A few disclaimers: yes, I'm aware that this list is pretty much the grossest to anyone who hate-clicked on it. I'm also aware that it is super heteronormative — (we have an article about "little ways you know you have a good girlfriend" as well, for what it's worth). Additionally, most of the items on this list are just things that make you a good partner, period. I think that many of the traits that we say distinguish a good boyfriend (or partner, or man, or whichever word you prefer) are often considered "normal" traits in a woman.
All that said, I also don't think that doesn't mean the boyfriends out there who are doing it right don't deserve to be called out for being awesome. The fact of the matter is, men still aren't socialized to be as emotive, communicative, or giving in relationships as women might be. If you're fortunate enough to be dating a man who's using his actions and words to flip that script, well, then, I think that's something worth celebrating, perhaps even to the point of being a bit saccharin.
So, without further disclaimer, here are 45 little ways you know you have a good boyfriend, at least in my limited experience.
1. The Way He Courted You Was An Accurate Depiction Of What The Relationship Would Be Like
If he took you dancing, you still dance. If he cooked for you, he still cooks. There wasn't a bunch of false advertising.
2. He Doesn't Leave The Seat Up
It shows manners, consideration, and respect.
3. He Made Space For You Without Your Asking
You didn't have to ask for a drawer at his place. He cleared one out for you.
4. He Respects His Exes — And Is Still Friends With Some Of Them
And you have nothing to be worried about. He doesn't talk much smack about the women who have been in his life, either.
5. He Has More Than One Friend You Like
You have friend-crushes on several of his friends, because he has good taste in friends.
6. He Asks What You Want Him To Cook
Not only is he cooking you dinner, he's considering what you'd like to eat as well.
7. He Picks Up The Snacks You Like
Cause he's thoughtful like that, and wants you to have snacks.
8. He Remembers Little Details From Stories You Tell Him
It's all stored in there, and you don't often have to repeat things. He's listening.
9. He Holds His Ground, But He's Able To Admit When He's Wrong
He can argue with you and stands up for himself, but he also has enough self-awareness to admit when he's wrong. Which isn't the majority of the time.
10. He's Capable Of Changing His Behavior In Small, Meaningful Ways
He isn't just about words — the actions always follow up any admission that he could do better, and his behavior adjusts without your having to ask. His character, however, is steady.
11. He Calls You On It When You're Being Immature
When you're acting out, he doesn't make you feel stupid —but he does treat you like an adult by calling you out on it. He doesn't placate or act in a patronizing way towards you.
12. You Can Sometimes Feel His Eyes On You When You're Not Watching
He finds lots of little ways to make you feel desired.
13. He Never Laughs At Your Fantasies
He's open to trying new things, in bed and in life.
14. ... And He Asks You What You Want
He checks in about it often, in case things have changed — which he also wouldn't be threatened by.
15. You Feel Like Your Sex Life Is Expanding, Not Narrowing
Being in a relationship with him doesn't mean a more boring sex life than when you were single. He wants to grow together and try new things.
16. You Know He Likes The Way You Look And Taste
He never makes you feel like your pussy, or any other part of your body, is anything but top-notch.
17. Being Afraid Of Period Sex Wouldn't Even Occur To Him
In fact, he has a special towel reserved for it.
18. He Couldn't Wait To Introduce You To His People
He was excited to introduce you to his friends.
19. He Wants To Be With You — And Tells You Often
You don't wonder how he feels about you. You know because he tells you, often.
20. He Values Your Opinion On Major Purchases
This is different than asking for permission. But if he's buying a new watch or bike, he's curious what you think of it.
21. You've Each Evolved On An Issue Since Meeting
When I met my boyfriend, he inspired me to finally make the leap to becoming a vegetarian. Since then, I helped him commit fully to veganism. In each case, we weren't "convincing" the other person. We just wanted to be our best selves around each other.
22. He Always Seems To Know The Right Music To Put On
How does he do it? He's in tune with your mood, that's how.
23. His Romantic Texts Often Seem To Come Out Of Nowhere
His romantic gestures aren't super predictable, but they are reliable.
24. You Want To Act Like A Grown-Ass Woman Around Him
You feel more like a woman than a girl around him, and he likes grown-ass women, too.
25. He's More Likely To Call Women "Women" Than "Girls"
And if he isn't, and you call him on it, he'll try to adjust his behavior.
26. ... And You're More Likely To Think Of Him As A Man Than A "Boy" Or "Guy"
Because he acts like one.
27. He Isn't Likely To Call Women "Bitch"
Certainly not when he's angry at you, but not really in reference to any woman.
28. He Brings Up Feminist Issues
You've talked about catcalling, abortion, you name it. He wants to understand your perspective.
29. He Never Questions Whether PMS Is A Valid Excuse
And often goes out of his way to make you feel better.
30. You Can Talk About Poop With Him
Everybody poops, and if you felt self-conscious pooping at his place in the beginning, he helped you get over that, quick.
31. He Asks Questions Rather Than Telling You What To Do
Unless, you know, you want him to in certain situations. ;)
32. He Doesn't Get All Threatened When You Flirt At Parties
In fact, he knows that a little bit of jealousy can fuel passion. Plus, he doesn't want to cramp your style.
33. He's Always Learning About Something
He's curious about the world, and it's contagious.
34. He Cares What Your Friends Think Of Him — And Wants To Hang Out With Them
They like him.
35. He Wants To Know Where Your Exes Went Wrong
So he doesn't make the same mistakes — and because he's curious, rather than threatened by, your past.
36. You Know He Won't Botch Your Birthday Present
It's not what it is — it's that he'll put thought into it.
37. You Complain Offhand About Something, And The Next Day, It's Handled
Shower broken? Out of toilet paper? You don't need to nag. It's handled.
38. You Don't Worry About His Ability To Achieve His Goals
He's a grown-ass man, and he can handle himself.
39. ...And Neither Does He, Which Is Why He's Confident Enough To Solicit Your Input
He doesn't just talk about himself — he wants your input.
40. He's Always Pushing You To Be Brave
To expand your comfort zone, to make art, you name it.
41. You Can Imagine A Future, But Mostly, You're Too Busy Enjoying The Present
There's a calmness and excitement to it.
42. Doing Nothing With Him Is Usually Your Favorite Part Of The Day
Even when it was a really good day.
43. You Don't Find Yourself Spending Much Energy Worrying About The Relationship
Sure, sometimes you fight or fear commitment, but in general, there just isn't a ton of drama.
44. When You're Around Him, You Feel More Relaxed
But somehow, not bored.
45. Most Of All, You Still Feel Like There's A Bunch Of Things You Could Add To This List
So tell him.
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