How Can I Be a Better Girlfriend?

Congratulations! You’re in a small percentage of women who have taken the time to wonder how you could do things better. Virtually no men have asked this question which is why I’m answering it for you today. Stick around to learn the most powerful thing you can do to make him want to commit forever.

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  1. 1

    I liked this podcast. It reminded me of a story that I’ll share. Many years ago, my mother was struggling because my father had gained a lot of weight. And she wracked her brain to think of ways to encourage him to be thinner and healthier….and came up with two glorious ideas: Nag him, and put up a photo on the refrigerator of my father in his thinner days, so that he would (theoretically) see his thin self every time he went for a snack and would be (theoretically) motivated to keep the fridge closed. Problem was, my father ignored both the nagging and photo.

    One evening I heard my mother on the phone with her mother, my grandmother, complaining about my dad.
    -My mother: “I don’t know what to do! He’s gained so much weight and he’s not doing anything about it! What should I do, mom?”
    – Grandmother: [Heavy Yiddish accent] “Don’t you worry, dear, I know just the thing. Take a picture of him from when he was thin….and put it up on the fridge!! He’ll see it every time he goes to eat, and turn right around again!
    – My mother: “That’s an AMAZING idea, mom, but I’ve already done that! He just ignores it!!”
    – Grandmother: “WHAT?? It didn’t work?! Wow. I’m all out of ideas….”

    I thought the conversation was hilarious even though I was probably 10 when I heard it. Hilarious and demonstrative of whom to ask for advice – when seeking advice about men, it’s not always productive to ask other women, even women you deem wise and experienced. And particularly when seeking advice about one particular man. As Evan said, the best person to ask would, theoretically, be the man himself. The only issue is that the man might not answer the question truthfully. Possibly because he might not actually have thought about how you might improve as a girlfriend, or possibly because he fears shame, fears what your reaction might be if you learn that you aren’t already perfect, learn that what he wants from you isn’t necessarily what you’d want to do. For this advice to work, you need 2 things: An introspective man, and your own willingness to accept constructive criticism lovingly and openly and without reprisal.

    Asking the guys isn’t a panacea. It’s the place to start, though. And frankly, the fact that you ask the question, the fact that you introspect that you’re not already perfect, that you don’t listen to those who tell you that you need not do more…..already puts you miles ahead of most others. And BTW, there are men who have asked the question too.

  2. 2
    Malika With an L

    Jeremy, this is so true. If I want to know how to save up for a down payment for a house while paying off student debt, I will not ask my friend with a trust fund. If I want to switch careers, I do not ask my manager who has been at the same company since the fax machine was seen as cutting edge. I love my friends, but if I had followed their dating and relationship advice I would have ‘just been myself’ , played dismissively hard to get, put no effort in the little things, and told the nitty gritty details of past sex life, because no true man would be intimidated by that. Triple Munch’s screaming face emoii.

    Asking your boyfriend for feedback is a great idea. So simple, yet outside of my current relationship i never either asked or fielded this question from my partner. It does depend on his maturity and experience. Men, just like women, often don’t know what they want until it is illustrated right in front of their noses. They see a positive, supporting relationship, encounter a healthily nurturing woman, a date who is enthusiastic but also has stuff going on in her own life, etc. For a lot of men (and women) who are used to ineffective nagging in their relationship, meeting a woman (or man) who does not is an experience akin to the frog being picked up out of the slowly boiling pot. You don’t put the finger on what bothered you and what would complement you, until you are out of an unhealthy relationship and dating a good potential partner.

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