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5 Rules To Follow When Breaking Up With Someone  (thumbnail)The Issue: The Thrill is…Going.

The Redo: Change the Vibe.

At the beginning of our marriage, my wife, Robin, and I got into the habit of griping about the day’s frustrations as soon as we got home from work. After a while, though, I realized that if you discuss only problems with your partner, there’s a good chance you’ll develop a problem relationship. I’d read that the initial moments of an interaction can set the tone for the rest of the encounter. That’s why Robin and I have instituted the First Four Minutes Rule, which prohibits us from complaining until we’ve spent a few moments together. Even if our house was on fire, we’d probably let 240 seconds elapse before allowing ourselves to mention it. I suggest you take the same approach with your partner. Before you say anything else, tell a funny story, or talk about how much you missed each other. Your first words don’t have to be romantic or earth-shattering–just positive.

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