When you finally land a great partner, you may feel like your job is done. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. So much emphasis is put on dating that there’s not a ton of information on whether you’re doing a good job as a boyfriend. Even the best relationships require a lot of maintenance, so it’s important to make sure you check in every once in a while to make sure you’re still on a healthy path.
Whether it’s your first relationship or your tenth, you still might need some pointers on how to be a good boyfriend. Here are some of the areas you can work on to be the best boyf you can be.
Be a good listener
Think about some of the past conversations you’ve had. Have you talked over your partner to get your point across? When they speak, are you just waiting for a pause to interject your own thoughts? A good listener is someone who focuses on the other person’s words. By knowing how to listen, you’ll already be a step ahead when it comes to working out future problems.
Listening is also a great skill to have at big family gatherings when you’re actively learning more about your partner’s relatives. If they’re telling you a story, try to imagine it in your head so that it’ll stick with you.
Nobody’s perfect, and your partner shouldn’t expect you to be. Good boyfriends admit when they’ve made a mistake and learn from it. For example, if your partner asks you about some innocent texts you’ve shared with an ex, don’t deny they exist. If there’s a chance they could make your mind (and body) wander, admit you overstepped the mark and delete the thread.
Don’t forget about romance
When you’ve been dating someone long enough, your relationship might get a little stale. A great boyfriend will know that while this is natural, you need to take action to keep the romance alive. Treat them like you’re still in the dating phase and go out to dinner every once in a while. Remember, if you get out of the habit of being intimate with each other, it’s going to take work to get back into a healthy routine.
Understand new habits take time to form
If you enter a relationship expecting to change your partner, you’re going to be disappointed. If you don’t like smoke, dating a smoker and expecting them to quit will cause a ton of heartache. Someone who really loves football won’t suddenly drop their Sunday night games to go out to dinner with you. When you date, the goal is to find someone compatible. Don’t try to make your significant other feel bad for not living up to your expectations.
Encourage your partner to take chances
It’s really to talk yourself out of going for the big promotion. Be the boyfriend who reminds their partner how much they’re worth. Get excited about their lives and their upcoming opportunities. In short, stay interested and be their biggest fan.
Accompany them to events, even if it’s not really your scene
A partnership is all about being there. Since the two of you aren’t going to have exactly the same interests, there’ll be a few things that your significant other is into that you’re not. By attending (and not making a big deal out of it) you’re proving that you have their back. Plus, you’re creating memories together.
Ask your partner about their day
It’s a simple request and one that’ll go a long way. Even if they say it was “just fine”, follow up with a specific question. Reason being, they might not be used to the spotlight if it’s a question that you just started asking. This exercise will help improve your communication.
Know the difference between jokes and insults
The line is different with every relationship, and it might even change a bit during the course of your time together. Just remember that if you say something that’s meant as a joke but isn’t interpreted as a joke, it’s not funny. If your partner asks you to stop joking about her job or wardrobe, she’s seeing these things as personal attacks.
Work as a team
A great relationship shouldn’t be you versus your partner. If it is, then you might not go the distance because your personalities and long-term goals are different. Try to find solutions that work for both of you. Don’t be afraid to compromise.
If you want to be a good boyfriend, remember that friendship is everything. When you’re genuinely friends with your significant other, the romantic relationship will come naturally. Being honest and respecting your partner will make an excellent boyfriend out of you in no time!