20 Basic Relationship Rules That Strengthen Your Bond

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People often rush into a relationship without having clarity about what they want and what their partner is expecting. If you want to be in a fulfilling relationship, you may want to know the basic relationship rules. Unfortunately, most relationships fall apart after the initial excitement and cause despair to the couple. A relationship without a vision and commitment will take you nowhere. Hence, setting the right rules and following them without fail is imperative for a fruitful alliance. In this post, we discuss the basic rules that help you have a healthy and long-lasting relationship.

In This Article

Why Should You Have Relationship Rules?

Relationship rules are essential to create a framework for understanding and maintaining a healthy relationship. Let’s see why relationship rules matter:

  • To establish boundaries and expectations and lay the foundation for trust and respect. For example, give space and respect each other’s time.
  • It will deepen your bond. For instance, make it a rule to cook alternatively and do the dishes together.
  • To avoid misunderstandings and conflicts among couples. For example, discuss your monthly budget and create a tentative budget for the subsequent month.

Note that relationship rules should be flexible and based on mutual respect with an intention of well-being for both.

How Do You Set Relationship Rules?

Establishing rules is crucial for a healthy and happy relationship. Here are key steps to set such rules:

1. Discuss healthy boundaries: Have open communication about personal boundaries and find constructive ways to handle them. Address unhealthy boundaries by understanding the root issues. For instance, if there’s a concern about excessive video gaming, set limits like specific gaming hours or completion of chores before playing rather than banning it outright.
2. Differentiate between wants and needs: Ensure both partners express their wants and needs, promoting understanding and respect. A fulfilling relationship considers the desires of both individuals beyond just physical intimacy. Discuss and establish these wants and needs to create a strong foundation.
3. Plan for various scenarios: Anticipate potential challenges like job changes or breakups and establish rules for handling them. Having a plan for unexpected situations promotes clarity and helps you navigate tough times.
4. Create a safe space: Love should be a source of joy, not anxiety. Establish rules that create a safe space where mutual respect and understanding thrive. A healthy relationship is about giving, not just taking. It’s a haven where partners appreciate and uplift each other, creating a positive and loving environment.

Relationship Rules Every Couple Must Follow

Whether you are just entering a relationship or have been in one for some time, rules help you take it to the next level. Follow the below rules and see the magic work:

1. Love with no conditions whatsoever:

Love cannot have conditions. It becomes all too materialistic when “only ifs” seep into your relationship.

You cannot have conditions like you can only love if your partner earns more than you, if he buys you gifts every month, if she looks beautiful always.

Love your partner as your parents love you – unconditional.

2. Your relationship is your priority:

Make your relationship your topmost priority. Invest time and effort in your relationship and constantly strive to make it better.

3. Keep your communication channel always open:

Without communication, you can drift apart in your relationship. Let your communication be open and honest. No matter how busy or tired you are, don’t let that block your communication.

4. Hug as often as you can:

Hug as often as you can
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Include it in your daily routine and make your hugs last longer. Hugging increases the oxytocin (the love hormone) levels and reduces cortisol ( the stress hormone) (1).

5. Have sex generously:

Don’t schedule sex, let it be impromptu. That’s when it becomes exciting and the intimacy between you grows. Don’t let any excuses come in your way when it comes to having sex.

6. Spend quality time together:

Spend quality time together
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You need not necessarily go on a date night. You may also have a romantic dinner at home, just sit in the garden or balcony and rewind your memories or watch your favorite TV program together. The idea is to take a break from your busy schedules to stay close.

7. Be honest and truthful to build trust:

Trust develops on honesty and truthfulness. Occasional minor and harmless lies are permitted to keep your partner happy but cheating and lack of fidelity have no place in a relationship.

protip_icon Quick tip
Learn your partner’s love language. Whether it is spending quality time together, physical intimacy, or words of affirmation, understanding what they enjoy the most will strengthen your bond.

8. Criticize but don’t hurt:

If you want to criticize your partner to make them better, then the criticism should be constructive and positive. Help your partner understand the intention behind the criticism.

9. Have a healthy argument:

Have a healthy argument
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Arguments can be healthy as long as they are not constant and hurtful. You can agree to disagree peacefully. Make it a habit of listening actively and arguing less. That shows your respect for each other.

10. Stand by each other:

We hope tough times do not touch your lives, but it’s during these times you have to stand by your partner and prove your unflinching love for each other. That’s when your relationship strengthens.

Lauren Hall, wife, mother, and writer, emphasizes that the strongest relationships are the ones that navigate through challenges together. She shares, “In my marriage, emotional and mental health issues have crept up more often than physical ailments. Not to mention addiction. I’m not ashamed of this; I’ve spoken about it multiple times. Three years ago, I had my last Drink. My alcoholism sucked away fifteen years of my life, but thanks to sobriety, it’s not over yet. My husband had every right to leave me during those years. Every. Right. But he never did. He came close a few times; he’s human. But he never left and when I asked him why he didn’t, he just reminded me about our vows. He reminded me about how important we both felt they were and how important it was to keep our relationship healthy for our child (at that point, we had just one) (i).”

11. Appreciate the good things in your partner:

No matter how simple or routine the task may be, appreciate your partner and thank them for everything. It shows that you respect and value them, both of which are important for a long-lasting relationship.

12. Take and give some personal space:

Proximity does not mean getting clingy with your partner. Give them their personal space, leave them alone for sometime in a day, and let them unwind the way they want. Similarly, make sure you are getting your share of me-time to pursue your career, hobbies or just relax.

13. Celebrate the special days:

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Do not forget the important days in your relationship – the day you first met each other, your first date, the day your partner proposed to you, and of course your birthdays and wedding anniversary. Celebrate your togetherness and create cherishable memories.

14. Understand and empathize with your partner:

If your partner is having a bad temper on a day and shouts at you, show empathy, and control the temptation to answer them back in the same tone. They might have had a tough day at work or be feeling stressed. Understand their perspective, empathize with them, and when the time is apt, find out what is bothering them.

15. Forgive and forget:

Mistakes do happen. If your partner hurts you, forgive him/her and forget about it. Forgiveness will encourage them to do the same when you make a mistake.

protip_icon Point to consider
Whenever there’s a fight, remember it’s “you two” against the issue. Not you and your partner.

16. Show interest in your partner’s hobbies activities:

Couple enjoying hobbies
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Does your partner follow a sport that you find boring? You don’t have to tell them that. Instead, try to understand the sport, support them, and ask your partner about it. Show interest and indulge in your partner’s interests. You will begin to appreciate them.

17. Ask what you want:

Don’t expect your partner to understand all your needs and wants. Telepathy will not work all the time. If you need something, just ask for it instead of simply keeping quiet and hoping that your partner will meet all your expectations.

18. Accept the imperfections:

Nobody is perfect! Accept your partner with all their perfections and imperfections. Relationships are about being the right partner, not the perfect partner because perfect doesn’t exist.

19. Keep your promises:

That makes you trustworthy, reliable and increases your credibility.

20. Do the best and be the best you can:

All of us are vulnerable to criticism and fear – the fear of doing something wrong and being criticized for it. Give your best to your relationship irrespective of your partner’s reaction. It is only so much you can do; the way your partner reacts to it is not in your control.

Rules are not just about doing something right; they are also about not doing certain things.

Things you should not do in a relationship

  • Discuss your past relationships and exes.
  • Take your partner for granted.
  • Go to bed angry.
  • Strive to be a perfect partner.
  • Try to fix or change the person.
  • Discuss your issues with friends or family.
  • Lose your patience during arguments.

It might sound clichéd, but relationships require effort, time, and love. Simply put, the more you nurture your relationship, the better it blooms.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can you build trust in a relationship?

Both partners must be honest about their feelings and should listen to one another without judging. It should be a teamwork. The couple must have open communication that gives scope for a better understanding of one another.

2. What are some strategies to resolve conflicts in a relationship?

An apology is the first step to resolving a conflict. The other partner must listen patiently and be willing to forgive, considering they may also make mistakes. Identify the issue and be open to compromise.

3. How can you handle jealousy in a relationship?

To tackle jealousy, you must build trust, create healthy boundaries, spend quality time with one another, and keep open communication. Remember that jealousy is common and normal. But nip it in the bud before it gets too hard to control.

4. What are the consequences of violating relationship rules?

When you do not take your relationship seriously, it is bound to crumble sooner or later. Violating relationship rules can make you and your partner grow apart and distant. It can cause irreparable damage to the relationship.

5. How can relationship rules help couples manage conflict?

Observing relationship rules, forgiving and forgetting minor mistakes, respecting personal space, maintaining loyalty, having healthy arguments, and keeping an open communication channel help resolve conflicts.

Following certain relationship rules can help you strengthen your bond and make the relationship stand the test of time. There can be issues when there are no rules once the initial excitement of being in a relationship wanes. Spending quality time together, sharing responsibilities, prioritizing the partner, being honest and truthful, and loving each other without conditions are the basic factors that tighten your relationship. Giving personal space, appreciating each other, and good communication helps to avoid any issues in relationships and let each partner maintain their self-identity.

Infographic: Relationship Rules Every Couple Must Follow

A relationship requires both partners to put in the effort to keep it running smoothly. Also, there are rules that both of them need to follow to ensure that they are on the same page and make things work. In the infographic, we present fundamental relationship rules you should know. You may share them with your partner also.

how to make your romance blossom (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get the high-quality PDF version of this infographic.

Download Infographic in PDF version

Key Pointers

  • Demonstrate unconditional support and commitment in your relationship.
  • Ensure clear and open communication is maintained in your relationship.
  • Invest time in engaging in meaningful activities that strengthen your bond and bring you closer.
  • Foster trust by being honest, forgiving, and approaching disagreements positively and constructively.
Relationship Rules_illustration

Image: Dall·E/MomJunction Design Team

Personal Experience: Source

Have any more rules to add to our list? Share them in the comments section below.

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