I love this Ask MetaFilter thread on relationship hacks (via Not Martha). I recommend reading through the whole thing, but these are the points I’ve used to good effect. If you have any good advice, let me know.
-“Have a set ‘date night’ every week and don’t deviate from it unless you HAVE to. This is especially important if you have roommates or children.” –Unicorn on the Cob
-“Never yell. Heck, never even raise your voice.” –teg4rvn
-“…People often start negotiating from what they think they can get, not what they really want–so even if the other person says yes, they are still disappointed. …People should start by being honest about 100% of what they want. My partner and I use this all the time, for things big and small. ‘My 100% would be having dinner before we see the movie.’ ‘My 100% would be to move to a bigger house in two years.’
…One thing that is surprising is how often you can have your 100%–and then you feel really lucky and happy and loved. And you also have the satisfaction of knowing that you gave your partner what they _really_ wanted. On the other hand, if the 100% isn’t possible and you have to negotiate down from there you at least know that what you wanted was heard.” –Not that Girl
-“Don’t tell people they’re wrong about trivial things. Inevitably someone will insist something silly, like that Kevin Costner starred in The Fifth Element or whatnot. You’ll know they’re wrong, but saying so is just going to be taken as adversarial and lead to ill feelings that turn into fights… It’s not worth upsetting each other over something so unimportant.” –Pufferish
– “If you have friends of the indecisive sort, learn how to play 5-3-1. It’s a trick to settle the ‘where do you want to eat?’ ‘I don’t care, where do you want to eat?’ game. One partner names 5 places, the other eliminates two of those choices, and the first one eliminates the remaining two. It’s decision making in turns, and it works just as well as anything else.” –Alice Ayres
That last one has saved me hours just in the last week. Apparently I am the indecisive friend. How about you? Tell your secrets.