A Fresh Look at Some Relationship “Rules”


You’ve probably heard some of these so-called “rules” for relationships before. You may have even had them quoted at you in the guise of helpful advice. But how effective are these rules? Should you ever break them? Here are few rules that may deserve breaking.

1. Using “I” instead of “you.” This is actually a great tip. Instead of saying accusing things like “You make me angry when you…” relationship counselors advise expressing your feelings in a less confrontational way by saying things like “I feel angry when you…” However, whether you’re saying you or I, you’re still talking about two separate individuals. Saying “we” is a much better way for couples to work through problems. Focus on what you can do together to solve the problem.

2. Never go to bed angry. The idea behind this is good—you should never give up on finding a resolution to a disagreement—but sometimes you simply don’t have time to work through your anger before bed. Spending a sleepless night won’t help, especially if you have other responsibilities in the morning. If you can’t kiss and make up before bed, think of all the things you love about your partner as you fall asleep, to help you calm down.

3. Be brutally honest about your feelings. Honesty is definitely a good thing, but sometimes there is such a thing as too much honesty. Be sensitive about what comments or complaints your partner can handle at a given moment. Don’t insult them needlessly in the name of honesty.

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