A Guys Guide For Keeping A Long-Term Relationship

There are so many guides out there for the ladies for how to get a man, keep a man, ditch a man – it was about time for an article for the fellas. In order to sell something effectively, you need to get inside the mind of your target market so welcome to the ladies’ POV.

1. If you aren’t looking for a long-term relationship – don’t date someone.

From years of rom-coms and fairy tales – the ladies are slightly brainwashed. You say “yeah, well I’m not ready to settle down but I still want to hang and see where this goes” and already in our minds we’re picturing you 3 months down the road standing in the pouring rain confessing your unending love to us because we were the girl that changed your whole perspective on love and commitment because we are THAT awesome. This will NEVER happen. One day we’re going to want more and you’re going to pull the “well I told you” card and everything is just going to go to shit. If you aren’t ready for what all a long-term relationship entails – just stay away. Sow your seeds aka stay drunk playing Grand Theft Auto San Andreas and hook up with a handful of 4’s until it’s all “out of your system.” I dated a guy once who told me “I wish I had sex with more people before I met you”… YOU DON’T WANT TO BE THE GUY WHO SAYS DUMB SHIT LIKE THIS. Stay away.

Congratulations! You’ve bridled your manly stallion and you’ve found a nice girl to date seriously! Here are some tips on how to not mess that up.

2. If you were doing something well in the beginning – keep doing that thing. (Aka keep pursuing yo girl)

If you had a really great bratwurst recipe that all your buddies love and high five you over at every tailgate – why change it? Same with relationships – whatever cute, sweet, thoughtful thing you were doing in the beginning WORKED. You nabbed her bro – congrats! So why fuck up a good thing? If for the first 3 months you would go pick up her favorite bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit every Saturday morning which made you seem like a knight in shining breakfast armor– why the HELL would you stop? You’re a hero! Everyone wins! If anything, you need to add thoughtful things to make sure your girl knows she made the right decision picking you. You just don’t ever want to hear “why don’t you do __________ anymore” – it sucks. You’re going to feel like a failure and get totally shown up by some other girl’s boyfriend who’s got this pursuing thing on lock. Don’t be that guy – be the guy other girls’ boyfriends are pissed at for making them look bad.

3. Stop making excuses. (Aka put her first)

I totally understand you bro – you’ve got this job that is on the same scale as brain surgeons but like…in the insurance field and life will completely unravel if you’re not there to make sure we all see tomorrow. I get it – you’re super important. But after about 12 missed home cooked dinners and canceled plans – your lady has officially quit giving a damn about how important you’ve made yourself out to be. Stop making your job, your friends, your family, your financial situation, etc your scapegoat for why you’re being kind of shitty and not putting her first. Occasionally you might actually have an emergency to attend to – but if its 4 nights a week you’re rolling in at 10 pm at night from your 9-5 job just to reheat a homemade meal (that she ate alone) and plop down on the couch to get on your phone because “I’ve been so busy I haven’t been able to play candy crush all day” like…bro, really? Pull it together – candy crush can wait. Also, occasionally you might be kind of broke – it’s the first of the month and rent really wiped you out, but as long as she’s not a total gold-digger, she’ll probably be super understanding of the situation. But if money is a daily excuse of why “you can’t be a better boyfriend” – you need to reevaluate your choices here because you can be thoughtful for FREE (also bro, pancake mix and bacon is like…7$, come on).

4. Me Time (aka time apart is good – if done the right way)

I know you’re just dying to bro it out with the guys, eat shitty pizza, play video games, hang out in basements (?), and whatever you guys do in your free time. I’m also 100% sure your lady needs a night to just chill on the couch with her dog, watch Friday Night Lights, and ugly cry about how sweet Matt Saracen’s grandmother is in a judgment-free zone. ‘Me time’ is great – a good hard reset for everyone. I know your lady totally understands. But, there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about this. During your “me-time” I wouldn’t suggest radio silence on your end – completely cutting off communication with your girl while your ‘hanging with the bros’ can quickly turn into looking REALLY shady which will complicate your ‘me-time’ in the future. Keep your lady in the know – you don’t have to report to her your every action but a “yo, I’m at Jimmy’s were playing Madden and then heading down to the pub across the street, it’s 20cent wing night!!” is appreciated. Another good idea is to ask your bro’s what kind of hang is going to occur – because nothing will piss your girlfriend off faster than you saying your having a dude night and 2 hours later there’s about 15 selfies on instagram of your bro’s girlfriend eating those 20cent wings. Also, don’t abuse your ‘me-time’ – if after every tiny argument you need 3 days with the bros to “clear your head” like…there’s a line where ‘me-time’ turned into ‘avoiding the situation’ and I think you just crossed it.

5. Talk about your feelings (I know, it’s the worst)

I know you’re right up there with Paul Bunyan on the manly scale and feelings are for pussies but unfortunately you’re dating a lady and, unless she’s one of those blow up sex dolls, she probably has feelings. Most likely she’s going to want to talk about them at some point so just go ahead and check your suit of armor at the door because it’s only going to complicate the situation. Communication is the key to any good relationship, so being able to discuss honestly (and frequently) how you feel about the other person, the relationship as a whole, issues that may arise (even if its incredibly hard) is going to only be helpful down the road. I will tell you that on the girls end, nothing hurts worse than a dude who just goes with the flow and never makes a peep about things that bother him and eventually, when everything falls apart (which it will), hearing from multiple people that he was unhappy dating her for months. So open up fellas! You’ll survive I promise.

6. If You’re Not A Cheater Stop Acting Like A Cheater (Aka Keepin’ it 100)

Communication and honesty are THE most important parts of your long-term relationship. That being said – you need show her that you are a total open book. I was seeing this guy and immediately when we started dating he the settings to what I like to refer to as the “cheater setting” – there is no other purpose for the “your phone doesn’t light up, a name doesn’t appear on your lock screen, and it only vibrates once when you get a text message” setting on your phone. I also brought this up a few times and he was so dismissive – I always said I trusted him but this “cheater setting” was not super comforting and I would like him to change it. He never did. You’re just creating trouble for yourself down the line. You also need to show OTHERS that you’re a total open book. If you’re dating a girl and you are serious about the relationship – you can’t censor your Facebook photos, tweets, Instagram tags, etc so people can’t see photos of you and your significant other. I know you hate Facebook – it’s so stupid and you think its “not that big of a deal” if you reject all the photo tags your girlfriend puts on you all’s photos, but social media is the easiest way to creep around on someone under the table and ladies know this so stop creating reasons to not be trusted because you think it’s “stupid.” Just know it matters to HER and that’s what is important.

Of course there are many other things you need to learn about making your long term relationship last – how to fight fairly, how to balance your career with your life, etc, and these are lessons to be learned through time but hopefully these starters will be helpful to you! I hope you can learn from my terrible experiences and stop creating red flags for yourself. Relationships are difficult and confusing at times but a few little tweaks really go a long way with the ladies – good luck! Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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