How to be a good girlfriend

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Let me start by saying that I first kissed Paul on January 22, 2015. We have been in a relationship since basically the beginning but I really didn’t consider myself his girlfriend until March 18. Honestly just about everyday I do something that a “good girlfriend” wouldn’t do – yet I also do something a “good girlfriend” would definitely do.

I’m writing this post for the girls. The girls, like me, who haven’t been in a relationship in 2, 5, or even 10 years or more. Suddenly, you go from being single to being a couple – to being someone’s girlfriend. If, like me, you are out of practice, everyday is a challenge.

1. Always hold hands when walking down the street. It announces to the world that you are a couple and that you are a good girlfriend. It also feels really nice.

2. Set boundaries. This can be tricky. It can be something simple like making a rule not to call each other until 8 am. I have actually done this in my relationship and it’s about 88% effective.

3. Go out with your girlfriends. Especially in a new relationship there’s a tendency to want to spend all your free time together. Don’t succumb to that. He will miss you when you go out with your friends and that’s a good thing. Also, girlfriends are important and shouldn’t be abandoned when you get a boyfriend.

4. Send him a card in the mail. I use the Felt app for iPad, but any handwritten card he gets in the mail will make him feel loved and special. I recently sent my boyfriend a St. Patrick’s Day card that said “You’re my lucky charm.” Inside I wrote “You mean the world to me.”

5. Give each other endearing and unique nicknames and use them affectionately. Another way to feel exclusive and closer.

6. Make dinner for your boyfriend. Glamour Magazine actually published a recipe called Engagement Chicken. Obviously you don’t need to be Julia Child. Make something you know he likes and serve it to him. I made the mistake just last night of making my dinner and bringing it over to my boyfriend’s place. He made his own dinner, but he later lamented that he wished I had made it for him.

7. Initiate affection. One afternoon my boyfriend and I were in the elevator and I just went and kissed him for the 15 second ride. He loved that I did that. Obviously I don’t do that all the time so the element of surprise is nice.

8. Don’t let him leave angry. I definitely messed this one up a lot in the beginning. Despite the fact that you’re probably right in whatever you’re spatting about, make sure it’s resolved. Talk it out until 2 a.m. if you have to. Parting – with apologies to Shakespeare – is sweet sorrow if you’re in a good place when you leave each other’s places.

9. Do nice things. He isn’t feeling well. Go pick up something he needs on your way over to his place. It shows you are thinking about him when you’re apart.

10. Be there for him. Relationships are not just about sharing fun and good times. Be there for the sad moments, the bad days. Be a good listener and be on his side if he’s arguing with someone.

11. Remember you’re essentially a team. Support and root for each other. Compromise. Watch the western movie when you’d rather see a rom-com.

12. Tell him you love him if he says he loves you. While I believe the boy should like the girl more than the girl likes the boy, don’t play hard to get. It’s a big deal to tell someone you love them. If you want to be a good girlfriend, say it back.

This is by no means a complete list and I’m far from an expert as I’ve only had a few serious relationships. I know some of you may have something to add, so please comment if you feel like it. Thanks for reading!

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