‘Good girlfriend.’ I’ve heard and seen people use this phrase so many times, but what does it even mean? If you’re in a relationship with someone you love, shouldn’t you be good to them no matter what? The answer is yes. Assuming they are good to you too of course! Because why would you be with someone who isn’t good to you?
During my time spent as a ‘girlfriend,’ I have certainly not been the best. But neither has my boyfriend and that is fine. We are humans. We are not perfect. What I have learned in the past seven years though, is that being a ‘good girlfriend’ isn’t just about treating your partner right. In fact, it is so much more than that. It’s about treating yourself right while growing committed to someone else. That is how you be a ‘good girlfriend.’ That is how you be a good partner. If you follow these rules, no matter how imperfect you are, you will certainly be a good significant other.
1. Speak up about what you want and what you don’t want.
Don’t pretend you’re into certain things just because your significant other is. It will only hurt you in the future when they either find out you lied or when you completely lose your identity (and not in the credit card theft kind of way — like you lose yourself). If you don’t want kids, tell them. If you don’t want to go out, tell them. And if you end up having to do something you aren’t necessarily into (because #compromise), they’ll at least know how you feel and would be more willing to do something you want to do that they don’t in the future. That’s why you have to actually speak up about what you want too. Your significant other can’t read your mind.
2. Don’t forget what you like and what you don’t like.
Don’t completely lose yourself in your relationship. Then you’ll have nothing to speak up about because you won’t have your own interests, wants, and needs anymore — you’ll only have your significant other’s.
3. Reach out to friends on a regular basis.
Don’t let your significant other be the only person you talk to all week long. Make sure you’re still talking to your friends (and family) just as much as you were before you were in a relationship.
4. Hang out with your friends with AND without your significant other.
Don’t bring your significant other everywhere you go, but also don’t keep them completely out of your life. Find a good balance. But make sure you have the ability to find a good balance. Don’t disappear and stop hanging out with your friends.
5. Don’t wait to see what your significant other is doing before making plans.
If you guys don’t yet have plans, know you are free to do whatever. You are your own person.
6. Don’t be a dick.
If you love the person you’re with, don’t treat them like shit. And if your excuse is that they’re treating you like shit, then you probably shouldn’t be in that relationship (okay, you definitely shouldn’t be in that relationship). It’s inevitable that when you’re spending so much time with one person, you’re going to take shit out on them and say things you don’t mean, but try not be a dick. It will only do damage.
7. Don’t ignore signs that something isn’t right in your relationship.
It’s not good for either of you to become oblivious to red flags. Whether you’re too in love, too afraid to hurt them, too monetarily invested with each other, or too scared to be single, none of those things matter. If you try to force something that isn’t right, it might be okay in the short term, but in the long term, you could be screwing yourself over and/or making yourself look desperate. You could also end up hurting yourself and/or your partner more the longer it goes on.
8. AND FINALLY — Have your own life.
This basically sums up everything on this list. Literally, that’s all you have to do to be a ‘good girlfriend,’ assuming you’re in a relationship with someone you love. Because after all, if you love someone and that someone loves you back, being good to that person shouldn’t be hard. You just need to remember to be good to yourself.