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Girls & Guys
Helen's Relationship Rules (karma: 10)
By oz_helenmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 11196, member since Sat Aug 10, 2002
On Sat Jul 24, 2010 10:51 PM
Edited by oz_helen (35388) on 2010-07-24 23:30:31 typo
Edited by oz_helen (35388) on 2010-07-24 23:31:58 more typos
Made sticky by TheMidlakeMuse (78507) on 2010-07-28 20:30:51 stickied!

I was elsewhere on the internet, talking to some people about relationships and decided to write down the rules that I've formulated over many years, but never actually documented. Some of these rules I've taken from other places, but only when they better defined an issue about which I was already formulating a rule. Half of the rules I already had before I met my husband. The other half came out of analysing why our relationship (and other great relationships around us) worked and why other relationships around us didn't work.

There are only six rules, but I feel they encompass pretty much everything as I see it at this point in my life. Of course, there are exceptions to the rules, however, the reason that those exceptional relationships work is because they more than make up for breaking one rule by being extra strong in all the others and having brilliant communication skills.

Feel free to discuss the rules and/or add the rules that you live by with regard to relationships.

Rule 1:
You shouldn't date anyone who is younger than your age/2 + 7. Outside of this isn't likely to work because of differing life stages.

Rule 2:
After a break-up you should take one week for every month of the relationship to recover, clear your head, heal your heart, find yourself and work out your priorities. So if you had an eight-month relationship, you need to give yourself eight weeks to be yourself, single. These weeks must be consecutive and uninterrupted. Any relationship that happens in the meantime is a rebound and most likely doomed to failure.

Rule 3:
If there's no respect, there's no relationship. I was asked if there was a rule for trust. In my opinion, if you respected your partner, you wouldn't do anything to break their trust. So trust and respect are conjoined.

Rule 4:
Never make life-changing decisions in the first 6 months of a relationship, for example: moving in together, getting engaged, getting pregnant. The first six months is a honeymoon period of high endorphins. It's a wonderful period of a relationship. However, you are not clear-headed at this time. No harm in waiting until love's first rush has subsided.

Rule 5:
There must be genuine laughter. Turgid/turbulent/tumultuous relationships are no fun and only belong in Twilight books/movies.

Rule 6:
You need to be on the same page with the big picture but have different small picture interests in order to both be a cohesive partnership and retain individual identity. Big picture things are core beliefs, for example: stances on children, religion, morality. Small picture interests are things such as hobbies, favourite bands, groups of friends, etc. Of course, some of the small picture interests can have crossover, but there should be enough differences to ensure you can be separate people in a partnership, not a single entity.

Helen

18 Replies to Helen's Relationship Rules

re: Helen's Relationship Rules
By Felsamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 4038, member since Thu Nov 09, 2006
On Sat Jul 24, 2010 11:17 PM
I saw when you posted this else where. I completely agree with all of these rules. I have seen people break all of them and nothing good comes of it.

The biggest one was a friend moving in with her boyfriend of 2 weeks and planning on fighting the mom for custody of their child :/

Some people.
re: Helen's Relationship Rules
By SiyoNqobamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7113, member since Fri Aug 02, 2002
On Sat Jul 24, 2010 11:22 PM
These rules are awesome. I totally agree with all of them.

Although, I've read quite a bit lately that the honeymoon period is actually 18-36 months.
re: Helen's Relationship Rules
By LoriCook Comments: 1762, member since Mon Aug 17, 2009
On Sun Jul 25, 2010 02:46 AM
I like all but number 2. I was married for 10 years. Don't think I needed 120 months to get my head on straight! But yes, a couple months to yourself is a wonderful idea.
Totally agree with number 3. It is the single most important thing in my opinion. Lust fades, admiration is lasting.
re: Helen's Relationship Rules
By ShadowLunaCatPremium member Comments: 8820, member since Sun Sep 12, 2004
On Sun Jul 25, 2010 03:08 AM
:O Helen?!? You didn't sticky this? SHAME on you!!

{{I love our Aussie Helen Mod!}}

AMAZING wisdom and advice!


wish I'd known all that earlier.


Shadow.
re: Helen's Relationship Rules
By Jennamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3017, member since Thu Feb 27, 2003
On Sun Jul 25, 2010 09:09 AM

You need to be on the same page with the big picture but have different small picture interests in order to both be a cohesive partnership and retain individual identity. Big picture things are core beliefs, for example: stances on children, religion, morality. Small picture interests are things such as hobbies, favourite bands, groups of friends, etc. Of course, some of the small picture interests can have crossover, but there should be enough differences to ensure you can be separate people in a partnership, not a single entity.


LOVE rule six! Very well said.

Actually, I like all of the rules.

I wonder if I broke rule 4 by planning to move into together before the six month period. Does waiting until the 7th month to actually make the move and close on the house deal salvage me at all?
re: Helen's Relationship Rules
By reel_faerie85member has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 4130, member since Mon Mar 08, 2010
On Sun Jul 25, 2010 10:15 AM
Great rules, although I think the time after a breakup is always different for each individual. Saying that out of an 8 yr relationship and a rebound for 5 months I have now been single for 18 months....
I wish I was stricter with myself and stuck to these rules with my previous relationships. At least now I know what I want from life and what I am willing to compromise on and what I am not.
re: Helen's Relationship Rules
By imadanseurPremium member Comments: 16604, member since Thu Dec 04, 2003
On Sun Jul 25, 2010 10:43 AM
I disagree with rule #1. My ex boyfriend was 10 years older than I was. I was 24 and he was 34 and we dated 7 years. My husband is 12 years older than me. One of my employers is married to a guy 12 years older, and a family friend married someone 16 years older. I think when it is the right person...it just is.
re: Helen's Relationship Rules
By Claritinmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 2100, member since Tue Aug 30, 2005
On Sun Jul 25, 2010 11:09 AM
^If it's a game of statistics, then rule 1 probably stands, but I agree that it doesn't always fit.

My ex-boyfriend and I were 16 years apart. I NEVER noticed the age difference except in the very beginning when I was a little self-conscious about it, and when we talked about pop culture. I actually thought the age difference made things kind of interesting when I did notice it. We dated for about two years and our break-up had nothing to do with incompatibility and everything to do bad circumstances. (He'd been unemployed and looking for work for the past year and a half and could no longer afford to live in our city any more. Rather than move back in with his mom, he landed a dream job in a different country for an indefinite period of time. Even if I had been four years or more older, according to that formula, I would have been in no place to uproot in a matter of weeks and move to Thailand with him.) I guess it's possible that something else could have come up in the course of the relationship, but we had lightly discussed marriage and kids and our timelines seemed pretty compatible.
re: Helen's Relationship Rules
By PinUpGirlmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 25878, member since Tue Jul 16, 2002
On Sun Jul 25, 2010 11:31 AM
Rule 1 makes sense the younger you are. If you're both out in the "real world" and have been for a while, it's less of a big deal. I've witnessed it working both ways. Inevitably, though, the wife is always younger.

I love rule 5. I'm a firm believer in a good laugh can fix anything, so that's one I definitely would stick with. The drama llama can stay out of my relationship thankyouverymuch.
re: Helen's Relationship Rules
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 34891, member since Wed May 22, 2002
On Sun Jul 25, 2010 12:18 PM
^I agree. I think rule number one makes more sense, the younger the people are that are involved. If you're 34, and dating somebody that's 46, that's no big whoop. If you're 12 and dating someone that's 24, that's an ENORMOUS whoop, no matter how "cool" everyone is with it. :D
re: Helen's Relationship Rules
By iPurplemember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 527, member since Sun Jun 20, 2010
On Sun Jul 25, 2010 12:19 PM
imadanseur wrote:

I disagree with rule #1. My ex boyfriend was 10 years older than I was. I was 24 and he was 34 and we dated 7 years. My husband is 12 years older than me. One of my employers is married to a guy 12 years older, and a family friend married someone 16 years older. I think when it is the right person...it just is.


Yes, I agree as well, but you were both in the same stage of life. I think rule number one applies to say, an 18 year old being with a 23 year old. They would be in completely different stages of life.

Also, I've heard that around 25 or so, a man's maturity is 10 years younger than his age. :P
---
This topic should be a sticky!
re: Helen's Relationship Rules
By Arakmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 18126, member since Sun Aug 13, 2000
On Sun Jul 25, 2010 05:13 PM
All I have to say is that Rule #3 should be Rule #1.
re: Helen's Relationship Rules
By DeStijlmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7023, member since Sat Jul 17, 2004
On Sun Jul 25, 2010 07:20 PM
I've just started applying all these rules to my recent realtionship, and it is hands down the most comfortable and steady relationship I've been in. No dramas, no disappointments, a lot of love and fun. No more bitter old men, tedious situations or rushing things. It's amazing what a little caution can do!
re: Helen's Relationship Rules
By Brittanymember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 15182, member since Thu Aug 22, 2002
On Sun Jul 25, 2010 07:43 PM
The guy I've started seeing recently is in a completely different life stage as me and he is 10 and a half years older than I am (32 and 21, almost 22). Yes, it's different that he has a career already and I am still in college but it has been something both of us enjoy. I like that he has a steady career and knows where he is going in life and he seems to enjoy being around someone in their early 20's. So yeah, I think rule #1 might hold true for many people...especially if you are younger (and when it is typically illegal) but some people it doesn't hold true for.

But the rest I wholeheartedly agree with. I've also come to realize that standards are standards for a reason. I've dated men who didn't fully fit my standards whether it be with education, job, morals, etc and it never works. I always try to tell myself that maybe it will work out but no..it doesn't.
re: Helen's Relationship Rules
By oz_helenmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 11196, member since Sat Aug 10, 2002
On Sun Jul 25, 2010 11:00 PM
Edited by oz_helen (35388) on 2010-07-25 23:08:24 another reply
Edited by oz_helen (35388) on 2010-07-25 23:09:30 typo
LoriCook wrote:

I like all but number 2. I was married for 10 years. Don't think I needed 120 months to get my head on straight! But yes, a couple months to yourself is a wonderful idea.
Totally agree with number 3. It is the single most important thing in my opinion. Lust fades, admiration is lasting.


I actually think that there is an upper limit to Rule 2, but I don't know where it is yet. I agree that it would be ridiculous for someone getting over a 40-year relationship to have to take 9 years before they were ready to move on. I know the Rule works for relationships equal to or less than 2 years in length. Longer relationships haven't been tested to find where the graph begins to plateau.

Jenna wrote:

I wonder if I broke rule 4 by planning to move into together before the six month period. Does waiting until the 7th month to actually make the move and close on the house deal salvage me at all?


You broke the rule. However, I did say in the preamble to the rules that it is possible to break one rule (though never Rule 3) and still have a successful relationship as long as the other rules are very strong and there is excellent communication in the relationship. ;)

imadanseur wrote:

I disagree with rule #1. My ex boyfriend was 10 years older than I was. I was 24 and he was 34 and we dated 7 years. My husband is 12 years older than me. One of my employers is married to a guy 12 years older, and a family friend married someone 16 years older. I think when it is the right person...it just is.


34/2 + 7 = 24 = meets the rule.
Your current 12 year age gap meets the rule as well. ;)
The 16 year gap either meets the rule or is an exception to the rule.

Arak wrote:

All I have to say is that Rule #3 should be Rule #1.


In terms of importance, yeah probably. The rules are written in the order in which they were originally formulated. I think it says a lot about my development as a person that I didn't work out Rule 3 until after Rules 1 & 2. I didn't find the equation for Rule 1 until recent years, but I had always felt that the younger you were, the closer in age you should be to your partner and the older you were, the more options you had. I did have a different formula for working out the workable age gaps, but x/2+7 is a much better one.

Brittany wrote:

I've also come to realize that standards are standards for a reason. I've dated men who didn't fully fit my standards whether it be with education, job, morals, etc and it never works. I always try to tell myself that maybe it will work out but no..it doesn't.


Your standards are your core beliefs. I've discovered that you can't compromise on your core beliefs or you resent it or you want to change your partner to match your core beliefs (which never works). So much else can be compromised, but not the things that are at the absolute core of your personality and way of living.

Helen
re: Helen's Relationship Rules
By PinUpGirlmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 25878, member since Tue Jul 16, 2002
On Mon Jul 26, 2010 08:30 AM
I broke the 1/2 age + 7 rule by two years. It didn't work out (obviously), but it sure was fun while it lasted.
re: Helen's Relationship Rules
By tempsleve Comments: 505, member since Wed Jun 09, 2010
On Fri Oct 22, 2010 02:53 AM
I 100% agree with your relationship rules, especially the age one. I know a lot of people don't believe in this rule, but I strongly do. I also really, really agree to "never make life-changing decisions in the first 6 months of a relationship". Too many people make this mistake, and disastrous results happen..

thanks for posting!
re: Helen's Relationship Rules
By PogMoGilliesmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3157, member since Tue Apr 24, 2007
On Fri Oct 22, 2010 02:59 PM
My husband says that in a relationship, you have to spend, both of your birthdays, christmas, and the summer holiday of your choice together before making life changing decisions. That's a minimum of 6 months. He prefers a year, but says if you've made it through those holidays and celebrations, you know what you're getting into.

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