A List of Do's and Dont's for a Healthy Relationship

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 @ 12:36 PM

In AD 269 the Roman priest Valentine, was martyred during the reign of Claudius II. He was arrested and imprisoned simply because he was caught marrying Christian couples, a serious crime at the time. Claudius actually took a liking to his prisoner – until Valentine tried to convert the Emperor and he was condemned to death. Although our hero was beheaded, Saint Valentine set a standard for the importance of lovers being together and joining their lives in mutual respect and passion.

As a couples counselor, I witness daily how individuals become lazy in love. At the start of their relationship they probably made a real effort. Once upon a time, he sent her flowers at work, and she wrote him long romantic emails, they talked on the phone until late at night. She may have  gladly sat through the football games and he endured romantic comedies. When they started dating, he planned exciting outings and she cooked him dinner by candlelight and served him breakfast in bed. Well, what happened?

As a relationship becomes more comfortable and familiar, individuals can forget to make the effort needed. Motivation drops when the hunt is over, and the “happily ever after” appears to be locked in. Unhealthy patterns can replace the compassion and romance that once dominated a couple’s time together. Without knowing it, men and women stop prioritizing their special person and start taking him or her for granted. That is when a relationship will likely suffer and passion will grow cold.

It’s never too late to turn things around. Stop neglecting your partner and start doing things that foster a strong, healthy, loving relationship. Here is a list of tips that through my experience have helped others remember the basic Do’s and Don’ts of Love.

  • Do walk hand-in-hand together
  • Don’t walk one in front of the other
  • Do meet and greet each other with a hug every time you get home
  • Don’t give the dog attention first
  • Do have conversations over dinner sharing the day’s highlights
  • Don’t watch the news during your meal
  • Do be flexible and compromise
  • Don’t pout if you don’t get your way
  • Do kiss good-bye every time you part
  • Don’t yell “I’m leaving now, see you later”
  • Do be supportive of each other’s goals and dreams
  • Don’t be judgmental or cynical
  • Do sit together on the coach to watch a show or movie
  • Don’t watch TV in bed
  • Do love, honor and respect
  • Don’t undermine, degrade or tease
  • Do talk with one another over breakfast
  • Don’t read the newspaper during the meal
  • Do schedule time for foreplay
  • Don’t leave lovemaking until just before falling asleep
  • Do ask for what you need
  • Don’t try to mind-read or assume your partner can mind-read
  • Do accept your partner for his or her uniqueness
  • Don’t try to change your partner
  • Do have fun together
  • Don’t act your age
  • Do enjoy each other thoroughly during love making
  • Don’t rush through sex or do it the same way every time
  • Do surprise your partner occasionally
  • Don’t be boring and predictable in the way you show love
  • Do plan ahead for birthdays, anniversaries and Valentine’s Day
  • Don’t buy gifts at the last minute
  • Do be quick to forgive
  • Don’t hold grudges
  • Do lavish with “I love yous”
  • Don’t hold back words of affirmation

Creating a loving, long-term relationship is a time-consuming, challenging endeavor that you will face your entire life. But it is also the most rewarding aspect of truly living!

Written by Gina Guddat