Relationship tip: Don't be a hypocrite

Some people are simply the epitome of hypocrisy. They don't tolerate certain behaviors from their partner -- cheating, wasteful spending, getting drunk -- and yet they carry out those very behaviors themselves in disguise.

It's because of this double standard that so many relationships go down the drain. People who have certain expectations of their partner that they themselves can't live up to -- those who don't practice what they preach -- shouldn't commit to anyone in the first place. It demonstrates selfishness, a lack of maturity, and the inability to consider their partner's feelings.

The golden rule of relationships is to treat your partner the way you want to be treated. If you don't want your partner to cheat on you, remain faithful. If you don't want your partner running up credit card debt, spend responsibly. If you don't want your partner making a fool of herself after having one too many drinks, drink in moderation yourself.

The rules should apply to your partner just as stringently as they do to you. When one person thinks they can get away with bending those rules, they go down a rabbit hole that will spell trouble -- if not the end -- for the relationship.

Both partners should make the conscious effort to avoid situations that may cause problems later on -- from flirting with co-workers and going on shopping binges to acquiescing to their beer-swilling friends' demands to drink without restraint.

As long as both individuals are on an equal playing field, the relationship can prosper. If you want the relationship to last, you must be willing to consider your partner's feelings before your own. You should always be asking yourself what consequences your actions can have on the relationship. And if your partner betrays your trust while you've remained on the up and up, you have every right to end the relationship and find someone else who shares your high standards of integrity. No one in a relationship is above the other person.

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