So you’re in a brand new relationship, and unlike those other guys in the past, this one really seems to be the one. It’s kind of amazing how every relationship just brings us a little more clarity about the kind of boyfriend we truly deserve. But if this guy is actually the man of your dreams, you might start feeling a little insecure about how you’re doing as a girlfriend.
Step one is to take a deep breath. This guy is with you for a reason—you’re a total catch. But, sometimes even the best relationships will make you nervous. What if it all falls apart tomorrow? What if you’re being too vulnerable?
Here are a few ways to ease your mind and make sure you’re the best girlfriend you can be.
Be cool with his female friends.
It’s 2018—guys and girls can just be friends. And if he has a close friend or two that he’s known well before you came around, it’s best to try and not get too paranoid about them. Give them a chance, be friendly, and know that they’re in your guy’s life for a reason—just like you are. You don’t need to be the best of friends, but at least don’t assume the worst about them without even sitting down to talk to them yourself.
Remember, he needs his alone time too.
And so do you. If he needs to take a half hour to relax with a video game, try not to feel slighted. Instead, use that time to pamper yourself. (Of course, if it’s a bad habit that’s sucking up his entire time, that’s a different situation.) Find out how he decompresses, and don’t make him feel bad for doing so.
Don’t always assume the worst.
Sometimes it’s easy to jump to conclusions. Like, he didn’t answer your text right away since he’s ignoring you, not because he’s in the middle of a work project. Unless his behavior is becoming a disturbing pattern, or you have straight evidence of the contrary, just assume he’s doing right by you, just like you are by him. The fake scenarios you’re creating in your head will do you more harm than good.
Compliment him on things other than his looks.
Looks fade, but a great personality is forever. It’s important for your boyfriend to know you find him attractive, but it’s also good for him to know you think he’s incredibly supportive, a great listener, and a pretty sharp guy as far as intelligence and humor are concerned. Varied compliments will show him you genuinely like him for everything he is.
Work on your communication.
Don’t expect him to read your mind or your mood. If you want something out of the relationship, tell him. As the relationship progresses you’ll be able to read and understand each other even more, but words are so important. Also, make sure you challenge him. If he wants to grab burgers but you’re really not in the mood for McDonald’s, ask him if there are other options. Otherwise, you may hold in some secret resentment, which will cause problems down the road.
Celebrate his accomplishments.
If he just got a big promotion at work, take him out for dinner and insist on paying the bill—or at least, cover his drinks. Make him know how much you appreciate him, and how special these moments really are. He probably busted his butt for a long time to get that career recognition, and it deserves attention. Or, if he’s still in school and totally rocks his midterm, make sure you let him know how proud you are. All in all, just show him you’re on his side.
Don’t talk too much about prior relationships.
They’re in the past for a reason—something just didn’t work out. But if you keep telling him how he’s “so much different than Guy X,” or doing things that Guy X would never do, he won’t necessarily read that as a compliment after that first time. Instead, he’ll think you’re still a little hung up on Guy X. Unless you were married before and share a child with your spouse, you no longer have a lasting connection with the guys from the past.
Be your own person.
You’re not expected to like all of the things he likes. It’s great if the two of you share a few key interests, but the two of you got serious because he likes you for you. So, if he’s into country music, don’t try hard to become an expert at 2-step line dancing if it’s not naturally your thing. But if there’s something new you both want to try—like, a hike around parts of the Appalachian Trail, that’s another story.
Unleash your inner adventurer.
Speaking of the Appalachian Trail, try hard to invite some adventure into your life. The best dates are the ones that focus on a new experience. If you’ve never tried Ethiopian food before but always wanted to give it a shot, make a date around it. If you always wanted to check out New York City but live two states away, plan a weekend road trip around it. Don’t be afraid to explore the world and make memories with your boyfriend.
The most important thing you’ll want to be is yourself. Have fun with the relationship, but remember that you’re not playing a role of girlfriend. You’re living your life and he’s a part of it. Have fun and try not to overthink things too much.