9 Ways To Be A Better Partner

9 Ways To Be A Better Partner

Because we all could use a reminder every now and then.

Between work, school, and all of our other responsibilities, we sometimes get lost in a downward spiral of "me, me, me". We start to let our relationships with our support systems, especially our significant others, fall to the wayside.

But when it comes to relationships, you get out what you put in. Keeping a healthy relationship is hard work, but we do it because it is so, so worth it in the end to know you have someone that will always be there for you when you need them.

If you feel like you've gotten off track with your relationships, this article will give you some good suggestions and reminders on how to be a better partner to your favorite person. (But also remember that this is a two-way street, so if you aren't getting anything back for your efforts, it may be time for a chat.)

1. Listen.

We all are guilty of falling into the "it's all about me" trap from time to time. The next time you talk to your SO, take a minute to really listen to what they have to say. You might be surprised to find out they had something happen today, and they need your support. Maybe they had a great day and are simply excited to share it with you. Either way, really listening and engaging in conversation with your partner shows you truly care about what they're going through and you're there for them if they need you, which will only make your bond stronger.

2. Get excited!

Your life partner just got promoted! They're absolutely ecstatic, and they can't wait to tell you about it as soon as they get home. Image how they must feel when you give them a half-hearted, "That's great, babe" as you continue doing whatever you were doing before they got home. This is your partner, your best friend, your person... Support them!

Give them your undivided attention, and get excited with them. You'll be amazed how your relationship improves when you start gassing each other up and sharing in your accomplishments. Whether it's just an excited exclamation, a kiss, or a full-on celebration with a special dinner, show your love that you care about their achievements, big or small.

3. Do things they enjoy, even if you it isn't your favorite thing to do.

This is one of the give-and-take parts of a relationship. He likes baseball, so you go to his favorite team's game even though you think it will be extremely boring. Instead of moping because you don't want to be there, focus on the fact that your boo wanted to share something he loves with you! Enjoy the time spent with them, because every moment you get together is a precious opportunity to make wonderful memories (even if it's something neither of you would rather be doing, like trying to get your car out of two feet of mud, on New Year's Eve, in the middle of nowhere, with no cell service).

4. Give them compliments!

Even when the puppy love is gone, tell them how good their booty looks in those jeans! Don't keep those things to yourself and assume that they already know it. Even if they do, it's incredibly nice to hear it, especially coming from the person you love most. (A timid text isn't enough all the time, tell them how awesome they are face to face! It will mean so much more.)

5. Check in every once in a while.

No, I don't mean a, "Hey, what's up?" This is a, "Are you happy with life right now? Is there anything you need? Is there anything I can do?" situation. These words coming from someone you care about so deeply mean a lot more than you might think, and are really just another way of saying, "I love you" in my book.

6. Ask them how their day was.

How long does it really take to check in on someone's day? Even if they did absolutely nothing, it's nice to have someone genuinely care about how your day went and what you did.

7. A good morning text goes a long way.

Telling your SO "Good Morning" is the easiest way to start their day of right. It lets them know you're thinking about them when you're away and is sure to make them adorably and sleepily smile if you're together. What could be better than that?

8. Tell them to text you when they make it to their destination.

This is another instance of saying "I love you" in a different way. If you're in a relationship, you obviously care about the other person's well-being, so let them know it! You both probably worry when the other person is driving or traveling somewhere, and a text saying you arrived safely could mean the difference between a relaxing evening for both of you or a very stressful one. (Make sure you hold yourself to this one, too!)

9. Always, ALWAYS, tell them you love them.

We only have a limited number of days on this planet, and we never know when they last time we may see our partner is. You've said it a hundred times, and you should say it a hundred more. Even after the worst fight of your relationship, if you love them, tell them.

Whether you're in a long-term relationship or a brand new one, try some of these suggestions out and see how quickly things start to change. Not only will it bring you closer together, it will also make your daily lives much more positive and enjoyable. Cherish every moment you have with your person, because we'll never know how many more moments we'll have.

Cover Image Credit: Emily Rinehart

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8 Qualities That Still Hold Up When Looking For The 'Perfect Guy' In 2019

He hasn't come along yet, but I'll know him when I see him.


Ah, the mythical "perfect guy." Technically, he doesn't exist.

But there are guys that seem perfect to the people who love them despite their flaws. Over the years, I've compiled a mental list of things I look for in a guy. The list has changed over the years as different things became important to me. It's probably as complex and comprehensive now as it'll ever get, but I can't be sure.

The following are in order of importance, at least for me. Here are the best qualities to look for in a man in 2019:

1. Having strong faith.

This is crucial! I'm Christian, so for me, that means if he's not a Christian, it's a dealbreaker. My morals and beliefs are very strongly linked to my faith in God, and I just can't be with someone who doesn't share that conviction. I wouldn't marry a man who's not a Christian, so why even bother dating one?

"Imagine a man so focused on God that the only reason he looked up to see you is because he heard God say, 'That's her.'"

2. Kind

This is also very important! I've liked guys in the past who had some of the other qualities I looked for I but weren't kind. A relationship without kindness is toxic. Everyone deserves someone who treats them well, but that person should treat everyone well. They shouldn't discriminate with their kindness.

3. Funny

I need a guy who can make me laugh! He also needs to be able to understand my sense of humor, which is mostly sarcasm. I find a lot of things funny: jokes, puns, memes, no matter how seemingly stupid. If you've got those, you're golden.

4. Smart

Intelligence is attractive. It's true. I want a guy who's smart but isn't conceited. He knows he knows a lot but he doesn't think he's better than everyone else. He doesn't have to be a genius. He could be really smart in one subject, or kind of smart in many subjects. I just want him to know a thing or two about a thing or two.

5. Hardworking

My guy needs to be ambitious. He needs to have goals that he works toward. He can't be lazy. I believe that it is primarily the man's duty to financially support his woman. This is most applicable in marriage, but it works in dating relationships, too. I don't want someone who is unable to provide for me. In order to do that, he needs to be able to provide for himself.

6. Cute

You knew I'd get to this! I'm not blind, after all. Trust me, I think it's important for a guy to be attractive. But it's not as important as everything listed above this. I've been told I have weird taste in guys in terms of looks. What I see as cute doesn't always line up with society's definition. The important thing is that I'm attracted to him. Physical attraction is important in a relationship. To be picky: I don't like facial hair or too much muscle. I do like chest hair and back muscles.

7. Creative

This can mean a lot of different things. He could draw, paint, write, sing, play an instrument, etc. As long as it shows that he's inclined to use the right side of his brain. I'm a writer, so I'm naturally more drawn to people who prefer creativity over logic.

8. Interested in Me

Despite being last, this is extremely important! Without this, none of the other things matter. It's just like every other crush I've ever had. Nothing different. Nothing special. While I've been able to find guys who exhibit the first seven qualities, the eighth has been much harder to come by. I've never been in a relationship, so I imagine it will be really wonderful when I eventually find someone who reciprocates my feelings.

Some people may think my standards are too high, but I refuse to lower them. I believe that God has someone out there for me who lives up to these standards and even exceeds them. I just have to be patient and trust His timing.

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The Friend You Like Romantically Doesn't Owe You Anything

The friend-zone can be escaped, but not in the way you might want

We've all heard the story of the "friend-zone." Boy is in love with his best friend, she dates all the wrong guys and fails to notice how perfect he is, then eventually realizes how wrong she was and they live happily ever after.

I used to think that the friend-zone was a myth that lonely men created to feel better about themselves. But then I got friend-zoned myself.

Yes, it sucked, but the second I realized I had feelings for a friend (that I knew had no such feelings for me), I decided to suppress the feelings. When that wasn't enough, I cut them off for a bit, then, slowly, I felt OK. I could communicate with them without having unwanted romantic feelings pop up. I had escaped the friend-zone.

Having gone through that, I had more sympathy for someone I had to friend-zone a little while later. I had been friends with this guy for a few months. I didn't have many college friends yet and I was really lonely, so having his company really meant a lot at the time.

This caused me to not be able to see what should have been clear: he had a crush on me. When I finally made the realization, I immediately let him know that I didn't feel that way about him. He said it was OK, but I could tell it wasn't.

We didn't talk at all over the summer and when we came back for the fall semester, he would barely look at me. I had started dating his friend, which caused an even bigger rift between us.

Though I understand where he's coming from, I was also really mad at him for a long time.

It was as if he was only nice to me because he wanted romance in return. But people are not vending machines. You can't put in your "nice guy" coins and expect love, sex, or whatever the hell it is you want in return.

It hurt me to know that he only wanted romance and once that was off the table, he no longer wanted anything to do with me.

But then I thought back to the friend that had friend-zoned me. Unrequited affections really suck, especially when they're for someone that you spend a lot of time with. But the key is to work to escape it.

Yes, liking someone you're friends with and them not liking you back is a real thing, but people tend to treat the friend-zone like this mythic hell dimension that can never be escaped. But you can escape. Just maybe not in the way you'd like to.

Now there are three ways you can escape the friend-zone:

The first option is to confess your feelings and try to win them over. Now, this isn't completely unheard of. I've had friends that have dated people who had previously friend-zoned them, but it's extremely rare and risky. You have to risk your entire friendship in order to do this. If it doesn't work out, it could strain the friendship or sometimes break it beyond repair.

You can also do what my ex-friend did and completely cut the person off. If you're being a love-zombie and only doing nice things for the friend because you expect romance in return, leaving the situation might be the most healthy decision for you. I understand now that my friend might have stopped talking to me out of self-preservation. But it still hurts the people involved.

The third and final option is to just get over it. It's harsh, but it's real. Why try something you know is going to fail and cause pain to both sides? Yes, getting over crushes can be really difficult, but getting a normal friendship back rather than being stuck a love-zombie for them is worth the pain.

Whichever one you choose, just remember this: Your friends do not owe you any romantic affection. The work you put into making them happy should just come out of the goodness of your own heart. If you expect romance in return, you're not being a good friend to them. If you really care about them, don't put that kind of pressure on them. They don't want a mindless love-zombie that does their bidding for the hope that they'll get a tiny love kernel out of it. They just want a friend.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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