As anyone who has ever had their heart stomped into a million itty bitty pieces by another human will tell you: Relationships are hard as hell. That said, there are some people who make them look ridiculously easy, and those relationship wizards on Reddit were kind enough to share their ~wise ways~ with the rest of us muggles. Let us learn from these anonymous Redditors:
1. Be a good roommate to yourself before you enter a relationship.
"Learn how to live on your own. If you can do everything for yourself (wash, cook, clean, iron, shop) you won't turn into a demanding shit expecting your partner to make up for your lacks."
2. Have your own stuff going on.
While it's great to spend time together, it's also important to have things that are just yours. As one Redditor says, "You don't have to invite your [significant other] to every single activity you do, particularly when it comes to hobbies."
3. Have your own friends.
Your partner should definitely be game to hang with your friends sometimes (and vice versa!) but it's also important to maintain one-on-one friendships. As one person puts it, "Also, not having your own friends is a big mistake. You really have to have some sort of support system or thing that you do where your [significant other] isn't involved so you can have time apart from each other."
4. Learn to really let go and forgive after fights.
One Redditor writes, "This is vital. My fiancé and I have gotten in maybe 4-5 fights (max) in 7 years. Neither of us remembers what they were about because we willingly forget them so as not to hold a grudge. We're still madly in love and adore spending time together. I literally dance every morning when on vacation with him because I get to spend a whole week uninterrupted with him."
5. Address problems as they arise.
Instead of growing slowly resentful over time or letting a little thing get bigger and bigger in your head until you explode one day, address things as they come up. One Redditor says, "My husband and I had to take a marriage class before we got married and the teacher said a great way to ruin a marriage is to 'gunny sack,' basically don't hold on to little things and let them turn into a real fight. We've been really successful because we will call each other and ourselves out and have avoided many stupid fights."
A caveat to this is that you should also just let the small things go completely. Like, if your partner puts the toilet paper on the roll in (what you think is) the wrong direction, just let it go. This is shit that doesn't matter and you'll have enough real issues that it's important to just accept that people do things differently, one way isn't right and one way isn't wrong, and to just go cuddle and watch Netflix.
6. Don't get mad at them for not being everything to you.
Your partner might have a lot of good qualities that you look for in another person but they probably don't have all the good qualities that you look for in another person. Don't hold that against them. Rather, celebrate the things you love about them and then find friends to do the other shit with. As one Redditor puts it, "Don't set unrealistic expectations of your [significant other]. One person cannot encompass all the attributes you look for in a companion. If your [significant other] is attractive, witty, drinks the same red wine you do, but doesn't share your love for hiking, go find friends that do rather than hold it against them."
7. Don't fight with each other; solve the problem together.
This is key! You're a team and if you act like one, you can fix most issues. One person says, "[W]hen solving things, always tell each other it's not you versus me, but us versus the problem. Read that somewhere on Reddit a year ago and it's always stuck with me. Just helps to affirm that you're in this together."
8. Get two blankets.
This is the best advice I've ever read in my life. As one Redditor writes, "It cuts down on 90 percent of the fights related to sleeping," and I would add that it cuts down on other fights because you're not tired all the time and can handle your shit better in general.
9. Learn to properly apologize.
No halfhearted non-apologies, but real-deal ones that let your partner know you heard them. One person says it well: "If you're really in love, you'll apologize often. Because no one is perfect, and if you care about someone, you [should] be willing to admit when you're wrong."
10. And this gold from someone in a 30-year relationship:
"30 years in. Pure luck with a lot of empathy. Keep your pants on. Cheating is a sure fire way to screw up (no pun intended). Plan. Set goals together and work towards them. Be ready to compromise. Handle it tactfully. And LAUGH EVERY DAY. A smile and a hug [can do] amazing things."
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.