Being the supportive partner he wants
Beyond that cool, devil-may-care exterior, guys are just as into serious relationships as we are. You may think that a lot of guys are never fazed by anything or couldn’t care less if they went out with a new girl every week.
But there ARE men out there interested in settling down provided that they find the right woman.
If you’re looking to load your personality with all the confidence-empowering, jaw-dropping, drool-worthy qualities that attractive and self-aware women possess, then you HAVE to see How to Irresistible to Men.
Irresistibly will no longer be that unattainable x-factor that you thought it was! All it takes is the right know-how and the persistence to practice it! Moving on…
A couple of weeks ago, I came across a magazine article about four different couples. The girl from each couple gave a detailed account about how they gave their respective boyfriend a fashion makeover.
One woman beamed with pride as she gushed about giving her boyfriend a more “mature” look by ditching his jeans, grubby sneakers and a flannel shirt.
Then there was this other guy who dressed too conservatively for his woman’s taste, so she slapped on a more casual look on him, but it totally looked forced in my opinion. Halfway into the article, I couldn’t help but laugh about the predicament these men found themselves in.
Honestly, how would you feel if your own boyfriend started giving you a critique on the color-coordination of your outfit?
The guys in the photos looked pretty happy with their new look, but I wonder if they’re writing deep down inside. Are they thinking, “So this is how that dressed-up Chihuahua from ‘Legally Blonde’ felt when Reese Witherspoon carried him around as a trophy pet”?
The very thought gave me a good chuckle. Seriously, though, when I read the feature, a lot of relationships do’s and don’ts sprung to mind. There are a bunch of things you can do to avoid turning the relationship into a living hell for him.
The first mistake is the mother of a guy. Like in the article we just talked about, resist the temptation to dress him up like one of Barbie’s guy friends.
His mom should be the FIRST and LAST person to give him a detailed briefing on getting dressed. Anyone else who tries giving him UNSOLICITED fashion advice will get a less-than-favorable reaction.
YES, that also includes YOU, his better/worse half (depends on whether his ears are bleeding from all the nagging). I do understand that men can sometimes be so clueless about these things.
We all know how it feels to go through the agonizing process of picking out the perfect outfit, only to have our boyfriend show up wearing something Picasso would be proud of.
Horrifyingly tacky outfits aside, I can’t tell you how annoying it is to have someone on your back all the time, hovering around like an overly critical busybody who “knows” what’s best for you. Spare your guy the grief of having to put up with a routine of maddening naggery.
It’s a cold splash of water to find out that the cool girl he once thought you were is actually a hardcore nagger that can’t stand imperfection. Now a little gentle suggestion here and there certainly won’t hurt, but remember to be CONSTRUCTIVE if you HAVE to point out something objectionable.
But the nagging doesn’t end with his wardrobe. Endlessly pointing out the things you don’t like about his friends, job, habits, and interests are just as annoying too. Accept the fact that he was who he was when you first met him.
Every man has “take it or leave it stamped” all over him, so no amount of criticizing will ever fix him.
Instead, try building up his self-esteem by affirming the things that matter to him. Don’t underestimate the power of encouragement and positive words – those “little” fleeting praises throughout the day will have a lasting impact on him.
Even if that cheesy science fiction novel he’s working on makes you cringe, hold back that snicker and remember the things that first endeared you to him. There’s no law that requires you to like EVERYTHING that HE likes, but there’s no reason for you not to respect it.
You may think that you’re only looking out for your guy, but he’ll appreciate it if you didn’t. He’d rather be with someone who, at the very least, respects his personality and accepts him for who he is.
Being the supportive partner he wants will prove that you’re in this for the long haul.
Another quality that any sensible guy wants from you is your ability to hold your own. Occasionally, a man likes to reaffirm his masculinity by being that door-opening, cockroach-killing, broken-sink fixing manly man you squeal about.
HOWEVER, don’t assume for a second that having a boyfriend means you can turn into a helpless damsel in distress locked in a faraway castle, screaming for her knight-in-shining-armor to come rescue her.
And by “rescue”, I mean “turning him into your personal chauffeur, gold mine, errand boy and all-around slave.” Again, don’t stop being that cool, fun-loving, independent girl that he first saw you as.
For instance, if you’re going through a particularly busy day, then don’t be afraid to let him know that you can’t see him.
He may be let down for a bit, but his short-term disappointment will be quickly overshadowed by his long-term appreciation of how you can keep your priorities in order.
Just don’t OVER-ASSERT your independence – if he wants to open the door for you or shoulder the bill, then, by all means, let him! Don’t turn down his gentlemanly attempts to make you feel like the lady (and PRIZE) that you are.
Some girls go too far down the independence route that they fend off any efforts at chivalry with a ten-foot pole. It’s quite alright to let him treat you nicely, but the trick here is to NEVER demand it from him.
If he’s not about to change that tire for you, learn to strut your stuff and roll up your sleeves. The secret to the ideal kind of self-sufficiency is to WELCOME his efforts, but never to use them as a crutch. You know, the healthiest relationships I’ve seen involve both partners switching their usual roles from time to time.
For example, married couples may choose to take weekly turns in taking out the trash, and running specific errands. In a way, it’s a preparation for doing things on your own in case you unexpectedly lose your partner for any reason.
Smart women also think the same way – she enjoys the fact that her guy is doing his doing all that nice stuff for her, but her life isn’t about to grind to a screeching halt if he suddenly leaves.
Besides, maintaining an element of self-determination can feel quite empowering, which is something Amy discusses further in Her Course:
Here’s another secret: share your life with your guy if you must, but be GRADUAL about it. No guy is going to assume that you have ZERO problems or live a worry-free/hangup-free life.
Heck, everyone has their fair share of stuff to deal with, but that doesn’t give you the license to whine to your guy about it non-stop.
Don’t CONFUSE your ranting, raving stories about your annoying boss or your pesky younger sibling’s animosity toward you as a way of getting him to know you better. He’ll know you better alright, but not in the way you’d like.
Keep this basic tip in mind: whining is the antithesis of cool, hip, sexy or any other attractive qualities. It simply has no place in the behavioral mindset of a sassy woman because she knows she is NOT a victim.
She doesn’t let things just “happen” to her – her guy is constantly awed by how she can always do something about her issues and never let them get to her.
That unfazed posture is the mark of self-confidence, and an attractive woman never leaves home without it. Speaking of your issues, it’s also highly uncool to treat a new found man like he is a shrink working pro bono.
EVEN if he was an actual psychologist, he STILL wouldn’t want to hear the grand saga of your ENTIRE life in one sitting.
That information is too much for any man to take – even the most decent, respectable man out there is going to think twice about seeing you again if you lay it all on him like you were on Oprah. Unless of course, you weren’t dating and were paying him instead to sit on his couch and rant the day away.
Otherwise, break it to him gently. Prematurely confiding in him is the equivalent of dousing cold water on the flames of what could have been a great romance.
The secret to talking to your man about your hang-ups and what-not is to pace yourself and find the right timing. Obviously, that means you shouldn’t entrust him with the intimate details of your life until he’s READY.