Photo by Luis Zambrano

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.

Being cruel not only makes a person a terrible girlfriend, it also makes their relationship a toxic one.

5. A Bad Girlfriend Is Unavailable and Dismissive

Being cold, distant and actively dismissing your boyfriend’s feelings is definitely damaging to a relationship and it’s also something that makes a person a bad girlfriend.

What Are the Qualities of a Good Girlfriend?

Now that you know what it means to be a bad girlfriend, you can probably guess that being a good one simply requires you to have the opposite of all the above mentioned traits.

The biggest and most important qualities of a good girlfriend are as follows:

1. Honesty

Everybody craves to be able to draw a sense of safety and stability from their relationship. It’s one of the most fundamental and strongest human emotional needs.

What your boyfriend really wants is to be able to count on you to be there for him for big as well as small things.

Being reliable and honest is one of the biggest prerequisites for building trust in a relationship and no relationship can function without trust

Being a woman of your word, meaning what you say, being trustworthy and reliable are all qualities that not only make you an amazing girlfriend, they make you an amazing person too.

2. Being Considerate

Every man wants his girlfriend to care about his needs and preferences.

This is true for small things as well as big ones.

It’s not about being endlessly giving and sacrificing your needs to make your boyfriend happy. A certain dose of selfishness is absolutely normal and healthy in a relationship.

Being considerate is all about finding the right balance and making your boyfriend feel like you care about what he wants.

This is definitely a quality of a great girlfriend.

3. Being Open and Communicative

This one quality is something I used to struggle with a lot actually. It takes guts to own what you want and then ask for it.

It can feel like a scary or risky thing to do…

But it’s a risk really worth taking, communicating your needs openly is much more effective at actually getting you the results you were hoping for. It can prevent countless hurtful relationship fights and misunderstandings.

Being open and communicative are qualities that definitely make you a really good girlfriend.

4. Being Kind and Caring

Another big thing every man deeply craves is to feel taken care of in his relationship. This might mean a variety of different things big as well as small.

A kind and caring girlfriend is someone who listens to her boyfriend about his problems.

Someone who is patient and understanding, someone who is genuinely trying to help when she can and is generous with reassurance in the relationship.

Being kind and caring makes you an absolutely great girlfriend!

5. Being Emotionally Available

Last but not least, sharing a special bond and feeling a strong emotional connection is the very foundation of true love.

It’s not easy to maintain the spark in a long term relationship though.

Being vulnerable and letting your boyfriend in emotionally is what can bring him closer and strengthen the chemistry between the two of you.

It’s also another important quality that would make you an amazing girlfriend.

Does Being Good Looking Make You a Better Girlfriend?

Now that you know the five most important qualities of a good girlfriend, you might be wondering, but what about the looks?

Us women are made to put so much emphasis and effort into our appearance.

We have all been told that men are visual and that you need to look sexy in order for your boyfriend to find you attractive.

I used to feel really insecure about my weight or my asymmetric face and worried that these things could be serious factors that could prevent me from finding happiness in love.

The reality of this matter is, looks actually play much less of a role in a relationship (and even in attraction) than most of us have been led to believe.

Not to say that taking care of your physical appearance doesn’t matter.

It does matter, it’s just NOT something that can break or fix your relationship.

It’s enough to read some Hollywood gossip, to know that one can look amazing and still be a terrible girlfriend/wife.

From the same source, you can also learn that being attractive won’t protect you from being treated unfairly by your partner.

When it comes to having a healthy and happy relationship, there are things that are far more important and can have a much bigger impact on how happy you and your boyfriend are together.

How to Be a Better Girlfriend

Now that you really understand what it means to be a good or a bad girlfriend, we can finally get to the five most important ways you can be a better partner for your boyfriend.

When it comes to the matters of evaluating oneself people often tend to jump between two extremes.

One moment they might feel like they are being an amazing girlfriend.

And then something happens, insecurities kick in and the same woman might suddenly feel like she is a terrible partner.

I used to overthink and jump between these two extremes too.

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.

5. Be More Emotionally Available

Even though it’s men who are known to often be emotionally unavailable, women too have their own ways of acting distant and dismissing their partner’s feelings and needs.

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!

Click here to check out Rebuild Your Relationship

If you have any questions about the qualities of a good or a bad girlfriend, or any of the tips mentioned above, leave me a comment below and I’ll get back to you.

You also might want to check out Gabriel’s post: 5 Important Things Men Want From Women for more guidance on this topic.

Karolina

Karolina Bartnik