Sometimes age-old wisdom turns out to be not so wise after all—maybe the advice is simply outdated, or maybe it was never a good in the first place. If you’re struggling to sift through all the relationship tips and well-meaning advice out there to decide what’s worth listening to, here are eight pieces of relationship advice that you should definitely throw out the window.
1. Don’t go to bed angry.
Mental health counselor Marissa Geraci refutes the idea that couples should never go to bed angry. She explains that attempting, “to force a resolution of an issue in 30 minutes just because it’s close to bedtime,” could actually cause more problems. “It’s also unrealistic to think there’s a resolution to every issue,” she goes on.
Some problems are bigger than bedtime, and that’s okay. If you and your partner find yourselves at an impasse, call a ceasefire until the next day. You can reaffirm your love for each other without having to solve anything.
2. Keep your relationship problems to yourself.
Of course you shouldn’t tell just anyone about your relationship problems, and certain things that might unnecessarily embarrass your partner should remain unsaid—but it’s healthy to confide in your friends.
Spiced Up Marriages founder Davondra Brown suggests that you should be mindful of the friends you choose to speak about your relationship with. She advises confiding in friends who, “truly have your best interest in mind or at least are so objective that they will give their opinion without any attachment to the situation.”
3. When it’s right, it’s just easy.
Resist the temptation to bail on a relationship at the first sign of trouble. If you always call it quits when things get tricky, you’ll never settle down with anyone, because every partnership comes with some complications—even the right one.
Expert Michele Moore stresses the importance of, “learning to fight fair so you can come out on the other end with more clarity and commitment.” She says that worthwhile relationships always involve both high points and low points. The key is to deal with those low points in a mature and loving way.
4. True love means accepting your partner’s flaws.
Matchmaking and dating expert Jonathan Bennett disagrees with the common advice that you should love and accept all of your partner’s flaws unconditionally. Although you should be kind about your partner’s bad habits, he says, “it’s perfectly reasonable and healthy to expect your partner to actually work on self-improvement and grow as a person.”
Learn to distinguish between your personal pet peeves and behavior that is actually harmful or unhealthy. You may need to accept some of your partner’s habits—like the different way they load the dishwasher—but dangerous behaviors like texting while driving may warrant a gentle nudge.
5. The kids come first.
Scandalous as it may seem, sometimes the healthiest thing to do is to put your relationship with your partner first and your children second. That doesn’t mean you love your kids any less—it just means that there may be periods when you and your partner need to focus on nurturing your connection together.
Dan Czachorwski, founder of Shinefiercely, explains that your kids will, “grow and leave your home, where you and your partner will remain.” So although you should absolutely nurture your children, prepare them for life in the real world, and teach them to contribute to society, those efforts should never completely displace your relationship with your partner.
6. Great couples do everything together.
The longer you’ve been in a relationship with someone, the easier it is to fall into the habit of doing everything together. However, you’ll both benefit from spending some time apart and pursuing your own interests.
According to relationship therapist Carolyn Cole, “It’s healthy to make sure you don’t lose a sense of who you are and what you love just because you’re in a relationship.” Engaging in more independent activities may even give you more to talk to your partner about.
You should look at each relationship you have as something individual and unique—maybe some relationship tips will work better for you than others. Maybe some tips that helped you in a past relationship won’t be as relevant in your current one. Remember, advice is something you can choose to take or leave. So take what works for you and forget about the rest.