Need some relationship advice? Here are some important things for all men to keep in mind as they dive into romance, either for the first time or after something else has just not worked out.
Don’t withhold information
If you are going to get anything out of this list, let it be this: never keep secrets from your partner. It does not matter how big or small the secret is, or even that you might not think it is a secret or something they need to know. People do not like to feel that you are keeping things from them. Be open and honest about the things that are going on in your life. There is no reason to keep things private. In reality, when it comes to relationships, privacy is not always practical, or wise.
Be willing to talk about the future
Though you might really not want to talk about it, if you are going to be in a relationship, you need to expect that the conversation is going to come up at some point. It is okay to initiate it. Do not be afraid to talk with your significant other about the future. Your plans are important to them, especially if you are both thinking about staying together long term. The sooner you have conversations like this, the better. If you plan on moving across the country someday to pursue a career, and they do not want to move that far, it could be a sign you two might not work as a couple. However, if they are willing to go with you wherever, it might be a sign you are meant to be together for a very long time. It doesn’t have to be – and probably shouldn’t be – a first date conversation. But eventually, in a long term situation, it will become important.
Appreciate your significant other – and show you mean it
The words “thank” and “you” are more significant in a relationship than you might think. Your significant other needs to know that you appreciate them. Both words and actions are important in showing them that you care and that your life would not be anywhere near the same without them. Saying “I appreciate you” is nice, but actually doing something to prove it also matters. Small romantic gestures, doing favors without being asked, being kind and just taking care of them because you want to are all great ways to show appreciation for who they are and what they mean to you, and how significant they are in your life.
Pay attention to them
No one likes, or deserves, to be ignored. Just because they are your significant other does not mean you should not pay attention to them. You do not have to smother them, keep them close to you at all times or only make plans that involve the other person, but do not do the opposite – give them more space than they want, stay as far away from them as possible or never include them in your plans. Pay attention to them. Ask them how they are and engage in two way conversation. Actually listen to what they have to say, what they want and what they need you to hear and do for them.
Include them in decisions that involve them
One of the most basic rules of dating and romance is to respect your significant other’s ability and right to make their own decisions. Never make a decision that involves your significant other without involving them in the decision making process. It does not matter if it is something small or something life-changing. If a friend invites you and your significant other out to dinner with their partner, do not agree that you will both be there until your significant other has agreed to be there. Relationships are partnerships. Neither of you have the right to make decisions for the other person without some sort of informed consent.
Do not make promises you cannot keep
No matter what, do not ever make a promise to your significant other if it is a promise you are not one hundred percent sure you can keep. Promise to always be there when they need you only if you mean it. Promise to do your fair share of chores and errands only if you actually intend to do them. Trust is very important in all romantic relationships. Prove to your significant other that they can trust you to keep the promises you make, or to be completely open and honest with them if you do make a promise you intend to keep, but something out of your control gets in the way.
Romance is everything in a relationship. You and your partner may be best friends, but you are a couple because of the romantic feelings you have for one another. You have to do what you can to keep those feelings alive. There are plenty of small things you can do to be romantic with your significant other. Anything from surprising them with a small gift when they get home from work to making them breakfast in the morning to spending time with them when they are feeling down counts. The more time you spend with someone, the more you tend to learn about the specific kinds of romantic gestures, big or small, that mean the most to the person you love.
Don’t walk away when things get difficult
You have probably heard that it is not smart, or productive, to walk away in the middle of an argument with someone you genuinely care about. You might argue that you would rather have a chance to cool down and gather your thoughts – but sometimes getting it all out in the open, right then and there, is important. Whether it is an argument or any type of stress or you are finding it hard to be with that person, never walk away. Do not close off the opportunity to communicate openly. This almost always ends in misunderstandings, more fighting and unhappiness all around.