1. No matter what, always make it a point to check in with your partner.
I know a LOT of people who somehow fall in to what they call a 'relationship,' yet fret for hours and hours over not having got a reply to their text from their partner. I'll tell you what I told my friends: if all you get is radio silence, know that this is long haul stuff. This relationship is as dead as your last conversation. Find someone who while giving you space also checks in with you from time to time. And then you both have got to keep that up.
2. Keep judgement and criticism out.
Guys, a relationship is only amazing if you get to be the truest version of yourself. The walls start going up if one partner is super critical and judgemental. Who the Hell are you anyway judging another person? How do you expect true love to bud if all you dole out is heavy criticism? There's no bigger killer than judgement and criticism when it comes to relationships. Besides, there's no point to this if you can't be real in front of your partner.
3. Their imperfections are exactly what make them unique, stop trying to change them.
So stop trying to change them! This is simply the worst. Don't forget they were and are an individual with their own likes and dislikes. A piece of advice here and there is good, but when you've got an entire encyclopedia of things you'd like to change about them, you've got a problem. Their imperfections are what make them unique. Isn't that why they stood out for you in a crowd?
4. The only luggage you check in to this relationship is the one with all your clothes.
I think one of the worst things we can bring to a new relationship is old baggage. Yes, your last relationship sucked and that's probably why it ended. But it doesn't mean every relationship that follows will have the same fate. Learn from your past mistakes but don't let them become so big they decide which way your current relationship goes. The only luggage you check in to this relationship is the cute kind.
5. Always, always make an effort...
... to understand your partner, to understand their opinion on something or just their side of the story. It's okay to disagree on certain things but you don't let those things kill your relationship. Again, please understand that while you're in a relationship you're still individuals; two adults with separate brains. And because you're in a relationship it doesn't mean you both can't do things differently.
6. Don't assume things, ask.
When it comes to your partner and their feelings, don't assume things. Generalising, assuming and jumping to conclusions are the three worst things to do if you really want your relationship to work out.
7. Don't focus on 'winning' arguments.
The thing to remember is that there will always be a difference of opinion. If your goal everytime is to 'win' arguments, then you're not really winning buddy. Think consensus, think solution, think middle ground. Be open and hear your partner out. May be you'll be able to see things differently.
8. Truly accept everything about them.
You fell in love with this person. You want to spend the rest of your life with this person. You shouldn't even be thinking about the terms and conditions right now. Whether it's friends, family, or a strange habit, learn to embrace your partner and all that they come with. And once you start to accept their so-called weaknesses you'll see what a strong person they truly are.
9. Say 'sorry' and mean it.
Living in close quarters can mean a lot of run-ins. The list of thing you'll disagree on is never ending. And in case you end up hurting their feeling in the process, then apologise. Saying sorry will make them realise you have empathy and the maturity to handle a real relationship.