How do you become a better girlfriend? I used to ask myself this question in the past a lot too.
There is so much pressure on us women to look perfect, be perfectly kind, considerate, caring etc…
But at the same, I’ve made this observation over and over again (and I’m sure you did too):
There are women out there who act like total b****s sometimes, yet they have their partners follow them around like a puppy…
So what is it that men really want from their girlfriends?
Does your boyfriend want you to be gentle, kind and caring? Or does he want you to be strong, confident and challenge him every now and then?
The answer to these questions is likely a bit of both….
Some concepts are easier to understand by painting out their opposite. That’s why to get you to fully understand what men really want in relationships and how to become a better girlfriend, I’m going to start off by defining everything that you want to avoid being.
What is a Bad Girlfriend?
When my boyfriend, Gabriel and I got together, it was my first serious relationship. Because of that I wasn’t sure how relationships really worked which led me to doubt myself and wonder whether I was being a bad girlfriend.
If you too are doubting how good of a girlfriend you really are, these points are bound to put you at ease.
1. A Bad Girlfriend is Dishonest
Nobody (man or woman) ever wants to be lied to and betrayed.
It is hard to bring up difficult topics in a relationship sometimes. But when you’re intentionally hiding things you’re risking destroying your partner’s trust.
It’s ok to lie about liking your partner’s new shirt just to make him happy, but cheating, lying and hiding important things definitely make a bad girlfriend (or boyfriend for that matter).
2. A Bad Girlfriend Is Entirely Self Absorbed
A certain degree of selfishness is perfectly normal and healthy to have in a relationship.
But a woman who ONLY ever thinks about herself is bound to be a pretty terrible girlfriend.
3. A Bad Girlfriend Is Manipulative
Much like when it comes to being lied to, no one ever wants to be manipulated into things.
Never asking for what you want and trying to force your partner into giving it to you by scheming and manipulating always inevitably backfires.
It’s also something that makes a bad girlfriend.
4. A Bad Girlfriend Is Cruel
Wanting to intentionally hurt somebody should not be something anyone ever does, period.
Cruelty damages relationships often beyond repair.
The best way to snap out of it is to embrace the fact that we are all both: pretty bad girlfriends (at times) and amazing girlfriends too!
We are all human, we make mistakes.
Nobody is perfect.
At the same time, we often try to do our best and are kind and caring.
The ultimate trick to becoming a better girlfriend is to try to minimize the bad and to boost all the good behaviors.
1. Make an Effort to Be More Honest and Open
Honesty is one of the big qualities that makes a good girlfriend. Yet being completely honest is often something that is easier said than done.
Being honest can be difficult…
It forces you to reveal your true feelings and face relationship problems.
Hiding things that could potentially trigger a fight can seem like the better and more reasonable solution in many situations.
This kind of attitude always backfires in the long run though.
Even though honesty can trigger arguments sometimes, it also removes emotional barriers in your relationship and will bring you and your boyfriend closer together. This in turn, will make him trust you more.
One of the most important ways you can be a better girlfriend is to keep less secrets from your partner and try to be more honest with him instead.
2. Try to Be More Considerate
Happy relationships are all about compromise, right?
Or is compromise just another word for ‘Settling for things you don’t want’?
Always giving in and doing things your boyfriend’s way will inevitably make you bitter and resentful.
At the same time, you being the one who decides and controls EVERYTHING will have the same effect on him.
It can be tricky to find the right balance between being considerate of boyfriends wants and needs, and not sacrificing what you want for him.
Different couples are often on different sides of the scale when it comes to this.
Sometimes it’s the man who is sacrificing himself more. Sometimes it’s the woman.
Depending on the situation in your relationship, in order to become a better girlfriend you might need to be more considerate towards what your boyfriend wants and needs.
But if he is the one who is calling most of the shots and you often end up sacrificing what you want for him, then maybe you need to be more considerate towards yourself.
In this case, being more selfish is actually what would make you a better girlfriend.
3. Communicate as Much as You Can
Much like with honesty, communication is something you can never have enough of in a relationship.
Yet, it’s also something most couples struggle with too.
It is often easier to just imply things and hope that your partner will get the hint… But doing this unfortunately, often leaves the other person feeling a bit manipulated.
We all resort to manipulation sometimes (often without fully realising we’re doing it).
We throw tantrums for an effect, storm off in the hopes that he will come chasing after you or give silent treatment to show how hurt we are about something.
Unfortunately, all these kinds of manipulative behaviors are destructive. So much so, that they can even drive a man away.
One of the most important ways you can become a better girlfriend is to make an effort to try to manipulate him less and communicate more openly instead.
This way, not only you are much more likely to actually get more of what you want from your boyfriend, but will also make room for him to express things more openly too.
It’s one of the most powerful and effective ways to improve a relationship and also to be an amazing girlfriend.
4. Try to Be More Kind and Caring
People rarely think of themselves as cruel. Yet we can often be incredibly hard on ourselves.
I used to think things like: ‘why am I so lazy?’, ‘why can’t I just get this done?’, ‘why am I being so difficult about this’ etc.
The thing about being tough on oneself is that it is borderline cruelty.
Moreover, we relate to the ones closest to us the same way we relate to ourselves.
So if you’re being unreasonably hard on yourself, chances are you’re just as unreasonably hard on your boyfriend too.
Everybody has their flaws and limits. At the same time, we mostly try to do our best and life can be really difficult at times.
The only way to become a more kind and caring girlfriend is by becoming more patient, understanding and kinder towards yourself first.
Less toughness and more kindness can work wonders for you and your relationship.
It’s also what you should strive towards in order to be a better girlfriend.
It’s normal to need time and space for yourself. Everybody has their limits.
When I come back from work tired and frustrated, there is no way I can be particularly emotionally available towards Gabriel.
After having rested for a bit though, I always try to make an effort to connect more so that we can feel closer again.
Being a better emotional girlfriend is all about being receptive to where your partner is at, making room for him, being understanding and empathizing with him.
This kind of exchange always feels very nurturing to both sides.
Being more receptive and less dismissive of your boyfriend’s thoughts and feelings is the last big way you can be a better girlfriend.
How Do I Start Being a Better Girlfriend
When it comes to starting with new things, in my experience, it always works out best to begin with what feels easiest and most straightforward.
Implementing any of the above mentioned steps is bound to help you out in becoming a better girlfriend.
Relationships are complicated. Loving someone is never easy!
All couples fight, face unforeseen challenges, make mistakes.
The first years of my relationship with Gabriel were extremely tumultuous. I knew he was very special to me. Yet, at the same time, we had problems and would sometimes feel like maybe we’re just too different to even make it work.
I often blamed myself. I felt like maybe I’m just not good enough to make a man want to commit to being with me.
The truth is. Nobody ever taught me how to do relationships.
Being a good girlfriend is not something you’re born with, it’s a skill.
And skills can be learnt.
Being good in relationships is extremely rewarding, as it brings you and your boyfriend closer physically and emotionally.
It took Gabriel and me years to figure out our problems. We were stuck in endless fights and even broke up a few times. But eventually we figured it out!
Now we teach others how to do relationships the right way.
We used all our knowledge and experiences and put together an online course: Rebuild Your Relationship to help women transform their love lives.
Here we will give you step by step guides complete with phrases you can use to become a better girlfriend.
You’ll learn all the typical mistakes and pitfalls women fall into in relationships and how to avoid them.
We’ll also give you tools on how to get him to love and appreciate you more, so that you won’t have to doubt yourself anymore!
So know that it’s NOT just you who needs constant validation.
It’s men, it’s women, and it’s everybody to a greater or lesser extent.
Now, as for how to ask your partner for reassurance while maintaining your dignity.
As previously mentioned, you can of course just ask for it.
In addition, there are specific ways to ask for reassurance that guarantee you get it and make you feel empowered while doing so.
Since this challenge was such a big part of my own and Karolina’s struggle in our relationship, we were sure to specifically add how exactly to get the validation and reassurance you need in our Rebuild Your Relationship course.
We designed it especially for women and in it, we show you the exact phrases to use to get what you need from your man.
We also teach you how to build confidence so that down the line, you rarely even need reassurance because you will feel secure in your relationship.
There is nothing worse than a man suddenly pulling away from you, right after getting close.
It is the most confusing and illogical thing one can do…
This constant game of my partner getting close, pulling away, getting close again, pulling away again is something that I struggled with in my relationship A LOT.
My boyfriend Gabriel used to act in the sweetest of ways. He’d text me first thing in the morning, arrange for us to meet, planned dates, be appreciative and caring.
Only to suddenly start declining all my suggestions to meet up and I wouldn’t hear from him for days on end.
Or worse, he’d say things like “I don’t know where this relationship is going” or “I’m not sure I believe in life long commitment…”.
Whenever he pulled away from me I’d feel hurt and rejected.
What’s worse, his behaviour made me doubt myself. I started wondering: “Is this my fault? Have I done something wrong?”
Years later I finally managed to drag out the truth from him. Now I know exactly why he acted the way he did and what he was actually wanting me to do about it!
In this blogpost I will share with you all I’ve learned about this common problem nearly all women face.
I’ll go into details on why men pull away, how to deal with it and what to do to get them to stop doing it.
Biggest Reasons Why Guys Suddenly Pull Away After Getting Close
Everybody’s situation is different and unique. There are many factors that can contribute to this and trigger men to pull away from women they care about.
Sometimes their need for sudden distance can arise after a relationship fight.
It can also get set off by external factors such as family or job issues.
And in other cases it might happen seemingly for no reason at all…
Even though the exact circumstances vary from person to person, there are actually some very clear patterns in this puzzling behavior of men.
These are the three biggest underlying reasons that cause guys to pull away after getting close to you:
1. Men Pull Away Because They’re Afraid Of Being Hurt
When two people start going out with each other, they often don’t have full understanding or control over the way the relationship can develop and progress over time.
In our early stages Gabriel and I would have deep meaningful conversations and have so much fun together, it would instantly make us both feel closer and deeply connected to one another.
We didn’t plan for any of these things to happen. They just did, out of the blue…
Even though these kinds of experiences can feel SO GOOD in the moment. You’re suddenly feeling close, happy, in love…
…they can also feel extremely SCARY, especially in retrospect.
Unfortunately, letting someone in on a deeper level means that they can potentially hurt you on a deeper level too.
That’s why guys sometimes pull away from you when they start to really like you or when they’re falling in love with you.
They suddenly realize just how vulnerable they’re becoming and get TERRIFIED of the potential consequences.
So they quickly distance themselves from you to slow things down and minimize any potential damage.
2. Men Pull Away to Get You to Keep On Chasing Them
There is nothing more frustrating than wanting something you cannot have.
Yet at the same time, the fact that you can’t have that one particular thing or person, tends to make it/them so much more DESIRABLE.
The push and pull dynamic is the basis of any romantic movie or series.
Take Gossip Girl for example:
In season one Blair is initially rejecting Chuck. She eventually changes her mind, but by then he is the one rejecting her.
When he finally decides to commit, she changes her mind again and so on and so forth they go for 6 seasons…
Much like in this scene Blair wanted Chuck to fight for her and win her back, the same way when a guy suddenly pulls away from you, he wants you to chase after him.
It’s a power move.
It gives him the feeling he is the one controlling the situation. In his head pulling away from you is a way of ensuring that you’ll stay hooked and remain crazy about him.
3. Men Pull Away to Sabotage the Relationship
When things start going the right way in your life and you’re finally getting something you’ve been wanting for a long time, do you ever feel like ‘it’s just too good to be true’ and then proceed to sabotage it?
I know, this kind of behavior doesn’t make much sense. Yet it’s extremely common.
I did it. Gabriel did it. And you guys have also shared your own stories of sabotage.
Even though Gossip Girl might not be the best place to get healthy relationship advice from, it just so happens that this urge to reject good things in life is a phenomenon that was very well illustrated in the Chuck and Blair dynamic too.
There were countless times when either of them pulled away from the other just for the sake of sabotaging their relationship.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t just happen in TV dramas.
Being on the receiving end of this kind of behavior can be very confusing and hurtful. It’s also something that is actually extremely common.
So, if your man starts suddenly pulling away from you when things are going well or starting to get serious, chances are he is battling some inner demons that are urging him to sabotage the special bond that you guys share.
Is It Normal For Guys to Pull Away?
Yes, it is perfectly normal for guys to pull away from women they care about. All men do it to a greater or lesser degree.
Even in the early stages of a relationship.
Men pull away and come back because they’re testing you and getting to know you.
They’re checking how you’ll react. Whether or not you’ll freak out about it. They want to see how invested you are and if you care about them as much as they care about you.
So now it’s finally time to get to the bottom of all this, ‘you ready?
Alright, let’s do this.
A love-hate relationship is caused by the emotional baggage BOTH of you bring to your relationship.
…I know we’d all like to think we had a perfectly happy childhood.
But the fact of the matter is, the topic of mental health is on the rise as the stigma fades.
You’ve likely heard about many public figures coming forward and talking about their personal and relationship struggles and how much they attribute it, to the emotional baggage from their upbringing. (Like Paris Hilton in her documentary ‘This is Paris‘)
It’s becoming clear that this is a rather wide-spread issue that affects people from all walks of life.
And I can say the same for myself and EVERYBODY I’ve known:
None of us have gone through life unscarred.
Over the course of my relationship, my emotional baggage caused me to do and say things that hurt Karolina and she me.
When these kinds of hurtful experiences go on unaddressed for a period of time, they tend to turn into resentment.
And when resentment continues to pile up, it turns into hate.
Hate is is something that evolves from being hurt over and over again.
How to Reduce Hate in a Love-Hate Relationship
In order to have less hate and more love in your relationship, you need to start talking about your emotional baggage and also address some of the hurtful things that you’ve done to each other.
It’s RARELY easy to bring up unpleasant events from the past.
But if you’re serious about making it work with him in a long run, these issues will need addressing sooner or later.
Supporting each other while working through our own emotional baggage is what allowed Karolina and myself to significantly reduce the hate in our relationship and make room for WAY MORE love. 💗
In it we cover our journey, through our love-hate challenges, and how you too, can overcome your own.
We explain where these hateful feelings come from and give you the mindset and exact steps you need to defuse the hate and finally turn your relationship into the loving, connected and stable one you deserve.
Rebuilding trust in a relationship is one of the most difficult and time consuming tasks. Yet, it’s a problem every couple has to learn to deal with sooner or later.
There are many ways in which trust can be broken.
Some are small and seemingly harmless, like e.g. forgetting about your partner’s birthday or anniversary. Others are much more serious, here I’m talking about things like lying or cheating.
In the course of my 9 year relationship with my partner, Gabriel, there were countless times when we’ve broken each other’s trust in both small, as well as big ways…
Even though neither of us ever cheated on the other, we’ve done other things that undermined our relationship and put everything into question.
That’s why, regardless of how serious of a problem you’re currently dealing with, I want to first reassure you that you can rebuild trust in your relationship!
It will take work and time to get there, but it is possible to undo do the damage and repair what’s been broken.
Before I get to how to do it exactly, I’m going to first outline the role trust plays in a relationship, why it’s so important and also why it’s so difficult to win it back.
Can a Relationship Work if There Is No Trust?
A relationship cannot work when there is no trust between partners, at least not in the long term.
Being able to trust your significant other is one of the most fundamental emotional needs everybody has.
It’s the very thing that gives us a feeling of safety and security, that we’re not alone and that there is somebody we can rely on.
Having this kind stability is one of the biggest perks of being in a long term relationship: it’s one of the main reasons why people choose to build their lives together with another person.
Without trust in a relationship, there is simply no room for any of these positive feelings. When you don’t trust your significant other you can’t rely on them for anything either.
It’s as though as you’re two strangers, exchanging favors while wearily awaiting being betrayed again.
No couple can function under those kinds of circumstances.
Lack of emotional security and stability makes it impossible for two people to really connect, open up and grow closer to each other.
Relationships simply stop working when there is no trust in them or when trust gets broken.
That’s why it’s so important to rebuild broken trust in a relationship as soon as possible.
What Causes Lack of Trust in a Relationship?
Sadly, there are a couple of things that cause lack of trust in a relationship. Some of them have to do with both yours and your significant other’s personal history, while others are directly related to the things you did or didn’t do in relation to each other. These are the four big culprits that cause lack of trust in a relationship:
You Haven’t Had to the Chance to Build Trust Yet
It takes time for two people to open up and gain each other’s trust in a new relationship. If you haven’t been dating for a very long time, chances are you don’t know each other that well yet. It’s hard to trust somebody you barely know.
People often expect that when they care about you, it automatically means that you trust them.
Unfortunately, this is not the case. Which brings me to my next point…
Misconceptions About How Trust Works Can Cause Lack of Trust in Relationships
A lot of people live with major misconceptions about how trust works in general.
There is this very common theme that repeats in many action movies in particular: when the main character is about to make someone do something seemingly crazy and reckless (like jumping off a cliff), they say to them “Just trust me!”.
People treat trust as though it was a CHOICE. As though you could just make up your mind and suddenly start trusting somebody.
Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as that…
Trust is not a choice, it’s a FEELING.
It’s something you either feel, or you don’t. You can’t make yourself trust somebody and you can’t make somebody trust you.
Trust Being Broken Causes Lack of Trust in Relationships
Finally, we’re going to get to the most severe but also extremely common cause for lack of trust in a relationship: when the trust gets broken.
When thinking of breach of trust in a romantic context most of us jump straight into things like lying, hiding things or cheating. These are the biggest and most serious examples of how partners can break each other’s trust.
Even simple things like turning up late, forgetting about something that’s important to your significant other or going back on a promise, will gradually eat away at the sense of stability and security in your relationship.
These small trust breaches are something people tend to overlook but they really do add up!
That’s why, when working on rebuilding trust in a relationship, it’s important that you address both the BIG issues, as well as the SMALL ones.
I’ll get even more into detail on how this works in my next point…
How Do You Gain Trust Back in a Relationship?
Now that we’ve covered why trust matters so much in a relationship and what can diminish or destroy it, we can finally get to the main topic of this post: rebuilding trust.
When it comes to rebuilding trust in a relationship the most fundamental thing to keep in mind is that trust is not a choice, it’s a feeling.
You can’t CONVINCE your partner to trust you again.
But there are a lot of other things you can do to bring back their sense of stability, safety and comfort in the relationship.
1. Make an Effort to Really Understand What Your Partner Is Upset About to Start Regaining Their Trust
Once you realize that something you’ve done really upset your partner, everybody’s first reaction is to start off by quickly saying ‘I’m sorry’.
Unfortunately, too quick of an apology often means very little and doesn’t really help with rebuilding trust.
To make matters worse, your partner might even perceive your apology as you being defensive and get even more riled up and upset because of it.
In order to avoid that, and in order to make your effort count for something, you have to first figure out what it is that you’re apologizing for exactly.
Most people aren’t cruel, they don’t hurt their’s significant other’s feelings on purpose. They do it because they don’t understand the emotional consequences of their actions.
That’s why rebuilding trust in a relationship needs to start with you making an effort to really get your partner’s side of things and understanding their pain.
2. Openly Admit and Apologize for Breaking Their Trust
Once you feel like you truly get what your partner is upset about, the next step to regain their trust is to acknowledge their pain and to apologize for it.
Truly acknowledging that you did something wrong can be very hard. It’s something I used to struggle with a lot.
We all tend to get judged pretty harshly for making mistakes. This can make admitting fault extra difficult.
Unfortunately, fully admitting guilt and apologizing for your breach of trust is absolutely necessary for you to be able to gain it back.
3. Let Them Experience the Change in You
This is a very important next step that people often overlook. Once you really get what your partner was upset about and then you apologize for it, you likely expect that this should be enough for them to finally be able to forgive you and move on right?
Well, it’s not that simple.
They say actions speak louder than words. This is particularly true when it comes to rebuilding trust in a relationship!
Regaining someone’s trust is not about saying the right words, it’s about showing them that they can really trust you with your actions.
Whatever it was that broke trust in your relationship, you have to help your partner SEE that it’s not going to happen again. You have to SHOW them that you mean what you say and that you are going to change your behavior.
4. Don’t Break Their Trust Again
This is the last and most important step in rebuilding trust with your partner.
Multiple breaches of trust are not uncommon in relationships…
However, every next incident will make it harder and harder for your partner to ever trust you again.
That’s why, in order to truly and permanently regain your significant other’s trust you have to make sure that whatever you did that broke it, never happens again.
How Long Does It Take to Rebuild Trust in a Relationship?
As you can see, rebuilding trust in a relationship is not an easy process. It’s not something that can happen from one day onto the next.
Since you can’t convince your partner to simply start trusting you again, what you need to do instead is to gradually win them over with your actions.
You need to show them that you really understand what about your behavior hurt them and that it’s not going to happen again.
This will require you to do things for them, to prove yourself to them and also to be ready to listen to them bringing up the past incident over and over again.
It will take time to do this.
Rebuilding trust in a relationship can be a bit of a tedious process. Generally speaking, the bigger the breach of trust, the longer it’s going to take to mend the damage.
Small things like forgetting someone’s birthday or arriving late can be fixed in days, maybe weeks.
But bigger issues like lying about finances, hiding things or cheating will most likely take months or even years for both of you to be able to fully move on.
Don’t let this make you feel hopeless about the state of your relationship.
Firstly, you don’t need to fully regain each other’s trust to be able to be happy together.
Every little effort counts and contributes significantly towards making things better.
There are things that happened in the first year of my relationship with Gabriel that we still bring up every now and then and we’re now in our 9th year together…
Even though these issues are still causing some mistrust between us, that doesn’t stop us from feeling close and letting our relationship grow.
When it comes to rebuilding trust in a relationship, things don’t need to be perfect. Every little improvement counts and MASSIVELY contributes to making things better!
Why Is Rebuilding Trust So Hard?
Now that you know what it actually takes to rebuild trust, you are likely wondering:
‘Why is this so difficult? What makes rebuilding trust in a relationship so freaking hard?’
Unfortunately, it is always easier to destroy things than to rebuild them.
Accidentally dropping your phone and shattering the glass happens in a split second, but if you want to fix it, it’s going to require time, effort and money.
The same goes for trust.
A brief moment is enough to break it. But regaining it afterwards will require much more time and effort.
The main reason rebuilding trust in a relationship is so hard is that it’s vulnerable to trust someone.
It requires you to open yourself up to potentially getting hurt. It means lowering your emotional defences.
When your trust is broken, the first normal reaction is to shut down, put your walls back up and vow never to lower them again!
You breaking your partner’s trust not only hurts them, but also diminishes their ability to trust in general.
Everybody’s had their trust broken at some point in their lives.
That’s why you probably know yourself how hard it is to be vulnerable again after a breach of trust. It’s like risking the same horrible experience happening again.
Rebuilding trust in a relationship is a big endeavor. It’s not a one time effort but more of a transformation in a relationship.
And a lot of things can add up to making that happen.
If you’re interested in finding out how Gabriel and I turned our relationship around, you can read our story here.
And in case you’re feeling like you could do with a little extra help, you can check out our online course: Rebuild Your Relationship. In here we teach you exactly what it takes to rebuild trust and restore a happy and loving relationship with your man.
We’ll give you the steps you need to take to rebuild trust with your partner, regardless of what broke it in the first place.
This new approach will not only help you rebuild trust with him faster, it will go far beyond that by creating a deeper bond and more fulfilling connection in your relationship.
We always believed that relationships should be FUN and uplifting! And we were obsessed with finding real-world practical solutions for our relationship problems. Today we help others do the same with our blog.