Sunday, September 7, 2008

How to Be a Good Boyfriend

Just like being good at your job requires training and effort, so does being a good boyfriend. Don't expect it to come naturally. Every relationship is different, and there is no "one-size-fits-all" approach, so this article will focus on principles that most people would agree are good relationship-builders.

Steps1. Be honest. In a mature relationship, honesty is the best policy. It may be difficult, but the truth will allow relationships to breathe. No matter what happens, no one can ever challenge the fact that you are truthful, which might mean that the other person also gives you the same respect.

If something doesn't suit them let them know, otherwise they will not trust your opinion. But make it sound like a compliment. Suggest an alternative, and attach praise to the alternative. For example, if they ask you if you like something they are trying on (trying on, not already wearing at a party!) let them know that it might work, but you think the blue one is your favourite so far because it shows off their great (insert a feature you appreciate, preferably not one that they are self-conscious about). It's not going to be easy to be honest and kind at the same time, so focus on learning how to give a feedback sandwich nd you'll both be better off.

2. Don't brush them off.

People often find it exasperating when they get the feeling their partner treats them as an inferior in a relationship. Women are no exception. A lot of people have been taught that the only way to get attention when their partner is trying to ignore them is to act more emotional and be louder until the partner finally surrenders and pays attention to her, even if in annoyance. If people feel they're being given the cold treatment by people who are supposed to be important to them, they get worried.

Especially when it happens without you giving an explanation for why this disturbance has occurred. People aren't mind readers. Your mate is not likely to be able to guess that you're cranky just because they wouldn't let you do something that they felt was very trivial, whereas you found it important. If you know that your mood might lead you to overreact, simply say "I'm feeling really irritated right now. Can we talk about this later after I cool off a bit?" (Don't forget to follow through and actually give her your time later.)

3. Communicate.

Do not talk their ear off, however make sure that if you have any problems that will affect your mood, they are made aware of the reasons for your problems and mood, so that you do not appear to merely be a fickle and cranky creature. Zone out everything around you when you're talking to them. If you ask them a question, ask them because you really want to know.

For example, ask them what type of movies they enjoy, or about one of her favourites. If you know it, talk about it a little bit in an honest way, what you thought of it, and make a guess at why they might have liked it. Even if you are wrong, your mate will usually
love the fact that you are interested enough to try. Remember, the opposite of talking is not waiting, it's listening. Make sure you're actually listening, not just waiting for your turn to talk. Put off a vibe that tells them that they can tell you anything. Make them feel safe.

4. Give gifts as a surprise.

Anyone can buy a gift for a birthday, Christmas or an anniversary. Listen to them when you are out window shopping, and if there is something they like, and it's within your price range, remember it and surprise them with it when they least expect it, for no reason at all. Or pick something up on your way home from work, and tell them you were thinking of them when you saw it. It doesn't have to be big or expensive--a book you know they will like, or a CD of their favourite band are nice gestures.

5. Mix things up.

Go to a new restaurant, try a new nightclub or go to a new part of town. Even if you both end up hating it, it's an experience you can share and that's what it's all about isn't it? Creating memories together. Surprise them by doing something offbeat--think less maudlin and more personal. This includes anything from racing them to your walking destination, dancing without music, or even bringing them a tub of LEGO and encouraging their immediate use.

You two should grow to be comfortable with each other, and do things together without self-consciousness. Ideally, they should never feel stupid around you for wanting or doing a particular thing. Step out of your comfort zone. Sometimes, in order to get things going, you need to be the one to step out of the comfort zone.

6. Compliment them sincerely.

Find something particular and compliment them on it, but mean it. Don't just say, "You look nice". Say "That really makes your eyes flash", "Your hair cut really suits the shape of your face" or "That makes me want to Kiss your neck" ...and then kiss their neck! The more specific you are, the more unique and appreciative the compliment.

7. Let your partner be.
Just because she is your significant other, doesn't mean she is yours, implying any kind of ownership. You can't keep this person all to yourself. You might get jealous if they talk to someone else, but if you trust them and are good to them, you shouldn't have anything to worry about. If their actions do make you feel uncomfortable, sit down and talk, again using noviolet communication. Same goes for how they dress and look.

They may not always feel like spending an hour plucking, tweezing, clipping this, applying that. Make sure they know they can relax and be themselves with you. Don't make them feel like they always have to look like a celestial being. If they're letting themselves go, so to speak, bring it up in a gentle and helpful way, like "What ever happened to your red lipstick? You have gorgeous lips, and I love it when you highlight them once in a while. It looks amazing."

8. Take care of yourself. Don't be needy or dependent. Nothing scares someone away faster than someone they constantly need to remind to do laundry, t, or get to ake a shower work on time. Be hygienic and neat, set goals, and work hard. You can't be a good boyfriend if you're not a good person.


· Keep in mind: the road will be difficult. As in any healthy relationship, you will have your share of conflicts, some tiny, some big. Remember to be true to yourself, and try to abandon any significant selfishness. A relationship is a matter of team work.

· Treat them like you normally do around your friends or else they will feel like you're embarrassed to date her.

· If she doesn't want to talk about something right away then just drop the subject. She will tell you when she is ready.

· Look in her eyes and ask if something is wrong, she will say no most of the time and (only if you KNOW something IS wrong) kiss her and then say, "Tell me the truth (insert name here)..."


· If your partner sees you doing something that can be easily misinterpreted in a bad way, don't say "this isn't what you think" or "this isn't what it looks like". Hold her hand (they will pull away) then look them in the eye and tell them you love them, and that they are the only one for you, and it really wasn't what it looked like, then explain.

· Never cheat. It remains perfectly understandable that you'll have wandering eyes, but realize where your heart is and stick to that. One time will be enough to convince someone to dump you.

· Never hold their family's actions against them. No one can help what their family does or says. You can share with them that it bothers you what someone might have done or said but leave it alone after that.

· Never tell them about something you almost did for them and then ended up not doing for whatever reason. Like saying 'I thought about getting you this gift, but changed my mind' or 'I was going to take the day off work to spend it with you and then decided it was a bad idea'. They will not think you were thoughtful, they will think you decided they weren't worth it. This is worse than an oblivious boyfriend, because it shows you know how to be romantic and what to do, but don't find them valuable enough. These thoughts are definitely best kept to yourself.

· Don't embarrass them. Most people get embarrassed if you talk about undergarments and things like that. Remember, those sorts of things may be attractive to you, but to them they may be something they don't want to talk about. On the same idea, never tell a funny story about them without her consent, especially if they try to stop, you DO NOT CONTINUE. This will hurt their feelings, as it shows impressing your friends and making them laugh is more important to you than them not having to feel stupid.

· Don't be too clingy. She wants her personal space just as much as you do. If she wants to hang out with her friends, or do something other than hanging out with you, let her.

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