Relationships can be complicated and messy, but when you get past all the complexities there are some basic do’s and don’t’s that will save you from headache and heartbreak. Here are four basic rules to help you find happiness. ● Never Want Someone Who Doesn’t Want You ● It sounds so simple, one might even say obvious but we’ve all been there. Your high school crush who didn’t know you existed. The cutie at your local coffee shop who, no matter how friendly you try to be, just won’t take the conversation past “how’s the weather?” Or the even more complicated situations, like when you’re dating someone and you can’t tie them down. He’s stressed with work, she had a bad breakup with her last boyfriend. Whatever the situation, you deserve someone who wants to be with you. When you’re putting all the effort in, or they're making an excuse not to do something, what they’re really trying to tell you is they don’t want to do it. It’s not about her ex or his job, it’s about them. Even if the excuse has truth to it, when someone is committed to making a relationship work they’ll make the extra effort for you It may be hard, but you’re worth it, and you should be with someone who makes that obvious. ● Ask Yourself: Do I Like Myself When I’m With This Person? ● Being alone can be hard. Loneliness can feel crushing, but not as bad as being in a bad relationship. Being anxious, stressed, even paranoid or insecure about your partner is worlds worse than a lonely night. If you’re with someone and you realize you’re just unhappy and you barely recognize the person you’ve become, that means it’s time to get out. Even when you love someone, your relationship should enhance who you are, not crush or distort it into something unfamiliar. ● Take the Word "Should" Out of Your Vocabulary ● Having the belief that someone “should” do something is a destructive dynamic that can poison your relationship. Saying that someone should do this, or shouldn’t do this, presents the idea that you know how the relationship should be and your partner, no matter how hard they try or how perfect they are, will never be able to live up to those expectations. Instead of focusing on that someone should do, or how something should be, focus on appreciating what IS. Maybe they “should” have taken you our for your three month anniversary, but instead you had Chinese takeout and watched a movie. A quiet date night in is more intimate, and unless you told them what you wanted they had no way of knowing. When you let “should” control your life and your expectations, you’re cheating yourself out of a real relationship. ● Be the Prize ● This one comes down to believing in your own self worth. If you don’t think you’re worth it, that kind of attitude will effect your relationship. So will trying to be “good enough” to earn your partners affection. You are good enough, but until you believe that your partner is going to be disinterested or worse, take you for granted. Half of the joy of finally getting the girl or guy, is know you worked hard and earned their affection. But if you’re bending over backwards to cater to their every whim just to keep them around, what have they really earned? Have confidence in yourself, and your self worth.