1. Be honest.
There is no fancy way to do this. Just. Be. Honest. If you’re into her, then tell her you’re into her. Don’t play that “I’m-trying-to-come-off-cool-and-macho-so-I’m-gonna-play-like-I’m-not-that-interested-so-she-falls-for-me” crap. That shit’s lame. (And let me tell you, any girl that falls into that passive-aggressive play is not in the right state of mind to be in a serious relationship, especially with you.) Stop it. If you’re not that into her, then just be honest! Let her know you’re not as interested as she might be and spare her the run-around of awkward texts you’re trying to avoid sending. Don’t be that guy. Nobody likes that guy.
2. Don’t hide your habits.
We’re not idiots. Porn, cars, video games, beer, sports… It’s not that we have a problem with you liking these things… we have a problem with you trying to do these things behind our backs. Don’t lie about what you’re doing or who you’re doing it with. Follow the first tip. If she has a problem with what you’re doing, ask her why instead of just finding an elaborate way to hide it from her the next time you decide to do it. And to some of our “free-lookers” out there, don’t feed that “you’re the most beautiful girl in the world” line to your girl if you’re the guy that turns his head sideways every time you see a girl walk past with tight jeans on. If you’re a “Barney Stinson”, then own it and let her know. Bullshit begets bullshit, so keep it real. If she doesn’t trust you, then there’s an element already missing in your relationship that you might want to think/talk about.
…this brings me to the next tip on our list…
This one gets the special asterisks because this one, I feel, is the MOST important. I can’t stress this one enough. Men have this habit of speaking through a series of grunts, sighs, head nods, or eyebrow raises while their arms are folded over their chest listening to us talk. I’m almost positive there’s not a man out there who enjoys listening to the words, “Are you even listening to me?!” – But there’s a reason she’s asking, guys. We’re not inside your heads, we don’t know what you’re thinking and if you are listening to us, a lot of the times, you’re not showing us any indication it got through. Silence isn’t the answer we want. We want a “yeah, I got you” or “no, I don’t agree with you.” We know YOU don’t want to do anything that’ll trigger “conversation overtime,” but if you didn’t agree with something we said and you held it in… you’re gonna have the same discussion with us again in the future. So save us both some time. Speak up.
4. Don’t be lazy.
No one’s asking you to solve all the world’s problems and be superman, but at least handle your shit. Take care of yourself, manage your money, be responsible at work. Basic. Don’t expect a woman with a perfect body if you have flaws of your own, don’t expect a woman to be independent and make her own money when you don’t have your own, and don’t expect a woman to “put out” for you when you ain’t got the moves yourself. Be who you want to attract. No, she don’t want no scrub.
5. Show Your Appreciation.
So you might not be the best at remembering birthdays or anniversaries, but there are other ways to show you appreciate her. Sometimes, she can be wrapped up in the things that are going on in her life and be so overwhelmed that her laundry’s backed up, or the dishes haven’t gotten to… her dog has been cooped up at the apartment… I’m not saying to become a “man-ny” for her, but doing something as small as taking one item off her to-do list will make her eternally grateful. Show her you appreciate her time by freeing it up for her. By doing that, you’ve got more time to be together, she’s got more energy and hey-oh. Bring on the wine.
6. Be Observant.
It amazes me to this day what little details my husband can pick up from my daily nuances. He has a way of knowing what I need at the end of the night because of things I’ve let him know during the day about how it’s going. I have a pretty stressful day job and most of the time my projects take a long time to complete, so I don’t get to see immediate progress at the end of the day. One night, I was particular stressed out because I felt like as much work as I was putting in, I wasn’t seeing results soon enough. I came home to my husband standing in the kitchen with paint cans, rollers and wine and he told me to pick up a roller and go to town on the walls. Seeing the colors I wanted (because he knows my favorite colors) take over the walls and watching it happen instantaneously completely took away that feeling of not seeing progress. Observe her lifestyle and see what ways you can enrich it for her. It goes a long way.
7. Be Respectful.
We know you have two sides. You have your “bro” side and you have your “boo” side. We don’t mind either of them, but know when it’s appropriate to be one or the other. Communicate with us before you bring us around your friends. We know they might not always be the most “kosher” group. Some girls are totally okay with vulgarity, sports talk and “guys being guys” and some girls aren’t comfortable with it. Know which girl your girl is before you bring out the “bro” and respect both sides, because your friends don’t want to be pegged as assholes, either.
8. Support Her.
No. Not through your bank account. (If she’s looking at you to support her financially without any interest of accumulating her own source of income, it’s probably not the best grounds to start a relationship.) Support her beliefs, her passion, her ambitions… her goals. Be supportive of the things she decides to pursue be it professionally or personally. Don’t diminish what dreams she has even if they’re not reasonable to you. Talk to her if you feel that way, but don’t discourage her. When you’re in a relationship, you protect each other’s integrity, so don’t ever do something that would harm her (or your) reputation— especially when she’s trying to make a mark in her career. You’d want that from her, right?
This does not mean blankly stare at her until her jaw stops moving. “Hearing” is not the same as “listening.” Yes, we as women like to talk a lot and sometimes, we can get carried away, but if we’re taking the time out of our day to say anything at all to you, there’s a reason. You might have different standards than us as to what’s important or not, but if it’s important to us, then it should be important to you. You want to keep us happy, right? (Translation: you want us to stop talking, right?) Then listen to what we have to say no matter how irrelevant you think it is.
10. Be Romantic… At Least Once in a While.
I said once in a while. Don’t go breaking the bank and trying to ball if you don’t got the guap. That’s just ignorant. Some guys overdo it and some guys couldn’t be romantic if their life depended on it. We’re not expecting puppies and diamonds everyday (and if she is, sit her down and ask her very politely what her priorities are…). We just want to feel desired. Romantic gestures don’t always have to be big. They can be small and sweet. Randomly take her out to where you first met and re-enact your first date on a night she’s feeling down. Upload the newest album from one of her favorite artists on her playlist while she’s away so it’s ready to listen to for her morning commute… And yeah, once in a while, go big. Fill the house with candles and roses and all that other sweet crap, and make it personal. She just wants to know you want her.
11. Make Love.
This can mean more than just sex. I say “make love” and I mean be intimate with her. Know her body, know her mind. Connect with her in a way that’s welcoming, inviting and embracing. Don’t just lock the door and say, “welcome to the jungle, bitch!” (At least not seriously, we all appreciate a good laugh.) Yes, we do like confidence. We like when you can show us your masculinity and that your hard work at the gym’s paid off. But so much of the time, we’re aware that you’re so conscious of trying to be a rock star in bed that you’re not really paying attention to the cues we’re giving you of what we want to feel. Sometimes, we’re shy about what we want, and sometimes, we don’t know what you want. It’s okay to tell us what you like and how you like it. It’ll give us that comfort to know that we can tell you what we want. Sex is supposed to be communicative, mutual, and reciprocating. If you’re in that mindset of “I’m getting mine, I hope you get yours,” then you’re missing out on a whole deeper level that you could both be enjoying a lot more. Don’t be afraid to explore each other. Just always remember to communicate.