Sometimes in relationships, we get so comfortable and in routine that we fail to pay thoughtful attention to and appreciate the things our boyfriends do for us that not only make our lives easier, but happier as well. It seems like we’re always complaining about what men are lacking in relationships, but we fail to be thankful for all the things they’re doing right. If you’re guilty of taking your man for granted — and let’s be honest, we’ve all been there at one point or another — here are some ways you can show him you’re happy he’s in your life:
- Compliment him on the minor details. Whether he picked up your dress from the cleaners or took the trash out for the 10th time this week, thank him properly for doing it. Men just want to feel like their efforts, no matter how small, are noticed and respected. It might seem too trivial to make a real difference, but rolling a quick “thank you” off your tongue isn’t hard and it’s worth it when it’ll make him feel valuable.
- Be upfront and honest so he’s never left reading between the lines. Don’t dance around what you really want him to do or how you’re feeling about a situation. Men hate the words “I’m fine” or “Don’t worry about it,” so instead of bottling up issues, express them thoughtfully. Not only does it show your maturity in the relationship, but it shows that you care enough about it to not keep him guessing about what’s really pissing you off.
- Support his goals; don’t roll your eyes at them. If he tells you he wants to start a new business venture or pursue a side dream of playing amateur hockey, support him when it’s reasonable. If you constantly shoot down every idea he has to better himself, he’ll start to resent it — and you, eventually.
- Reciprocate his generosity. When he’s always footing the bill or taking your car in when it needs servicing, make sure you reciprocate his kindness in the ways that you can. It doesn’t always need to be of equal value, but you should be showing that you appreciate his efforts with thoughtful actions of your own, at the very least.
- Work on your own shortcomings. All relationships have hurdles and go through ruts where we need to improve ourselves to be better partners to each other. It’s just how life goes. While you grow together, you also grow individually, and sometimes a little extra effort is required to get on the same page. If something is bothering him about you and it’s something you can improve on, make an effort to do it. Relationships are compromise.
- Give him his freedoms. Nothing is sexy about being jealous or needy in a relationship, so giving each other space is important. It’s not just for him; it’s for you, too. All relationships require space from time to time to continue building on the intimacy and the bond that you share.
- Listen to him. Just as you want him to listen to you, he wants you to listen to him. When your man says something or offers his advice, he’s doing it good intentions. When you show him that you pay attention to the details or follow through on his suggestions, he feels like you truly care about his thoughts and opinions. Remember, he wants what’s best for you, too.
- Stop nagging him. It’s not shocking this is on the list. It’s probably the number one complaint men have in long-term relationships. I get it; it’s easy to start nagging when you feel super comfortable and secure with your partner, but it’s actually super unattractive to him and makes him feel like he’s not keeping you happy. Appreciate him by approaching the issues you’re nagging about with a softer and more subtle approach. Men are really simple. If you word it simply without attitude, it’ll be easier on both of you.
- Understand he chose you too, and you need to work just as hard to keep him. Yes, he’s lucky to have you, but so are you to have him. He made a choice to love and be with you, so don’t think that you’re the only one who’s owed respect and appreciation.