Happy Love: Top 55 DOs and DONTs
You think your relationship is prefect, don’t you? Perhaps. I thought mine was until I got... divorced. Statistically, the majority of relationships are – mediocre. Recent study shows that 42 million people live in a sexless marriage, 40% cheat on their loved ones and 41% see lack of appreciation and communication as the cause for this relationship issue.
So why do couples fail and what makes them succeed? I've interviewed over 100 relationship experts, some were the best-selling authors, some married for over 44 years, dedicating their lives to helping couples thrive. So to simplify, I've compiled all this knowledge into a single, simple list of top 55 dos and don’ts of a happy love. The list is not perfect, but it's a good starting point. If you have more additions or corrections, feel free to add them into comments below.
Quick tip: Print and check off the items as you go creating the actionable plan necessary to make things better.
Do marry the right person. The right person does not: drink too much, spend too much, work too much, brag too much, use drugs or illegal behavior you disapprove of, is unfaithful, cruel, dishonest.
Do get married for the right reason. Right reasons do not include: “Urge to merge", To ease loneliness, To be happy, Beat depression, Out of wedlock pregnancy, Desperation, Insecurity, Social status, Money, Daddy’s child, Parental pressure, To have sex, To have someone to make you feel better about yourself, Free from parents, To show you're an adult, Because s/he loves you, You want a baby, A fancy wedding, Fear no one will want you, "Biological clock is ticking”, To solve immigration problems, Tired of being single, To avoid gossip of domestic partnership, To prove someone wrong.
Do support and encourage your partner's own growth both emotionally and intellectually.
Do understand and agree with partner’s wants and needs when it comes to sex and affection.
Do learn how to be sexually compatible with your partner.
Do be kind, considerate, and polite with your partner.
Do establish shared traditions, goals, values and beliefs.
Do realize the only constant is change.
Do make decisions to live a healthy lifestyle by eating healthier foods and getting exercise.
Do act like you are in love.
Do strive to be independent financially.
Do keep notes of your partner’s passions, sizes, likes and interests.
Do demonstrate respect and love with actions, tone of voice, facial expression, vocabulary and body language.
Do spend quality time together without distractions, i.e. the presence of your kids, relatives, friends, etc.
Do talk about something other than work, kids, and chores.
Do learn how to communicate effectively.
Do treat your partner as priority, like your most important client.
Do share the responsibilities of your home and future children.
Do set recurring calendar reminders for important dates. (Especially birthdays and anniversaries)
Do trust your partner. (Includes: not monitor phone calls, or computer usage, or limit the amount of time partner spends with others he/she cares about.)
Don’t stay married for the wrong reason. (Wrong reasons include: Joint tax benefits, for the sake of kids, its cheaper to keep her, the fear of sharing the truth about marital discontent, emotional paralysis, no place to live, lifestyle, status, power, addiction problem, medical reasons)
Don’t isolate your partner from his/her family and friends.
Don’t make your partner feel as if s/he has to walk on egg shells in order to keep peace in your home.
Don’t question your partner about his/her need for time alone or personal space.
Don’t feel like your partner has to justify his/her every move.
Don’t attack your partner’s personality or character. (Usually with the intent to make him/her wrong, “you always.., you never.., you are the type of person who.., why are you so..”)
Don’t attack your partner’s sense of self. (Insults and name-calling, “bitch, bastard, fat, stupid, ugly, slob, lazy..”; hostile humor, sarcasm, mockery, body language & tone of voice, sneering, rolling eyes, etc)
Don’t see yourself as a victim to ward off the perceived attack. (Making excuses, “Its not my fault…, I didn’t..)
Don’t meet your partner’s complaint with cross-complaining, with criticism or complain of your own. (Usually ignoring what your partner said)
Don’t disagree with your partner and then cross-complaint. (“That’s not true, you are the one who…; I did it because you did that..”)
Don’t Yes-butt. (Start off agreeing but end up disagreeing)
Don’t repeat yourself without paying attention to what your partner is saying.
Don’t whine. (“Its not fair, why do I always get this.., I did not deserve this.., I deserve better than this..”)
Don’t stone wall. (Withdrawing as a way to avoid conflict, stony science, changing the subject, removing yourself physically, silent treatment, monosyllabic mutterings.)
Do please your partner in bed.
Do lead by example.
Do focus on the positive things your partner does.
Do not cheat. No matter what. Don't give up what you want most for what you want now.
Do kiss each other goodnight, hello and goodbye.
Do embrace your differences. i.e. political, religious, cultural, etc.
Do make eye contact when you talk, make love, communicate to each other.
Do take care of yourself physically. Looks, good hygiene, make-ups, shaving (legs, underarms, chest, back), use deodorant, dry clean your clothes, calm your hair, etc
Do wear what your partner considers sexy: lingerie, costumes, suits, outfits, makeup, hair-do, etc.. at least once a week.
Don’t compare your relationship to other’s on Facebook or anywhere else. You don't know what their real story is.
Don’t spend all your personal time on media or electronic devices. (facebook, twitter, tv, phone, etc) Unless you are on this app.
Do have a social life. (host friends in your house, attend parties together, festivals, concerts, etc)
Do get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
Do have a date night, weekly.
Do assure your partner of your love.
Do follow through on your promises.
Do the little, romantic things.
Do use the Lovendar app. (I had to add.)