Hello Lovely,

Dating rules have changed. Again. But even though the playing field has become a bit of uncharted territory, some traditional dating do's and don’ts still apply. Some people have rules for when you should call, how often or if at all. But don’t get swept up in trends and fads that leave you heartbroken. Learn the truth about 9 common (and some new) rules when it comes to dating!

1.      Say “I love you” every day.

Perhaps the most important love rule is to just say it. Say “I love you”. We often get so caught up in daily activities that we don’t always remind our loved ones how we feel. Some may say that if their partner needs to hear it every day, then they have a self-esteem issue. That could be true, but why risk letting your loved ones think you’ve taken them for granted. Life is short and unpredictable, love anyway; and let the people you love, know that you love them.

2.      Play hard to get.

This is the biggest destroyer of intimacy. If you’re looking for a true relationship, you can’t start it off by playing games. Deception has no place in romance. It’s one thing if you play hard to get and another if you really are hard to get. Sometimes we’re just so busy we need to be chased a little, yes. Or maybe we need to show our partner that we have standards and won’t fall for just anything. In those cases, these are fine. But intentionally misleading your partner to make them work harder than they should just because it amuses you or your friends will only lead to broken hearts, including your own.

3.      Your spouse shouldn’t be your best friend.

Whoever said this has no idea how to have a happy relationship. I tell my best friends everything (but not everything at the same time). When I’m in a relationship there are some things I’ll tell my partner and some things I won’t, but I’ll tell another best friend. Not because I don’t trust my partner with the information, but it just may not pertain to him. I expect to have full(ish) confidentiality, truthfulness and disclosure with my partner. This is how I view relationships: When you’re my best friend, I expect to talk to you every day or every other day. If I can go weeks without talking to you, then I don’t need you in my life. I’m fine without you, but I chose you to be in my life, so act like it. If your partner isn’t your best friend, then what are they and why are they in your life?

4.      Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

As I am in a long distance relationship, I can vouch for this. We can count on one hand how many times we will get to physically see each other per year so it definitely makes us value that time together. However, it doesn’t come without stress because texting, phone calls and Skype can only do so much (sorry technology). It’s not the real thing and for some people can lead to rifts in emotional connections, making people stray.

5.      You can learn to love someone.

Have you ever seen the Zoosk commercial with the slogan, “First comes like”? It’s a modern play on the old adage, “First comes love then comes marriage.” But if you know anything about dating, love does not come first. I’ll admit, when I saw my boyfriend’s online dating profile, it was love at first sight for me, quickly followed by a, “I don’t know about this” once I kept reading. But when we spoke, I learned to look past things that turned out not be such a big issue. Don’t think of it as settling. But also, don’t force yourself to love someone just for the sake of being with someone or because you’re afraid to hurt them. Love takes time, and you should learn to love everyone individually, as you build trust and friendship.

6.      Never go to bed angry.

I’m a firm believer in this one. I’ve learned with my boyfriend that just because I need to discuss something doesn’t mean that he is willing to discuss something and he has learned the same. But one thing we value is never going to bed angry. We always try our best to hash it out before saying goodbye, and ending things with “I love you”. There have been times when we just couldn’t reach a solution and I woke up the next day feeling angrier because I lost sleep over the issue. There have also been times when I woke up the next day over it and just ready to move on. So while you shouldn’t go to bed angry, don’t think that you have to solve every problem before hitting the hay. Sometimes letting the issue air out is best before you say something you’ll regret.

7.      Having kids will bring you closer.

This one is a lie from the pits of hell! Children are wonderful gifts from above, yeah, yeah, yeah. Children are huge energy and financial strains that you’re stuck with for life, not just 18 years. I’m 25 and still living at home with my mother! Any couple will tell you that you lose time, privacy, and intimacy. And don’t think that having kids will make him stay. If you’re not married, he has no reason to stay with you. He made no commitment to you, let alone this human being that you decided to bring into the world. I know girls whose boyfriend’s left them while they were pregnant. Work on your problems before the baby comes, because it’ll be a lot harder afterwards.

8.      You can never be too close.

SO FALSE! You guys are going to need your own space! I know you don’t want to take one another for granted but don’t smother them!

9.      Love conquers all.

Love does not conquer poverty, addiction, abuse or imprisonment. I know as Christians we are called to love unconditionally in our marriages, but we are not God and therefore do not have to put up with any form of abuse whether it be physical or emotional. We are worth more than that, and if our partner cannot see that, we do not have to stay miserable. I don’t care what anyone says; things like domestic and sexual abuse cannot be “prayed away”. Love is a big part of a lasting relationship, but shared values and commitment are still required.