Take It Slowly
Take it slowly. Easing into a relationship is about ensuring that there is plenty of space for the two of you to get to know one another and trust that you’re right for one another. If you try too soon to «make» something more out of your relationship than it already is, premature pushiness can scare him away and spoil what is ‘there’ to be a good thing. Instead, practice patience and realize that it takes time to nurture a solid and enduring relationship. As part of this, it’s recommended that you be careful with the following things:
Realize that the initial sparks of attraction are seductive and bewitching. Falling for someone can cawn. Don’t push him to call you his girlfriend after a couple of dates; this risks causing him to feel that the decision wasn’t his own. Be patient and let him make up his own mind as to when the word slips out. If you’re compatible, it’ll happen soon enough.
Quit dreaming about big weddings, white dresses and what your name will look like with his last name tagged onto it. The possibility of marrying this guy is years away in most cases, if at all. Deluding yourself into thinking this guy into your future without establishing a sound base for your love together now is not healthy and if he gets an inkling that this is how you’re thinking, he’ll bolt. Don’t start talking about marriage and children before you’ve even met his friends or parents. Raising such issues prematurely can create tension from the outset and may stall or even bring to an end an otherwise productive and caring relationship.
While they say a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, this doesn’t mean cooking him a three-course meal on the first date. You don’t need to prove anything like this; you simply need to be present and engaged in listening, being attentive and sharing your interests.
Cherish your time together — it’s the only time he will be new to you. That doesn’t mean you should be an obsessive girlfriend and crave every second of his time. Relax. Be patient. Enjoy.
Start Off on the Right Foot
Be honest. While being honest to your guy is very important, to the point of being paramount, it is equally important that you are honest with yourself. If you overreact or make a mistake, you can acknowledge your error and apologize. If you’re feeling vulnerable or upset, you can sort through your feelings and verbalize them to him in a non-accusing way. And the most important thing here is that you will open your feelings as much as possible. For example, if he does or says something that bothers you, be open about how it impacts you (without being accusing or asking him to change). If you establish solid lines of communication from the outset, you’ll know sooner rather than later whether this relationship will endure or fizzle out.
Have a positive attitude. If everything you say around him is a criticism or an attack, he won’t look forward to seeing you and he’ll start reconsidering being with you. All the same, you don’t always have to agree with him just because he is your boyfriend. Tactfulness is a better strategy in mature relationships and establishing boundaries and making compromises are important relationship strategies to learn and adopt.
No matter what, have a good sense of humor.
Share inside jokes together.
Be spontaneous now and then––this keeps the sparks and the expectations alive.
Be happy but don’t force yourself to fake feeling happy about everything. When you’re feeling a little blue or you’re wanting a deeper discussion about life, tell him if you need a little peace and quiet or a shoulder to lean on; this way, he’ll start to see all facets of your personality, along with how you cope with the way that life isn’t always ideal.
Make your desires, needs, and opinions known, even when they may conflict with his. You don’t and shouldn’t exist solely to please him. Besides, showing that you are your own person with your own needs, desires, and approach to life will keep him interested in getting to know and understand you as a person. Just remember to express yourself in way that doesn’t attack anyone else’s opinion or lifestyle in any way––you can be humble and outspoken at the same time by using assertiveness strategies and remaining considerate of his feelings too.
Let him live his life. If you feel entitled to all of his time and attention, learn how to not be an obsessive girlfriend. Don’t be an overly protective girlfriend; let him go out without him feeling watched. Remember that he doesn’t need you for everything and that you are separate people as well as a couple. When he needs some space, don’t take it personally––recognize it for what it is––his time to rejuvenate and to share different interests with others. But do make sure he knows that you’re always there for him.
If you do find it difficult to let him be, consider examining the issues that cause you to feel clingy. Past experiences in childhood or with previous boyfriends may be causing you to feel insecure or jealous. Counseling can be of assistance if you can’t work through such issues alone.
Pay attention to him
Take an interest in his interests. Remember what he likes to do and what he likes to talk about. You don’t have to act like you love his hobbies, but at least try to understand why he’s such a fan. If he loves a band, try to understand why. If he just loves to be playful and immature, remember that it might just be his way of releasing stress. In learning to accept his unique way of being, you’ll also be learning more about yourself and ultimately whether you could see yourself spending the rest of your life with this person.
Make him something. A paper flower, an artsy heart, something creative that reflects your personality, so that whenever he looks at it, he’ll think of you and smile. If you’re the musical type, or play an instrument, feel free to play him a song or two (bonus points if you play a song you wrote yourself). Add a private video of your song to YouTube.
Note — Some guys do not enjoy creative gestures and feel resentment at being obliged to appreciate your efforts. Try to make something that will actually appeal to him and not end up in the trashcan within a week. He’ll remember something so personal for a long time, though if he does not like it, listen to his comments with consideration; Making him feel guilty for not appreciating the gift will push him further away.
Give him gifts. When you’re in a relationship, it’s fun to give each other small gifts. Guys love to get presents and giving him one shows that he means a lot to you. Don’t overdo it though. You don’t want him to think you’re trying to buy his affection.
Be yourself. Don’t create a fake you just to impress him. It might be tempting if you think he’d prefer a different type of girl but usually this is just cobbling together snippets of things said or suggested and you’re likely to be wrong. After all, he wants to date you, not some imagined form of perfection. And if you really feel tempted to change things about yourself because he insists that you’d be better thinner, taller, prettier, quieter, whatever, then it’s a good indication that you’re not compatible. If he actually says such things to you in a badgering, persistent manner, then it is not love, but an attempt to control you. In that case, you may have to reconsider even staying with him.
Don’t try to make your boyfriend jealous. This might be a common theme in the movies but it’s an action that springs straight from insecurity and unhappiness within yourself. It usually backfires and even if it doesn’t, your future relationship is based solely on whether or not you’ll be faithful or supportive, which is hardly the stuff of long-term happiness. Be open in your communications rather than using jealousy as a statement.
Don’t lead him on if you’re not into everything. It might be amusing or «safe» to do so initially but it’s extremely hurtful when he learns that you don’t really love what he loves; he could be basing his thoughts about your role in his future on something that isn’t real and it’ll end up hurting both of you.
If you feel the need to play games with your boyfriend, then you don’t know the meaning of a true relationship and you’re probably trying to protect yourself rather than enter an equal union. Be honest and open with him. If the two of you are mature, then you will handle the growth of your relationship correctly.
Be affectionate. There are various ways to show your affection, some are more obvious than others and the way you approach this will depend on how openly affectionate you like to be personally. Affection is close to but not the same as intimacy––affection is about openly displaying that you care about this person and can be shown any time of day or night, publicly or privately. Think about how you like to show affection to people you care about, such as holding hands, touching an arm, quick kisses on the cheek, a hug, stroking hair, supportive words, mentioning how great someone is in front of other people, etc.
Men sometimes like it when a girl gives them a pet name like «Baby» or «Sweetheart.» Try not to overdo this, however. It can be a major turn-off if you call them «Mr. Cuddle-Bear», especially in public. Of all things, good communication is the vital part of any relationship, so make sure that he knows how much you like him.
Regular lovey-dovey texts and emails can be a plus, but too many will become overwhelming and you may seem clingy. These types of things do show you’re into him, and you want it to last forever, but don’t come on so much that you scare him!
Be seductive. Don’t be afraid to be seductive. Most men find it irresistible when a girl is sexy, classy and confident. Confidence means being happy within your own skin; you will exude this without trying if you are accepting of yourself and feel secure about your own worth. You don’t have to force yourself to be the most popular, bubbly personality if that isn’t your style; rather, be the best you on show by taking good care of yourself and trusting that you’re worth his attention.
See One Another as a Team
As in any healthy relationship, you’ll experience your share of conflicts, some tiny, some big. Remember to be true to yourself and try to abandon any significant selfishness. A relationship is a matter of teamwork and a symbiotic relationship, not a parasitic one, where a party gives and the other one just takes without giving enough back. In a team, you have each other’s back, you don’t undermine one another and you openly cherish each other in front of others.
In times of hardship, a team approach can help you to work through problems in a less emotionally attached way, in that both of you assume responsibilities for fixing things rather than expecting one or the other to fix things.
Avoid having a «one track» relationship in which the bond revolves around one thing. Keep your relationship strong by bringing variety and diversity into the relationship. Try different and new things together. Relationships are about having fun together, learning together and growing together.
Don’t let your friends try to manage your relationship. It’s your relationship and no one else’s. Sure, they’ll have their opinions, just as you’ll have your opinions about their relationships. But, you don’t have to listen to every piece of advice from your friends if you don’t want to. And realize that sometimes it’s about their incompatibility with your boyfriend and that’s okay––not everyone has to click perfectly. Simply agree to hear them out and ask them in turn to try their best to «get along» with him.
Appreciate all the things that are good in your relationship. Men feel comfortable when there’s appreciation. Wouldn’t you? Learn to thank him for things he does even of it means saying thank you for a ride home. The things that he does for you all resemble the respect he has for you. Not all women have a good relationship, appreciate yours.
Don’t ever let anyone tell you how to live your life and definitely not a boyfriend. Don’t let him pressure you; instead, be open about things, including the impact of any demands he makes on you. Equally, don’t tell him how to live his life either.
Let him know he’s right when he is. This is a huge confidence booster, just as admitting fault when you’re to blame is a great way of smoothing over conflict in a relationship. Learn these skills early on and you’ll have the basis for a strong and sharing relationship.
Try to get along with his friends and family. These are most likely people who mean a lot to him, and him having good opinions about you from people he cares about will mean a lot. Try making friends with his friends and his siblings. Make sure you’re respectful to his parents and make sure they like you. Try doing little things, like becoming close with his mom or going shopping with his sister.
When you’re out on a dinner date and he offers to pay, consider refusing. Doing so shows him that you aren’t just in it for his money. Just remember, if the guy you like is somewhat old-fashioned, he may insist on paying anyway. In this case, let him be a gentleman or his feelings might be hurt.
Don’t be insecure about your appearance. If he’s dating you, he obviously thinks you’re attractive.
If your boyfriend is acting passive toward you, it doesn’t necessarily mean he doesn’t love you. It most likely means he is shy or introverted. Perhaps he has never been in a relationship before and just doesn’t know how to act. Or maybe he just isn’t the kind of guy to shout from the rooftops but he still feels deeply for you. Talk to him about what causes him to act that way and be understanding. Perhaps he’s expecting you to take more initiative, because you’ve had more experience with relationships than he has. Or perhaps it really is just his way and you need to get used to it.
Understand that all relationships are different and that there’s no universal way to be a good girlfriend since everyone has different tastes.
Don’t try to change him. Just let him know things that you like, if he loves you he will try to do it next time. If he is so very different from the person you envision spending your life with, consider finding that person instead and treating this relationship as a gift of learning.
Jealousy is a very dangerous emotion. Don’t intentionally make him jealous. That will result in ultimately undermining trust for the long run.
Never flirt with his friends! No matter how hot they are to you, you need to assure him that he is the only guy for you. If you feel the need to flirt with them, it indicates that you’re not ready for settling into a monogamous relationship.
Don’t be annoying. Annoying includes constant calls, getting angry when he spends time with friends, pestering him to spend more time with you, whining, complaining about other people all the time, asking for validation all the time (for example, always ending your sentences with «don’t you think so?»), etc.
Never lie. Don’t just be honest, but be open with things as well. Don’t leave things unsaid, even if it can be awkward, because this can lead to problems in your relationship down the road. There is such a thing as lying by omission––sometimes you need to say something for the sake of clearing the air where leaving it unsaid would lead him to think the wrong things.
It’s fine to share things with your girlfriends when talking about him, but remember to be respectful of him by not sharing things that are embarrassing, confidential or rude. (Don’t kiss and tell!) You can keep your girlfriends updated on how the relationship is going, but keep them from getting involved in your relationship, unless abuse or other dangerous activities are taking place, in which case tell them everything and let them help you to leave him. But if you decide you want to share private information about the relationship, make sure he knows about it and is allowed to do the same with his friends; but don’t let him talk about you like an object.
Don’t look at his phone unless he makes it clear that it’s okay. Expect the same in reverse.
Don’t conduct secret tests on your boyfriend to see what he’ll do. It’s humiliating, disrespectful and unfair. Plus, you wouldn’t want him to do that to you. The same goes for coercing your boyfriend with sex.
Know the difference between constructive criticism and criticism that simply lays waste to a person’s character because you’d prefer they’d act differently from who they are. In the latter case, you’re trying to change him and this can indicate a strong incompatibility, suggesting that you might be better to find someone else.
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