Do's & Don'ts In Adult Relationships

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Welcome to Tuesday’s Tips, the one-day a week when I dispense useful, actionable and empowering tips!

I cannot believe it’s taken me over 2 years to address the do’s and don’ts in adult relationships, particularly given the frequency with which the subject is discussed in my office. This topic is a hot one because the vast majority of us aren’t taught that relationship rules change as we mature. As a result, hordes of 20-somethings find themselves on a couch in my practice scratching their heads at the reasons why their relationships ended. Below is an incomplete list of train wreck scenarios that have been reported to me by my clients over my 17-year career. These Do’s & Don’ts are for people who are attempting to be in a committed, monogamous relationship and who are no longer chronologically teenagers.

Do: Remain friends with your ex if you choose to.

Don’t: Remain friends if either of you still has feelings for the other. Also, do not:

  • Go out with him/her alone at night if you’re going to be drinking.
  • Undress in front of him/her.
  • Sleep in the same bed as him/her.
  • Discuss your sex life with him/her.
  • Discuss your relationship (current or previous) with him/her.
  • Sext him/her.

Do: Have friends.

Don’t: Have friends who have crushes on you or whom you have crushes on. Also don’t:

  • Sleep in the same bed as them.
  • Take showers with them.

Do: Value peace in your life.

Don’t: Strive for peace at times when you need to grab your balls/ovaries and set boundaries, such as:

  • When your ex reminisces about your former relationship with them in front of your current partner.
  • When someone you know is disrespectful to your partner, either in person, on your wall/twitter feed, etc.
  • When your family member is condescending to your partner.

Do: Keep your partner excited by you.

Don’t: Attempt to bring excitement into the relationship by doing things to make him/her jealous, such as:

  • Telling your partner stories of people hitting on you, flirting with you, making sexual comments to you.
  • Incessantly talking about a person to your partner.
  • Engaging in attention-seeking activities either from your partner or from others.

Do: Discuss sex with your partner.

Don’t: Discuss sex with people other than your partner, and particularly do not discuss sex with someone whom your partner feels threatened by.