4. Be realistic, optimistic and willing to put in the work.
Despite what you grew up thinking your prince charming isn't going to ride in on his white horse and whisk you away and men, don't expect to stumble across a Louboutin that's going to lead your to your princess. Now this doesn't mean you have to settle for the next best thing. We encourage you to find that one person you just can't imagine your life without, but idealizing that person is only going to make your search more difficult. Be optimistic; I'm a firm believer that there is someone out there for everyone. Don't subscribe to the belief that you're going to be alone forever or that true love doesn't exist — it does, it just takes work, which brings me to my last point: Be willing to put in the work. Successful relationships require both partners to put in a lot of effort; if you really love one another, it doesn't feel like work.
5. No two relationships are alike.
While it's nice to consult your girl friends or bros about relationship issues, keep in mind that every relationship is different and what works for one couple may not work for you. This also means that not everyone is going to understand why you do what you do; it may not make sense to your best friend why you chose to give up something you once loved for your significant other — and that's OK.
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The truth of the matter is there is no science to the perfect relationship. Keep your sex life and dating life interesting and fresh, respect each other's dreams and throw tradition to the wind. Know that love is very real and occasionally messy, and most importantly, do what makes you and your partner happy. You'll be just fine.