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How to Make a...

How to Make a Relationship Work: Six Promises to Make

Sometimes keeping old baggage out of a new relationship can be tough. Some things have no place in a healthy relationship—like mind games or losing sight of who you were before you started dating. We've compiled a list of promises you can make now so you never have to wonder how to make a relationship work again.

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Why wait for the altar to start taking vows? Here are some promises to make to yourself and your beau at the beginning of a relationship to give love its best shot. Although, do everyone a favor and make them silently—this is not dinner-date banter.

I promise to never play manipulative games over text.
Why do cell phones seem to turn some people into emotionally manipulative sociopaths? Asking “who is this?” when you clearly have the number programmed, waiting a week to respond, texting back only one-word (or in some cases, one-letter) responses, or adding extra letters so you come across as drunk and mysterious are counter-intuitive habits when you’re trying to get to know someone. Plus, the practice makes you kind of a jerk. Dating power plays may be tempting in the uncertain, insecure beginning stages, but that behavior rarely sets the course for a reciprocal and loving long-term relationship.

I promise not to reveal all my weird quirks and dysfunctions on date one.
Facts such as, you haven’t had a relationship in four years, your family members are circus performers, and you only eat food that is orange should all be divulged in a timely manner to someone you’re seeing, but that doesn’t mean you need to come to date number one with a laundry list of your neuroses. The best thing about the early dating stage is that we’re often the best versions of ourselves, perhaps because we see ourselves through the adoring and inaccurate gaze of someone who doesn’t know us all that well. Enjoy that brief moment—it doesn’t last.

But I also won’t wait until we’re six months in to start being myself.
Hey, they gotta know what they’re workin’ with for real.

I promise to not hold you accountable for my nasty ex-boyfriend. (Or at least I’ll try not to.)
We all bring a little baggage to a relationship—we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t—but nothing kills love faster than displaced anger and resentment. If you can leave your old relationships in the past, it's more likely you'll have the opportunity to find all new reasons to be angry that are specific to your current boyfriend. Yay!

I will continue to be the person I was before I met you.
There’s a reason your new boyfriend or girlfriend wanted to go out with you in the first place and it probably had something to do with the fact that you have friends, hobbies, and unique interests. Don’t lose sight of those things just because making out is now your favorite pastime.

I will walk away if it’s simply not working.
Don’t pull a Kardashian. Breakups are rough, but divorces are worse.

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