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Every relationship is special and unique—but there are general rules to follow that will (most likely) make for a happy and healthy partnership, regardless of who your partner is. Don’t believe me? Give the following do’s and don’ts of dating a whirl, and watch as your relationship improves accordingly.

The 5 Do’s of Dating

    1) Do give your partner room to breathe.
    “Hovering is usually associated with parenting, but it can afflict any relationship,” Nidhi Idnani—Meditation Coach and Certified Reiki Master—explains. “Remove the claustrophobia and possessiveness from your relationship. Instead, give space and let the person be.”

    2) Do have faith and trust in your partner.
    The second “do” for a happy partnership is to trust your partner, as explained by Idnani: “Ernest Hemingway once said, ‘The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.’ Chances are, if you bestow trust in your partner, he or she will not want to let you down.”

    3) Do communicate effectively.
    It’s also important that you adopt effective communication methods. “Telepathy or mind-reading is not a skill many people have. So please express yourself clearly, whether it’s communicating your feelings or expectations,” says Idnani. “Likewise, listening skills are of paramount importance in any relationship. It relays the message that you care. An additional tip: put your gadgets away while communicating.”

    4) Do perform acts of kindness.
    Simple acts of kindness can also go a long way and should be prioritized in your relationship. “Whether it’s a ‘just wanted to check on you’ phone call or picking up groceries for your loved one, an act of kindness leaves a beautiful and indelible mark on the relationship,” Idnani explains.

    5) Do share memorable experiences.
    And lastly, be sure to spend meaningful time together: “The more we consciously engage in an activity, be it playing board games, hiking, eating a meal together, or just laughing together, the more oxytocin gets released in our body,” says Idnani. “This feel-good hormone makes us not only feel good about ourselves but, by extension, the people with whom we shared the experience/activity, thereby strengthening that bond.”

The 5 Don’ts of Dating

    1) Don’t be a jerk.
    This first don’t is simple… “Don’t be a jerk!” Justin Lavelle, Chief Communications Officer at BeenVerified.com says. “Of course, the big things will alienate the bond you have with someone (i.e. cheating, lying, stealing), but little things that give you that ‘high maintenance’ label can do just as much damage. It may just take a little bit more time.”

    2) Don’t take your partner for granted.
    Lavelle’s next tips is to not take your partner for granted; instead, show your appreciation for them as often as possible: “If they do things for you, make sure you express your feelings such as just saying ‘thank you,’ leaving a note, or even just sending an emoji-filled text. Do things for your partner without being asked. Too many times, people get into relationships and drop those common courtesies. Living with an insensitive partner can wear on someone and certainly break a bond.”

    3) Don’t be obsessive or overprotective.
    It’s also important you don’t become overbearing or obsessive, Lavelle says: “We all get jealous from time to time, but try not to be obsessive. Unless you have solid evidence, your jealous feelings might be more of an issue you have with yourself than how you really feel about your mate. Insecurity with yourself causes a lot of false jealousy. Get yourself under control and it might be easier to trust the person you’ve selected to be with.”

    4) Don’t try to change your partner.
    “Don’t try to change your significant other. You were originally attracted to this person—don’t think it might be a good idea to try and change him/her,” Lavelle says. “The two of you do not need to have all of the same interests and friends. If you can participate and be a good sport with their hobbies, then great, but otherwise let them have their time. A relationship will fall apart quickly if you try to change all the things you don’t like about your mate and you just might end up changing them into someone you don’t like as well.”

    5) Don’t be a bad roommate.
    And lastly, don’t be a bad, sloppy, or unhelpful roommate. “Be a good roommate. Even though you might be romantically involved, you are still roommates and this applies to married couples as well,” Lavelle explains. “So be a good roommate. Don’t be a slob—pitch in, and help. Take it upon yourself to help out and then do things that help the other person. It won’t take long for the relationship to fail if you think you have a live-in housekeeper and cook.”

Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett is a staff writer at Thriveworks. She devotes herself to distributing important information about mental health and wellbeing, writing mental health news and self-improvement tips daily. Taylor received her bachelor’s degree in multimedia journalism, with minors in professional writing and leadership from Virginia Tech. She is a co-author of Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book and has published content on Thought Catalog, Odyssey, and The Traveling Parent.

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