9 Ways My Partner And I Broke All The Dating “Rules” — And It Worked!

Relationship experts love to tell us that we need to be this or that to be successful in our relationships. My husband and I have found very little of it to be true; we broke most of the established dating rules and came out on top. Here are some of the ways we broke the mold and still ended up with a fairytale ending:

  1. He started off as a one-night stand. While most people don’t find their partner until they start seriously dating, my hubby and I stumbled into one another’s beds before we even really knew anything about the other. He was cute, single, and funny, which were my only prerequisites for someone I wanted to be with at the time. I wasn’t out looking for “The One” and neither was he. He was still heartbroken over his last girlfriend, and I just considered him someone to pass the time with… until suddenly he was more than that.
  2. We moved in together after only a month of dating. The guy I was all set to get an apartment (platonically, of course) with ended up bailing last minute, leaving me with no apartment and unable to pay for one by myself. I found a roommate, but it was still too expensive to live there with just the two of us. When I asked my hubby if he wanted to also move in, he immediately said yes. Looking back on it, it was probably a stupid move, but it ended up working out in the end. Lucky me!
  3. We had a lot of different opinions. Do you and your partner share core political beliefs? When we first met, our political views couldn’t have been more opposite. Although we’ve both grown more moderate over the years together, we started out as diametrically opposed on the political scale as possible. However, we learned a lot from one another and we now agree on a lot more things than we did in the past. It’s nice to have someone who makes you really question your own beliefs and think critically about your choices.
  4. He gave up things to be with me. Cosmo might tell you that you should never give up on your dreams for an S.O., but we were willing to for each other. My husband always dreamed of having a house and about a million cats and dogs. He wanted to move to California and be a comedian. Although I made it plain that I never wanted to be a homeowner (especially not in SoCal) and I’m allergic to every furbaby in the world, he still stuck with me. Having animals, a career in comedy and a house was important to him, and he gave that up for me.
  5. I gave up some things I wanted to be with him. I also gave up my dream of being that cool old single lady that traveled wherever she wanted to with no one to tie her down. But I suppose all relationships require compromise, even if I had to let go of my crazy dream.
  6. We have the polar opposite diets. I like to eat well and home cook everything. He likes to eat out. He’s an omnivore, and I’m a vegetarian with a whole lot of food allergies. We had nothing in common food-wise and we ended up always buying and making separate food. I’m pretty sure you’re at least supposed to have restaurants or something in common when you start dating, but we didn’t even have that much. Although being vegetarian is a strong belief I have, I love him enough to look past his meat eating.
  7. We don’t like each other’s families. The first time my partner met my family, they immediately said something racist about African Americans and land ownership. The first time I met his father, he showed me his very inappropriate, erotic leg tattoo as his mother talked about the healing power of crystals. I’m pretty sure the saying goes that “you also marry the family,” but in this case, we both ignored that. We just spend as little time as possible with the other’s family and hope for the best when we’re all forced in the same room together.
  8. We have completely different spiritual lives. He’s a lapsed Catholic who still believes in God. I’m an angry atheist with a chip on my shoulder about religions and gods. Although nearly every dating book in the world will consider religion an important part of a relationship, it has never affected ours.
  9. He’s significantly younger than me. Every single bit of dating advice I’ve ever heard included the words “Women are more mature at the same age, so date older.” It’s like we’re all supposed to chase men that are older to make sure we’re on the same level. People raise their eyebrows when I say how old we both are (he’s in his mid-twenties and I’m in my early thirties) but I don’t see why it should change anything. Age is just a number, and his doesn’t matter to me at all.
Christina Smith is a writer from NY. She likes books and is politically active. Her and her husband regularly stay up too late and eat too much junk food.