Way back, we had an article titled “How to Become a Better Husband, Boyfriend or Life Partner“. While it was written a long time ago, the concepts still apply; and since it was targeted at men, let’s look at things from the other perspective: that of a woman’s.
Whether your relationship is in excellent condition, or you are going through a rough patch, there is always some way you can become a better wife, girlfriend, or life partner.
As our previous article states, this piece is not all that authoritative, but it is the result of experience – trial and error, sometimes fumbling in the dark to find solutions, and learning the hard way. It certainly does not cover even 1 percent of the topic, but here are some ways you can become a better life partner.
1. Listen to understand and not merely to reply.
When your partner tells you something – whether it’s a story about work or a random topic – do you listen with the main intention of having something to say back? Do you tend to reply before he finishes what he’s saying? This is not all that uncommon, even among people who are not partners. In this fast-paced life, the tendency to listen to merely have a reply is becoming more and more common.
If you want to really connect with your partner and show him that you care about him – in every aspect – try really listening. Don’t focus on what you will say after he talks. Just listen. The reply will come naturally.
On another note, when conversing with your partner, it can be rather easy to get lost in your own thoughts, especially if you have a lot on your plate. Go back to the previous paragraph: listen.
2. Share what you’re thinking, and don’t drop hints.
At the risk of stereotyping, women are supposed to love dropping hints and not saying what we mean; and men are supposed to be dense when it comes to hints. While it’s not the case for every couple, it does happen even to the best of relationships.
Examine how you share your thoughts and feelings. Do you keep those thoughts and feelings to yourself? When you want something, do you drop hints instead of clearly saying what you want?
If you want to become a better wife or girlfriend, help your partner out by speaking out. No one’s a mind reader after all.
3. Consciously set aside time for meaningful moments together.
Whether you stay at home or you have a busy career, if you have a lot of things to do, you may get caught up in the busyness of it all. I’ve found that this has been the most difficult thing for me. I tend to focus on work, prioritize it most of the time, relying on the
excuse idea that I have to make a living after all.
If you want to be a better partner and have a healthy relationship, you will need to consciously carve out time in your busy schedule and spend this time with your partner. It doesn’t have to be a big deal like going on a lavish trip (though this is good, too). Spending the evening together watching a movie or even just sitting beside each on the sofa, reading and chatting is an excellent example. The important thing is that you spend time together without work – or other concerns – taking priority.
4. Give your partner space when he needs it.
Every person, gender aside, needs alone time now and then. Some just need it more than others. When your partner says he needs space, give it to him. It may not be in your nature to do so, but by doing so, you’re being a better partner.
Needing space may come in different forms. He may have a man cave he holes up in. He may want to go out with friends. Whatever it is, try to let him go during these moments.
5. Don’t be an enabler.
Being a better wife or girlfriend is not always giving your partner what he wants, or taking his needs/expectations into consideration. Sometimes, you have to put your foot down and give your partner a good talking to.
This is especially applicable in relationships where the husband or boyfriend has habits that are unhealthy or detrimental to himself – or to the relationship. In this case, do not enable your partner. Talk to him and explain why you are doing what you are doing even if he may not like it. Even if it hurts you, too, learn to say no. Both of you will be better off for it in the long run.
6. Take good care of yourself.
You’re human. You cannot keep on giving without receiving and replenishing your energy (and emotional) reserves. As such, becoming a better wife or girlfriend involves taking good care of yourself, too. This encompasses both physical, emotional, and mental aspects. If you’re doing well in these areas, then you’ll be a happier person, and thus be a better partner.
What other things do you do to become a better wife or girlfriend? Do you do these because you want to, or because you feel you have to?
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Originally posted on January 20, 2015 @ 9:00 am