Top 10 Relationship Ground Rules That Everyone Forgets

by Gideon Hanekom
June 22, 2022

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If you’re looking for advice on how to improve your relationships, check out this blog post on the top 10 relationship ground rules that everyone forgets!

Relationships require a lot of effort and time.

Anyone who has been in a committed partnership for longer than a year is aware of this fact.

There is a wealth of guidance available that you have probably been exposed to at least a hundred times.

On the other hand, there are probably some things that are completely foreign to you or that you have simply forgotten about.

And it’s possible that one of these easily overlooked factors could have a significant impact on your relationship.

relationship ground rules

When two people decide to start a romantic or romantically-oriented relationship with one another, it is essential for them to work together to define the ground rules for the relationship so that it can be both healthy and functional.

The establishment of ground rules lends the relationship more structure and steadiness and helps to make certain that all parties are aware of what is expected of them.

A relationship has a much greater potential for becoming chaotic and dysfunctional if there are no ground rules in place.

Also, when ground rules are forgotten about or disobeyed, it often leads to opportunities for arguments and the building up of discontent between people.

Therefore, if you have just started a new relationship or are looking for new ways to make your existing one better, the following are the top ten relationship ground rules that everyone should keep in mind.

Consider these top 10 relationship ground rules

Fundamentally, it is essential to maintain a healthy relationship with one’s partner.

However, there are some couples who discover that they frequently forget or gloss over the insignificant details that make their relationship remarkable.

I’ve made a list of 10 ground rules about relationships that everyone should follow to help.

Choosing a partner is an important decision

As a matter of fact, “no amount of therapy can overcome the wrong choice of partner,” which is something I’ve said many times before.

But in my experience, the vast majority of people don’t realise how serious of a decision it is to choose a partner in life, and this is especially true when it comes to getting married.

Take into account the amount of time and effort that a partner needs from you.

Now, think about the ways in which getting a divorce can negatively affect your life.

Take your time and carefully consider your choices.

You can improve your future by studying your past

Take a look at the relationships you’ve had in the past in order to gain insight that you can apply to both the relationships you have now and the ones you will have in the future.

Studying your past can be beneficial in many ways, including helping you in avoiding repeating the same missteps in future romantic partnerships.

One more reason is that it can help you determine what it is that you want and need from a loving relationship, as well as the areas in which you are willing to make compromises.

What you’ve learned from previous relationships can also assist you in developing better, more fulfilling relationships in the future.

relationship ground rules

Therefore, you need to ask yourself what it is about yourself that you would like to alter in order to have a better chance of romantic success in the future.

  • Who are the kinds of people that you find yourself drawn to most frequently?
  • Have you got a type?
  • Is it the right kind for you?
  • What can we conclude from your previous romantic experiences?
  • How did you overcome the obstacles in your previous relationships?
  • What steps can you take to ensure that this doesn’t happen again?
  • Can you handle similar situations with greater ease the next time they arise?

It takes years to REALLY know someone

It’s important to exercise caution before diving headfirst into a relationship.

It is not necessary to wait ten years, but you should keep in mind that even after that amount of time has passed, you will continue to find things about the other person.

There is always more to learn than there is time to absorb in just one or two years.

According to an age-old proverb, it takes three years to plant a tree, five years for it to grow, and ten years for it to tell its story.

When you share your life with another person, you realise how true that statement is.

But choose a partner who is going to be the best person for you to learn from, and not only someone you are interested in spending a significant amount of time with and getting to know over time, but also someone you are interested in spending time with and getting to know over time.

And choose someone who is patient enough to watch you grow over time.

There is nothing more valuable than a life partner who genuinely cares about you and looks out for your interests.

Why don’t you try it?

Make a list of the “reasons you should date,” and then write it down.

What attracts you to the idea of dating?

What is it about the other person that makes you want to spend time with them?

Write down “reasons why you shouldn’t date.”

Is there any cause for concern?

Create a list of the factors that contribute to the success of the relationship.

Write a paragraph about the things about yourself you like best.

What is it about your partner that you like the most?

No one can see what’s in your head

Avoid saying the classic, “I shouldn’t have to tell you what’s wrong.” This is unreasonable.

It’s unreasonable to expect your partner to be able to read your mind and know what you want.

If you want something, you should ask for it directly.

It’s unfair to expect your partner to be able to guess what you want, especially if they don’t know you very well.

If you’re not clear about what you want, how can you expect your partner to know?

Be honest with yourself and with your partner, and don’t expect them to be a mind reader.

relationship ground rules

Take responsibility for helping others to satisfy your needs.

It only makes sense to make it as easy as possible for someone else to make you happy.

There is no one who can satisfy all of your needs

There is no one who can fulfil each and every one of your needs perfectly.

There is no one person who can solve all of the problems in your life.

In the end, there is no single person who will be able to love you to the extent that you desire to be loved.

You are one of a kind, and there is no one else on the planet who is quite like you.

When it comes to finding solutions to your own problems and making yourself happy, no one will ever be more capable than you.

Ultimately, the only person who can make you as happy as you want them to be is yourself; therefore, you should accept responsibility for your own happiness.

No one is perfect

If you are looking for the perfect partner, you are setting yourself up to either be disappointed or spend your life alone.

You’ll have to get used to your partner’s imperfections if you want the relationship to work.

Expecting your partner to be perfect is a foolish move that will only lead to disappointment because nobody is flawless, and expecting someone to be perfect is an impossible goal to achieve in a relationship.

Your partner, like you, will make mistakes.

However, it is essential to keep in mind that blunders are something that is common to all people and that no one is perfect.

relationship ground rules

At the end of the day, if you’ve chosen the right person for you, their good qualities will far outweigh their bad, and it won’t matter that they’re not perfect.

And if you want to find the person who is best suited for you, you will need to have an open mind and be prepared to accept all of the positive qualities that the other person possesses without expecting them to be perfect.

Don’t try to solve your problems by getting into a relationship

If you’re looking to escape your problems or find comfort, a relationship isn’t the way to do it.

People often wrongly believe that entering a romantic relationship will magically resolve all of their issues, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

In fact, many times entering a relationship only makes things worse.

Relationships aren’t the answer if you’re looking to fix your problems, so don’t waste your time trying.

Maintaining a relationship takes time, effort, and energy; if you’re already dealing with personal issues, adding a romantic partner is only going to make things more complicated. The same goes for adding children (but that’s a whole other discussion).

In sum, before bringing another person into the picture, unless it’s a therapist or some professional, it is best to resolve your own issues.

Angry words and deeds are difficult to undo

Because they are capable of causing a significant amount of harm, angry words and actions are difficult to undo in a relationship.

Once trust has been broken, it can be extremely difficult to rebuild it.

It’s possible that at some point, an apology will no longer be sufficient to make things right.

Depending on what was said or done, it might take some time, patience, and a lot of hard work to repair the damage that has been done, and even after all of that, things might not be back to where they were before.

So, as my mum used to say, think before you speak.

In the heat of the moment, there are things that can be said or done that will never be completely forgotten, or even worse, will damage a situation beyond the point of no return.

The friends and family of your partner are important

Even though you may not get along with the other significant people in your partner’s life, it is important to make an effort to get along with them because there is a good chance that your partner considers them to be important.

As a result of this, there is a possibility that your relationship will suffer if you behave poorly towards them or make an effort to avoid them completely.

This is another reason to choose the right person to be in a relationship with, as they will probably have a lot in common with the important people in their life.

relationship ground rules

Being yourself is the most effective strategy for getting along with the members of your partner’s family and friends.

Be kind and friendly, and try to find things you both like.

Respecting their opinions and the boundaries they set is also very important.

If you’re capable of doing these things, you should be fine.

You should always make your partner feel like they are number one in your life

Because there’s a good chance that they are.

The grind of day-to-day life can make us forget to treat our partner well, which can be harmful to our relationship.

In fact, many of us totally ignore the niceties and treat our partners in a manner that is even less respectful than how we would treat a complete stranger. It should not be done this way!

Demonstrate your affection through a mixture of your thoughts, words, and deeds.

Even if you disagree, you should communicate your viewpoint in a way that shows love and respect for the other person.

It’s important to always make sure that your partner feels like they are number one in your life.

This demonstrates that you care about them and want to do what you can to make them happy, which is why it’s one of the most important things you can do in a relationship.

relationship ground rules

It is essential for a healthy relationship that both partners feel that they are loved and appreciated, and when one partner believes that the other is their top priority, that partner experiences feelings of both love and appreciation.

A key to a happy and healthy relationship, according to relationship experts, is for each partner to make like they are a priority to the other.

When we get this sense, we experience feelings of love and value from our partners.

We experience a deeper sense of connection with them, and as a result, we are more likely to want to maintain this relationship.

However, the converse is also true in the sense that if our partners get the impression that they are not important to us, they may begin to experience feelings of neglect and may even start looking for attention in other places.

This can frequently result in a breakdown in communication as well as trust, and it has the potential to eventually lead to the end of the relationship.


If you ignore your relationship, it could end in disaster.

It can make it hard to talk to each other, and it can even lead to cheating.

At the end of the day, relationships need care and attention to stay alive and grow.

But, like everything else, there are some things that work and some that don’t.

And if you use the tips and advice in this article, you can make sure that your relationship keeps getting better and better.

Relationships are complicated, so you shouldn’t expect them to be easy or to go smoothly all the time.

A healthy relationship takes work and commitment, just like anything else worth doing.

So, remember these relationship ground rules and tips that you may have forgotten and use them.

Your relationship will only get better and make you both happier.

About the author 

Gideon Hanekom

Gideon Hanekom is the creator of, a renowned relationship blog that ranks among the top 50 relationship blogs in 2024. The website shares valuable insights on creating healthy relationships life. Gideon holds a Master's degree in theological studies and transitioned into professional counseling more than a decade ago. In addition, he since completed post-graduate studies in Psychology at Massey University. With over seventeen years of marriage to his wife and two children, Gideon brings both professional and personal experience to his relationship advice. His articles have been featured on respected platforms such as and The Good Men Project.

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