We all have unwritten rules that we live our lives by. These unwritten rules vary from person to person. Some we know we have and some we don’t even realize exist. Some of these rules are instilled in us by our parents and others we pick up as we experience life. For example, one of my unwritten rules is that if I text or call (and have to leave a message) I expect a return text or phone call in a reasonable amount of time. One would think that this is a reasonable expectation. IT’S NOT! I have come to learn that people have priorities in their lives and I’m not always at the top of the list. I also know that some of my closest friends will respond when it is convenient for them and sometimes, this may not be for days. It has taken me some time to learn to be patient with them.
Another unwritten rule I have is to not try to carry on a conversation unless both parties are in the same room. How many of you have walked out of the room only to hear your mate start talking to you and you don’t have a clue what they said? If this happens only occasionally, it may be oaky. If it happens on a regular basis, it can become very annoying for both partners to have to go back and start the conversation all over again.
One unwritten rule I have recently discovered in myself is that of privacy. I have discovered in recent weeks that privacy and confidentiality can be a rare commodity and that is something I cherish. I’m guessing this rule in my life came from the face that I was a financial advisor for 21 years and virtually every conversation I had with any client was confidential. I have now come to expect that of those around me. I have been disappointed lately by people that have shared portions of personal conversations, but it wasn’t their fault. I didn’t share my unwritten rule or expectation with them! Then, that leads to the question; How much do you tell someone you are getting to know and how much do you keep to yourself? It seems that there is a very fine line to walk as you get to know someone and develop trust. I usually operate from a perspective of trust and that certain information will remain confidential. I have been burned on occasion, but again, I have to take responsibility for not making sure that others understand what my expectations are.
Do you know what your unwritten rules are? Have you shared your rules with your significant other or do you just expect them to just know? Share some of your unwritten rules with us. How have they helped or hurt you in your relationship?
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About the author.
Over the past 30 years, Rick Soetebier has been a student of self and relationship improvement. He has become an astute observer of people and relationship issues. Over time and through a relationship and marriage that ended after 25 years, Rick started to develop some of the fundamental principles that are found in his book, Dating Backward: A practical guide to dating and finding your soul mate. You can benefit through his observations, education, research and personal experience by letting him help you make better relationship decisions.