I Never Realized I Wanted These Things In A Relationship Until I Dated A Guy Who Does Them

We all have an idea of qualities we want in our ideal partner. Maybe we want someone who has a great job, who’s good with kids, or who has formidable culinary skills. I knew what kind of guy I was after, but I never realized that having a boyfriend who does these things would make such a difference to me.

He gives me spontaneous piggyback rides. One time after a gala when my stilettos were killing me and there was no taxi to be found, I got an invitation to hop on my boyfriend’s back for the next few miles home in the pouring rain. These days, he also lets met hop on so I can avoid big puddles after a rain storm. I mean, you have to love a guy who gives a damn about your shoes, right?

He always puts the toilet seat down. He does this every time without fail. This is a pretty cliché problem we often see in movies and on TV—and frankly, with a brother at home, I never really minded. The thought of having a partner who didn’t put the toilet seat down was something I thought I could let slide. However, now that we’re living together, I’ve definitely learned to appreciate the thoughtfulness that comes with going the extra mile for each other’s comfort.

He doesn’t waste food. The guilt I feel when I have to dump that perfect pasta in the bin is always overwhelming. It’s a habit for someone like me who tends to overcook and doesn’t understand portions, so it definitely helps that my boyfriend is a strong believer in not wasting any food. I can always trust that he’ll handle it (i.e. eat it) even if it takes him several days to finish the leftovers. In fact, I’m often encouraged to make a little more for later.

He pays for the groceries. In the 21st century, there’s a growing belief that women should start to pay half of everything in relationships in the name of equality. However, I feel super pampered when we’re at the cashier and he pulls out his credit card without any questions. He doesn’t even have to pay for it all—it’s the gesture that really warms the heart. There’s just something romantic about being cared for. Call it my feminist cheat day.

He’s happy doing nothing with me. In my dreams, a relationship included going out all the time. This meant trips to the movies, sightseeing, or hanging out in cafes. Of course, with Netflix nowadays, a lot of couples love staying at home and I’ve found a new appreciation for literally doing nothing. The silence and random talks are calming, especially when the world outside starts to get a little overwhelming. Thankfully, he’s happy with the arrangement.

He teaches me how to play video games. Never being much of a gamer, I wondered if my boyfriend would love gaming more than he loved me. He doesn’t, of course, and I’ve actually learned to enjoy it in the meantime. This doesn’t mean I game for hours on end, but it’s a nice pastime to share with my SO. It also brings out my competitive side, something he probably doesn’t get to see every day. He actually has the patience to walk me through some new games and doesn’t kick me out when I try to join in.

He’s not afraid to tell me the cold hard truth. Although I’ve always envisioned having a partner who could be my rock in my times of need, I never thought I’d need someone to occasionally give me a good dose of brutal honesty. I didn’t appreciate it as much in the beginning but these days, it definitely helps me realize that I’m not always right. Plus, it’s kind of hot to be put in my place sometimes after an emotional episode.

He’s vulnerable as hell. While a lot of women would want their guys to be super macho and full of testosterone, I’m a fan of guys who can be sensitive. I like that my boyfriend shows some emotion during sad movies or that he can open up when he’s feeling down. Just the way he’s able to show that something moved or hurt him without any embarrassment is super attractive and really heartwarming.

He’s my own personal BS detector. I knew that going into a relationship I shouldn’t expect the guy to be too good at detecting what’s really going through my crazy brain. This because we’ve basically established that women are complicated and men don’t read that deep into our words. Truth be told, it’s a blessing and a curse that my boyfriend can immediately detect that something is wrong. He never falls for the old “I’m fine” trick and to be honest, I’m grateful to him for keeping the communication alive even when I try to shut it down.

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