wouldn’t say I’m a relationships expert, not yet, but I’ve also been studying and researching various human psychology topics over the past 5 years, including what can ve considered healthy relationship rules. I can give you real, honest, true, and tried tips that have worked in my life, and stemmed from my studies as well.
If you want to keep your relationships strong, here is a list of 10 simple, healthy, and essential relationship rules that build a foundation for lasting bonds, and feelings that grow stronger with time.
Relationship Rules That Build a Strong Relationship
EMOTIONAL Relationship Rules
1. Respect Each Other
The first rule to keeping a strong, romantic relationship is to treat your loved one with respect. You have to respect your partner’s time, heart, character, and, of course, his or her trust. Then, and only then can you expect to receive the same amount of respect back.
Keep in mind that there is a multitude of actions that can diminish the feeling of respect given or received. These include name-calling, secretly checking your partners’ phone, making ultimatums, giving silent days, or threatening to end the relationship. Avoid such behavior as it will 100% make things harder, instead of helping you both.
2. Talk About It!
One of the most effective relationship rules is to communicate with your loved one because communication is key to happiness & interpersonal peace… Yet not every person knows how to express how they feel.
The key to a strong relationship is to vocalize love, show your feelings, and offer compliments as often as possible. Moreover, discussing bad situations, tough times, or fights that happened between you is even more important – avoiding and hiding from issues won’t solve your problems anyway. To grow together and build the foundation for a strong relationship, a couple has to be able to truly express their feelings.
Had a bad day? Say it! Something in your partner’s behavior annoys you? Be open and express it through positive criticism. Overwhelmed with disappointment? Talk, talk, talk.
No matter how uncomfortable a situation might be, talking about is always a better way. It teaches you problem-solving skills. It helps to defuse frustration and irrational insecurities. It’s also what will show you the way to really long-lasting, strongest relationships.
3. Appreciate and Admire
Recognition can be a beautiful source of interpersonal fulfillment, but being in a long-term relationship often makes us forget to express our appreciation for our loved ones. But admiration shows your significant other that you are grateful for having him or her by your side. It’s a simple, completely free relationship rule that helps to keep a connection strong.
Small gestures, a couple of kind words, and a genuine interest in his or her day will boost confidence in your bond and make your partner feel loved. It’s also a nice way to encourage your partner to feel their self-worth.
4. Never Compare Your Romantic Life To Others
Sometimes, people tend to compare their lives with those of others. Social media platforms these days are only adding to the problem, making a lot of people unhappy (even though that portrayed “happy life” on Facebook is usually not so happy at all).
The happiest and strongest couples avoid comparing their relationship altogether. They understand that sometimes fights happen, and sometimes their relationship can be worse than others, but they focus on mending and bettering their connection, instead of dreaming about someone else.
Next time you feel like comparing what you have to what someone else has, remember why you began to fall in love with your partner in the first place.
5. Be Honest With Each Other
If you aim to keep a relationship strong and have a deeper connection with your loved one, you should always be completely honest. Honest couples share insights about their feelings, thoughts, or opinions on various topics. They’re not afraid to say the truth, or look at the situation from their partner’s perspective.
If you both decide to be completely honest with each other, this will ease your communication process, and help you to trust each other more.
Hint: Four dark things – lying, complaints, ego, and dishonesty will never get you a happy relationship. Make it one of your core relationship rules to never be untrue to your loved one. Choose to be honest, and open with your partner to create mutual security instead.
6. Make Effort In Your Relationship
The last of the relationship rules to remember is this:
Romance will not really grow if you don’t help it grow.
If you want to keep your relationship strong, remind yourself that love it’s not one-day work. It’s a series of smaller and bigger daily actions that eventually reap a big, beautiful result.
Even reading this list is not enough! It’s just the tip of the iceberg of how many things you can learn, try, and do together to make your relationship unbreakable. And remember – we all get lost in our busy schedules… Life is hectic and intense. Yet some things, like family life, should always have a spot in your daily planner.
PHYSICAL Relationship Rules
7. Do Things That Help You Bond
At the beginning of a relationship, a lot of couples focus on spending as much quality time together as possible – and that’s great! But just spending a lot of time together does not necessarily mean that your relationship is getting stronger. What does make it stronger is spending your couple time well.
To maintain and strengthen your connection, focus on doing activities that allow you to bond.
- Go out for dinner and have long talks;
- Set up picnics and relax together;
- Plan a date night on the beach;
- Play fun games and giggle;
- Celebrate your special occasions;
- Go on a hike or a tour together…
The better the time, the stronger the relationship!
8. Sex Is Important, Too
When it comes to relationships, intimacy is just like a perfect frosting on an already tasty cake. While it’s not necessarily one of the relationship rules (everyone has a different preference when it comes to intimate life), studies show that having sex and physical touch helps couples to bond. It cultivates a flourishing connection because it allows you to physically feel connected, and share each other at the most intimate level. It’s safe to say that sex is definitely a perfect romance habit to develop if you want to make and keep your relationship strong.
9. Enjoy Being Playful
It may sound funny, but couples should play and tease each other! Letting steam off, having a little fun, tickling each other, and even being childish is all healthy part of your relationship. It also helps you both to relax and enjoy just being you.
Even in intense situations, a little bit of gentle and playful teasing can help loosen up the tension and help you both breathe easier. Choosing to focus on the positive (even when things are not perfect – and they never are!) is one of the healthiest relationship rules you can set for yourself.
10. Keep a Relationship Strong By… Spending Some Time Apart
A little time apart can also keep you both healthy and happy. After 14 years in a relationship, I can honestly say that spending time apart from each other is as important as spending time together. Sometimes, it even sparks and uncovers an unprecedented amount of passion!
Spending time apart is one of those relationship rules that actually focus on each of you as an individual. And no, it’s not because “after a long time people get bored of each other”… I never got bored of my partner.
Yet when you spend too much time together, you can end up in a situation called a co-dependent relationship. This is when spouses start to lose their own authenticity and feel like they, as one, don’t or can’t exist without their partner (which is not true).
It’s incredibly important to stay YOU – the real, authentic YOU with your own needs, likes, dislikes, goals, dreams, passions, wishes, and abilities. Essentially, this is what made your partner interested in you in the first place. Thus, a healthy rule for a strong relationship is to have gentle boundaries and personal autonomy from time to time. This is the key to both personal happiness and a lasting partnership.
The Best Books About Healthy Communication and Relationship Rules
Here are a few relationship books I highly recommend if you want to learn more about relationship rules and have that rock-solid bond with your romantic partner:
Feeling Good Together: The Secret to Making Troubled Relationships Work. A wonderful book for any kind of relationship problem – whether it would be your partner, your colleague, or friend. It will teach you to find real reasons why you can’t get along with the person you have in mind, and how to deal with any interpersonal problem quickly and effectively. Even more – it can help you to become a better person in your everyday life as well.
The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts. A must-read for every couple! If you want to learn how to mend, tend, and grow your relationship, this book will give a ton of invaluable insights and ideas on how to keep that fire burning. It is helpful in any relationship state, so it doesn’t matter if you guys are in a relationship crisis or a honeymoon phase – there’s something to learn for everyone.
Building Healthy Relationship Rules: The Recap
I hope these relationship rules will help you to strengthen or keep your relationships strong and untouchable. You can find more helpful ideas in these articles as well:
- How To Make Your Boyfriend Miss You
- How To Make Someone Fall In Love With You (Or Love You Even More)
- 10 Signs Your Partner Is Unhappy In Your Relationship
- 8 Simple Ways To Reconnect With Your Partner
Remember that building a connection with your life partner is not a one-day decision. It’s something that you work on every day, with small appreciative gestures, empathy, and enthusiasm to find a compromise in conflict situations.
Even when things seem dire, and you face relationship difficulties, remember that there are options as well. You can try professional help for couples and try to save your love with the help of couples therapists (or relationship counselors). A professional therapist can help you to see your romantic life from a perspective, because hey – identifying a problem is always the first step to solving it.
I wish you to love, and to be loved, deeply!
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We strive to use high-quality information and deliver content that is based on science, the latest research, comprehensive studies, or expert advice. These reputable sources have influenced or inspired this article:
Meeks BS, Hendrick SS, Hendrick C. Communication, Love and Relationship Satisfaction. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. 1998;15(6):755-773. doi:10.1177/0265407598156003
- Barnes, S., Brown, K.W., Krusemark, E., Campbell, W.K. and Rogge, R.D. (2007), The role of mindfulness in romantic relationship satisfaction and responses to relationship stress. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 33: 482-500. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1752-0606.2007.00033.x
- BUTZER, B. and CAMPBELL, L. (2008), Adult attachment, sexual satisfaction, and relationship satisfaction: A study of married couples. Personal Relationships, 15: 141-154. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-6811.2007.00189.x