1. Thou shalt not gossip about your partner.
Gossip is a destructive force in any relationship, particularly with a romantic partner. It erodes your trust and leads to miscommunication and misunderstandings. Make it a mutual rule to never, ever gossip about each other. You won’t regret it.
2. Thou shalt not pretend nothing is wrong when you are upset.
Pretending that nothing is wrong is a surefire way to prolong an argument and lead to resentment and bitterness. It also keeps you from getting your needs met in the relationship, both in the moment and over the long-term.
3. Thou shalt take control of your own sexual pleasure.
Remember that you are responsible for learning how your anatomy and sexual response work. Your partner can’t make you happy if you don’t tell him directly and openly what you like and don’t like in the bedroom.
4. Thou shalt be hard to get, not play hard to get.
Don’t pretend to be a busy, successful, happy person—be one! Stay active and challenged in other parts of your life, and romance with a respectful partner will follow. The best way to meet the right person is to become the right person
5. Thou shalt not have a wandering eye.
Fidelity is the cornerstone of a happy relationship. There is nothing wrong with looking at and appreciating someone you find attractive, but there’s never an excuse for cheating in a monogamous relationship, even if you feel your needs aren’t being met.
6. Thou shalt not spend your life worrying about ten pounds.
If you aren’t happy with your body, you can take steps to change it. Just remember that no woman really looks like an airbrushed model. Feeling guilty about your body is a killer for your confidence and your relationship.
7. Thou shalt have realistic expectations for your love life.
Romantic comedies aren’t real life! Real relationships take work—and they can even be boring and uninspired at times. It’s up to you to keep the spark alive. Once you take the initiative, your partner will likely follow suit.
8. Thou shalt ask for help and work as a team.
You have to communicate and work together in order for your relationship to succeed. Trying to be Superwoman will leave you angry, frustrated, and disconnected from your partner. Teamwork and shared responsibility is always the best way.
9. Thou shalt not try to fix your partner.
You can work on your relationship, but you can’t work on your partner. You can’t change him; he has to change himself. The good news is that if you shift, he likely will, too. Inspire relationship change by looking inward and working on yourself.
10. Thou shalt be true to thine own self.
Simply put, don’t try to be someone you are not. It’s useless and frustrating to mimic your sister’s life or your friend’s relationship. Your relationship might be quite different than those of your friends or family, but that doesn’t make it wrong!
Excerpted from It’s Not Him, It’s You!, by Dr. Laura Berman. Copyright 2011 by Dr. Laura Berman. Excerpted with permission from DK. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced without permission in writing from the publisher.