50 Real Couples Share Their Most Surprising, Enlightening & Funniest Relationship Advice

Most of these pairs have been together for longer than most of us have been dating, so we're all ears

Chrissy Teigen and John Legend
Splash News

Every millennial with a penchant for adventure and access to a smartphone will agree: Dating is not for the faint-hearted. Throw in a slew of subpar Tinder matches, ghosting and @byefelipe-worthy messages, and you’ve got yourself every 20-something’s living nightmare. Her phone is practically Groundhog Day personified.

But what happens when you do end up meeting a normal human who gets your quirks and never judges you for ordering avocado toast every Sunday morning? If you’re not totally freaked out by this potential partner’s niceties, a courtship might ensue … and you’ll — gasp! — even feel happy.

And once that happens…how do you keep the magic going so you never have to activate The League again? These real couples, who’ve been together for longer than most of us have been dating, have an idea. And we’re all ears.

Here’s what they have to say.

1. “Buy each other chocolates from time to time.”

2. “If you do the small things that make him or her happy, you will be happy.”

3. “Don’t let yourself get lazy about your objectives in life. People that do get lazy tend to not feel good about themselves, thereby causing problems in the relationship such as jealousy and insecurity.”

4. “Be open about your sexual needs.”

5. “Put yourself in your S.O.’s shoes. It becomes much easier to find compromise that way.”

6. “You need separate hobbies and interests. You can share hobbies as well but you really need some activities you do without the other person.”

7. “Don’t take your relationship for granted, because it can be taken away from you at any time. Though not your fault, illness, accidents or ‘fate’ can intervene and pull the rug out from under your feet. Cherish your partner and the time you have together and make the best of every day you have together. I lost my partner at age 52 to cancer, and I miss her dearly every day. You just never know.”

8. “‘Please’ and ‘thank you’ works for us.”

9. “Your relationship is a competition. You only score points by doing things for the other person. You both need to try to ‘win.'”

10. “My wife and I set aside an hour a week to talk about our issues with the relationship, our fears about it, our hopes for it. It’s a time and a place for us to resolve issues we’re having so that they don’t build up and cause major problems in the future.”

11. “Kiss and hug more often.”

12. “Don’t compare your relationship to anyone else’s.”

13. “If it’s not actually important, let that s— go. It doesn’t necessarily matter who is right or wrong. Don’t waste your energy fighting about things that don’t really matter.”

14. “Never stop working at it. Relationships are hard, and even the best argue and bicker. It’s part of spending so much time with another person.”

15. “Treat your S.O. as a friend and not just your S.O. Don’t expect them to do the dishes or your laundry. Treating my wife as my friend and my equal has worked for me for past decade.”

16. “Be physically affectionate. I don’t care if you’re both tired and you have kids and jobs and a headache! Sex is one of the great pleasures in life and it keeps you connected.”

17. “Literally always tell the truth.”

18. “Understand that you are two entirely different people and you won’t see eye to eye on everything. Something that is important to you may not be important to them and likewise. Know that it’s okay. Be supportive of each other.”

19. “Give them compliments and thank them for little things. Everyone likes feeling appreciated.”

20. “Argue naked.”

21. “Watch the same thing on Netflix at the same time if you’re long-distance. It’ll make you feel closer.”

22. “You do not need to share everything. Leave some things a mystery. Our ‘bathroom time’ is always personal.”

23. “My favorite advice, from a couple married for 60 years: whenever you get into an argument, compromise 90 percent. It might feel like 90 percent, but it’s probably closer to 50 percent. When you both do it, you meet in the middle.”

24. “Don’t ever threaten to dump your S.O., and if a fight breaks out give each other space. It is better to be separated than to say something you don’t mean.”

25. “Being able to laugh together trumps how hot they are in the sack over the long run. Looks fade, humor never will.”

26. “Do not let yourself go. I mean this personality-wise and appearance-wise. Be the person your S.O. fell in love with to the best of your ability. Effort is key.”

27. “Choose your battles wisely.”

28. “Stay on top of your finances. Building a nest together will bring you closer together, where as excessive debt is as relationship killer.”

29. “Rub each other’s feet.”

30. “Don’t be passive aggressive. If you have an issue, use your grown up words. Passive aggressive sulking only leads to resentment on both sides.”

31. “Argue often, but don’t fight. This may sound like it wouldn’t help, but if you and your significant other can argue through something, without the argument becoming an actual fight, you learn a lot about the person. Arguing allows you to see how they work through situations in their mind, and it teaches the two of you how to rationally work through any disputes or problems.”

32. “I often say this as a joke but it has a deeper serious element: fart contests. If you can accept each other in the most basic way, the rest is easy. Not for everybody but it works for us. We’ve been together for 25 years and this is the second marriage for both of us. Also, research shows if you both like the way each other smells you have a good chance in making it.”

33. “You should be able to talk about everything and anything with your significant other. I am always amazed when people are ‘scared’ to talk to their S.O. or hide things from them. Why? This is the person you trust with your heart, you should be an open book to them.”

34. “Don’t just hear, but actively listen and pay attention to what your S.O. is saying. Face them, ask questions, etc. It makes people feel understood and valued.”

35. “Don’t put the other person in a situation that you wouldn’t want to be put in. If you would feel uncomfortable about him/her hanging out with a guy/girl late at night, then don’t do it yourself.”

36. “Set expectations and enforce them. Otherwise, you are settling. That is the worst possible thing.”

37. “Stand up for yourself. If it is important, don’t keep your mouth shut about it. Speaking up is better than holding it in.”

38. “Don’t let your relationship become your whole entire world. Maintain your friendships as you normally would. Meaning, don’t talk to your friends any less, at the very least. If they are true friends and they are understanding friends, they will know that time must be split between them and your S.O.”

39. “Tell her she’s beautiful every day. Tell him he is handsome every day. Keep that spark alive.”

40. “Keep your toenails trimmed. Trust me on this one.”

41. “We have been married for 25 years. Every evening we go for a walk in the neighborhood. The phones get left at home, we hold hands as we walk, and we talk about anything. It keeps us in touch with each other.”

42. “If something annoying happens daily around the house — like leaving the linen closet door open so when you go in the bathroom the doors hit each other — approach it not as ‘Would you not do this?’ but as ‘I propose we always shut this door. So the doors don’t hit each other.’ This simple change makes what could be considered nagging into a helpful suggestion.”

43. “Be kind.”

44. “Don’t look for the person who ‘completes’ you. Be complete yourself. Then find the person who understands you and will give you room to grow.”

45. “My cousin gave me the best relationship advice on the day of my marriage. He said: ‘Marriage is great, as long as you’re not a selfish turd.’ He was right.”

46. “My wife and I each get one night a week to get away from our kid and each other. Oh my, how it has helped us stay happy! Everyone needs some ‘me’ time. Everyone.”

47. “Don’t let yourself become complacent. You’ll end up taking your partner for granted and it can turn an otherwise happy relationship sour. It happens slowly and most don’t even realize why they aren’t satisfied with their partner until it’s too late and the love is gone.”

48. “Never stop dating.”

49. “Have a silly tradition. Ours is to save memes over a couple of weeks and then spend a couple minutes showing each other the ridiculousness and laughing.”

50. “Don’t let your pride keep you from saying you’re sorry, or even seeing that you were in the wrong. At one point or another, you’re going to be the one who was in the wrong. Own up to it and apologize.”

All entries on Reddit have been edited for length and clarity.

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