It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been dating your girlfriend for two months or two years: You could probably stand to step up your game in your relationship. How do we know? Because there is not a single guy on the planet who can just rest on his laurels in a relationship—not for the long-term, anyway.
If you’re wondering how you can be a better boyfriend, then you’re already one step ahead of the pack. You probably know to support her dreams and to be a loving partner, but what else can you do to earn Rockstar Boyfriend status?
Turns out, it’s the little things that can make the biggest impact on your relationship. Here are 10 underrated ways to start being a better boyfriend, stat.
Switch up your compliments
Do you always tell your girlfriend that she is beautiful, hot, sexy, cute, etc.? Try getting a little more specific with your compliments. This will make them feel more genuine and believable.
For example, is she wearing a blue shirt that makes her beautiful eyes pop? Tell her so. Did she ace a stressful project at work? Let her know that you admire her drive and grace under pressure.
Focus on narrowing down what makes her unique and special. By doing so, you can deliver genuine compliments that she’ll absolutely love to hear.
Cuddle without pressuring her for sex
Cuddling doesn’t always need to lead to sex. In fact, you’re doing the relationship more harm than good if you only cuddle with your girlfriend right before and after sex.
Both cuddling and sex trigger the release of oxytocin, the “love hormone” that can reduce stress and improve bonding, among many other benefits.
In a 2013 study published in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, researchers suggest that the effects of oxytocin can even help couples better manage conflicts and squabbles in their relationship for a more positive outcome.
If cuddling only happens right before and after sex, then you’re missing out on all the amazing benefits of oxytocin. Start working in a few sex-free cuddling sessions and your relationship will likely be on better footing for long-term success.
Share the mental load
If you live with your girlfriend, don’t rely on her to tell you what chores and duties you need to do. She isn’t your mother and, frankly, constantly instructing others on what they should know to do instinctively is downright exhausting.
Along with divvying up chores equally, you also need to share the mental load. Too often, the girlfriend or wife is left to bear the burden of keeping track of all the chores that need to be done.
Lighten her load by taking initiative. Is the sink starting to look a little dirty? Don’t wait for her to tell you to clean it—just do it. She’ll be impressed and relieved that she doesn’t need to play the role of mom to a grown man.
Put effort into your appearance
After a solid year or two of dating, some guys fall into the trap of no longer caring about their appearance. Don’t let this suck the romance out of your relationship!
If you want your relationship to go the distance, you need to step up your grooming and style game. Remember to trim your nails regularly. Get on a regular skincare routine and take care of the acne around your mouth once and for all. Learn how to manscape properly so that she’s not cuddling a grizzly bear.
A little effort in the grooming department will go a long way in improving your appearance. Not only will she appreciate the effort, but you’ll also love your newfound confidence.
Remember shared details from past conversations
To make your girlfriend absolutely melt into a puddle of goo, start keeping track of the little things she mentions in your conversations and store them for later use.
For example, does she talk about some old-school candy she used to eat as a child? Try to find them online and then leave them on her desk at work with a cute note attached. This shows that you’re thinking about her and that you’re actually listening to her when she speaks.
Surprise her regularly
Although routine is good, be careful not to allow your relationship to get boring. Add some spontaneity to your relationship by giving her thoughtful surprises.
You don’t need to surprise her with monetary gifts if you don’t want to. Leave her cute notes in her car before work. Send her a random “I love you and I’m thinking about you” text.
If you really want to surprise your girlfriend, tell her that you have a weekend trip planned and all she has to do is say “yes” and you’ll book everything. Then, you can whisk her away on a relaxing and utterly romantic trip that she’ll gush about to her friends later.
Share some laughs at your expense
If you hate being the butt of jokes, you might want to consider lightening up a bit. Teasing can be a healthy part of a relationship, as long as it’s done with kindness.
According to a 2018 study published in the Journal of Research in Personality, researchers found that couples who provoked some good-natured ribbing in their relationship were more likely satisfied with their relationship and more attracted to their partner.
Of course, there is a big difference between mean ridicule and playful jabs. As long as neither of you take your comments too far, a little teasing can improve your relationship.
Keep your promises
Breaking small promises may not seem like a big deal, but they can begin to erode the trust in your relationship. And, as we all know, trust in a relationship is incredibly important.
Even if the promise is something inconsequential such as promising to clean the bathroom or make dinner that night, you need to follow through with it. Otherwise, you’re basically telling your girlfriend that your words have no value.
Keep your conversations positive
Are you a glass-half-empty kind of guy? Then make sure that you aren’t bringing your girlfriend down with all your negative talk.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re making small, offhanded comments (i.e., “ugh, this traffic is ruining my day”) or unleashing your work stress on her. Dumping all of your negativity onto your girlfriend is a one-way ticket to Break Up City.
We’re not saying you can’t complain at all. Just make sure that the vast majority of conversations with your girlfriend are on the happier side.
Just straight up ask her how you can be better
Nothing is sexier than complete honesty. Instead of guessing how you can be the best possible boyfriend for your girlfriend, why not just ask her directly?
Sure, there are some women who won’t have a response or prefer you to just guess their wants and needs. If that’s the case with your girlfriend, then so be it.
But, there’s also a chance she might have an answer ready that will dramatically improve your relationship for the better. So, go for it!
It’s the Little Things That Matter Most
Ask any long-term couple what the secret to a happy relationship is and they’re bound to say—well, a lot of things! But one of the more underrated things you can do in a relationship is to focus on the little things.
From picking up her favorite candy to throwing her a genuine compliment, the little things can mean everything in a relationship. By putting these simple yet thoughtful tips into action, you’re on the fast-track to being Best Boyfriend of the Year.