Expressing and Sharing Feelings
Be honest. In any relationship, and with only very rare exceptions, honesty is the best policy. If you’re honest from the beginning of your relationship, then you’ll be less likely to run into trouble down the line.
- You should tell her what she needs to know without overwhelming her with the truth. For example, If you had a serious past relationship, you can let her know without revealing every little detail about your ex.
- Temper your honesty with kindness. Don’t feel as if you have to make every response seem like a compliment. Instead, offer an alternative. For example, if she asks you if you like something she is trying on, let her know that it might work, but you think the blue one is your favorite so far because it shows off her great eyes.
- You should not only be comfortable with being honest, but you should be accepting of her honesty as well. If you want to be a good boyfriend, you should be able to handle the truth.
Trust her. Trust your girlfriend and give her reason to trust you. Trust should form the foundation of your relationship. This will allow you to create a more open relationship toward each other, as well as creating a very good understanding in what your mate wants, feels, and needs.
- You can show that you trust your girlfriend by telling her something that a lot of people don’t know about you.
- You can secure her trust in you by showing that you care and are concerned if she tells you something personal and important to her.
Contribute equally to conversations. When you talk, try to seek some amount of balance in the flow of conversation. If you’re too quiet, she may think you’re losing interest in her. If you’re too talkative, she may think you’re self-obsessed or plain impolite.
- Conversations are about give and take. The same is true for relationships. They never succeed when they’re one-sided.
- Obviously, there will be occasions when you do talk a lot (such as when something exciting or important happens) or when you retreat a bit (such as when something bad happens). On the whole, though, aim for a balance of conversation.
Be a good listener. Instead of thinking about the next thing you want to say, or something else entirely, focus on listening to her. Think about what she is saying. Always seem interested and fully engaged in her presence.
- Remember, a conversation with your girlfriend isn’t just acknowledging, it’s also about remembering. If your girlfriend is telling you about an important experience, make a mental note of it.
- If she’s told you something twice before and you have no idea what she’s talking about because you weren’t really listening, she’ll know and she won’t be happy about it.
- “Listen” to her non-verbal “conversations” as well. Learn to tell when something is bothering her even when she won’t say it. What does her expression, her body language, or even the way she keeps twirling her hair tell you?
Learn to compromise. Compromise is a big part of successful communication. If you and your girlfriend can’t disagree without getting into a big fight or without one person immediately giving in to the needs of the other, then you have a problem. To be good at compromising, you should be able to talk about your needs and wants while understanding where your girlfriend is coming from, instead of ignoring her side of the story.
- After you and your girl discuss your thoughts on a certain situation, you can work together to make a pros and cons list, and decide what will be best for both of you.
- Sometimes, you and your girlfriend will have to give in to one another. That’s okay, as long as you’re taking turns. If she picks the movie for date night, for example, you should pick the dinner location.
- Part of learning to compromise is using a calm, even voice when you have a disagreement. Never yell, swear, or (under any circumstances, ever) hit her, no matter how angry you become. Walk away for a while if you have to, and come back when you can talk rationally.
Be supportive. You can show support by being available, listening attentively, and showing interest in the things she tells you. When you spend time together, make an effort to be present and attentive to her needs. By being supportive, you’ll help to strengthen the sense of security and reciprocity in the relationship. And if you support her goals and dreams, then she’ll support yours in turn.
- Be there when she has to study for a big exam or finish college applications, or when she’s stressed about anything else that can affect her future.
- If she’s having a busy week or month, you should be there to help her out by doing small favors, like picking up lunch or giving her a ride to class, to make her days easier.
Be sympathetic. If it means something to her, it should mean something to you. It doesn’t matter that you wouldn’t be interested in the issue if it weren’t for her––a relationship is about sharing experiences and being supportive. When she’s upset, try to put yourself in her shoes and understand where she’s coming from. Don’t just dismiss her feelings because you think it’s “not that big of a deal.”
- Always confirm that you are listening and sound sincere when you comfort her. If you don’t feel like you are genuinely sorry, try to change the way you think. Think about things from her perspective.
- Sometimes, she may just want to cry and to be comforted. Don’t try to fix her problems right away. Instead, wait for her to deal with all of her emotions before being practical.
- If she’s upset, it’s important to ask, “Do you want to talk about it?” Make her see that you really care. And if she’s not ready to talk about it yet, don’t pry.
Show affection often. Show your girlfriend that you love her by being affectionate. Small touches, hugs, a kiss, and maybe a little public display of affection (PDA) are just some of the ways of connecting through affection.
- Don’t overdo it––you don’t want to make her uncomfortable. Remember to read her signs, and if she’s not in the mood, don’t kiss her.
- Many times, even a light touch is appreciated. If your girl is a romantic, upon seeing her for the first time in a couple of days, say, “I missed you…” and weave your arms around her hips then give her a loving hug.
- Depending on her preferences, also try giving a light kiss on her lips/cheek/forehead/neck just to show that you really appreciate her presence. Or just kiss her hand by clasping and bringing it up to your lips.
- If you’re not sure how your girlfriend feels about public displays of affection, be discreet at first. Believe it or not, not every girl is into holding hands.
Appreciate her beauty. Give her extra compliments when she makes extra efforts to look beautiful, but also make sure she knows she can relax and be herself with you. Don’t make her feel like she always has to look like a celestial being. You should let her know that she looks pretty whether she’s spent an hour getting ready or if she’s just woken up.
- If she gets a new haircut or a new outfit, let her see that you’ve noticed and let her know that she looks amazing.
- Truly appreciating someone’s looks isn’t as superficial as it may seem, though. When you truly care about someone, she will look beautiful to you no matter the situation. When you feel this way about your girl, let her know.
Compliment her sincerely. You should compliment your girlfriend as often as you can without making her feel smothered. Compliment her not only on how she looks, but on how she is. That way, she’ll know that you care about her appearance and what’s on the inside. She is more likely to be confident about herself when you give her reasons to be confident through your compliments.
- Go beyond the ordinary statements. For example, don’t just say, “You look nice.” Instead, say “That really makes your eyes shine,” or “Your haircut really suits the shape of your face.” The more specific you are, the more unique and appreciative the compliment.
- Even small, seemingly silly compliments can be meaningful. Saying things like “you really have beautiful handwriting” or “you’re awesome at parallel parking” can be confidence-builders, when spoken with sincerity. The also show that you are paying attention to her.
Give gifts, at special times and anytime. No healthy relationship can survive on gifts alone, not matter how fancy or expensive they are. However, giving gifts thoughtfully and purposefully can provide lasting demonstrations your interest, attentiveness, and affection.
- Put thought into a birthday, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, or anniversary gift, and other special occasions. Choose a gift that is reasonable and thoughtful; it doesn’t need to be expensive, just considerate of who she is and her likes.
- Think of special touches, like adding a her name to a necklace, or a pendant representing something she cares about, such as a snowflake if she loves to ski or a musical note if she loves to play an instrument, etc.
- Notice her interests when you’re out together. She might make mention of something she likes in a shop window, or something she wishes she could try, like going for a horse ride. Don’t just think of tangible items––experience gifts can be far more exciting and fun than a list of things.
- Sometimes, get her a gift “just because.” Pick something up out of the blue now and then and give it to her just because your were “thinking of her”. This sort of gift has great impact because it’s so unexpected and delightful.
Sprinkle your relationship with doses of spontaneity. While familiarity is one of the most comforting aspects of a relationship, try not to fall into a rut of always doing the same things. While you probably have one or two regular things you enjoy doing together, avoid making the regular the only things you do.
- Instead, try visiting new places, giving new activities a go and going to different parts of town. Even if the new activities don’t turn out the way you’d hoped, at least you’ve shared the experience and are getting to know one another even better.
- By mixing things up, you keep the excitement in your relationship and make your outings together refreshing. You are also creating memories together that will endure well beyond the experiences.
- Surprise your girlfriend by doing something offbeat now and then — this could include anything from racing your girlfriend to your walking destination, dancing without music, or even bringing her a tub of Lego bricks and encouraging her to build something that represents the two of you.
- Take a surprise trip. You can pick a location in advance and just tell her what to pack without saying where you’re going. Of course, use your best judgment about her preferences. Perhaps she’ll love the mystery and excitement of going to an unknown location, perhaps not.
- If she’s mentioned the fact that she’s never checked out a national park or quirky town not too far from where you live, take her there without telling her where you’re going. She’ll love the spontaneity and the fact that you took the time to listen to her.
Take care of yourself. Let your girlfriend feel like she is needed, helpful, and appreciated, but don’t be overly needy or dependent. Be hygienic and neat, set goals, and work hard. You can’t be a good boyfriend if you’re not taking responsibility for yourself.
- Take pride in your appearance, and in how you present yourself to the world. Making yourself look good (both in actual appearance and, more importantly, by how you conduct yourself) makes her look good too, and she will appreciate that.
- She won’t have fun in the relationship if she feels like she’s always nagging you to do one thing or another. She wants to take care of you, but she doesn’t want to be your mother.
Give her (and yourself) some individual space. Just because your girlfriend is your significant other, it doesn’t mean she is yours, implying some kind of ownership. You don’t have to be attached at the hip to have a great relationship. In fact, if you let her pursue her own interests without checking in every five seconds, she’ll like you even more.
- Find a balance that lets you both spend some time alone, spend time with your individual friends, and spend time with each other.
- Spending time with your separate friends will make you appreciate each other even more when you see each other again.
- Maintaining different social schedules will also give you something to “report back” when you are together again.
- Maintain some separate interests as well. Keep up your hobbies, sports and other interests that you had before each of you met. Though it’ll be great to find an activity that you both like together, you shouldn’t force her to watch football with you if she doesn’t want to, and you shouldn’t have to go to yoga with her unless it’s something you want to try.
- Maintaining your separate interests will help you maintain a sense of individuality, and to grow separately so that you can grow together.