The best boyfriends are the ones who comment on your Instagram pictures. Not because it matters, but because they love you and want to remind everyone you know that they do. The best boyfriends are the ones who are willing to take selfies with you and of you, who happily give you time to “do your own thing,” who want to impress your parents.
They’re the ones who will tuck your tag into your shirt, who will plan a date day every now and again. They’re the ones who will walk you to the bathroom in the middle of the night when you’re sick, the ones who say “what do you need?” and take care of you as you do them.
The best boyfriends aren’t the “cool guys,” they aren’t the bros who are too detached to care about love. They’re the ones who want to try. The ones who would do for you everything that you’d do for them. They’re the ones who text you to make sure you got home alright. Who will listen to you analyze your friend drama. Who call you a car so you don’t have to walk. Who will help your sister lift her bags from the car when she visits. Who tag you in memes and is proud to make your status social media official.
The best boyfriends aren’t the sweet talkers who never take action. Anybody can text sweet nothings, but not everyone is going to show up for you at 3 a.m. when you’re crying about work and nobody else wants to listen.
The best boyfriends are not the ones who make sweeping statements and grand gestures, they’re not the ones who act passive and then try to say sorry with a nice dinner. They’re the ones who are there for you, today, tomorrow, whenever you need them. There’s no putting you on hold, there’s no second guessing, there’s no wondering about your worth or what you mean in their lives.
The best boyfriends are not the ones who sacrifice their “fun, single lives” for a relationship, they’re the ones who couldn’t care less about changing their lives if it means getting to have you around.
The best boyfriends are the ones who will talk about commitment. Even if it’s something that freaks them out, even if they’re not clear about the timeline, being afraid to talk about something that is so important is such a poor reflection on someone’s character. So they do – they talk about it.
These people aren’t anomalies. They exist. At this point, so little is required of men to place them into “good boyfriend” terrain that it’s almost mystifying. It’s because, of course, so few actually try in the ways that it matter.
And because so many boyfriends have gotten away with doing so little for so long, it’s unfortunate that we even have to laude them for these simple things, because we’d never commend a girlfriend for it. We expect that of them. We know that they will show love. Whether or not the effort will be matched is the question.
The best boyfriends know that the little gestures are what mean the most. They know that the way to love someone is to show them in little pieces.
Most importantly, the best boyfriends are the ones who are tough enough to actually try. They are the ones who are sure of themselves enough to not be afraid to let you know they care. They are not the ones who are dismissive and cowardly in the face of vulnerability, but the ones who will do the smallest and bravest thing of all: love you, in tiny ways, in ordinary moments.