Applying hard and fast rules or guidelines to relationships unequivocally is a dangerous endeavor, because let’s face it: no two relationships are the same. The remedy for one couple’s problems may be toxic for another. Having said that, there are a handful of strategies that every man should employ in the interest of avoiding fights/pitfalls/breakups from the get-go.
Don’t take it from me, though. I’m a dude, and while I like to devote between six and eight hours each day to thinking about how best to approach whoever the girl of the moment is, no amount of contemplation is going to make me sprout a second x-chromosome anytime soon. Which is why I always like to come across constructive advice from a real girl. Here, that girl is tastefully-named Men’s Health editor Cassie Shortsleeve, who offers a list of 10 things that every guy can do to preemptively circumvent potential disagreements and/or points of conflict.
The three that I find especially helpful:
“Befriend her best friend.”
Girls like to talk about the boys they’re seeing: this much I know is true. Now, the exact accords of those conversations remains an utter and terrifying mystery to me, and it will probably remain that way for the foreseeable future. So until I can channel the inherent capacity for telepathy that I just know exists somewhere within me, the best I can do is treat my crush’s friends every bit as sweetly/amicably/respectfully as I treat her. I value the input of my friends when it comes to evaluating whether I should be with a girl or not, so I can only imagine that the superior gender is doing the same thing. Therefore, you should be doing everything within your power to woo her friends with charm and wit. (And who knows — maybe you’ll end up with one of them someday instead.
“Listen, Don’t Lecture.”
As a general rule, I think that when a guy voices concerns to the people he trusts, it is typically to seek counsel. In my experience (and through many instances of abject failure), I have learned that girls do not necessarily think this way. You see, girls just need to stage a good old fashioned airing of grievances from time to time. She might just want support and a willing listener, nothing more. A sounding board, if you will. So man up and embrace your role as sounding board from time to time. Know when it’s time to curse who she’s cursing and scowl and agreeably shout out “Hallelujah!” (or something similar; hallelujah might sound weird, depending on the context) with her, and when she’s actually soliciting advice.
Don’t let sex become a routine. It’s a great way to ruin a good thing (sex; but also your relationship). Don’t do it at the same time every day. Or in the same room. Or in the same position. Or for the same duration of time. And don’t forget foreplay. Tie her up. Try a blindfold. Experiment. I’m not saying you need latex bondage suits and gag balls and anal beads of various radii; just that sex gets stale if you treat it like breakfast or taking the trash out or anything else you build into your daily schedule.
Check out the other seven tips here. Anything you’d add to the list?