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10 Relationship Rules You Should Break

All the relationship rules you were always told to follow… we’ll no longer!  Many thanks to Brit Brogaard for sharing this MostPost!

1) Rule: “Don’t confuse sex with love. Attraction is often mistaken for love”. Why you should break it: No, don’t have sex on the first date (or second, or third …), but sex creates intimacy. The hormones released during and after sex are love hormones. But for our brains to interpret these signals as signals of love, there needs to be a history of flirting, dating and general excitement before sex takes place.

2) Rule: “Know your needs and speak up for them clearly. A relationship is not a guessing game”. Why you should break it: Do know your needs but don’t speak up for them clearly. Action speaks louder than words. If your guy doesn’t call you enough, don’t complain about it. Just make yourself a little more scarce. Stay busy. You are a sassy woman.

3) Rule: “View you and your guy as a team”. Why you should break it: Guys hate the “we” word. They fear commitment and hate making plans for the future. Replace “we” with “I” and “You”. Don’t say: “We don’t like the food at Don Pablo’s” or “We were invited to a party on Saturday. Do you think we should go?”. Say: “I am going to a party on Saturday. You can come if you would like. It will probably be fun”.

4) Rule: “Avoid agreements. Disagreements ruin relationships”. Why you should break it: Your guy wasn’t looking for a female clone of himself. Don’t change your views or who you are. But do avoid excessive anger, name-calling, and temper tantrums. It’s the latter that will push your guy away.

5) Rule: “If you don’t understand or like something your guy is doing, ask about it and why he is doing it”. Why you should break it: Guys hear innocent questions about their behavior as criticism. If you don’t like the fact that he never does the dishes, stop doing the dishes and wait for him to notice. When he complains, say “I am sorry, I have been so busy lately. How about you do the dishes Monday, Wednesday and Friday, then I will do them the other days”

6) Rule: “Work hard at maintaining closeness. Closeness doesn’t happen by itself”. Why you should break it: You can’t force closeness. Don’t work hard. Re-introduce some flirting and mysteriousness into your stale long-term relationship, and do propose date nights and initiate sex sometimes.

7) Rule: “Check out your dreams with each other regularly to make sure you’re both on the same path”. Why you should break it: Guys dream of success, fame and money. Women dream of getting married, having two kids and a successful career all at the same time. Most guys will want marriage and kids eventually but they don’t dream about it, and they don’t want to talk about it.

8) Rule: “Introduce some pillow talk into your relationship and hold off on sex. Sex is good but pillow talk is better”. Why you should break it: Sex creates intimacy. It’s a hormonal thing. Sex first, then pillow talk.

9) Rule: “Never go to sleep angry”. Why you should break it: The emotional brain is not as active in the morning as at night. Sleep on it. When you wake up, apologize if need be.

10) Rule: “Stay open to spontaneity”. Why you should break it: While you should be spontaneous sometimes, don’t agree to let your guy come over “spontaneously” when he calls at 10 PM after his poker night with the guys. And don’t accept his invitation to go out with him when he calls you at 5 PM on Saturday night. Hey, you are a sassy girl, right? You already have plans for Saturday night. Next time he will call you on Tuesday.

Brit Brogaard is a freelance writer, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Psychology at the University of Missouri, Saint Louis, the American editor of the international philosophy journal /Erkenntnis/ and Vice President for the Central States Philosophical Association. Before returning to the States she held a research fellowship at the Centre for Consciousness at the Australian National University, where she worked on perception and the contents of consciousness, with David Chalmers (author of: The Conscious Mind). She has a background in neuroscience from University of Copenhagen and a Ph.D. in philosophy. Her current research is located at the intersection of philosophy of mind and psychology. Her most current empirical project investigates the potential adaptive advantages of certain types of attitudes towards the consequences of intentional action. She is also the P.I. of a synesthesia research team that studies unconscious color processing in subjects with higher synesthesia. She has authored or co-authored papers which have appeared in various journals and edited volumes, including: Noûs, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Philosophical Quarterly, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Philosophical Perspectives, American Philosophical Quarterly, Analysis, Mind and Language, The Monist, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, Synthese and Canadian Journal of Philosophy. Her edited book volume /Does Perception have Content?/ is scheduled to appear with Oxford University Press in 2011. She is currently working on a book entitled Sick Love? A new look at our most erratic emotion and its irrational and unconscious elements.

If you’d like to get in touch with Brit directly feel free to email her at or you can find her on Twitter at @BritHereNow

Posted on Thursday, July 8th, 2010 Both comments and pings are currently closed.

5 Responses to “10 Relationship Rules You Should Break”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Brit Brogaard. Brit Brogaard said: RT @MostMostTweet: Guest MostPost 10 Relationship Rules You Should Break | MostMost via @BritHereNow […]

  2. Sarah says:

    this might be one of the most sexist things I have ever read-offensive to both men and women. Basically, you tell women to shut the fuck up when it comes to sharing their dreams/ hopes/ feelings and paint a picture of men as archaic trolls who won’t want to do anything the woman finds emotionally fulfilling-and hey, that shouldn’t bother her and if it does, too bad. Wtf? Do you seriously have a PhD?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Agreed. This is horrible advice, particularly the part telling women not to communicate their needs.

  4. Vi says:

    It doesn’t tell women to not communicate their needs. I think the point is that you don’t need to say something explicitly/verbally every time something bothers you or you feel dissatisfied in some way relevant to your relationship. If you’re always telling your significant other what you need, implying that you’re not getting it, the message you send is that your SO is inadequate and that you are taking responsibility for fixing them. More succinctly, some people interpret communicating needs as behaving in a naggy, patronizing manner– just pick your battles when it comes to calling your SO out on things that bother you.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hey I think your suggestion is absolutely apt for any relationship especially on part of a woman.