I Give Guys Wifey Benefits Before They’ve Earned Them & It’s A Problem

Despite my best efforts to rein myself in, I often find myself treating my boyfriend like he’s my husband despite our relationship still being pretty fresh. I know giving out wifey benefits so early is perhaps premature, but I do it to show him how serious I am.

  1. It doesn’t make me clingy, it makes me committed. Many of my friends were shocked at how settled in I got in my relationship within the first few months. We cooked together, we grocery shopped and ran errands together—it was nice. We quickly settled into a routine, but my friends were worried that I was getting too close to him before I really knew him and that we were moving too fast. I think we were moving at the pace we set based on our emotions and our connection. Did I commit to my boyfriend really early? Totally. Do I regret it? Not one bit.
  2. Most guys don’t hate being taken care of. OK, sure, I do worry on some level whether a dude thinks that my efforts are a little too much at the beginning of a relationship, but frankly, most guys I know and have dated don’t hate the notion of being taken care of a little bit. That just goes against human nature! As long as they don’t come to rely on it, I don’t see a problem.
  3. I want to show him what I’m capable of. I hate that game of cat and mouse that usually takes place at the beginning of a relationship, so I tend to try to nip it in the bud as soon as I get comfortable. The thing is, it doesn’t take me very long to get comfortable with a guy if I have strong feelings for him. From then on, I like to show him what I am capable of in a relationship. Plus, I’m a natural nurturer so it gives me the opportunity to see if we truly match and it gives him the opportunity to bounce if my personality is too much for him. That way, we don’t drag out a relationship for the wrong reasons.
  4. I also do it because I want to show him what I expect in a committed relationship. On the flip side, I tend to exhibit my wifey-level behavior early on because I want to show him exactly what I expect in a committed relationship. I believe that if I set the tone, he’ll have a precedent to follow. Some people call this the mirror effect and I find it works more often than not.
  5. Honestly, playing house is really fun. On a very superficial level, it’s super fun to play domestic wife goddess sometimes. When my boyfriend comes home from a long day at work and comes over to my apartment, I like to pretend we live together and that this is our merged married life. I know it sounds silly, but getting a little slice of doing life with him on the homefront makes me really happy. 
  6. Acts of service are my love languageGary Chapman’s novel about the five love languages is a really good resource for couples and individuals to discern why they do what they do in relationships. I took the quiz offered on the website and to no one’s surprise, my biggest love language was ‘act of service.’ This means that I value doing things for my partner and also having things done for me as a way to show love and commitment. Turning on wifey-mode and becoming a domestic goddess sometimes is how I show my love and affection. Frankly, if I’m not doing those things then our relationship isn’t worth it or I don’t feel that strongly about a guy.
  7. I try to set boundaries for myself so I don’t give it all away. Although I love pretending to be wifey, I do try to set boundaries for myself so that I don’t get hurt or I don’t invest in someone fully who doesn’t reciprocate. For example, while I’ll happily make my boyfriend a homecooked meal, prepare him a lunch, or make him coffee every morning, I won’t necessarily do his laundry. Just because I do things for him doesn’t mean I’ll turn into his mom or his maid.
  8. Few things say “I am committed to you and your well-being” more than a home-cooked meal. On that note, home-cooked meals are really fun for me! I love to spend my time preparing a meal for us to enjoy together. The entire process from grocery shopping to spending a few hours in the kitchen to presenting him with the finished meal brings me joy makes me feel good. For me, actions speak much louder than words and I like to show my boyfriend that I love him and commit to him always with this kind of gesture.
  9. I’ve gotten taken advantage of, but I don’t regret giving my all. I don’t want you to think that my behavior has never resulted in a guy taking advantage of me because unfortunately, it has. People like being taken care of and none of the guys I’ve dated have ever turned down a loving act of service from me. Even though it hurts me when I’m taken advantage of, I do make these gestures as much for me as I do for my partner because I know that I’m giving 110% to the relationship. If at the end of all that my relationship still fails, well, so be it. I’ll have no regrets.
Marie is an ambitious millennial woman, leading a corporate life by day and doing her best to live, laugh and love.