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A friend of mine recently broke up with her boyfriend and though the poor bloke was devastated, my friend claimed it was for the best because, “there are just some things you do not do in a relationship!”

Most of us, whether it’s the ladies or gents, tend to think we are entitled to certain things when we are in relationships but we really aren’t. We tell ourselves that relationships are ‘giveand take’ yet all we do is take then blame. Now, we all know there are no manuals to love and its different for everyone, but there are at least 10 basic rules to follow if you are going to do it right!

1)  Boundaries!

First things first, never enter a relationship without setting a few boundaries. It may come as news to most of you but, yes, you need to establish ground rules in your relationship. This may mean establishing the ‘no cheating and no sex’ rules for some or anything else you may need to voice out before the actual relationship tango begins, rules are rules. Just ensure you have a failsafe so that when he/she pushes the limit, you can always refer to your little covenant.

2)  ‘Thou shalt not lie!’

The Bible kids you not when it instructs you that the truth shall set you free! Studies show that 90% of the time when your significant other (your s/o)asks you a question, along the lines of your whereabouts or who you were with, more often than not they already know the answer. It does you no favours at all when you try and make them seem foolish because your actions speak louder than your words. Usually your lies catch up with you and they only worsen the gravity of your crimes. Tell the truth, it is really that simple!

3)  Too close for comfort!

Although it is more than encouraged that you spend time with your partner, it doesn’t mean that you must breathe down their neck every minute of everyday. Remember that you are two separate people and you need to have a life apart from the s/o. Sharing everything with each other to avoid secrets and lies is good but never make the mistake of getting too close. Aside from these players taking advantage of your needy self (they can smell desperation from a mile away), a clingy partner becomes annoying as quickly as they became desirable and it is only a matter of time before your partner starts having second thoughts about you.

4)  Forget-me-not!

So after your long streak of lonely days and a hopeless love life with just your best friends for comfort, a knight in pleated armour comes your way and all of a sudden its “bye bestie, hello hunk”? No way! Don’t make the mistake of forgetting your friends and making the new someone in your life the only one getting your attention. Things do not always work out, especially when it comes to love, and when you are back to where you started, nobody is going to be willing to take in the prodigal friend!

5)  Add a little sauce…

…et voila! The perfect ingredient to a lasting relationship. I know this one may be especially hard to do but it is an absolutely necessary step. Do not get too comfortable! I will say it again, keep things spiced up! Every moment spent with your s/o must be special and different, it can’t be the same stuff over and over again. It also can’t be you expecting him/her to have all the ideas. Try and pose a challenge every once in a while, and only a CHALLENGE not a full blown competition. In simpler terms, don’t be predictable.

6)  It’s not a war!

Now comes the hard part, the battle of wills. I understand that it isn’t always that people agree and fights tend to erupt from time to time. My advice? Do not start fights in public. In fact, fights in general serve no greater purpose than to make you both even angrier at each other. Instead, discuss issues tearing you apart head on. Come right out to your partner and tell them exactly what it is that is on your mind. Bottling things up and expecting change is really nothing short of foolishness.

7)  So there’s this other guy…

Let me come right out with it. Never in, any condition, befriend your ex or your crush whilst you are in a relationship. This on its own is a delicious recipe for pure disaster. An ex on its own is a dangerous ingredient to carry with you, in your cell phone, to the next relationship. Add a budding crush into the mix with his frequent texts coupled with very lengthy phone calls, and you get a very potent jealous boy/girlfriend, a million insecurities and zero trust whatsoever. I’m sure nobody in the world would want to dig into that meal!

8)  Assumption is the mother of all f**k ups!

Good communication skills really get you everywhere, just like flattery. Do not work on assumptions! It is far less embarrassing for you to ask a question and get a response which you can later peg up as ‘yet another lie’ than for you to jump to accusations based on assumptions that were probably not even yours to begin with. If you are going to investigate, be wise about it, be thorough so that at interrogation time you are not the one who looks crazy, needy and insecure.

9)  Take me as I am.

Never try to change who your s/o is, characteristically. The unspoken rule in dating life is that you take a person, flawed as they are, and you love them as they are. Problems arise when people leap headfirst into relationships without actually thinking about the person they are going to be with and whether or not they truly want in. That alone is the reason why many modern relationships end even before they begin. As a popular women’s empowerment theme goes, ‘take me as I am or not at all.’

10)  Don’t touch my phone!

Though this may sound a little silly and probably very suspicious among all the other rules, it may be the most important one yet. Never must you ever go through your partner’s phone! Yes, I know you are wondering what on earth I must be thinking but it’s really for your own good. Think about how many little things are housed in your phone, maybe a photograph or a message which, though harmless, could awaken the beast of wrath in your s/o. The same things in your phone will be in his, if not twice so and though the snooping may be fun, the hurt that follows won’t be. A few people might even add, you were looking for trouble when you went a-snooping and sadly, trouble found you first. Don’t even flirt with the idea, phones are a big no, no!


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