Rule: You should be totally yourself with your partner
Needing to hide your desires or ideas from your partner is a red flag. But that doesn’t mean you should be totally filter-free around your partner, says Shaunti Feldhahn, social researcher and author of The Kindness Challenge: Thirty Days to Improve Any Relationship. “The problem is that all of us have a pretty distinct capacity for both kindness and harshness and are more careful with other people to not let the worst versions of ourselves come out,” she says. “When we say ‘I can just be myself,’ sometimes what we mean is we can be the harshest version of ourselves.” Close romantic relationships are some of the most important ones to protect, she says, so make sure that you treat your significant other to the best version of yourself instead of constantly using your partner to let off steam. Don’t miss these sure signs you’re in a healthy relationship.
Rule: Sex should always be about mutual satisfaction
A healthy sex life will leave both partners happy overall, but that doesn’t mean that every romp has to involve equal attention to each of you, says Jane Greer, PhD, a New York-based relationship expert and author of What About Me? Stop Selfishness from Ruining Your Relationship. “Sometimes sex can be for one person and sometimes for the other,” she says. “It doesn’t always have to be both of you about all the time.” Give your partner some extra attention sometimes, and don’t feel selfish for asking for a bit more other times. Find out what happens to your body if you stop having sex.