Getting into a relationship may seem tough. However, sustaining one is the tougher part. Understanding your partner is the key to a long-lasting, fulfilling relationship. It is also at this that most men and women go wrong, only to find themselves dealing with painful breakups. For all the men out there, understanding a woman is not rocket science. If you ask women, they’ll come up with variations of these 19 things boyfriends should know about women. (As for women: Wait, wait; we’ll have a separate list for you!)
Things Boyfriends Should Know About Women:
1. Women like affection
Showing affection is one way to let your girlfriend know how much you love her. Most women like being pampered no matter how independent they may seem or claim to be. While holding hands may seem like the easiest way to show your affection, not every girl is a big fan of it. So, read the signs and go with what would make her comfortable.
2. All women are not the same
Every girl is unique; their habits, hobbies, and choices are personal. This may come as a surprise to many men: The pretty ones need not be bimbos, not all women enjoy shopping, and not all women are bad drivers. A good number of women know more about cars, sports, and stock markets than many men out there. Respect your girlfriend’s habits and choices without making it a matter of gender.
3. Not every reaction is hormonal
As much as men get irritated and annoyed, women do too. Yes, women may have to contend with more hormonal fluctuations than men. However, their reactions may not have anything to do with their hormones. So, refrain from asking a woman if she is PMSing. If she is visibly angry or upset, make an effort to talk to her even if she says she is okay.
If the woman in your life occasionally goes on a rant, the best thing you could do as her guy is to listen to her patiently. Don’t interrupt her to offer advice. Just listen and be understanding. Most of the time, women just want somebody to hear them out.
4. Women like to be appreciated
Appreciate your girlfriend for the things she does for you no matter how insignificant they may seem. Compliment her and acknowledge it whenever she goes out of her way to make you happy. Yet, don’t go overboard by smothering her with praise. Keep it natural.
5. Not all women know how to cook
Women may have a nurturing instinct. However, cooking is not a skill women are born with. It is an acquired skill. Not all women know how to cook; some women even detest it. So, just because she is a woman, don’t expect her to be Julia Child.
6. Women can be passionate about their careers
Some women are as passionate about their careers or hobbies as men tend to be. They may even prioritize their passion over a relationship or having a child, which is not something that should be frowned upon. Let her strike her own balance between career and family aspirations and understand that the process isn’t easy for women.
7. Women want mutual respect
All women want a relationship in which there is mutual respect. Steer clear of ego issues and respect each other’s decisions, professions, and choices without putting your partner down.
8. Hypergamy may be real, but not all women are gold diggers
Hypergamy or marrying up is the practice of a woman marrying a man superior to her in class or social status. While men tend to be polygamous, a woman’s natural tendency is to seek a partner who will provide the necessary resources for her and her offspring. This is not to be generalized as gold digging. There are men who are after a woman’s money and women who go after a man’s money, but not everybody, right?
9. Women dislike monotony, just as men do
Women may generally like a routine, but be aware that monotony can dull a relationship. Bring a little spontaneity into your lives by doing something out of the ordinary, such as planning a surprise dinner for her or taking her on an impromptu road trip. Keep the sense of romance and adventure alive.
10. Women like their personal space
Women may desire companionship, but they also like their personal space. Being in a relationship doesn’t mean that you must spend every waking hour of the day talking to her or hanging out with her. (The same applies to her.) However close you are in a relationship, you are both separate individuals with distinct personalities. Why, as Kahlil Gibran famously wrote in The Prophet:
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.
Remember this if you want to be a good boyfriend.
11. Women dislike being compared
Love your girlfriend for who she really is. Do not compare her to other friends of yours by asking her to dress or do her hair the way somebody else does. That would cause resentment, jealousy, and distrust.
12. Women appreciate transparency
Be forthright about what is on your mind instead of dropping subtle hints. The key to a strong relationship is the willingness to talk freely—but not bluntly! (Know the difference between being candid and being blunt.) Express and share feelings for the trust to grow.
13. Women don’t like being rushed
Getting married is not every woman’s dream. She may have plans to travel, to learn new things, or to simply live in the moment. Don’t rush your relationship; let it develop at a pace that is right for both of you.
14. Women value the opinions of friends and family members
Make an effort to engage and be in the good books of those who are close to your girlfriend, such as her friends and family. If they genuinely like you or approve of you, it will strengthen her faith in your relationship and make her more happy to be with you.
15. Women expect apologies even if they are in the wrong
Trust me when I say that your girlfriend will gladly accept your apology even if she knows that she’s in the wrong. On the other hand, if you know that you are in the wrong, apologize to her instead of being stubborn. Holding a grudge is not healthy, and saying sorry to your girlfriend should not hurt your ego.
16. Women care about their boyfriends’ appearance
Although physical appearance does matter to many, not all women want washboard abs on their man. Many prefer good grooming over good looks. Good grooming is the mark of a gentleman and a woman would rather have a well-groomed guy than an unkempt one in her life.
17. Women like men who remember
Many women believe that there is nothing sweeter than their boyfriend’s remembering birthdays and anniversaries. Go the extra mile and learn all the tiny details about her. Knowing her dress and shoe size, her favorite color, and her favorite comfort food – and remembering! – are ways to becoming a good boyfriend.
18. Women appreciate commitment
Relationships have ups and downs just as people’s lives have ups and downs. Stay by her side through the good times and bad times if you want to prove how much she means to you.
19. Women like being helped
Whether it is your turn or hers, lend her a hand if you happen to see her doing chores. It would show to her that you care. Besides, the work would get done faster and the two of you would get to spend more time together.
Featured image courtesy of Rishi S.
Striving to improve the quality of your relationship? Here is a list of habits husbands and boyfriends can do away with: 18 Annoying Habits That Boyfriends And Husbands Could Shed For Domestic Peace.