Effective and mutually beneficial relationships do not need to be complex or difficult to develop and maintain. Often times when relationships or marriages fail it’s because one or both partners just give up. In successful relationships, both members work at building and growing the relationship every day.

But, where do you start? How can you have a healthy relationship? Even though the answers are somewhat dynamic – meaning it depends on the circumstances and the people involved – they are some basic rules to follow in order to maximize your success:

1. Accept and embrace your partner’s differences

2. Staying connected is more important than being right

3. You get out of it what you put into it

4. Regularly get out of your daily routine

5. Convey your partner’s importance to him or her

6. Fight fairly

7. Make the relationship a priority

8. Savor every day

9. Talk about your future together

10. Believe in the “fairy tale” aspects of love

Rule 1: Accept and embrace your partner's differences

A common dilemma for couples is to try to change their partner. Sure they may have annoying habits or mannerisms, but as soon as you start criticizing them or trying to change what bothers you, your partner will resist you. Your partner will become defensive and then it becomes a battle of wills. It may take years to determine whose will is the strongest and the relationship may not be able to endure this challenge.

From my 22 years of marriage, I have learned that what my wife does differently from me contributes to making her unique and provides her with a great source of confidence - which I find very attractive. We should all celebrate the differences we have with our partners.

Through these differences, we are better able to see the world from different points-of-view. We are able to better examine our own ideas, thoughts and judgments about the world by gaining a different perspective. I didn’t marry someone to be just like me, I married someone who would bring out the best in me.

Author's Bio: 

Alex Blackwell is the author of The Next 45 Years - a website dedicated to sharing and creating happiness, life balance and success for the rest of our lives. To read all 10 Rules for a Great Relationship, please visit: http://www.thenext45years.blogspot.com