Want to know what your girlfriend (and potential future wife!) really wants out of your relationship?
Many articles have been written on this topic ad nauseam, but few offer genuinely useful advice or realistic expectations.
Instead, most focus on external actions rather than reflecting on internal behaviors that are fundamental to a healthy relationship.
You don’t need a laundry list of to-dos; there are three basic things you can start doing right now if you’re serious about taking your relationship to the next level.
Make Honesty Your Foundation
Honesty is consistently listed as one of the top qualities in almost every dating profile ever written – that says something.
Most of us have been lied to in a relationship at some point, or have done the lying ourselves, yet in spite of past gaffes, we repeatedly require this trait from our partners.
For many, it’s an absolute deal-breaker in a relationship.
Forget long walks on the beach at sunset. Forget saying “I love you” every day, or buying her roses. None of that matters one iota if you don’t have an honest relationship.
What women really want is honesty.
An important point to remember is that honesty isn’t just about cheating – although no woman wants to worry about who her boyfriend is texting, or have to be reassured constantly.
Nor is it about telling her what you think she want to hear.
Real honesty in a relationship is about being able to share in difficult conversations and criticisms that loved ones usually don’t want to hear.
Some people might counter, well, that’s just communication. If your relationship is based on honesty and integrity, good communication will follow.
This isn’t about being the “breadwinner” in the relationship; your future wife isn’t a damsel in distress who needs to be rescued. Those are outdated ideas best left in the past.
This is about realistic financial and emotional independence.
If you own a fancy car, and live in a swanky downtown condo on the 20th floor, but your mom still does your laundry and pays your car insurance, you are only playing the part of an independent partner.
Giving the appearance of independence vs actually being independent are two different things. Owning expensive gadgets and clothes won’t make someone independent if they are mired in debt and can’t function as an adult.
Learn how to cook, wash your own clothes, pay down your debts, live within your means, and sock a little away for a rainy day – that’s what “adulting” really means.
A woman will appreciate a stable partner over a man who showers her with gifts he really can’t afford just to show off.
Emotional independence is also important.
Reign in your meddling family and friends. Your relationship is between two people, not three or more.
Sure, talk to a close friend to get some advice about a problem once in a while, but don’t air your dirty laundry to everyone on social media, and don’t directly involve them in your affairs.
In this day and age, it is all too common to see extremely private matters splashed across Facebook and Twitter. This isn’t high school; be an adult, keep private things private.
Lastly, don’t expect your girlfriend to do things in the exact same way your mom does. Grow up, and cut the apron strings.
No woman wants to compete, be constantly reminded of her shortcomings, or be criticized by her partner’s parents and friends.