How To Be The PERFECT Girlfriend
How to Be a Better Girlfriend
No matter what stage your relationship is, you can learn to be a better girlfriend. Being a better girlfriend often comes down to being kind and compassionate to your boyfriend or girlfriend, as well as communicating and listening well. It can also mean taking care of yourself so you can be more present in the relationship.
Encouraging Your Partner and Growing Your Relationship
Seek out more together time in the week.Being a better girlfriend sometimes just means being more available. Sometimes, you need to make your relationship a priority above other commitments you have. Being there for your boyfriend or girlfriend is a simple way to show that you care for the person.
- For example, try to make sure you make time at least once a week to spend time together. You can go out on a date or just hang out together at home.
- Try to fit in time when you can. You don't always need to go on a dinner date. Try meeting for lunch or even breakfast.
- Spending time together doesn't always mean sitting down and talking, though that's important. Try fitting each other in while you're doing other things, such as working out together or even grocery shopping together.
Check in daily.Another way to show your partner that you care is to check in daily, whether you're living together or not. For instance, text them at work just to tell the person you're thinking about them. Call them at night to see how their day went, or if you live together, make sure you take time to check in with them in the evening.
- In other words, make time in each day to connect with your partner. You don't need to send twenty texts a day, though if you both are up for that, that's a good way to connect. Establish what works for both of you. That is, if one person isn't big on texting, maybe email would work better or a phone call in the evening.
- Try to move beyond just, "How was your day?" Ask about each other's long-term dreams or talk about what you're grateful for. Discuss what you value or what you like best in a friend. It can be easy to slip into "How are you?" "Fine, how are you?" Digging deeper, though, will bring you closer.
- While having weekly or bi-weekly dates is good, checking in every day keeps you in touch with how the other person is doing and creates a sense of familiarity and intimacy.
Tell your partner "thank you." Everyone likes to be appreciated and not just for the things we do. Tell your partner often how grateful you are that he or she is in your life, as it will make your partner feel more appreciated and loved.
- For instance, you can say things like, "I just want you to know how important you are to me. I'm so glad you're in my life."
- You can also keep it more simple, such as "I'm so happy I got to see your face today."
- Showing gratitude doesn't have to be verbal. Give your partner a card or surprise him or her with a small gift just to show them you're thinking about them and how special they are to you. For instance, surprise them with a home-cooked meal just to say "thank you."
Be empathetic.Empathy means actually trying to feel what the other person is feeling. It takes an act of vulnerability to step into another's shoes. However, when you're in a relationship, you have to be able to feel what your partner's feeling to create a sense of intimacy and not necessarily of the sexual kind.
- One way to start building empathy is to be conscientious of checking in with your partner about feelings. Ask the person how he or she is feeling in a given situation.
- It also means you have to stop only seeing through your eyes. Sometimes, you have to shut off how you're seeing the world for a moment to understand how your partner is seeing it. You don't have to give up your point of view. You just have to change to your partner's perspective once in a while to understand the world through his or her eyes.
- That may mean that you need to shut off the voices in your head. As your partner is talking about a situation, you may find yourself raising objections or trying to convince your partner to see it differently. Instead, you need to shut those objections down and truly listen to what your partner is saying.
Give as much as you take.The best relationships function well because both partners give equally to the relationship. Of course, at times, you're going to be giving more, and at other times, your partner is going to be giving more. However, in the end, it should even out so your both giving to the relationship.
- For instance, you may need to work more hours while your partner is in school, and then he or she works more hours while you finish a degree.
- This step is also important in the smaller things. That is, if you live together, both of you should contributing to household chores and errands, not just one of you.
Skip the arrogance.Arrogance can drive a wedge between you. In a relationship, you're supposed to be equal partners, so when your ego seeps in, it unbalances it. Humility on both sides keep relationships in check.
- A little competition every now and then never hurts. However, when you start thinking you're a better person than your partner overall, that leads to an unhealthy relationship.
- That doesn't mean you can't accept a compliment from your partner. If your partner tells you you're great at something, saying "Thank you!" is appropriate.
- However, telling your partner in a serious tone that she's terrible at something and you do it better isn't appropriate. It only serves to drive a wedge between you two.
Encourage your partner.In a relationship, it's important to be supportive of each other's interests. If you're trying to be a better girlfriend, it's important to support your boyfriend or girlfriend in what they do and encourage them.
- For instance, one kind of support is not ragging on them when they want to spend time away from you to develop an interest.
- Another way to encourage the person is to be their cheerleader. When something good happens, make sure to celebrate it with them.
Be respectful.Relationships are built on kindness and respect. When trying to be a better girlfriend, you can show respect in a number of ways, from listening well to being fully present when you are with the person.
- For instance, give the person your full attention when you go on a date. Don't be looking at your phone or watching the television that's on in the restaurant.
- Another way to show respect is to be sensitive to any cultural issues your partner may have. For instance, if your partner mentions that his or her family likes to do something a certain way, don't just laugh it off because you like to do it differently.
- Another way to be respectful is to be forgiving rather than blaming. When your partner makes a mistake, offer forgiveness to him or her, rather than tearing them down for it.
Be kind.Small acts of kindness make the day-to-day life with your boyfriend or girlfriend worth living. On your side, being a better girlfriend means being intentionally kind to your partner.
- Kindness can show up in so many ways. It can mean being considerate of needed alone time. It can mean showing up with a cup of coffee when you know your partner needs it.
- It can also mean something as simple as holding their hand when they're feeling a little anxious.
- Kindness can also be doing a chore your partner hates, like running to the dry cleaners, before she has a chance to.
- It's all the small things that add up to show you care for the person.
Part 1 Quiz
Which of the following is the best example of how to check in with your partner?
Give your partner space to talk.We all have times we need to vent or to talk about something that's bugging us. When you're in a relationship, you become each other's place to discuss what's going in your lives. However, you have to make sure you create the space for that, both time-wise and emotionally.
- In other words, if you always cut your partner off when they start talking about something that's bothering them, that's not creating the emotional space for them to talk.
- In addition, you have to open the door sometimes. When you notice your partner is looking down or sad, try to ask them what's going on.
Listen without being defensive.Listening is an art. You've got to really pay attention to what the other person is saying, not just trying to figure out how to respond. When you're in a serious discussion, for example, you may have a tendency to get defensive based on just a few things your partner says without really hearing them out. Trying to truly understand what their trying to say rather than getting defensive can lead to better communication.
- As they're talking, take in what they're saying. Open up to what's underneath the words, not just what they're saying aloud.
- Show them you're listening by asking leading questions. You can also offer short summaries. For instance, you could say, "What I hear you saying is your upset because I'm not spending enough time with you." That helps them know you're listening, plus it helps you to know you are getting it right.
Hear verbal cues.A cue is when your girlfriend or boyfriend casually mentions something that they are interested in. In turn, you take that cue and respond appropriately, sometimes by asking about the interest, sometimes by taking action.
- For example, say your girlfriend says something like, "Isn't that car adorable? My car is getting so run down." You could say, "Oh, are you considering get a new car?" or you could ask her if she wants to go test drive one.
- Another example is if your boyfriend mentions a new restaurant going in down the street that looks good. You could take the initiative and make reservations.
- Picking up on verbal cues shows you are listening and paying attention.
Watch your partner's body language.A person's body language can tell you as much about the person as what the person is actually saying. The body reveals underlying thoughts and feelings, so paying attention can help you put together what your partner is actually saying.
- For instance, if the person turns away from you while you're talking, it could mean they've lost interested or they're trying to hide something.
- If they're not looking at you, it could indicate they're hiding something or that they're having trouble getting out what they want to say. It can also be a sign of embarrassment.
- If they cross they're arms, it could mean they're starting to get defensive about the conversation.
Try to keep discussions positive.That doesn't mean you can't discuss problems. What it does mean is you try to keep your language positive and the way you hold the discussion positive. When you start out a discussion in a positive light, it has less of a chance of escalating. It also means your partner is more likely to listen and hear you, just as you're more likely to listen and hear your partner if he or she isn't yelling at you or being angry.
- In other words, try not to have arguments when you're very angry, as they can just escalate into nastiness.
- Humor can keep discussions light, as can affection gestures, such as hugging or lightly touching the person's hand or shoulder.
Wait until you've calmed down.Sometimes, when you're really angry, you want to discuss the problem right then. However, that means the conversation is going to be overly charged with emotion, and you probably won't get anywhere except into a fight. It's okay to wait until you've calmed down to have a discussion.
- A 2-day rule is a good bet. That is, you should bring it up within two days if you still feel strongly about it. If not, drop it.
- If you must deal with the issue today, try taking an hour break. Go spend some time doing something you enjoy, such as listening to music or reading a book. Once you've distracted yourself for a while, you'll be better able to deal with the situation.
Deal with issues when they're small.If you let small things go too often, sometimes they can snowball into something bigger. Deal with issues as they arise, and you're less likely to blow up at your partner.
- For instance, if you hate it when your boyfriend doesn't call at night, bring it up. If you let it keep happening, it can grow into this huge thing that comes between you and him, and then you'll explode on him.
- You could say, "Hey, I know your busy at night, but I feel upset when I don't hear from you. I like to know your safe."
Part 2 Quiz
What should you do if you're upset with something your boyfriend does?
Taking Care of Yourself
Know what your needs are.In a relationship, you have to take care of yourself as well as your partner. In fact, sometimes you need to take care of your own needs first so that you can be supportive of your partner.
- That means, of course, that you must know what your needs are. Maybe you need alone time once in awhile, or maybe you need cuddly time at least once a week.
- Once you know what you need, express those needs to your partner. Have a conversation about what both of you need, both in and out of the relationship. Try to make a plan about how both of your needs can be met. For instance, you could say, "I really need cuddle time once a week." Your partner might counter with, "I'm happy to give you cuddle time. I love cuddling with you. But I also need to spend a bit of time apart as well."
Pay attention to the signs of emotional abuse.Just because your partner is saying you need to be a better girlfriend doesn't mean you are being a bad one. In other words, you need to look for signs of emotional abuse in your relationship. You can find yourself in a emotionally abusive relationship without even realizing it.
- For instance, some signs of an emotionally abusive relationship can be that your partner is hypercritical of you, humiliates you, shuts you out completely, and/or gets very angry and moody much of the time.
- Other signs can be overusing a sarcastic/mean tone, being dominating, making you feel guilty often, and blaming you for everything that goes wrong.
- You may also notice that your partner embarrasses you on purpose, is very controlling, calls you all the time to see where you are (and not in a caring way), or is overly jealous.
- If your partner does one or even a couple of these once in a while, it may not be abusive. However, if your partner does it all the time with the intention of making you feel bad, humiliating you, or controlling you, then that is definitely a sign of emotional abuse. Look for the phrase, "I love you, but..." That's often a sign of a controlling person.
- Be aware that many abusers will apologize for their behavior to draw you back in.
Sleep well.It may seem silly, but getting enough sleep can be essential for maintaining a good relationship. When you get enough sleep, you're more pleasant to be around, and you have more energy. However, it goes deeper than that. Getting enough sleep helps you maintain self-control.
- Sleep affects your glucose levels, which in turn affects your self-control. If you don't have enough self-control, you tend to snap at your partner and not be available for what he or she needs.
- Make sure you are getting your require 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Staying on a sleep schedule, meaning you go to bed and get up at the same time every day, can help you get enough sleep and feel more rested.
- If you have trouble remembering to go to bed, try setting an alarm at night. Set for an hour before you need to be in bed. When it goes off, turn off all electronics and head for bed.
Eat well.Just like sleeping well, eating well contributes to overall well-being. When you don't eat well or you leave yourself feeling hungry, you have more of a tendency to snap at your partner. Try to keep up with eating healthy meals regularly, so you won't be tempted to snap.
- Don't forget to eat lean proteins, fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, and low-fat dairy to put you at your healthiest.
Pay attention to your triggers.Everyone has emotional triggers. You know the type. That small thing that will set you off, usually because of something that happened in the past. Knowing your emotional triggers is important because you can learn to calm yourself down when they pop. In addition, you can provide warning to your partner, as well as an explanation of why you get so upset.
- If you're not sure what you're emotional triggers are, pay attention when you get really upset, but you don't actually have a good reason. Try to think about what set you off.
- Write down these instances and what you think caused it. As you write more down, you'll start to notice certain patterns.
Don't beat yourself.Just like you should be kind to your partner, it's important to be kind to yourself, as well. Being kind to yourself helps you to feel better, and in turn, be kinder to your partner.
- For instance, if you make mistake, tell yourself it's okay. You can learn from it and move on, not beat yourself up.
- Remind yourself that no one's perfect. You make mistakes just like everyone else in the world and just be yourself that's what your boyfriend loves about you.
Part 3 Quiz
How can you determine your emotional triggers?
Sources and Citations
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