Ever since I started my first blog, my readership has been mostly of the female variety. And because I seemed to be one of only a handful of boy bloggers around, I ended up getting asked for the male perspective on a lot of relationship stuff. This is a list of advice I’ve given, advice I should have given, and things I muttered quietly to myself as I banged my head against a wall.
1. Respect is deserved and should be demanded. Always.
2. He should tell you how he feels. Without prompting. Without forcing.
3. If words aren’t his thing, he should show you. Without hesitation. Without need for interpretation.
4. He should care about your stuff. He shouldn’t tolerate it. He shouldn’t listen to your stories just to get a chance to tell his. He should legit care.
5. If he doesn’t put in the work at the beginning, he is unlikely to suddenly flip a switch and start doing it later.
6. How does he make you feel about yourself? If he tears down, instead of building you up, he’s not the guy for you. Or anyone else, really.
7. If he can’t decide between you and someone else, he just did.
8. The way he talks ABOUT you should be at least equal to the way he talks TO you. And they both should idle at just shy of gushing.
9. Pay attention to why he fights. He should fight because he feels that he’s been wronged, not just to prove he’s right.
10. Pay attention to how he fights. He should always fight with restraint.
11. He should NEVER call you a word that is sometimes referred to simply by its first letter.
12. He should look at you like you’re the last french fry and the drive-through just closed.
13. He should have a smile that is just for you.
14. Watch how he treats his family.
15. He should hold doors open. For you. For everyone.
16. Listen to how the people who know him best talk about him.
17. Because you asked should be reason enough.
18. Allowing you to feel unappreciated, even for a moment, should crush him.
19. He shouldn’t need to MAKE time for you. He should cherish GETTING to spend time with you.
20. Don’t ever, ever settle for a guy who isn’t off his ass in love with you. And willing to show it.
[Originally posted May 2012.]