I’ve been dating my current boyfriend for a couple of years now, and–sorry to get mushy, get your barf bag ready–I’m still finding little ways to love the crap out of him. The most recent example was last weekend. We went backpacking in the mountains for a weekend, and during a grueling hike that left my body bruised, my feet aching, my legs shaking, and my emotions in tatters, I straight up burst into tears dozens of times. We had so many miles left to go, the sun was going down, and I fell down on so many rocks and into so many piles of mud that I was just starting to lose it. I know I’m a moody piece of work, and my BF does too, but not once did he tell me to get over it, or to stop crying; he didn’t act awkward or embarrassed. All he did was repeatedly say, “I’m sorry, I know you’re in pain, we’re almost done, you can do this.” Did I still cry? Yes, like a damn brat (listen, it’s been days and I’m still aching, let me live). But he was encouraging nevertheless, and I really appreciated it. Hell, I don’t know if even I would be as patient with myself in that situation.
In a world where “relationship goals“ are marked by aesthetically pleasing couples with flat tummies taking steamy photos of each other, cheesy promposals, and extravagant gift purchases, it’s kind of refreshing to remember that those aren’t the things that make a relationship last. Real relationship goals often aren’t so showy. If you want some examples to work with, check out these eight underrated qualities that you should look for in a BF or GF.
They Do Little Things To Show That They CareI see so many Relationship Goals posts where dudes can somehow afford to buy their girlfriends $100 makeup palettes and huge bouquets of roses. Not to be one of those people, but I was happy when my BF brought me a cookie back from work. Hell, I'd love makeup too, but little things matter as well. I'm not saying that you should settle for less, I'm just saying that buying items from your wish list isn't the number one sign that somebody is thinking of you and wants to see you happy. Besides, not everything that makes you happy is material, right?
They Aren't Cool With An Unresolved ArgumentDo you know what happens when an argument ends unresolved? It builds resentment, and resentment KILLS relationships. A good partner is going to want to resolve conflict and will hope you want to as well. This might not seem like a game changer, but it really is.
They're Cool With Period StuffOkay, I'm not saying they're going to happily go down on you if you menstruate, but if you’re a girl who gets periods and you’re dating a dude who doesn’t, it’s a major plus if they’re cool with talking about that time of the month. Like, why would you want to be with someone who acts like an immature child when the topic is brought up?
They Respect WomenThis is a big one, especially if you have a BF. Watch the way they talk about other women--exes, other girls at school, even celebs. This can be a big indicator of how much they'll respect YOU as a woman.
They Respect Their ParentsUnless their parents are, like, evil, a good BF/GF shows some respect to their elders, including their parents. If they don't--especially when you're around--uh oh...I'm not saying that your GF/BF has to do the whole, "Yes ma'am, no sir" routine. And we all get annoyed with our parents sometimes (okay, OFTEN). But if they're treating their parents like garbage? That's not a good look, at all.
They Just Know When You Feel Like CrapYou don't need to tell them that you feel like garbage, or sigh a lot to try to get their attention. At some point, they can just tell when you're down and they're open to talking about it if you are.
They're Encouraging, No Matter WhatYour partner doesn't have to be a motivational coach...but it's definitely not a bad thing if they show similar traits to one. When you find someone who will help motivate you when you're ragging on yourself or in a really low place, you've found someone you might want to keep around. Their words might not be a cure all, but that's okay. It shows that they sincerely care about you.
They Do Little Physical ThingsNot everyone is into PDA, and that's okay. But even the most shy baes around won't mind touching your hand or giving your waist a pinch, little things like that. Sometimes it's the little displays of affection that are more fun than the big ones.
Do you think any of these things are overrated? What other little things does a good BF/GF do? Tell us in the comments!