1. Don’t make her wait.
Nobody enjoys waiting, so don’t put off making plans with her, and always arrive on time. When she sends you a sweet text message don’t just file it away. Send one back. Let her know you’re thinking of her too, and nothing says she’s most important to you than responding right away.
2. Don’t assume anything.
I’m sure you’ve seen those relationships that fall apart because of assumptions, because one partner thought things were one way while the other thought the opposite. I know I’ve seen my fair share of them. One thing that is ultimately necessary for a long term relationship is communication, constant and steady.
3. Don’t compare her to others (even favorably).
“Baby, you’re so much hotter than [insert name here].” Don’t do it. See, while you think you’re doing her a favor by telling her how much hotter she is, she’s thinking you must have been checking out [insert name here]. And, tell the truth, you were definitely checking out someone else, even if you compared the other person unfavorably to your significant other. Just leave the whole issue alone. When giving her a compliment just tell her what she means to you, not how different she is from anyone else.
4. Don’t let her assume anything.
Lies by omission are lies just the same. Somebody told me that once, and it’s true. Don’t let her believe something is a certain way when you know it isn’t. Trust is the cornerstone of any solid relationship, and once you lose it because either you made assumptions or she did then it’s like you’re walking on broken glass.
5. Don’t accept routine.
Having set patterns can be great. They’re often comfortable because you know what’s going to happen and when, but they can also make things stale in your relationship. It’s a fine line and you have to learn when it’s okay and when it’s simply a crutch that can be detrimental instead. Take some time to be spontaneous, to surprise her and yourself in turn.
6. Don’t put her second, or third, or fourth, or…
Sure, you have a million interests, but absolutely none of them can or should come before your significant other. You don’t want to feel neglected, and neither does she. Take time out from watching that game, or reading that book, or hanging every weeknight with the guys to make sure she’s your number one. Neglect is the number one killer of relationships, not cheating. Keep that in mind.
7. Don’t let things fester.
Yes, we can all get angry sometimes, and most times that anger is justified, but don’t lose sight of your love. That love should calm you down enough to talk things out instead of letting those angry feelings build up in silence. When you finally explode there is less chance for reconciliation because 1) now you have resentment, and 2) now she sees another side of you that makes her think again about wanting to be with you.
8. Don’t always give in.
The French invented the word “compromise” for a reason, because they knew that even with the most similar of individuals there are differences, and it’s those differences that make for strange bedfellows. Too often we try to avoid conflict [see: 7] by just letting her have her way, but that can also lead to resentment, which is legitimately unfair. It’s not her fault you didn’t stand up for what you wanted, that you didn’t give her a chance to work with you on a compromise. Let her know how you feel, even if it might be unpopular. Communication is key.
9. Don’t try to change her.
She’s the person you fell in love with, the person you decided you wanted to be with, so don’t start thinking just a few tweaks will make her even better. We spend too much time fighting our own minds when it comes to being happy with ourselves, and just as you do it, so does she. But if she’s the person for you then you need to accept her, “warts” and all, just as she has accepted you in spite of the negatives on your checklist. When we love another person we can see past those things because we see their heart and soul, and that’s more important by far.
10. Don’t feel inadequate.
Listen. She chose you for a reason, or for a plethora of reasons. Don’t let yourself start feeling self-conscious, thinking that she is “too good” for you because in time that turns into resentment. There is no such things as perfect, but I love the way it has been put before: “You’re not perfect, but you’re perfect for me.” It’s this type of perfect that is sustainable, and we need to believe in it instead of doubting ourselves at every possible opportunity. There is only so much reassurance she can give you that you’re the man for her, so just accept it and move on. Happily.