Why Being Called ‘Girlfriend Material’ Isn’t A Compliment

The point of dating is to find someone whose personality and goals for the future fit in with yours. We do it because eventually, we want to be someone’s girlfriend. That’s why on the surface, the phrase “girlfriend material” seems like a good thing, and something we all want to be. But on a deeper level, it’s actually not really a compliment at all — in fact, it’s kind of an insult. Here’s why:

It’s completely subjective.

All your friends might think you’re “girlfriend material” without a doubt, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to meet a guy who agrees. Objectively you have some of the characteristics of a good girlfriend, but what you need is a guy who looks deeper than those surface level traits and is still interested in spite of all your flaws. We all have different tastes, dealbreakers and qualities we’re looking for in a partner, so there are literally a million different definitions of the phrase.

It’s nothing but a cliche.

If a guy tells you you’re totally girlfriend material, your first reaction should be a solid eye roll. Is that the best compliment he can come up with? If so, he either doesn’t realize how unimaginative he is or he just doesn’t care. You can do better. If he’s trying to say that you’re everything he’s been looking for in a woman, maybe he can single out some specific qualities of yours that he admires. It’s really not that hard.

It’s incredibly vague.

What does girlfriend material mean exactly? Since it means something different to everyone, you’re never really sure what his intentions are when he says it. Does he mean it in a physical way? Does he mean you have a similar personality to other girls he’s dated? Does he mean he wants to date you or possibly marry you or a girl like you? There’s no way to really tell.

It’s often followed up with a “but…”

 The girlfriend material compliment sounds like something a guy says when he genuinely thinks a girl is great, but he’s just not interested in her like that. Maybe he’s trying to soften the rejection, but it ends up coming off as less than genuine and like he just needs an escape route from the current conversation.

It doesn’t mean he wants to date you.

A guy could think you’re fantastic — funny, smart, cute, fun to be around — but that doesn’t mean he wants to date you. So basically, he thinks you’re girlfriend material but he doesn’t want you to be his girlfriend. At least you know he thinks you’re good enough for someone. Great.

It implies your value rests on whether or not a guy wants you to be his girlfriend

. You have plenty of great qualities that have no bearing on what you’re like in a relationship. You could be super ambitious, smart, and a great friend but if you aren’t what he’s looking for in a girlfriend, he’ll write you off without a second thought. You’re either girlfriend material or you’re not. There is no in between.

It puts emphasis on certain “expected” traits.

What is girlfriend material? Does it mean you can bake a decent pie or you’re always up for hanging with the in-laws? Does it mean you never say no to anything he wants to do? Good girlfriends are expected to act a certain way, but what if you’re looking for more of an unconventional relationship?

It assumes you care about being worthy of the girlfriend title.

Who says you give two craps about being considered girlfriend material? Maybe you don’t want to be anyone’s girlfriend — and that’s perfectly fine. Don’t ever try to change yourself to fit into the good girlfriend mold, because the right guy for you will love you as you are.

Guys say it to put off committing.

As in, “You’re totally worthy of being my girlfriend, but I just don’t want a relationship right now,” or, “If I was looking for a girlfriend, I’d choose you for sure.” Those may sound like nice things to say — and he probably means them that way — but you’re still left single and rejected by a guy who thinks you’re great, but not great enough to make him want to give up the single life.

It’s not an accomplishment.

There’s a lot more to life than being the kind of girl guys want to date. All you need is one guy, after all, so to hell with all the other ones who don’t think you’re worthy of being called their girlfriend. They aren’t worthy of being your boyfriend either.

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