Asking for a Friend: How Do I Be a Better Girlfriend?

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While you may think that you’re an awesome girlfriend, there are ways for you to be an even better partner and strengthen your relationship as a result. Not only will these eight key tips help to catapult you into the girlfriend hall of fame, but they can even inspire your boyfriend to step up his game as well.

1. Work on Your Listening Skills

Being a better girlfriend means you should take steps to improve your listening skills.

For instance, if you often ask your boyfriend to repeat himself and find your mind drifting as he tells you about his workday, his fantasy football league, or other areas of interest to him, it’s time to work on your listening abilities. If you want to be a better girlfriend, you need to do your best to pay attention to not only what your boyfriend is saying to you, but how he’s saying it. Being able to hone in on his body language, tone, and facial expressions can help you understand your boyfriend on a deeper level.

2. Put Away Your Phone

If you’re constantly texting others, posting pics, or retweeting your favorite articles when you’re with your boyfriend, you’re not being the best girlfriend you can be. When your attention is elsewhere when you’re with your boyfriend, you’re actually showing him that he’s not that important to you and that he’s not a real priority. However, if you choose to put your phone away when you’re together, place your focus on him, and cut out the distractions and interruptions, you’re letting your boyfriend know that he has your full and undivided attention and that spending time together means that you’re fully present and in the moment with him.

3. Show More Gratitude

Does your boyfriend take time out of his day to help you, comfort you, or surprise you? Being a partner who places a high priority on showing gratitude is imperative when you’re looking to be a better girlfriend. Even if you think that a “thank you” is implied or better left unsaid, there’s nothing wrong with vocalizing your appreciation and gratitude to your partner.

These two little words of thankfulness can make a big impact and help let your boyfriend know that he’s not taken for granted and that his actions, large and small, do matter to you. And when your boyfriend knows that he’s appreciated, he’ll be even more inspired to act in a way that places precedence on your happiness.

4. Surprise Him 

Being unpredictable is a great way to improve your ranking in the girlfriend department. If your relationship has become a bit boring and you find yourself engaging in the same kind of activities day after day, it’s time to add a little spice to your relationship and keep your boyfriend on his toes. For example, if your Saturday typically consists of binge-watching a show on Hulu, why not throw a wrench into this humdrum routine by taking a cooking class, going bowling, or visiting a winery? By surprising your boyfriend with different activities to try, you’re keeping your relationship feeling new and fresh while strengthening the bond that the two of you share.

5. Do Him Favors

When’s the last time you gassed up your boyfriend’s car, made his favorite meal, or bought tickets for his favorite band? Being a better girlfriend means being a person who goes out of her way to make her boyfriend smile.

When you place a priority on making your boyfriend happy and doing things for him that show him you’re on his side and that you have his back, you’re being the best girlfriend you can be. You certainly don’t have to shower him with gifts, but you should take opportunities to go out of your way to show him that he matters to you and that you value his happiness, even if it’s stopping on your way home from work to pick up his favorite candy from the store. These types of favors help to let him know that even when you’re not together, you’re still thinking about him and have his best interest at heart.

6. Give Him Space

It can be hard to not want to spend every moment with your boyfriend. But in reality, your guy needs time for himself, time with his friends, and time to engage in activities, pastimes, and pursuits that are important to him.

If you want to be a better girlfriend, you have to respect boundaries and understand that your boyfriend is able to take the time he needs to pursue his passions. Rather than being upset when he wants a guys' night or take a running class without you, it’s time to understand that you shouldn’t do every single thing with your partner. A healthy relationship means that you both have a life of your own while you’re in a loving and committed relationship with one another.

7. Turn Down the Jealousy

Are you the jealous type? It's time to curb your jealous thoughts and have faith that your boyfriend is the great guy you think he is. For instance, if you’re constantly asking your boyfriend where he’s going, who he’s hanging out with, and checking in on him, you’re actually showing him that you don’t trust him and your relationship will suffer as a result. However, if you choose to take your boyfriend at his word and work on curtailing your envious nature, you can enjoy your relationship even more and make your connection even stronger.  

8. Be Yourself

The key to being a topnotch girlfriend is to be your best self. When you’re truly authentic to who you are and aren’t playing a role in your relationship or hiding aspects of yourself or your past, you’re being a better girlfriend to your guy. For instance, if you feel as though you can’t truly speak your mind, are afraid to voice your real opinion, and often hold back your thoughts and desires, you’re not being a good girlfriend since you’re not truly being yourself. On the flip side, if you’re true to yourself when you’re with your boyfriend and bring out the best in each other, you’re being the type of girlfriend that your guy wants and deserves.