Asian couple smiling and posing for the camera.

Every successful relationship is founded on the basic principles of mutual respect, trust, and love. No two couples are alike, but there are some unspoken rules that most unknowingly follow. Here are three romances that blur the lines of today’s relationship rules and how they make love work outside the box.

Switching Roles: Alfie and Ida Tulagan

Alfie is a stay-at-home dad of two and husband to wife Ida, a medical frontliner during the height of the pandemic. Because of the high demands of Ida’s job, Alfie decided to be more hands-on at home. 

“Because of the pandemic, I became hands-on with the kids while my wife worked as a medical frontliner. It’s not easy being a parent. But it’s a good thing that there are resources available to guide me with putting the kids to sleep, giving them milk, and changing their diapers,” Alfie shares.

There are times when the strain and daunting routine of household chores would take a toll on the couple’s mood, including physical intimacy. “Fatherhood should enhance your . I don’t want to fall into the trap of being an awesome dad yet a lousy husband to my wife,” he says.

Although stay-at-home dads are not common in traditional Filipino society, for couples like Alfie and Ida, it’s a setup that works. Depending on your lifestyle and dynamic with your partner, switching roles may be an option worth exploring and might even be a source of growth for you and your partner as you take on jobs outside your comfort zone. It's okay to break relationship rules, especially if they don't work.

If you’re a working mom like Ida, make yourself a priority despite your workload. When you get home from a long day, turn simple routines into an opportunity to do a little self-care. Try Vaseline Gluta-Hya Serum Burst Dewy Radiance, the first-ever Vaseline serum burst lotion. It is 10x more powerful than vitamin C, with Hyaluron and GlutaGlow technology that moisturize skin while giving it a dewy glow.

Opposites Attract: Andi Eigenmann and Philmar Alipayo

Andi Eigenmann was on a trip to Siargao when she met pro surfer Philmar Alipayo. It was awards night for a surf competition, and the actress asked to take a photo with Philmar – who was oblivious that Andi was a famous actress.

There was some backlash when the two first came out as a couple. The internet wasn’t so receptive to this pair’s external differences. When asked if it was hard for Philmar to be with a celebrity, he said he was unsure at the start: “Taga isla lang ako (I’m just a guy from an island).”

Andi was unaffected by relationship rules and the typical Filipino mindset of measuring one’s attractiveness by the lightness of one’s skin or success based on a fancy title or a corporate job. She then added that people who live outside the city are, for her, the richest people on earth because they wake up every morning surrounded by the beauty of nature. They say opposites attract, and this happy couple from the island confirms it.

The confidence to come up to someone you admire doesn’t come easy, but there are things you can do to help boost it. Use closeup Red Hot Toothpaste to give you all day, as it cleans 99% of bacteria in your mouth and prevents cavities.

Don’t pass on any germs to them, either! Keep your hands clean and soft with Dove Nourishing Hand Wash Deeply Nourishing, which is specially formulated with ¼ moisturizing cream to nourish your hands up to 10 layers deep.

3. Open Relationship: Samantha and Matt

When Samantha and Matt (real names withheld) met on a blind date, they hit it off instantly. Samantha is a busy career woman who wasn’t looking for anything serious, so she proposed the idea of being just each other’s “downtime people.” Matt agreed. Being neighbors, theirs is a convenient setup. In many ways, it resembles a typical relationship – they would introduce each other to their closest friends, hang out, and provide emotional support.

A typical Filipino couple may not always admit to being in an open relationship, but some might argue that being in one might even help build trust.

According to a open relationships can be healthy and viable for some couples. Although stigmatized, they show no differences in relationship quality or well-being.

Of course, love comes in all shapes and forms, and couples are redefining so-called relationship rules every day. Ultimately, it’s about two people who understand, love, and respect each other. These couples prove that while going against the norm can be challenging, it’s also liberating, empowering, and just as real.