1. Fall in love with their eyes.
"Fall in love with their eyes because they're the only things that never change about a person." —chloet450577265
2. Be honest about your expectations.
"Before committing to a serious relationship be completely honest about what both of you expect from life. That includes what you want in terms of marriage, kids, travel, money, career, etc. So many relationships end because we're afraid to speak our minds and time is wasted with someone who doesn't want the same things we do."
3. Learn to love yourself first.
"You have to love yourself before you can expect anyone to love you, and before you can fully be able to love them, too. So get to know who you are, and understand that as best you can before you get your feelings — and someone else's — involved. ❤️" —katelynr4d43848c5
4. Respect over everything.
"[Treat your partner with] respect. Everything else can be a work in progress. You can work on communication, your sex life, or financial issues. If you don't have basic respect for each other, nothing else will work." —sally47263
5. Don't sweat the small stuff.
"If it won't matter in five years, don't spend more than five minutes arguing about it." —ashleys4dc05f3c5
6. Be friends first.
"Be friends first and don't dive straight into dating or a relationship. Building a friendship is similar to building a relationship. It requires a solid foundation, respect, love, and attention. Your significant other should be your best friend, not just your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend. It also takes a lot of the pressure off. Get comfortable with each other and then test the dating waters." —nellieg
7. Trust your partner's actions over their words.
"Trust [your partner's] actions more than their words, and you'll always see their true colors." —mcfly7719
8. Keep it between you and your partner.
"Your relationship is only between you and your partner. If you're having difficulties — short of emotional and physical abuse — it's no ones business but yours. Advice may seem nice, but it only avoids the communication necessary for that relationship to grow. Who knows the ins and outs of your own relationship better than you two?" —lonelyheartsclub011
10. Let your farts out.
"One thing I've learned is to let your farts out proudly. If your significant other can't laugh at your toots with you, how can you count on them for more serious things? A little silliness and lack of shame makes all the difference, I think."
11. Don't talk about your fights with anyone else.
"Never, ever discuss fights that you have with your significant other with your family and close friends. You may forgive your partner for hurting you, but they may not. If you need a shoulder to cry on or someone to talk it out with, try your pastor, therapist, your non-judgemental friend, or the stranger sitting next to you."
12. Don't accuse — inquire.
"If I had to whittle it down to one piece of advice, it would be to never accuse, but to inquire. Gain your partner's perspective before rushing to anger. Judging too quickly or too harshly is an avoidable cause for many, many fights." —c4ebc44138
13. No effort equals no happiness.
"What you take out of your relationship is what you put into it." —odalysolvera
14. Take responsibility.
"The key to a successful relationship is a low-level of personal shit. Take responsibility for your own issues." —momax320
15. Always choose the second person.
"The most important advice I've heard about a relationship actually came from Johnny Depp. He said, 'if you fall in love with two people at the same time, always choose the second. For if you're truly were in love with the first you never would have fallen for the second.' I wholeheartedly agree with this." —nikkigrrr0798
16. People are who they are. Recognize that.
"If you don't accept — at the beginning — the bad parts (and hope they will change), then move on. People grow, improve, and compromise but we are who we are." —brooks303
17. Speak up right away.
"The second you start feeling something negative, tell your partner right away. Try to resolve issues before it builds up. Holding it in for too long will definitely make it worse." —rachmucha
18. Tell your partner what you'd like them to do.
"Criticism is just a bad way to make a request. Instead of picking at your partner for what they aren't doing, tell them what you'd like them to do instead." —alisonm46f15d37b
19. Be selfish, sometimes.
"Sometimes it's OK to be selfish. Obviously you're with your partner because you adore them and you want them to be happy. But if the relationship isn't doing any good for YOU, especially your self-esteem, health, and plans for the future, then it's not a good relationship." —ameliarf
20. Drop the ego.
"A friend once said to me, 'in a relationship there's no ego, and no poker face. Time is way too precious to not be open to each other.'" —thaor
21. And don't search for your perfect soulmate.
"Don't try and find 'your perfect soul mate.' Find someone who you loves and cares for you enough to become your perfect soul mate." —mollyr4da4a727a
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.