Popular sayings such as: “The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing” and “All’s fair in love and war” deal with the uniqueness of each emotional attachment and situation. So while there are no hard and fast rules for anything; and especially not for matters of the heart, here are a few general pointers of “Dos” that can be helpful:
DO: Remember that the opposite sex is exactly that, OPPOSITE!!! Don’t always expect things to be done, said or interpreted the way you would. But try to understand their point of view, accept it and reach a compromise that works for you both.
DO: Keep in mind that “even the devil knoweth not the thoughts of your heart” and neither does your partner…unless you tell them.
DO: Treat your partner like you are with them as a matter of choice (which you are). Acting as if you are under compulsion to be in the relationship makes you a drag and says more about you than it does about them.
DO: Take time out to laugh, play and celebrate the good things in life together. Remember “laughter is the best medicine”, “don’t take yourself too seriously no one else does”, “all work and no play…”, etc laughter is infectious and will help lighten most burdens and situations.
DO: Share everything. Be generous materially, but most of all be generous and share who you really are with your partner.
DO: Practice openness. Honesty is the best policy. You will find that talking about “it” before “it” happens can save a whole lot of grief and misunderstanding. Besides, truth leads to trust, trust leads to respect, respect (often) leads to love and then comes the best gift of all: true intimacy.
DO: Take time out together to be apart. You have probably heard this a million times before and it cannot be over emphasized. It is extremely important to nurture other interests and proper friendships outside each other. All relationships need that time out with other people to re-vitalize, refresh and help you appreciate your partner even more. Khalil Gibran put it quite well: “…and stand together, yet not too near together; For the pillars of the temple stand apart; And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow”.
DO: Give the person you have committed to your full confidence and trust. Jealousy is an ugly emotion and can make you do even uglier things. As long as you are both in an honest committed relationship, you are exactly what your partner wants and has chosen. Act like it!
DO: Take everything in your relationship about your partner at face value. Stop reading into it what you want to hear. Most people hear what they want to hear. By the time reality hits, the negativity will be overwhelming
DO: Surprise them often with different acts of love; it makes you or keeps you interesting in their mind. A woman once said this: “I once told my husband that I didn’t think that I loved him anymore. After a millisecond I said that I knew that I loved him and I didn’t have to guess. That was a wonderful evening!”
DO: Make an effort to spend time learning about your partner’s work, their hobbies or favorite sport. You might surprise yourself and actually enjoy it and even if you never fall in love with the activity, it will always be one more thing you can bond over.
DO: Pick your fights carefully. Not everything is worth a full-scale-blown-out argument. Agreeing to disagree works out quite well a lot of times. It’s said that if you can forget anything your partner has done, then you should let it go COMPLETELY! However when the need does arise, express yourself in a clear and mature manner, avoiding harsh and hurtful language. Also give your partner a chance to do the same and who knows, you may eventually end up on the same page. (Actually, you should!)
DO: Make rules together to guide you through some tough times when common sense may be momentarily absent. Joy and Julius, for example, have a “two week rule” where no one can bring up anything which happened more than two weeks ago in the course of an argument
DO: show your love for your partner in the way you care for them, your children and even for yourself!
And finally, enjoy what you do as you watch out for the DONTS!