We aren’t born understanding the ways of love. You don’t immediately know how to make your man happy as soon as you acquire one. It’s kind of insane that with very little training, we enter our first relationships completely unaware of what makes relationships function. We have yet to know how to prevent arguments, how to survive those arguments if they happen, how to ask for what we need, or how to know what we truly need in the first place. This can make for some hard lessons. But those lessons inevitably teach us more about who we are and they teach us more about how to cooperate with other human beings. Ideally, your relationship should be one that helps you be a better human. Knowing how to be a good girlfriend involves a few trusty techniques. A lot of them require hands on experience but knowing a few ins and outs, to keep in mind, can be helpful.
Speak his Love Language
There is a famed book called “The five love languages” by Gary Chapman. He is a marriage counselor, who has held together a successful marriage to his own wife for 45 years. The idea behind his book is that sometimes arguments in our relationships arise when we and our partner are speaking completely different love languages. The five languages include gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service (devotion), and physical touch (intimacy). For an example, sometimes couples would see Chapman and the wife felt unloved, while the husband felt unappreciated. The woman maybe has a love language of “quality time” and her spouse hadn’t been speaking that to her. But his love language is “acts of service” and since he recently did the dishes all week, he doesn’t understand why she feels unloved. He now feels like she doesn’t appreciate what he does. This problem can present itself in many ways. But a very easy way to avoid it and hit the nail on the head on how to be a good girlfriend is to be aware of his love language. Simply ask him which of these things makes him feel the most loved. And when you want to make your man happy, keep in mind to stick to that language.
Share his Values
There’s a good reason that people stress this. Imagine that your boyfriend has had a rough day because someone out there in the big tough world insulted something he deeply values or finds important. Or maybe something thwarted his goals toward self-actualization, which is motivated by his values. In order to grasp how to be a good girlfriend, you will need to be able to take his side or at the least, understand his side. This will be very hard to do if you feel like siding with the person who had “insulted” him. Emotionally, it is important for him to know that he can open up to you and that he isn’t walking on eggshells. He needs to know you support him and have his back.
Take Romantic Initiative
If you want girlfriend of the year award sometimes it can be nice to surprise him with gifts or romantic date ideas. Food is still a very powerful thing to have in your arsenal. Who doesn’t like to come home and find that their loved one has already prepared their favorite meal for them? Surprise him with small trips and picnics. Don’t always wait for him to create a romantic environment.
Know what you want
To speak from experience, I struggled in early relationships because I didn’t know how to ask for what I wanted. I didn’t know what it was that I wanted to begin with. I would get upset about something he said or did and I wouldn’t be able to articulate why, or what I would prefer instead. This can really lead to exhausting mind games. To avoid that, it is good to have enough self awareness to understand your emotions and why you’re feeling them when you are feeling them. Know what works for you and what doesn’t. Don’t expect him to magically know everything you want from him.
Share His Pain
This is one of the many reasons we get into relationships. Life is easier when someone will share the burden with you and vice versa. A good way to make your man happy will be the ability to empathize with his deeper struggles and remind him you still see good things in him. Be willing to set aside time for him when he needs it, to a healthy degree of course. We can be of great help to loved ones that are hurting. But remember, we can’t always charge in there and fix everything as much as we’d like to. This is why it is good to remind the hurting person of their own power to overcome.
Be diplomatic in arguments–it’s not about winning
Arguments can involve one of two things. Either it’s about information and opinions. And if it’s that, it’s simply good to remember how flimsy information is these days. Many of us are working on different information and all of us are ignorant in one area or another. The best way to keep these talks as “discussions” and not yelling matches is to be humble enough and open enough to listen to them. You don’t have to agree, but if you disagree, do so in a way that addresses their points and does not attack their character. Never attack their character over a simple opinionated discussion. Keep your mind on their good intentions behind what they’re saying.
The other thing arguments can be about is some need that one or two people aren’t getting from the relationship. It might be that you’re both trying to achieve two very different things. Find compromise. It might be that someone is dissatisfied about something. Express your concerns in this type of argument with “we” language. Make the problem external, not personal, and seek solutions that sound like teamwork by using that “we” language. Ask “How can WE do this area better hon? Got ideas?” Besides if you do things this way, in the end everyone can win.
Know what he wants, provide things that he likes and not just what you particularly like, affirm him, make the romance happen, share his struggle, argue agreeably, and for the love of all that is good, know where you want to eat when he asks if you two should go and eat out. This is the wisdom of the ages to help you be a good girlfriend.
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