1. I will not take it for granted. I think love is a special thing and it doesn't come around everyday. That special person will be in my life at the right time and I don't want to mess it up by taking it for granted.
2. I will understand where they came from. Everyone has a past and everyone has a story. The best part of being in a relationship is learning something new everyday. I never want to stop learning.
3. I will be their "best friend". As cheesy as it sounds, friendship is an important part of a relationship and/or marriage. If you can't be friends, how can you be anything else?
4. I will forgive. Forgiveness is hard, especially after getting burned a few times. Even when its hard, and even when I am hurt, I will give them a second chance. But if it turns into third, fourth, or fifth chances, maybe its time to reevaluate.
5. I will listen more and talk less. Listening can be a powerful tool and should be used often. With listening comes understanding and productive conversation. No one can say how they feel, what they want, or what they need if both parties are always talking and not listening.
6. Take my time. My first marriage was a whirlwind and while the notion is romantic, it's not always realistic. Don't get me wrong, my parents met and married quickly and are still married to this day, but next time I won't rush. Refer to #3. Friends first.
7. Play. Laugh. Smile. Enjoy. I think two people in a relationship should enjoy each other, and that's always been my goal. In life bills pile up, work becomes stressful, and drama happens, but I think a relationship should be a place of solitude when life gets tough. You can never laugh, play, smile, or enjoy your partner too much.
8. Learn new things. I think doing adventurous and new things is a must in a relationship. Life can become a routine, but its nice to spice things up a bit. Taking a cooking class, going to a new city, learning a new hobby are all great ways to learn something new and ignite new conversations. I think this will become a point in my next relationship.
9. Chill out. I can be quite intense, even when I don't try to be. It's good to be with someone who is a bit more laid back with a go-with-the-flow mentality. One of my goals is to learn to relax. Life will happen no matter what and little things will come up that I simply can't control. It's important to take time out and just get back to what's important. I am sure my partner would appreciate this.
10. Keep it healthy. Relationships are to be based on health. If a relationship causes you to struggle or completely "let go" in areas of your life, it may be time to re-evaluate. During my marriage things that were once important in regard to my health were simply ignored. Other things and stresses became more important, and I forgot to balance out my mental, emotional, and physical health. When both partners are healthy and pursuing health together, the relationship in turn becomes healthier. It's science.
What are your most important relationship rules or tips?