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Love Rules

Here is what relationship experts think about the tried, but not always true, love sayings.

By Stacey Colino
Grant Cornett

6. Never Go to Bed Angry

Barbara De Angelis, personal-development expert: I disagree. Most of us don’t do well discussing emotional topics late at night, when we’re tired and less emotionally articulate―and your well-intentioned desire to kiss and make up is likely to make him angrier. Let your partner get some rest and things will be easier to resolve in the morning.

Howard J. Markman, psychologist: Most of the relationship issues that people argue about at night can wait for another day. However, if there are urgent issues that need to be discussed, partners should talk things through earlier in the night, then try to spend what is left of the evening relaxing.

Nancy Kalish, psychologist: You shouldn’t go to bed angry, but that doesn’t mean you have to solve every problem before you nod off. Even if an issue isn’t resolved, people who love each other should be able to put it aside and get some sleep, but with the understanding that it will be addressed in the near future with a time specified.


7. Having Kids Will Bring You Closer

Pepper Schwartz, sociologist: Children are an extraordinary source of joy, but they also bring conflict and difficulty into any relationship. You lose time, privacy, and intimacy. An otherwise easy relationship can be tested in a whole new way.

Kalish: The more family members you have, the more friction you have, because there are more relationship issues to work through. And if you focus exclusively on the kids, it takes away from your togetherness as a couple.


8. There Is Such a Thing As Love at First Sight

Ellen Wachtel, couples therapist: False. Often it takes time for love to develop. For some people, physical chemistry plays such a big role at the outset that it is mistaken for love.

Schwartz: It’s a romantic story when it works out, but you don’t hear about the relationships that end badly. Relationships start slow and build; they aren’t necessarily wonderful from the start.

Markman: You’ll quickly know if you’re attracted to each other, but not if you’re compatible or fit to stick together through tough times.


9. Always Keep Him Guessing

Greg Behrendt, coauthor of He’s Just Not That Into You: No, that’s tactical game playing, not love. It takes a lot of calculated effort and is dishonest.

Schwartz: It’s powerful and mysterious to be unpredictable, but it is also manipulative and can build resentment and anger and erode intimacy and respect.

Sam Yagan, dating-website cofounder: There’s good guessing and bad guessing, and it’s really about what kind of guessing you’re making him do. Try to keep the relationship fresh by being unexpectedly romantic.


10. You Can Never Be Too Close

Wachtel: False. Many marriages are damaged by partners thinking that closeness means not having to censor what they say or do. Some couples take each other for granted: Metaphorically speaking, they never get out of their sweat suits at home. If you don’t make an effort to be well mannered or attractive to your partner, then you’re too close.

Markman: That’s absolutely true. Closeness―emotional intimacy―is the heart of a good marriage, so it’s important to talk about what closeness means to each of you.

 
Read More About:Relationships

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