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    "We Don’t Deal With Each Other's Families": 29 Unique Rules People Follow In Their Relationships To Keep Things Running Smoothly

    "Don't share anything just because you're 'supposed' to. We hardly ever cooked together before we had kids. We each just ate what we liked. We still buy groceries separately."

    We asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to share the unconventional rules they follow in their relationships to make them stronger. Here's what they shared:

    1. "We don’t deal with each other's families. We each attend family functions solo. A lot of times, this means we spend holidays apart, which is fine by us since we’re not religious. Big families = big drama. This rule takes a ton of stress out of the relationship."


    2. "Wedding rings aren’t the end-all-be-all of a relationship. The commitment means so much more than a piece of jewelry. Hubby and I each stopped wearing them for different reasons, but our commitment's never wavered."


    A woman removing her wedding band

    3. "We make comments to each other when we see very good-looking people when we're out. I appreciate the truthfulness when you see a beautiful woman, a lady with nice curves, or a man that is incredibly handsome. We look, but don't touch. I have no problem with my husband looking at women and making comments to me. If he were to act on it or flirt, that'd be a different story."


    4. "We argue and have tough conversations by text. It makes us slow down and respond without the 'blurt and cringe' exclamations of frustration our early relationship experienced. It also helps keep us accountable for agreements we come to or boundaries we set because there is always proof. We argue less often and much more constructively when we do. It’s us against the problem, not us against each other."


    A man texting on his phone

    5. "We are both in our 30s and have no social media. We work at the same place, but have completely separate jobs, so we don’t cross paths during the day. Being able to keep our relationship to ourselves and only open to people we trust has been life-changing. It's the strongest relationship either of us have had because we have zero outside influence."


    6. "I get to have a man on the side as long as I don't start treating my husband differently."


    A woman with her hand on a man's knee

    7. "Not living together. I love and respect my partner’s decorating and cleaning styles, but they’re also completely different than mine, and I know they would irritate me. We've also both been married before, and we each have our own children. We both agree we feel a desire to sleep together every night, but still have our own space. We’ve decided to buy a duplex so our families can have separate spaces, but we can still sleep together and eat together as often as we want. Bonus: This will be an investment property when our kids are out of the house and we are ready to downsize."


    8. "We have a chicken nugget tax. If you make chicken nuggets in this household, you have to bring one to your spouse before eating yours. Makes you feel loved at random times, and it always gets us laughing!"


    Chicken nuggets

    9. "My sister and her husband have a rule that they only fight when they are both naked. If an issue gets heated, they have to strip down and argue."


    10. "We always cook dinner together. Sometimes, one person cooks while the other keeps them company in the kitchen. Most of the time, it’s a joint effort. If one person isn’t feeling well or had a hard day, we’ll ask the other person, 'Do you care if I sit on the couch while you cook?' This is more to be respectful than to get permission. It’s something that just happened over time in our relationship, but now, it's an unwritten rule."


    A couple cooking together and drinking wine

    11. "My husband is a very task-oriented person; whereas, I need some romantic validation occasionally. So, every once in a while, I tell him, 'I need 30 seconds,' and I get my 30 uninterrupted, focused seconds of making out. It really helps to feel that connection again throughout the day."


    12. "Sleeping in different bedrooms. I like it cold, and my spouse sleeps with a thick, down comforter. I snore, and she’s a light sleeper. We are both better rested and way happier with our own space."


    A woman stretching and smiling in bed

    13. "I'm very introverted, so alone time is very important to me. My boyfriend is an extrovert, so seeing his friends is really important. Often on Friday nights, he goes to see his friends, and I stay home, enjoying my alone time. Some people said our relationship wouldn't last because I like him going out to see friends without me, but this just works very well for us."


    14. "Like many people, my partner and I both have a tendency to disappear into the person we are dating and become completely codependent. We’ve decided to highly prioritize other relationships besides ours. I have an app that reminds me every day to reach out or make plans with a family member or friend. I have an active social life, and I love it."


    A calendar with thumb tacks in it

    15. "My husband and I were both in very long-term relationships before getting together (I was married for almost 20 years). We both came into this relationship with a deep understanding of our own strengths and weaknesses when dealing with our partners. To that end, we have a few 'ground rules' that others may find a bit odd, but they definitely make us stronger. One that's extremely helpful: If one of us feels stressed, hurt, frustrated, upset, or any negative emotion, we tell the other about it so we can figure out what the real cause is and untangle it together. This doesn’t even have to be something one of us did — it can be literally anything. This way, no resentment ends up simmering, no one is questioning what’s going on in the other person’s head and feeling paranoid, and we are able to calmly and proactively address any issues that either of us have."


    16. "When we've had a bad day or have fought a lot, no matter how angry we are at each other, we force ourselves to sit down together for a midnight snack. I go to the kitchen and make a snack and hot drinks, so it already gives us 10-15 minutes to calm down silently. Then, I make him come to the table. We eat, drink, discuss why we argued, and find a solution. It's hard to stay angry when you're sharing homemade chocolate pudding and a vanilla latte. It isn't always me who makes the first step. Either he or I will interrupt the argument with, 'On fait une collation?' (Can we do a snack?) I'm just the one who actually makes the snack because my kitchen is off-limits, LOL."


    A couple eating snacks together

    17. "My partner and I do a lot of unconventional things that work for us. One of the ones that really works is not feeling any pressure to check in. If one of us is out, even for several days, we do not bombard each other with texts and calls. We only do it if we want to. He’s a grown man — he doesn’t have to check in. It doesn’t make him any safer. I trust him completely. Same goes for me. I hate the pressure of checking in because my ultra-strict parents insisted on calls every hour on the hour."


    18. "Don't share anything just because you're 'supposed' to. We hardly ever cooked together before we had kids. We each just ate what we liked. We still buy groceries separately. I mean, we share pasta or butter, but we like different cheese, different coffee, different milk, etc. So, instead of discussing grocery shopping, we just buy things we want."


    A person grocery shopping

    19. "My husband and I agree that short of maybe one or two childhood friends of the opposite sex, there is absolutely no 'making new' or 'hanging out' with friends of the opposite sex."


    20. "My fiancé and I sleep separately when one of us is sick. Whoever is sick gets to decide if they would be more comfortable in bed or on the couch. It helps so much! It helps us prevent passing on whatever illness we have and means we’re both more likely to have a comfortable night's sleep without worrying about waking each other up."


    A man sick in bed

    21. "You don’t leave the house upset, and if you do go and cool off, you say 'I love you' first. My BFF died in a car accident at 17, and I’ve learned the lesson at too young an age that you can be here today and gone tomorrow."


    22. "We don’t really have date nights. We do sometimes go out purposefully just the two of us, but not regularly. Most of our hanging out together happens while we’re living life — grocery shopping, going to the DMV, doing laundry at the laundromat, shopping at Walmart, etc. We enjoy each other throughout the mundane parts of life and make them fun. He’s my best friend, and we have a good time no matter what we’re doing or where we are."


    A couple grocery shopping

    23. "We use 'Oklahoma' from Ted Lasso! Basically, if one of us says 'Oklahoma' in a conversation, the other person needs to be completely honest about what they’re thinking/feeling. It’s a great way to signal when brutal honesty is desired versus when it’s not, and it’s helped us navigate many fights."


    24. "We don't want to get married. We already feel as devoted as a married couple."


    A couple holding hands

    25. "The hubs and I tried bringing in other couples or single people, and it usually didn't go further than a one-time fling with them. But, we started a thing with his best friend, and it felt natural. Here we are a few years later; we play with him whenever we want, it’s always fun, and it’s even more exciting that no one else knows when we’re all hanging out with friends."


    26. "A de-escalation rule we have is to start whispering when our arguments get too intense. Neither of us can take ourselves seriously when we intensely whisper! We can't help but laugh, and we continue our heated discussion in a more loving way."


    A man whispering in a woman's ear as she laughs

    27. "Sometimes, you just need to stop talking when you're mad. My spouse has PTSD, and one thing we learned in therapy is that trying to talk through an issue in the heat of the moment can lead to more frustration, not less. Now, we both go do something else when we're frustrated, and if we need to talk in a few hours, we do. It's hard sometimes for me to let them just go lie down, but we're both happier if we take care of ourselves first."


    28. "We will never use cuss words at each other or to describe each other. We can and do cuss, just not at one another. I had so much abuse as a kid, and I don't want to relive my childhood. He actually loves this rule, too, because his ex was very toxic. I want us to fight fair and still have respect for each other. I lost so much respect for my mom who would just fly off the handle, apologize, then do it all over again. I need to respect my S.O., so it works for us."


    A hand holding a mini chalkboard with symbols on it

    29. Finally: "Brutal, unfiltered honesty. We see each other for who we truly are, the good and the bad, and we own it. We call each other out unapologetically on our BS, and we allow each other the space to get over it. It may not be pretty sometimes, but we’ve been together for 24 years, married for 19, and our relationship has gotten so much better since we stopped sugar-coating problems or avoiding them all together in order to spare the other's feelings."


    What's an unconventional rule you and your partner follow that makes your relationship stronger? Tell us in the comments!

    Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.