There are lots of things you can do to be a better boyfriend or girlfriend. Most of it starts with treating your partner the way you would like to be treated.
- Listen (Really Listen): This doesn't just mean being quiet when the other person is talking. You really need to listen to your partner. Listen for what he or she is actually saying. Think about their words. Don't interrupt or think about what you're going to say next.
- Tell the truth: No matter what has happened, always tell your partner the truth. If you always tell the truth, your partner is never going to catch you in a lie. And, telling the truth builds trust.
- Don't try to fix everything: Often your partner just wants to tell you what they are feeling. They just want you to "be there for them." You don't have to fix everything. Just be supportive.
- Do things your partner wants to do to show you appreciate them and what they want to do: Relationships are about both giving and receiving. That means doing things your partner wants to do as well as the things you want to do. And, it never hurts to ask, "What would you like to do?"
- Put yourself in the other person's shoes: Every once in a while ask yourself, "How would I feel if I was in the other person's shoes? Would I feel respected, trusted, liked and loved?" This is very important to ask yourself when you're deciding what to do.
- Be clear about what you say: If you don't think your partner isn't responding to things you are saying, be sure to find out if your partner understands them. Sometimes, relationships and sex can be hard to talk about, which makes it difficult to find the right words to use. Be clear about what you want and don't want and what you'll do and not do. Sometimes, you may be trying to say one thing, but your partner is hearing another. If you're not communicating clearly and being understood, don't be surprised if you're not getting what you want.
- Have a positive attitude: It's especially important to have a positive attitude when your partner does something different than you would like. Before you start being negative and correcting the other person, ask yourself-"How important is it?" Nobody likes a complainer.
- Stick up for yourself: Make sure that you are being listened to, understood and respected. If your partner isn't doing these things, you should talk to him/her as soon as you can. Don't be afraid to stand up for yourself and your likes and dislikes.
- Don't gossip about your partner: Think before you tell your other friends private things about your partner. Everyone shares stories about their friends. But you may be crossing the line if you start sharing private details that could embarrass your partner. If your partner isn't your friend maybe it's time to end the relationship.
- Don't do things just to make him/her jealous: Making your partner jealous can really hurt your partner emotionally. Often, these types of things are done so that one partner has more control, making one person feel as though they have to do certain things to keep their partner from leaving. There's harmless flirting and then there's doing things to control your partner by showing them you are ready to leave and find a new love interest.
- Don't be a cheater: If you're in an exclusive relationship, be exclusive.
You never have to stay in a relationship where you aren't being respected. You are important and deserve a partner who will treat you well.