Just like women, men want different things in a relationship. I, for instance, prefer a clingy woman… you know, the type that gets mad when I don’t call or text back. Or the kind that comes home early, makes dinner and waits for me in bed without a bra. That’s my obsession. Another guy, probably in Jamaica, wants a woman who can smoke weed and party like an Egyptian Cyprian.
Case in point – men all want different things in a woman.
But when it comes to love, we are all sentimental to some extent and we pretty much want the same things.
I’m sure there are lots of magazines and blogs that have published guides on how to be a good girlfriend, and you’ve probably read some of them, but I want to break down how to be a good girlfriend even more. Here you go:
1. Have lots of self-respect and don’t compromise your dignity.
In my opinion, the first rule of being loved is loving yourself first.
Sure, it sounds a little selfish, but if you don’t respect yourself, don’t expect anybody to do it for you, or to you for that matter. Men find independent women overly attractive. So be independent, even in the way you carry yourself. Make him understand that you love him but you don’t need him. Mark your boundaries in bold and when he’s being an asshole, don’t hesitate to point it out.
Be bold enough to express how you feel and hold your ground. Being a little clingy is one thing but being a pushover is a whole different story.
2. Understand the difference between being supportive and being controlling.
Setbacks are inevitable in life, and your boyfriend has no immunity either. Sometimes, things get rough and as hard as he tries, nothing really works. Understanding that this is just a phase of life and learning to embrace it is key.
As his girlfriend, you need to stand by him. He needs you now more than ever. A common mistake among women, however, is going too far; what I like to call, overegging the pudding. Making decisions for him simply because he’s vulnerable is not being supportive. Stop pushing him around. Things are already hard for him, so don’t make them worse. Instead, talk to him in a reassuring way, derive solutions to the problem together and above all, don’t underestimate him.
3. Give him some space.
When your boyfriend goes to a party with his friends and doesn’t invite you, it’s because it’s fun and it makes him happy, not because he’s trying to avoid you. When he’s texting on his phone and you can’t see it, it’s because he is private and it’s none of your business, not because he’s flirting with the blonde girl next door.
Trust is important in a relationship. As hard as it might be, stop doubting his intentions as much as you can. If you have a problem with his behavior, approach him maturely instead of snooping around. Other than earning his trust, you’ll save yourself from a lot of anger, drama and sleepless nights.
4. Handle fights maturely.
Love is like a hill; there’s the ups and the downs, and as far as fights go, it’s only natural that they happen to you.
In fact, if you never argue with your boyfriend, your relationship is probably already doomed. Disputes are core in any relationship; it’s what makes our voices heard. Besides, you can’t expect everything to run smoothly all the time. You’re not Romeo and Juliet. Occasional fights are a necessary evil over the long term. That said, it’s important to act maturely when they occur.
Understand that when he brings up an issue and you fight, it’s because he wants you to understand something about him or the relationship, not because he wants to hurt you intentionally. Try to be a good listener, forgive and forget and don’t air your dirty laundry on social media.
5. Keep your own interests and passions.
Above and beyond that relationship, you have your own life to live. Get a new look every now and then, go to the gym, eat healthy, get a career, stay in trend etcetera etcetera. You’re fully responsible for whatever you choose to do with your life. So explore, explore, explore.
Don’t let any relationship hold you back but keep your boyfriend actively involved in whatever you’re doing when it makes sense. You can, for example, ask him to accompany you to a road trip with your friends, or ask his opinion on things… just anything to assure him that his opinion matters to you. As silly it sounds, he likes knowing you appreciate his opinion. The more active you are in your own life, the more lively your relationship will become.
As I said earlier, we are all different in regards to tastes. No cheat sheet really exists with respect to matters concerning the heart. It’s important to evaluate your relationship and understand your partner fully. Then you can play by your own rules to make things work.
Learn to love from your heart and don’t use your relationship as a tool to fill a broken part within yourself. Balance your emotions with your thoughts and be confident in the love you share. As a bonus point, don’t try making your partner jealous in hopes of getting a reaction to prove that he loves you. I know they do it in the movies, but it’s often more of a “Don’t try this at home” kind of thing.