Do’s and Don’ts of a Great Relationship!

The other day I asked a couple I had coached to consciously model a great relationship for his younger brother and girlfriend.  I realize a lot of us never knew what a great relationship looked like.  We didn’t know what to do and not do.  We only had in our minds relationships we saw at home, our friend’s relationships, those we saw on TV or in the movies, or read about in books.

So what does a great relationship look like?  What needs to be present in order for it to be healthy, loving, joyful and passionate?  And what must NOT be present? What are the Do’s and the Don’ts?

Most people do at least two or three of these Don’ts.  Which Don’t’s do you do?   Which one’s are you willing to change for the sake of a great relationship?


Whine, Pout or Act Pitiful to Get Your Way
Attack, Blame, Demean, Belittle, Get Defensive or Hostile
Refuse to Listen
Become Remote or Cold

Expect to be Entertained – instead get a hobby, read a book, call friend Expect Them to Make You Happy – it’s not up to them to behave in a way to make you happy – that’s your job


Expect Perfection Demand Attention Judge or Criticize Set Them Up to Fail

Criticize the Person to Friends – this is a huge No-No
Compare Them to Previous Partners

Get Protective and Shut Down – that’s ego stuff, you need boundaries, not protection Cheat or Lie – including seemingly harmless email connections So what works better in order to have a healthy, fun, loving and joyful relationship?  What do you need to do instead? Do:

Love them and yourself
Listen and Be Supportive

Cut them some slack Forgive
Maintain your Sense of Humor

Pitch in with Chores
Make Time for Fun; take vacations – with and without kids

Communicate Lovingly and Honestly – about what you need and want, what’s working and not working

Be Passionate
Take Care of yourself Physically, Spiritually and Emotionally

Respect them Have Healthy, Firm Boundaries

Give them space – to work things out on their own if that’s what they want

Treat them as the Unique Individual they are Spend Time with your Friends – without your partner
When you treat another person in those ways, you create a space where the relationship has a chance to thrive and love can grow.
I’m going to expand on some of the Do’s so you can have a clearer picture.  Also I’ll include some valuable relationship books in the Resource Section.

Communication Both people need to communicate lovingly, honestly and clearly – all the time.  Think about what you’re going to say and look to see whether it’s clear.  So many people just speak without asking specifically for what they need and want.  Both people need to listen to themselves and to their partner.  I mean sit down, look each other in the eye and talk about what’s working and not working.Listen without getting defensive. No attacking or blaming allowed. Love

You need to feel like this is the most incredible person you’ve ever met and are thrilled to be with them.  Do your eyes light up when you see them?  Does your heart skip a beat?  If you’re settling because you’re scared you won’t meet anyone else, do them a favor and get out of the relationship.  Then go work on your self-esteem, but let them go be with someone that sees them as their true love.

Support You need to support each other – have each other’s back and believe in the other person. The line “For better or for worse” in most marriage ceremonies was written for a reason.  Our partners are going to go through rough times in life.  They might not handle it with grace and ease.  So be kind when your partner has a hard time.  Cut them some slack and see them being healthy, happy and on top again.

Maintain A Sense of Humor This is as important as all the others.  It will see you through so many difficult times and will help you put things in perspective.   Not having the new furniture for Thanksgiving is not a reason for being angry.  Your husband spilling red wine on the white sofa isn’t cause for World War III.  (My personal challenge!  He’s alive today thanks to Scotchguard and paper towels!!) Your wife deciding she doesn’t want to spend the weekend with your in-laws isn’t a reason to be cranky or pouty. 

Take Care of Yourself This is crucial for a healthy relationship.  That might mean spending time with your friends, getting a massage, taking a weekend and getting away from your partner. And you need to maintain your health and fitness. Don’t think that now that you are in a relationship that you can let yourself go.  If the man met you and fell in love with a woman who wore clothes that showed her curves, lipstick, perfume, etc. he’s going to probably want you to maintain that.  Guys if you were fit, dressed nicely and opened the door for her – keep it up.

<Respect You have to respect the person or you will not have a partner for long.  If you talk down to the other person or talk negatively about them to your friends, then you aren’t respecting them.  You need to respect that they are different from you and they think differently than you do.  Also you need to respect how the other person feels.  So don’t belittle them for feeling hurt or sensitive when something happens. Helping Each Other I grew up in a home, and thankfully so did my husband, where the men help with the household chores.  My father always helped my mother with the dishes, laundry, shopping, whatever needed to be done.  My husband does also.  My father-in-law, husband and his brothers all do the dishes if the women cook and vice versa.  It’s called sharing chores.

Guys, the days of being waited on are over.  Get up off your butts and help out.  And don’t whine about it. And Goddesses, you need to help out with whatever your man needs help with – paying bills, getting receipts together for the accountant, being organized.  You know what he needs you to do to make his life easier.  Don’t say to him, “we need to talk” the minute he comes home from work.  Give him a little time to destress.

Not Their Job To Make You HappyIt is not your partners’ job to make you happy!!  That’s your responsibility. 

Entertain YourselfGet a hobby!
I’m always blown away when people tell me they don’t have any hobbies.  If you don’t then you will look to another person to entertain you.  That will drain them, they’ll get fed up with you and leave.  Find something that interests you and develop it.

Have Fun & Take VacationsYou need to have dates and date nights.  You need to do fun things every week.  Otherwise life becomes all about work and routine.  Vacations and getting away are crucial to maintaining a healthy, passionate, joyful relationship.

Kids If you’re in a blended family, Dr. Phil says not to parent your partner’s kids.  Just support your partner in their parenting job.

Create A Thriving SpaceIf you adhere to the list of do’s and don’ts, you are creating a joyful space where the relationship can thrive, each individual will thrive and love can grow.
Be willing to work a little to have a loving, joyful and healthy relationship.  The results far outweigh the effort.Choose to be positive.  Choose to have a healthy, fun, loving relationship.  Choose to do a little work.

Imagine the possibilities…

© Carol Chanel


“The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work” – John Gottman

“Getting The Love You Want” – Harville Hendrix

“Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships” – John Welwood 

Carol's Services

I teach people to overcome the obstacles that keep them stuck yet longing for romantic relationships, more self-confidence and inspiration to accomplish their dreams.

We sometimes forget what it feels like to live from our hearts and souls. We forget the thrill of taking the brakes off and flying. Life is dull if we just live from our minds.

Are you - or someone you know - settling, for less than exciting, either in relationships or a career?

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You'll find other articles there and more in-depth information about both my services and me.

Carol Chanel
Certified Life Coach 

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