I’ve been in my fair share of relationships over the last 15 to 20 years and I have dated both wonderful and terrible girlfriends. Given my history as well as my keen interest in understanding relationships, I have a few things I’d like to share with you, from a male’s perspective, on how to be a good girlfriend.
It takes just as much effort to keep a relationship thriving as it does to get a relationship.
Most of us approach the idea of getting a relationship as climbing a mountain. The thing is, the top of one mountain is often the beginning of another.
Here’s a quick overview of all the things you’re going to learn in this article on how to be a good girlfriend.
- Be honest with your boyfriend.
- Make him a priority in your life.
- Be loyal and trustworthy.
- Maintain boundaries with guy friends.
- Surprise him from time to time.
- Send him reassuring and loving messages.
- Pay attention to him in person.
- Ask him questions about how he feels and what he’s been up to.
- Be supportive and non judgmental during difficult times.
- Hold him to a higher standard.
- Motivate him when he needs it.
- Keep dating and courting him.
- Don’t stonewall him when you’re upset.
- Avoid cursing at him during arguments.
- Let him know when you need something from him.
- Give him space to miss you at times.
- Show an interest in his likes.
- Don’t forget important dates related to him or your relationship.
- Be polite and warm to his friends and family.
- Avoid comparing him negatively to your ex boyfriends.
Alright, let’s get straight into examining these tips on how to be a good girlfriend in as much detail as possible so that you understand how to apply them in real life.
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20 Tips On How To Be A Good Girlfriend
1. Be honest with your boyfriend
Without honesty, a relationship can never truly thrive because it will never have the luxury of experiencing real trust.
As much as we choose to trust our loved ones, honesty is a necessity for nurturing that trust so that it can reach a level that is unbreakable.
When your boyfriend knows that he can take your word and you’d be honest with him, even if it may be upsetting to him at times, he’d trust you with all his heart.
You’d create a relationship that promotes security and comfort because there’s honesty cradling the two of you.
He wouldn’t feel the need to ever interrogate you nor would he even need to spy on you because of the level of trust that is built through honesty.
If you want a healthy relationship, start with honesty.
Don’t just wait to be honest when he asks you something. The best form of honesty is offered without even being requested.
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2. Make him a priority in your life
In any relationship, what matters is how you show up for each other and the importance you give to the time you spend with each other.
When you neglect to make a loved one feel important, heard and understood, they’re going to be upset and distant.
I’ve seen and heard of many relationships and marriages falling apart because couples stopped courting and dating each other.
Their relationship took a backseat and everything else started to become more of a priority.
Every time we make a decision to do something, we’re also making a decision not to do another thing.
In saying that, you have to consider whether you’re giving a fair amount of time and attention to your partner and his needs.
3. Be loyal and trustworthy
When you commit to a relationship, it requires some sacrifice and a lot of commitment.
This should go without saying but in the digital era that we live in, it’s so easy to end up micro-cheating and disrespecting your relationship and your boyfriend.
So many people claim to be loyal and that they would never cheat but true loyalty and trustworthiness are only reflected when tested.
You will undoubtedly have guys who are chasing after you online. Do not entertain that. It may feel like innocent validation and attention but it’s those little things that can lead to infidelity.
Why bother liking guys’ pictures or having back and forth interactions on social media when it’s abundantly clear that the guy is interested in you?
At the end of the day, you have a responsibility to vet the guy friends you allow into your life.
The minute you suspect that a guy is interested in you, it’s important that you inform your boyfriend and distance yourself.
More importantly, make it abundantly clear that you have boundaries and when these guys try to overstep, be willing to cut them out.
Put simply, be loyal.
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4. Maintain boundaries with guy friends
We have to consider male friendships because this is a topic of much debate.
Some may argue that there’s nothing wrong with keeping male friends while others may argue it’s not healthy nor fair to your partner.
Have a discussion with him about his comfort level.
You should be distancing yourself from any guy friends who have an interest in you or who previously did.
Additionally, distance yourself from a guy friend who you are or were previously attracted to.
As a guy and someone who constantly studies the dynamics between men and women, I know that the majority of guys who are friends with a girl have an attraction for her.
At the very least, they would be open to hooking up with her if the opportunity arises.
Some men would go so far as to use fake friendship as a means of chasing a girl the whole time, waiting for a chance to make a move on her.
You have to be honest with yourself when filtering through your friend list to decide who to remain close with and who to maintain a healthy distance from.
My last relationship ended because my ex-girlfriend cheated with a guy friend who she knew was interested in her.
You have to be honest with yourself and your boyfriend.
Most guys who try to be your friend are insincere unless you’ve known them for a long time or they have never been anything other than platonic around you.
5. Surprise him from time to time
Men like surprises as much as women. It’s not about the type of gift, it’s about the intention behind it.
Rewarding your boyfriend with a gift of your time, love and presence unexpectedly is both adorable and significant.
Even writing a letter or cooking him a meal can be little but meaningful surprises that make him feel loved and make you a good girlfriend.
Keep things fun and spontaneous at times and you’ll both enjoy each other’s company a lot more.
6. Send him reassuring and loving messages
I noticed that a lot of people these days start to play these games with affection that doesn’t create a healthy relationship.
Personally, I don’t feel like you need to resort to these sorts of behaviors to keep things exciting and passionate.
You should be able to reach out and let your partner know that you miss them and love them without worrying that you’re coming on too strong or being too caring.
Granted, there is a fine line between a healthy amount of affection and being overly needy and clingy.
But, when you’re in a healthy relationship and you’re in a healthy mental space, chances are that you’ll be living a full life and you’re not sitting on the phone all day texting your partner because you’re chasing after your own goals and dreams.
In that case, it’s really special and loving to just reassure your partner with a simple text that he’s on your mind and you can’t wait to see him again.
A man who really cares about you will love that and he’ll respond in kind at the very least.
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7. Pay attention to him in person
Nothing feels better and is more important than quality time spent with someone you love. Being present can be such a difficult thing to do.
We’re so plugged into our phones or the thoughts we have about the past or future that we lose track of the only time we have which is the present moment.
I think it’s imperative that you understand the importance of paying attention to your boyfriend in person to really master the art of how to be a good girlfriend.
Look into his eyes, hold his hand and just be present with him instead of focusing on trying to take the perfect Instagram picture with him.
Have a policy of setting aside a set amount of time with him away from distracting activities.
Put your phone on airplane mode and just focus on the relationship during that time together.
8. Ask him questions about how he feels and what he’s been up to
Good communication is paramount for building and nurturing closeness. You can’t rely just on experiences and physical attraction alone to have a healthy relationship.
Make a note of who does most of the talking in your relationship.
If you find that most conversations are about you, then perhaps you should consider asking him more questions regularly about how he feels, things that are important to him and what he’s been up to.
But, the most important thing of all is to listen when you ask these questions so that you can follow up in the future and show him that you actually care about his well-being.
9. Be supportive and non judgmental during difficult times
If you really examine a healthy relationship between two people who are genuinely happy with each other, you’ll find that they both feel extremely safe with each other.
They have each other’s back and they offer support and acceptance during difficult times.
Nobody is perfect.
We’re all going to face some hardship in life and we’ll go through phases that don’t bring out the best in us.
It is during these low moments that we find out who truly cares about us.
The people who genuinely love us are those we can rely on and trust.
Be that safe space for your boyfriend when he is going through a rough time.
If you reserve judgment and focus on providing support, you can actually have a much better influence over him because he’d know that what you’re saying to him is coming from a place of love rather than criticism.
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10. Hold him to a higher standard
I believe that a good relationship is one that helps both partners grow into better people. It elevates you and adds value to your life.
To some degree, being a good partner requires us to not only be supportive but to inspire our significant other to do better by themselves and the relationship.
This means that if your partner is failing in some way or going down a dark path, you’re there to provide him with a genuine conversation on what he’s doing wrong and how he can be better.
A man with a desire to grow as a human being and partner will not ignore this advice.
He’ll consider what you have to say and use it as a tool for guidance.
Part of why so many relationships fail is because partners aren’t willing to have an honest conversation about maintaining or improving standards.
11. Motivate him when he needs it
When I think about some of the kindest and most caring moments from all my relationships, this one stands out to me.
Life isn’t a ball of sunshine all the time.
No matter who you are, there’s going to be a time when you feel down and defeated by whatever you’re facing.
During those times, it’s a great feeling to know that you have someone who is like a cheerleader for your personal growth.
A girlfriend who offers words of support, comfort and encouragement is one that deserves praise because it’s not easy to deal with someone when they’re stuck in a rut.
The fact that you’re present during dark days and also motivating him to overcome these obstacles he faces is something that will touch his heart and make you a good girlfriend without a doubt.
12. Keep dating and courting him
One of the best ways to keep a relationship healthy is to make the same effort you would during the courtship phase.
I notice that most of us get in the habit of just laying back and taking our relationship for granted after some time.
We just assume that once we get into a relationship, then our partner will forever remain in love with us and all our effort paid off so we can stop trying so hard.
That’s a recipe for disaster.
You can’t maintain a fit and athletic body without frequently exercising for the rest of your life.
Similarly, a relationship requires ongoing effort. The things you did to make him fall in love with you are the things you should continue to do after he falls in love with you.
People stop dating and courting their partners.
Then they look at each other and wonder why they’ve changed.
It’s not that either of you has changed, it’s that you just stopped courting each other properly like you used to.
13. Don’t stonewall him when you’re upset
I remember dating a girl who would shell up and use the silent treatment on me whenever we had a disagreement or an issue.
If she didn’t like something, she would stonewall me. If I didn’t like something, she would stonewall me.
This relationship didn’t last long at all because there was absolutely no way for issues to be resolved through healthy communication.
And I just became resentful at the fact that I wasn’t able to have my needs met because I was stonewalled all the time.
The exact opposite behavior is something that I would encourage to anyone trying to figure out how to be a good girlfriend.
Be open with your boyfriend.
Tell him how you feel and be transparent about your needs.
I know that women feel like they drop ample hints about their feelings and that their boyfriend should be able to tell when something is an issue but that is not practical in real life.
Some men are not good at reading body language or understanding the nuances of your behavior and words.
You’re doing a disservice to the both of you by not being forthcoming about your emotions, especially when he asks.
14. Avoid cursing at him during arguments
I don’t feel like there’s a place for blatant disrespect in a relationship. You may think that there isn’t a big deal with swearing at each other during an argument but that’s how disrespectful behavior escalates.
In a few years, you’re not just swearing or cursing at each other but you’re lashing out with really vindictive and soul-crushing statements during arguments that are not even all that important.
Eventually, resentment builds up and you’ve created so much damage within the relationship that separation occurs and a lack of concern for each other deepens.
Fast forward many more years and you’re turned off by each other and your kids have now taken verbal abuse as an acceptable form of expression towards their loved ones.
This will perpetuate a disrespectful dynamic within their relationships and a really negative cycle continues on throughout the generations.
I’ve witnessed this happening firsthand and it’s a really ugly way to be with your partner.
These small shots of disrespect add up over time and before you know it, you’re in a disrespectful, abusive and toxic relationship without any adoration for each other.
It’s far more productive and affectionate to step away for a bit, cool down and then resume a conversation related to the argument in a respectful manner.
15. Let him know when you need something from him
Men like to feel needed. We want to be useful and we want to fix things. It’s in our nature to feel the urge to provide or save you like a white knight.
It’s absolutely stunning to see women become so independent and strong. Personally, I can’t date a woman who isn’t ambitious or driven to cultivate her own identity.
But, in the same breath, I often love it when a woman I’m dating can turn to me for help with something that she needs.
Even if it’s just advice, I like to feel useful and needed.
Let him come to your rescue every now and then.
He’ll feel more masculine by doing so and you can stroke his ego a bit.
16. Give him space to miss you at times
As much as the advice in this article surrounds effort, present, attention and affection, there’s a time and place for everything.
No single relationship should monopolize all of a person’s time and energy.
This is a surefire way of ruining a romance and falling deep into a pit of codependency.
What I’ve come to realize is that a healthy amount of space creates desire.
You don’t have to constantly be chasing after your boyfriend or texting him all the time to keep him attracted to you and in love.
Allow for some breathing room between the two of you.
Give him some space to miss you and use that time away to pursue other areas of your life.
Work on your social life, your career, your mental health, your goals, your fitness and so forth.
Try as much as possible to create a life of balance.
Even if you aren’t able to do so, the pursuit of balance often results in good results in many areas of your life.
By the time you reach out to him again, there would be some anticipation and he’ll be so much more excited and receptive to being with you.
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17. Show an interest in his likes
When I examined my last relationship, I noticed that there was a pattern that influenced how happy I felt in the relationship.
During those early days, my ex-girlfriend made a significant effort to learn about my likes and dislikes.
She would pay attention when I spoke about something and would seem keen to be involved in what I liked.
And if we had differing tastes, which we did, she still gave me the freedom to enjoy my likes while being present.
I loved this and it used to make me feel so happy.
Then we hit a phase where she tapped out of doing this.
She became disinterested and kind of annoyed with my taste in music, movies and so forth.
When I was excited for her to hear a song I liked or to watch a movie I enjoyed, she had no interest and she’d profess how it wasn’t her cup of tea and wouldn’t really bother about it.
This would often make me feel lonely in the relationship at times.
It made me feel a little unloved and a bit judged because I just wanted to share what made me happy with the person that I loved.
I yearned for the days when she would be the partner who celebrated our difference in likes.
This created a gap between us.
I would urge you to consider whether you make an effort to at least understand why your partner enjoys certain things.
Even if it’s not to your preference, show some enthusiasm to share in the experience of something he likes.
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18. Don’t forget important dates related to him or your relationship
I’m terrible with dates but I make sure that I have people’s birthdays and special occasions written down on my calendar and on my phone.
As much as these things aren’t a big deal, it’s often the little things that make a difference in how loved someone feels.
Try to make a note of these little important moments in your relationship and celebrate them with him from time to time.
19. Be polite and warm to his friends and family
Let me tell you something, a relationship can really suffer when you’re feuding with relatives and friends.
I get it, some people can be tough to deal with.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have loved my ex-girlfriend’s family and they were great to me overall.
But, I’ve had a front seat view of friends who had to deal with a disapproving family or friends and it created a lot of drama within their relationship.
Save your partner the trouble by trying to be as diplomatic and polite around his friends and family if they’re not being as great as you would like.
If you have issues, speak to him about them and try to deal with the situation as a unit.
Adopting this approach ensures that your boyfriend has no excuses for ignoring poor treatment towards you from his friends and family because you’re being so diplomatic and mature about it with him.
20. Avoid comparing him negatively to your ex boyfriends
Comparison is the thief of joy. It’s not fair to your boyfriend that you compare him to people that you’ve dated before.
He’s not them and they’re not him.
Everyone is different and unique in their own way.
If you try to change someone and measure them against others, you’re going to create a lot of unnecessary insecurity in him and your relationship.
I remember my ex-girlfriend telling me that her ex was the most romantic guy she was with and it stung because, at the time, I was actively trying to be romantic and make her feel loved.
Even if I could do better, it would have been so much more sensitive and caring if she would have let me know the things she found to be romantic versus comparing me to her ex and not explaining.
It made me feel insecure but also unappreciated.
People are going to love each other differently.
The question is, are you present enough to recognize at the moment that your partner is being romantic in a way that they know how to or are you too busy measuring their effort against an ex?
Would you feel good if your boyfriend did the exact same thing to you?
Take your ex out of the picture and focus on who you have in your life right now before you end up with another ex to focus on.
If there are things you like that your boyfriend may not be doing, tell him about it. Give him the opportunity to show up in the way that you like.
If you bring your ex into it, he’s going to feel like shit.
You’re stealing an opportunity for your boyfriend to excitedly and enthusiastically do something special that you find romantic by tying it to your ex-boyfriends.
Dare I say it but a really good way to figure out how to be a good girlfriend to your boyfriend would be to just talk to him about it.
You’d be surprised what you may learn by just bringing up the topic of wanting to be better and what you could do to make him feel more loved and happier.
As much as this article contained situations with my ex-girlfriend that was less than perfect, some of the good stuff in this article was inspired by her behavior as well.
That’s the thing about people, nobody is just good or bad.
But, with work, you can become more of a good girlfriend than bad one. In fact, you could become the best girlfriend a guy has ever had.
In the process, you may just end up cultivating and nurturing a loving relationship that lasts a lifetime.
Before you go, I just want to commend you for making an effort like this to be a good girlfriend.
This, in and of itself, shows how much you care about your boyfriend!
With that being said, I hope you found this article on how to be a good girlfriend to be practical, useful and insightful. If you would like to ask a question or share your thoughts with me, please feel free to do so by heading over to the comment section below.