Google “relationship advice” and chances are you’ll find endless pages of articles and tips that are so vague they may or may not speak to you. While there are relationship tips that can apply to both genders, men and women approach dating and relationships differently and often need different advice.
To help out all the ladies out there, here’s a roundup of the top 10 pieces of relationship advice for women, that every woman should pay attention to:
1. Speak up early.
Women in relationships sometimes have a tendency to hesitate when it comes to saying something is bugging them. As a result they can hold anger in and then let it all out at once… like a ticking time bomb.
“Rather than confront in small amounts, many women gather issues over weeks or months or even years and then completely overwhelm their partners with an attack,” says Rachel Lamson, a premarital counselor. “Instead, choose your battles, focus on one issue at a time, and don’t let it fester.”
2. Learn to let things go.
Another common tendency for women is to hold a grudge about something, instead of confronting the fact that it still bugs them or the argument doesn’t feel like it’s been addressed enough.
“Instead of holding a grudge, try to stay focused on the problem until you truly feel it has been solved so you can completely let it go and not bring it up again,” says Lamson.
Holding onto grudges can have serious consequences on a relationship, so it’s always best to discuss what’s bothering you with your partner or a therapist.
3. Take care of yourself.
A big part of having a happy and successful relationship is feeling good about yourself. Taking care of yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually will help you be all you can be for your partner. Make sure you’re taking time to work out, eat right, meditate, or do what you need to feel healthy and fulfilled.
4. Support your partner’s hobbies.
If a woman isn’t supportive of their partner’s hobbies it can leave the partner feeling guilty, angry, and may even lead them to lie to their partner.
“Whether it’s racing, golf, video games, etc, if you’re unsupportive it belittles your partner and minimizes something important in their life,” Lamson says. “Instead make a genuine effort to understand and be a part of it. Or, at the very least, stop making them feel guilty for partaking in it.”
5. Don’t be afraid to go all in.
In general, when a woman wants to meet a man, they’ll put in in the effort. And that’s great. You have a lot of offer and shouldn’t waste time when you know what you want.
“Women are open. They believe, they subscribe, and they go all in. They will do what it takes to meet the man of their dreams and put themselves out there,” says professional matchmaker, Susan Trombetti. “They are more social, they are happy a lot of the times, and in this generation of women, they are the best version of themselves: educated, great friends, independent, great careers, and great family. They have a lot to offer someone.”
6. Remember, every relationship fails until one doesn’t.
One of the most direct pieces of dating advice is just knowing that you will experience several failed relationships until you have the one that doesn’t. Going into dating knowing this, can help you be more open and less hard on yourself when a relationship doesn’t work out.
7. Forget about “fixing” anyone.
Women may think they need a man with more money, an ivy league education, or someone that looks good on paper, but it’s a lot of pressure that really doesn’t get you any closer to finding someone who’s good for you.
“Lots of times, women try to fix the guy or they hang in longer than they should when the guy clearly won’t meet their needs,” say Trombetti. “Or there is nothing there or he is just a plain jerk.”
It’s hard to change anyone, so if a man is not meeting your needs, walk away.
8. Put your feelings first.
For many women, it’s a natural tendency to put the needs and feelings of others, first. They say sorry when they don’t have to and, in the end, shortchange themselves.
“Women don’t want to hurt a guy’s feelings and still put a man’s needs first whereas a man has no problem doing either,” explains Trombetti. “Women mistake chemistry for feelings of familiarity, so be sure to check in with yourself and trust your gut. If something isn’t feeling right, it probably isn’t.”
9. Let him feel needed.
We’re all about empowered woman, but when you don’t let your man do even as much as change a lightbulb for you, it will make him feel inferior and not needed. Remember, his self-worth is directly connected to his ability to provide for you and protect you. Let him open doors for you, fix what needs to be fixed, pick you up late from the train station, etc. And if you make more money than him, still, let him pay for things. Being strong and independent is wonderful, but it doesn’t mean you can’t accept help or courtesies from other people.
10. Appreciate everything he does for you.
Your man wants to know you appreciate him for who he is and what he brings to the relationship. If you love him, make sure he knows. Keep in mind Dr. John Gottman’s 5:1 ratio of positive to negative interchanges. For every one negative remark you make, try to think of five positive things to say, to counteract the negative effects of a critical word. Try carving out a few minutes each day before bed where you share with your partner what you appreciate about him and why.
Every relationship is different, and every man and woman are different too. As you approach your relationships, keep these thoughts in mind as general guidelines and things to watch out for, but use your best judgement.