Someone else’s happiness isn’t really your responsibility, and sometimes even the best of intentions can’t cheer someone up. However, there are definitely things you can do in your relationship that will make your guy feel loved and secure. Ultimately, a partnership is about supporting and uplifting each other, so it’s worth doing whatever you can to put that into practice. Here’s how to make your boyfriend a very happy guy.
- Listen to him. Guys love to be listened to. Even though there’s a stereotype that men usually socialize by sitting around and drinking beer while watching a game, your boyfriend would probably love the opportunity to talk to you about his workday or his plans for redecorating the garage. If he likes having little projects to do, he’ll love it if you asked positive questions about how things are going.
- If he wants to take on a new hobby, support him. Pretend he wants to learn how to play guitar. Instead of responding that money is tight, or that he might give it up in a few months, encourage him to better himself. Obviously, he’s showing that he’s willing to learn new skills. His newfound interest may peter out, or it may lead to positive change in his life. Maybe he’ll make new friends or work contacts. Or, maybe he’ll just play for fun. Both of you don’t know until he gives it a shot. Likewise, it’s okay to push him toward his dream if he talks himself out of it. Your support means a lot.
- Surprise him. Whether it’s with his favorite candy when you’re out at the grocery store or a fun date on the weekend. It’s important for both of you to keep the relationship interesting. You don’t have to go out of your way to truly wow someone. Small gestures often make a big difference, and he’ll appreciate all of the thought you put into your plan.
- Let him have alone time. Even when you love someone, you don’t want to be with them 24 hours a day. Guys appreciate when they can take breaks without their girlfriends taking it personally. With some occasional space, neither one of you will feel suffocated within the relationship. It’s really important for both of you to have individual wind-down time, especially if you’re currently living together.
- Food goes a long way. If you’re a great chef, it’s kind of you to whip up some of his favorites — especially if he’s been missing a dish from his childhood. If you’re not great in the kitchen, taking the lead with ordering food out will make him happy. If you both have an interest in learning more, consider trying to cook a dish together. It’ll be a memorable time, and both of you will learn a lot.
- Crack jokes. Humor is a great tool in a relationship. Not only will a good sense of humor help alleviate any brief disagreements, but making each other laugh is a wonderful gift. Comedy is also something that you can work on that can help improve communication altogether. If the two of you are always serious and can never enjoy the lighter side of things, your relationship will be a lot harder to navigate.
- Be kind to his family. Fingers crossed that he has nice parents. Whether you like it or not, they’re going to be a big part of your relationship if things get serious. Always err on the side of kindness. Bring a bottle of wine to celebrate the meet-up, if you’re of legal drinking age. If not, homemade cookies are always a big hit. To make an even bigger impression, ask your boyfriend if his family has any known food allergies, just so you know what to avoid. Also, remember that every relationship is different. If your boyfriend spends a lot of time on the phone with his mom, it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s a mama’s boy. It just means they’ve got a great relationship.
- Be realistic about money. Whether you have shared finances or still have your own accounts, many couples have big fights over money. Obviously, nobody wants to see their partner in debt. But if your boyfriend just got a huge promotion, you shouldn’t make him feel bad about a small splurge. You also want to keep yourself in check. Treat yourself to nice things on occasion, but don’t use your boyfriend’s wallet as your own. Expecting expensive gifts and presents all the time can be a big turn-off, and make him question your true intentions. Knowing how to spend and save is also a great quality for a girlfriend. Prove to him you can handle money like an adult.
More ways to make your boyfriend happy
- Appreciate him for who he is. And not necessarily who he can become. It’s great to date a guy with a bright future ahead of him. But by pushing him into a career or lifestyle he’s not interested in, he’ll start to resent you. You should never date a project, nor should you think you can change someone. People need to want change in order for that to happen.
- Accept his methods of de-stressing. I’m not saying that he should be up drinking until 11:30 every night to help him chill out, but video game sessions with his friends are a normal way for him to relax after a hard week. Or, maybe he likes to take a hike outside on the weekends to clear his mind. Maybe he chooses church. Whatever it is, it’s something that makes him happy. By giving him his time to unwind without any complaint, you’ll earn that title of best girlfriend ever.
- Try to grow with him. One of the main reasons why couples split is that they grow apart. While you should never try to dictate your own life around a guy, you need to figure out ways the two of you can grow together. Say he got relocated to a different city for work. Going to support him is wonderful, but finding your own method of self-growth while living in a new city is even better. Maybe it’ll inspire you to take art classes. Or, maybe you can get a kick out of holding dinner parties for his new colleagues. You don’t need to overlap his schedule, but you can grow alongside him.
- Don’t compete with his mom. Some moms are hard to deal with, but even if he loves you more than anything, he’ll likely always have a place in his heart for the woman who gave birth to him. When the two of you get married, he needs to work with you as a team. In the meantime, try not to get jealous over his chats with his mom. As the relationship grows, more boundaries will naturally develop, but you shouldn’t be at war with her from the start. Try hard to make a great impression. You both have something in common — and, that’s the love you have for your boyfriend.
- Understand the importance of physical touch. It’s not just sex — it’s also a quick shoulder massage or a foot rub after a long day. Physical touch will make your partner feel wanted. And sometimes, even being close is the perfect way to relieve stress. Even holding hands while out is a romantic gesture that he’ll appreciate. In doing so, you’re non-verbally announcing to the world that you’re happily taken.
- Don’t bring up past relationships. If you keep asking him about numbers and dig too much into his past, he might think you’re insecure. Be the woman who doesn’t need to know how she ranks next to women of the past. A great girlfriend understands that everyone has a past, but wants to live in the present. Unless a girlfriend caused significant damage in any way, it shouldn’t be a top-priority conversation.
- Find a good way to communicate with him. There’s a reason that women unfairly get called “nags” sometimes. It’s because there’s a break somewhere in communication. If you ask your boyfriend how they process information best, it’s a good way to avoid petty arguments about small issues. Putting time into communication will strengthen your relationship and make you easy to talk to. Remember, the best relationships are often built around friendship. When you can communicate like a friend, things will fall into place much easier.
- Don’t give up on yourself. This isn’t to say “don’t gain weight” or “don’t be comfortable.” This year especially has been extremely challenging, and it makes sense for certain rituals to have gone out the window. This is more of a “don’t give up on yourself after finding love” thing. You deserve to put time into yourself and get your hair cut and colored to help boost your self-esteem. If you had career goals, don’t ditch them since your boyfriend is well-off. You are more than your relationship. Regain your independence while happily coupled.