All new relationships experience what is called the honeymoon phase where both lovers – boyfriend and girlfriend – feel compelled to do anything that can make their other half happy, even if it means sacrificing their own happiness.
As time goes by, however, the newness and excitement wears off. It’s during this stage that most people give up their relationship and go on to the next one. But this way of operating will never lead to a happy, lasting and fulfilling relationship because jumping from one partner to another doesn’t change something of importance: you. And those are the kind of relationships that can make you live longer, according to this study.
But what leads to a happy and fulfilling relationship? Simply said, being open to change and improvement. In this article, I will share with you ways to become a better boyfriend in just 5 minutes a day.
BE A BETTER BOYFRIEND IN JUST 5 MINUTES A DAY
SHOW YOUR LOVE… THE RIGHT WAY
Many women complain that their man stop being affectionate after a while. Don’t be that man! Showing your love will not only improve the relationship but also make your feelings for her stronger.
But there’s a catch – we don’t always appreciate love in the same way – which is why “showing your love” may not be accurate in your case. Have you ever heard of the saying, “Actions speak louder than words”? Well, some people would say otherwise! Not because words are bad, but because some people value different things at different levels.
According to Gary Chapman, author of the book “The 5 Love Languages”, there are 5 love languages through which we can express love:
- Words of affirmation
- Acts of service
- Quality Time
- Physical Touch
Understanding this concept is key, since you wouldn’t want to express your love through words to someone who wants to spend quality time with you.
Likewise, you wouldn’t want to give gifts to someone who treasure physical touch. This alone can make or break a relationship, and is why some people don’t feel loved even though their other half think they’re already giving them enough love. They’re giving them the love they want.
A good trick in order to know what love language your partner use besides asking.. or thinking about it yourself, would be to remind yourself of how she usually expresses her love to you. Chances are she expresses it the way she wants to receive it. It’s how human beings are: we tend to project our values onto others.
MAKE COMPROMISES.. SOMETIMES
There’s nothing more irritating than someone who always want to have it their way. Of course, it’s natural for human beings to be this way to a certain extent, but this kind of behaviour can quickly endanger the relationship.
Once in a while, it’s okay to do things you don’t totally agree with or like for your partner’s sake. I want to emphasise the “once in a while” part, since it would be unhealthy to force yourself all the time.
Women love to be surprised by their boyfriend – but don’t overdo it. What makes a surprise efficient is that it’s unpredictable.
I remember the look on my girlfriend’s face when she got back home after work and was pleasantly greeted with flowers. I can still vividly remember how happy she was – so much so that she even took a picture for the occasion. This was such a big surprise for her, not only because this was unexpected from the start, but also because we lived in Japan and it wasn’t easy for me to find a shop on my own and have the courage to actually do it since I wasn’t in a country I was familiar with. Totally unexpected.
Of course, surprising her doesn’t necessarily mean gifts. It can be anything: refer to the 5 love languages if you have trouble coming up with ideas.
LET HER KNOW YOU THINK ABOUT HER
Nothing cuter for a lady than to being told their man was thinking about them – and them alone. Don’t go overboard and come across as needy by sending her a message every 5 minutes, though.
It can be as simple as a text message, or a sudden kiss or hug..
DON’T SOLVE HER PROBLEMS
I mean, seriously. You probably know this feeling of wanting to help your damsel in distress, but don’t. More often than not, it’ll just piss her off! I’ve learned it the hard way time and time again until she finally told me clearly that she did NOT want my advice, but understanding.
Women talk to vent and feel better, not to find solutions. It’s a misconception men easily have because we have been wired this way. But as I said, human beings have the wrong habit of projecting their value onto other people. Don’t do it.
Psychologist Haim Ginott says that, “understanding must precede advice.” Remember that the next time your girlfriend start venting and you’ll be on your way to an outstanding relationship.
DON’T RESENT HER FOR WHAT SHE DOES OR SAYS
Have you ever done or said something so embarrassing that even just looking back on it gives you the chills? Chances are that you have, just like everyone – myself included. But we often forget that we aren’t alone, and that it happens to other people too.
She may say or do something that you find hard to tolerate, but don’t hold her responsible.
GIVE HER COMPLIMENTS
Compliments are wonderful ways to brighten your other half’s day and strengthen the relationship. But there are ways to do it effectively, so that it doesn’t come across as mere flattery. Remember: you want to give genuine compliments, as a loving boyfriend.
In his course “Mastering Influence”, Tony Robbins shares that there are 3 components that makes a compliment effective, 1) state the compliment, 2) justify the compliment and 3) immediately ask a question.
Thus, it would go like this, “I think you’re beautiful today, (because) your haircut suits you well. How did you know it would look good on you?”
My dad was the kind of partner who took all the decisions. My mom had no say in anything, and he would sometimes ignore her opinions for not being “smart enough”. It wouldn’t take a genius to figure out how their love story ended: in divorce.
John M. Gottman, author of the book, “The Seven Principles To Make Marriage Work”, says that, “Statistically speaking, when a man is not willing to share power with his partner, there is an 81 percent chance that his marriage will self-destruct.”
ASK HER DIRECTLY
Sometimes the best answers are also the simplest. If there was only one person on earth to ask how to be better boyfriend to, it would be your lover!
When our relationship was facing adversity, my girlfriend and I used to have a ritual to check in on our 6 human needs and suggest ways to overcome our problems.
The 6 human needs is a concept invented by success coach Tony Robbins that explains human behaviour. Basically, we all have 6 human needs that we try to meet in our everyday life. Those needs being met or not can pretty much decide the fate of a relationship.
1st Need: CERTAINTY – How certain and comfortable do you feel about your life.. or your relationship.
2nd Need: UNCERTAINTY – How predictable or exciting your life is.
3rd Need: SIGNIFICANCE -How important and special you feel.
4th Need: LOVE AND CONNECTION – How loved you feel.
5th Need: GROWTH – How much you grow as a person.
6th Need: CONTRIBUTION – How much you give.
We would rank all of these needs on a scale from 1 to 10 and work on improving them. Sometimes, scary answers would come out, as low as a 2 or 3. Fortunately, we caught the monster in time and managed to solve all the issues we had.
LISTEN WITH INTENT
Everybody likes to talk about themselves, which is why few people really know how to truly listen. Don’t just agree with what your girlfriend says but understand her.
Author John M. Gottman says in his book, “There are few greater gifts a couple can give each other than the joy that comes from feeling known and understood.”
Understand. Nod. Ask questions back.
ACCEPT HER FLAWS
Nobody is perfect – we all have our flaws. Part of being a good boyfriend is to learn to accept those flaws in a woman instead of trying to fix them.
CONTROL YOUR EMOTIONS
Although I wasn’t aware of it in the beginning, it came to my understanding that I have the tendency to be overly negative each time things don’t go my way in my relationship. This means that just because my girlfriend does something wrong, my head is suddenly going to be filled with negative thoughts such as, “maybe she’s not the right woman for me”.
Scary moments like this will happen, which is why you need to make sure you’re able to control your emotions.
BE HER ALLY.. EVEN WHEN SHE’S WRONG
Developing an “us vs them” attitude is crucial in a relationship. It allows her to feel safe and comfortable sharing her problems with you. The worst thing you could do is to blame her and say that she’s wrong, which would isolate her.
Even if you think she is wrong, do not go against her. Don’t make her your enemy.
BE HER FRIEND
I know that every man is scared of the friend zone, but it doesn’t have to be that way. In his book, John M. Gottman says, “Happy marriages are based on a deep friendship. These couples tend to know each other intimately – they are well versed in each other’s likes, dislikes, personality quirks, hopes and dreams.”
Don’t be afraid to go deep in your relationship with her. Get to know her in every way possible.
HOW TO BE A BETTER BOYFRIEND -CONCLUSION
These are the things learning and experience taught me about relationships and how to be a better boyfriend. Do these things on a consistent basis: take at least 5 minutes out of your day everyday to apply even just one idea you got from this article.
Over time this will add up and the seemingly small things you did will make big changes in your relationship.