As you get old, maintaining relationships becomes more complicated—it’s much harder to smooth the rough edges of your personality. As you navigate through life and have to deal with more challenges and responsibilities, it’s essential to keep in mind a couple of golden rules that work well in every type of relationship:

1. Be honest

Honesty is the building block of a successful relationship, it creates trust and allows you to feel safe. When you trust your partner or friends, you also value their opinions and suggestions. 

2. Listen

When you are with someone you love, be present and listen to EVERY word he/she says, without interrupting. Most of the times, people just need to vent and feel understood. When they are done talking, think about THEM before replying—show them empathy and put yourself in their shoes.

3. Don’t judge

It’s easy to judge others, and it comes naturally when you aren’t in their situation—but remember that judging IS hurting. If you feel that you need to stop a bad behavior on the other side, make an effort and look for the kindest words you can find in your mind to get to the point.

4. Support

In the toughest moments, what you need is support—but this rule doesn’t have to disappear in everyday life. You can be supportive even running an errand that your partner can’t do today. As a woman, especially, it’s important to feel my partner’s support in a world where gender bias is present in many aspects of life.

5. Compromise

The word “compromise” starts to gain more meaning when you start to live with someone. For example, my husband always forgets to bring down the trash, and he hates that when I brush my teeth, I spill water everywhere. Can you relate? Living together, you have to commit to becoming a better partner every day, and this includes cleaning more often or watching romantic comedies sometimes.

6. Be a goofball

Laughing is the black pepper of a relationship, you might think about something else when it’s about spicing things up—but stay with me for a moment. Life is already too serious, starting from responsibilities and ending with sad world news—you NEED to laugh more. My partner and I have little goofball tricks that keep our humor alive—if you don’t have any, I highly recommend to add them to your repertoire.