9 Relationship 'Rules' You Can Totally Ignore, According To Therapists (According to Huffington Post)

By: Bob Eckstein

The Huffington Post has always been my guilty-pleasure reading and they didn’t let me down this time with this puff piece by HuffPost Life senior reporter Kelsey Borresen (To read the whole piece, see this link.). 

Of course, it’s no fun without snarky commentary so without further ado…9 Relationship 'Rules' You Can Totally Ignore, According To Therapists (According to Huffington Post).

“When it comes to relationships, conventional wisdom isn’t always the wisest….[more set-up that I will spare you]. Below, relationship experts reveal the rules you can ignore if you want to.”

Rule #1: Don’t go to bed angry

Huffington Post: Blah, blah, blah.

Bob Eckstein: This was the number one rule my parents taught me and the only rule they had on marriage—a testament that the rule is to be discarded. Enough said. 

Rule #2: You need to have sex X times per week

Huffington Post: “Sex should be a way to connect with your partner, not something you feel pressured to do to hit some arbitrary quota—lest your relationship be doomed.”

Bob Eckstein:  So, my tennis partner, Rich*, claims he has sex three times a day with this new wife of his. I think it’s tacky to talk about frequency but Huffington brought it up, so here goes. Sex has no memory. No matter how many times I have sex I still have to start the process all over again with the romancing, the begging, the pleading, and the tricks. It’s exhausting. Thank God for porn.

*Rich is his real name. He insisted I use his real name.

Rule #3: Don’t date someone with baggage

Huffinton Post: “Newsflash: Everyone has some emotional baggage, said Pasadena, California, clinical psychologist Ryan Howes.”

Bob Eckstein: Who is this Ryan Howes? I actually agree with him. And a good rule of thumb is don’t date anyone into poetry, went to Southern Cal or is a vegan stand-up in Florida. They have an airport baggage claim worth of baggage, or at least that has been my experience. Only way to handle baggage is to lose the bags. That blinking light therapy, or micro dosing or - I’m going out on a limb here - and guessing Tai Chi. Did I even spell it right?

Rule #4: Household responsibilities need to be split 50/50

Huffington Post: “When it comes to domestic labor, what’s fair is not necessarily equal and what’s equal is not necessarily fair, as “Fair Play” author Eve Rodsky has said. Household chores don't need to be split exactly down the middle for both partners to be satisfied with the arrangement. Trying to keep everything 50/50 leads to scorekeeping, which can breed resentment, said Los Angeles marriage and family therapist Abigail Makepeace.

Bob Eckstein: Okay, this is two in a row I agree with. I not only think I shouldn’t have to do 50% of the chores (because you only criticize everything I do anyway and redo it) but I’m rethinking this whole premise of contradicting the Huffington Post piece. I hope they next rule is stupid so I get back on track.

Rule #5: The relationship is over if someone cheats

Huffington Post: “…infidelity doesn’t necessarily have to mean the relationship is over. It is possible to repair if both partners are committed to working through it together…couples can heal and become even stronger after an infidelity.”

Bob Eckstein: Oh good, this was a stupid answer. No, it’s over. Maybe not the marriage, but the relationship. If couples stay together it’s either a game of leverage and resentment. Or if they don’t seem to mind or try to make your life a living hell, that’s how you know the other person had cheated on you before. 

Rule #6: If you love someone, you always put their needs first

Huffington Post: “…too many relationships fall apart because one partner neglects their own needs so they prioritize their partner’s instead.”

Bob Eckstein: This answer is hysterical. All I ever do is judge other couples and think about how there is one person in every couple who is selfish. This rule should have been, “If you love someone, you are always hoping they would make more money.”

Rule #7: Pick your battles

Huffington Post: “Blah, blah, blah.”

Bob Eckstein: I am going to take their advice and skip this one. 

Rule #8: You have to be into the same things

Huffington Post: “Having a shared passion for hot yoga or rooting for the same college football team is great. But having diverging interests doesn’t mean the relationship is destined to fail.”

Bob Eckstein: How’s this for shared interests? I hate exercise, love cheese and constantly complain about everything. Put that on my Profile with Huffington Post’s explanation of Rule #8.

Rule #9: If your partner really loves you, they should be able to anticipate your needs

Huffington Post: “Some people expect their partner to know them so well that they should be able to predict what they want or need in a given situation. When their partner falls short, they take it as a sign of incompatibility or disconnection.”

Bob Eckstein: Are you exhausted? I’m exhausted. To get through that was not pleasant. Please let me get this over as fast as possible. Rule #9; when you get married, I assure you the most used phrase the rest of your life will be, “What? I’m not a mind-reader.”

PS - Bob Eckstein's new book is now available for purchase! Buy The Complete Book of Cat Names (That Your Cat Won't Answer to, Anyway) here now.

Image by Bob Eckstein

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