When you find the right knife, it's like finding the right dog.  It's a companion and if you care about knives as much as I do, it will become a part of your identity, even if just in the woods.  It's your Excalibur, your Red Ryder, your Lucille .  But the right knife is not a one-way commitment.  You have to give back.  Fortunately, your knife will never ask as much of you as you will of it.  

A knife is a tool.  You wouldn't leave chicken guts on your hammer and you should offer the same courtesy to your knife.  When you're done with your knife, wipe it down.  Wiping your knife dry is the key.  Hand wash it if you have to, otherwise give it a loving wipe-down and a bit of oil.  Never, ever put a knife in the dishwasher. 

Keep in mind that at some point, regardless of the style, many knives will touch food.  Choose an oil that is food-safe but not a cooking oil. Cooking oils can become rancid and if you don't use your knife often between oilings then, well, you know.  I use mineral oil intended for use on cutting boards on my own knives.  

The patina on a knife will change with time and use.  It will rub off, scratch, darken, lighten, and change color.  Change is good.  A used knife is a more interesting knife. Particularly acidic materials will change the patina more quickly.  The patina will help protect your knife from corrosion but it is not foolproof.  If your knife came with a forced patina, you've got a head start.  In addition to offering a bit of protection right off the bat, the forced patina will keep the natural patina you acquire later much more even looking.  

Your handle can also use a bit of love, but probably not much.  All of the handle material I use is stable and will resist normal wear and tear.  Most of the wood handles I use are stabilized; the rest are resin based and are tough as nails.  Still, a bit of oil on a handle will go a long way toward making your knife look like a millions bucks again.

Sharpen your knife however you like to sharpen it, so long as you know what you're doing.  If you don't know what you're doing, you've probably got a friend who does.  Learning how to sharpen from scratch isn't the easiest thing in the world, but it's also not all that hard.  A bit of education and practice on a less expensive knife goes a long way.  Keep in mind that every time you sharpen your knife, you're making it smaller.  All knives, carbon or otherwise, prefer a light touch-up before they get too dull and you'll never have to remove too much steel.  It'll save your knife and your time.  A good strop with some compound will work wonders.

There's not really much more to think about. Wipe, dry, strop, oil.  If there's anything I didn't cover, I'm more than happy to point you in the right direction.