The Golden Rule Of Relationships Nobody Talks About

 That dedication is the foundation upon which all other loving actions rest.

In my whole life, I've only had one long-lasting relationship, and it's been going strong for the better part of 17 years now. It all started off very badly and unexpectedly. The Golden Rule is the reason my relationships have succeeded despite the challenges I've faced.

When we stick to this guideline, our relationship grows stronger, but when we break it, our bond suffers. When you do this first, it sets the precedent for all subsequent displays of affection.

We always avoided crossing the line between friends and lovers despite the prodding of our common friends. Less than three months later, she planned to relocate to Colorado. I was losing my window of opportunity. There was still a possibility, but it was slim.

It was September of 2002, on the eve of the Jewish New Year of Rosh Hashanah. I was going to be out of town until late at night since I went to see my folks on Long Island.

She vowed her presence at American Trash. If you get back, drop by. Just a short distance from my place of residence, there was a pub where my friends and I often spent time.

Throughout the months leading up to this night, I had opportunities to pursue a romantic relationship with her, but I always chickened out and chose to keep things platonic instead. Now that she had officially left, I was sorry that I had hesitated.

An important choice that would affect the next 17 years

About 9 o'clock that night, I made my way back home. And spent about a quarter of an hour debating what to do. Where do I stand? Should I leave or let it die? For me, this was an excellent chance to do something important. I just couldn't let things go without giving it a go.

We had our first kiss later that evening. About two in the morning. We were inebriated and standing on the intersection of 76th Street and 1st Avenue, outside of a 24-hour diner. Unromantic, but difficult to forget.

We started out dating on a whim. Since I didn't believe she was interested in pursuing a long-distance connection, I didn't want to force us to speed-date for a whole year.

Then, in the middle of October, I went out to eat with Beth, who I knew via a common acquaintance. We ate roasted duck burritos and drank margaritas. She probed me on my thoughts regarding our budding romance. I assured her that it would lead to nothing. She doesn't want to go into a serious relationship, I told her.

Beth corrected me and said I was wrong. After their conversation, Beth assumed she was open to having a long-distance relationship with her.

When I heard it, I remember feeling a mixture of anticipation and sadness. It wasn't completely inconceivable that we could make it work. The planning and the cost. What was I thinking?

Not for very long, however. That evening, I made up my mind to give it my whole attention the following day. We could make it work if she did the same.

All of a sudden, the enchantment is gone.

In November, we both participated in the New York City Marathon. One week later, she moved to Colorado. After she went, we continued to have nightly phone calls, but I could feel the intimacy between us ebbing. Each of us would become preoccupied with their own life, and we would all ultimately stop talking to one another.

I made a decision that was quite unlike me. To celebrate her birthday, I organized a party for her when I got back to town.

To make sure that all of her close friends were invited, I arranged with all of them. The event will be held at a bar that I found. I put in a lot of time and effort because I really care about this connection.

Our bond was strengthened that night, and we will never forget it. Our friendship was deepened despite our little contact over the following two months.

The final trip I ever took was in February. My vacation days were run out. She was able to take April off from classes but was having problems finding a cheap flight.

We hadn't talked about what to do next, but I could see that without a set time to see each other again, things were going to get difficult.

This is an extremely dangerous part of our experience.

She made the spontaneous suggestion that I relocate to Colorado. Perhaps she was kidding, but I then asked if we should have an apartment together. That's a really absurd statement to make. We were friends for a while (around three years), but our relationship lasted barely five months. They were separated for three months due to distance.

We settled on a strategy. After working for two months, I decided to leave my job, sell my apartment, and move to Colorado.

Since those early days, there have been many highs and lows. However, I still find it hard to accept the choices I made at the time, as they were so unlike me.

During the first five months of our relationship, I treated it like it was the most important thing in the world at all times. It had a higher priority than my professional success, my social life, or my bank account. I haven't done that the entire time we've been together, but it's something I try to keep in mind when things become tough.

The relationship's "golden rule"

Put in extra effort to make your connection successful. That is the rule that everyone should follow. To do so is to play the odds. Your priority is always the other person. As long as you both make it a priority, you'll have an easier time finding common ground and working toward a win-win solution. You help each other out with no prompting.

Making that one person your first priority will result in a cascade of loving actions that strengthen your connection.

In the beginning of a relationship, we both feel hesitant and anxious about our positions. To ensure that our social standing is secure, we place a premium on our personal connections.

Eventually, the clock will run out. We feel safe and at ease. As time goes on, our connection will no longer be number one on my list of concerns.

In other words, your own goals and aspirations have reappeared. There is certainly no harm in it. While personal space is essential, it's easy to lose sight of the precarious conditions under which your relationship was forged and the risks you took to keep it strong. There is a tendency for us to become complacent and take conveniences for granted.

In that situation, you need to put everything else aside and act in accordance with the golden rule.

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