Sorry, But Your BF Doesn’t Really Have Your Back Until He Does These 11 Things

You might think your boyfriend wants the best for you and would support you no matter what, but are you 100% sure? Unless he’s doing these 11 things, you can’t truly say that he has your back.

  1. He can deal with your feelings. When you burst into tears or have a really crappy day, note his reaction. If he can’t give you emotional support, which might be nothing more than a hug, he might be the type who doesn’t know how to deal with emotions (bad sign) or he just wants good times with you. He’s the guy who wants to bounce the minute things get real or hard (even worse sign). If he rushes to your side when you’re having a bad day instead of expecting you to snap out of your feelings, then he’s really supportive.
  2. He’s not neutral about your successes. A guy who doesn’t really support you might make noncommittal noises when you experience victories. He might say he’s really proud of you but not actually show it. Or, maybe you just get a feeling that he’s downplaying your success. This isn’t a good thing. You want a guy who not only helps you when you’re having a bad day but also cheers you on when you’re having a good one. Support isn’t just important to have in your relationship when times are bad.
  3. He listens to your feelings. A guy who’s supportive will listen—really listen, not just zone out while you’re talking— to your feelings, even if you’re moaning a lot about something that’s stressing you out. If he downplays your feelings by telling you that you’re just being crazy or paranoid, or by criticizing everything you say as though he knows better, he’s not your number one cheerleader.
  4. He’s interested in your goals. Your goals and dreams are important parts of you that your partner should respect and be interested in. Hey, if you can’t talk to your partner about your life goals, it’s really a sign that he doesn’t care about your future. If that’s the case, then how can he care about a future with you?
  5. He encourages you to do your thing. Whether it’s going to see your BFFs or working on the weekends even though he’d prefer to see you, a BF who really supports you will support your independence. He’ll also want what’s best for you while encouraging you to have a great life when he’s not in the picture. Wanting to see you all the time and making you choose to be with him instead of chasing your goals are signs that he’s super clingy instead of supportive.
  6. He supports you even when he disagrees with you. He might think that you’re making the wrong choice, but that doesn’t mean he has to pull back with his support. That’s total BS! Sooner or later, your partner will disagree with things you’re doing or feeling, but the right guy will still show you that he supports you in spite of having a different opinion from yours.
  7. He lets you take the spotlight. Whether it’s when you need to talk to him about your bad day or celebrate your amazing day, your BF doesn’t shy away from letting you have the spotlight. He’s not a competitive type who’ll try to make everything about him or become moody when he isn’t the center of attention.
  8. He puts your feelings above his. It’s one thing if he agrees to watch the rom-com instead of the superhero movie, but it’s a sign of real support if he can push his feelings aside and focus on what’s important to you. For example, maybe he’s not looking forward to you going to another state or country for your work but he’ll support you because he knows it’ll make you happy.
  9. He doesn’t judge you. You feel you can tell him anything and the relationship is always a safe zone where you don’t feel judged, humiliated, or teased for thinking or feeling something. That’s really important. Your relationship should be a sanctuary where you’re allowed to be exactly who you are. There’s enough judgment out there; you don’t need it in your most intimate relationship!
  10. He loves your quirks. You also shouldn’t feel judged when it comes to your personality. Although you might feel embarrassed for how clingy you can be sometimes or how you get a bit OCD about the way the spice rack is organized, these are things he really likes about you. Instead of trying to change you, he loves everything about you.
  11. He doesn’t mansplain. Although mansplaining is annoying AF, if your BF regularly mansplains things to you it can be a sign that he doesn’t support you enough. He clearly doesn’t believe in your ability to know things and make the right decisions, which is linked to his lack of support. He might also be really critical of you, which comes out in his mansplaining ways. Ugh, what a jerk.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.