Every now and then, we all see a perfectly happy couple get into a public argument over something rather petty.

Maybe he had a bad day? Maybe she’s super-sensitive?

We tend to brush it aside, thinking our friend’s just having one of those days. But if their bickering goes from “cute” to “crazy” every single time you’re spending time together, it’s normal to wonder if this is “normal” for their relationship.

Now, of course, everyone has different expectations from a partner. And it’s not healthy or productive to compare your relationship to someone else’s.

Some don’t like the attention, while others enjoy a bit of PDA. Some like to spend every waking minute together, while others prefer a bit of space.

Regardless of these differences, however, there are certain principles that are common to all long-lasting relationships—and the one that holds them all together is honesty.

Rules of the Game

Let’s be fair.

Arguments aren’t always a sign of trouble in a relationship. Sometimes, it’s okay to disagree and find a way to move past our differences.

After all, if you can’t share your honest opinions with your partner, what’s the point of being together?

Honest communication means undressing your vulnerabilities and exposing some of your greatest weaknesses. Unfortunately, this also creates room for possible exploitation as some partners see it as an opportunity to play mind games in order to feed their own egos.

The rules of the game are simple:

1) Lead them on.

2) Allow them to be vulnerable.

3) Use it against them to reinforce your power.

In other words, if your partner is in love with you and you know their weakness, you may provoke them in a selfish game of pride in order to feel more powerful and secure.

Who Wins and Who Loses?

Fighting with your partner over petty arguments, and prompting them to apologize over something that you know isn’t their fault may seem like a great way to dominate the relationship.

In reality, however, it signals your own insecurities as you rely on constant reassurance from someone who you secretly believe isn’t good enough.

In matters of the heart, there’s no room for exploitation. And if you’re busy playing mind-games with a devoted partner, you’re ultimately worshipping at the altar of your own ego.

You’re a carrier of light, capable of immeasurable love. Don’t let your mind get in the way of something that ultimately defies reason.

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