Too often, teenage relationship advice focuses on how to tell if you are really in love with someone, while giving a checklist of the things you should be experiencing to see if you really are. Not a lot shed light on what to do once you’ve made that first step toward being committed to someone. It’s where things need to be threshed out if a long-term union is desired, and it merits some guidelines so you can have a caring, happy, and strong relationship. Here are some five tips to help you and your partner achieve precisely this.

1. Make friendship the foundation of your relationship.

As cliché as it may seem, teen relationships based on friendship tend to last longer than ones that aren’t. This kind of reasoning is based on the simple expedient that friends are more comfortable with each others’ quirks, habits, and ways of thinking, and those who graduate to a love relationship from a friendship are less likely to be turned off by previously unnoticed behavior. It also means that, as friends, you share similar interests and have bonded over things that mean something to you. One of the best teenage relationship advice, as some songs put it, is to fall in love with your best friend. While not everyone may be lucky enough to experience this, making friends with a potential love interest can be a good enough start to laying a solid foundation for a lasting bond.

2. Have fair expectations from each other.

The teen years can be quite tumultuous, given the circumstances affected by hormones, school, family, peers, and other adolescent trimmings. When you enter into a committed relationship with someone, it’s best to keep the demands at a minimum, and focus on how to enrich each others’ lives as you go through the challenges of being a teen together. Support each others’ endeavors, help each other with school work and activities, be there for one another when you need encouragement, go out on fun dates, be each others’ inspiration, but do not make demands that are hard to meet or are unfair. This is one of the most important teenage relationship advice you can get: commitment means harnessing the closeness you have with someone to enrich and improve your lives, not to put boundaries and unreasonable expectations on each other for your own sake.

3. Steer clear of irrational jealousy.

Jealousy is, unfortunately, a likely occurrence in even the healthiest relationship. However, it does not follow that you should make it a mainstay. In case you get jealous over something, pause and consider exactly what may be the cause of jealousy. If you cannot pinpoint it, chances are that it is of an irrational nature, and therefore unhealthy for you and your relationship. This is often caused by paranoia and insecurity, and must be treated professionally because it is often destructive and recurring. It is fine to feel jealous once in a while, so long as you do not allow it to take over you and make you lash out at your partner. A great teenage relationship advices is to learn from past jealous responses and learn to control them if they have no real basis.

4. Talk less, listen more.

One of the biggest reasons for arguments is the lack of proper communication. Your partner may be trying to tell you something about what they are going through, but you’re too busy talking about your day instead. This kind of behavior often paves the way for someone to feel neglected, unappreciated, and not cared for. A great teenage advice you can heed to strengthen your relationship is to listen more, and talk less. This doesn’t mean you should curb your tongue all the time and be reticent; it simply allows for more open and effective dialogue instead of a selfish monologue. Doing this makes your partner feel that you are there for them, and that they can open up to you any time.

5. Introduce each other to your respective family and friends.

Being around your partner’s family or friends is a great way to forge lasting bonds with them. As cliché as it may sound, being the girl or boy that your partner brings home to their mom means they are confident enough to let you in on their family life and be part of them. The simple act of introducing your partner to your family and closest friends is a very affirming moment. It means they are proud of you and want you to participate in their lives on a more personal level. So as a helpful teenage relationship advice: introduce your boyfriend or girlfriend to your mom, dad, siblings, and close friends and make them feel that you take them seriously.