Making the decision to share your life with another person is a huge milestone in any individual’s life. It is a sign of willingness to share your life with them and a display of faith in the love you share. Every relationship is unique. You are a blend of two different personalities, ways of thinking and deep-seated opinions. Let’s not forget that neither of you was born yesterday so each of you, consciously or subconsciously, bring along your own set of baggage from past relationships.
There are some non-negotiables
That said, there are some undeniable elements which have been considered essential for any happy relationship. Honesty, love, support, loyalty, openness and responsiveness. These are a few traits in couples that every generation have been looking for. We can bet they are the same things our children’s children will be looking for when they get into their own romantic relationships.
When you get into a long-term committed relationship, you get to learn all the wonderful traits of your significant other and they learn yours as well. With this also comes learning of the not-so-great traits which every one of us has.
Here are some traits you should NOT
Qualities of a Good Girlfriend
Loyalty is fundamental
Loyalty is an integral part of any monogamous relationship – no matter what other dynamics there may be. A loyal girlfriend is not just one who doesn’t sleep or flirt with other men. She should also be the kind of girl who will stand up for you if anyone ever spoke ill of you. If you don’t feel that a girl would do this for you, then you probably will not be able to build a long-term relationship with her.
She is not pretentious
How disturbing would it be to date a girl for a couple of months only to discover that she has been literally acting around you? She is not the person you thought she was. Yes, lots of girls wear makeup, weaves and perhaps some shapewear without which she would definitely look very different. That is not what we are talking about here. Your girlfriend should be herself around you so that the person you get to know is exactly who it is on the inside. Being non-pretentious also extends to being open enough to tell you the things that mean a lot to her and when your behavior rubs her the wrong way.
People who are important to you are important to her
Every man wants a girl who is kind and respectful to him. It is not too much to ask for a girl who is also kind and respectful to the people who are important to him. It doesn’t matter how great she is, if she is rude and nasty to your siblings, your best friend or your colleagues, you will have a problem with her.
A good girlfriend realizes that these people are an extension of you. If she really cares about you, it should come naturally to be kind and pleasant to these ‘extensions.’
She lets you into her world
When you first start dating a girl, it is typical for each of you to mention your close friends and family members in conversations. As the relationship grows, you meet her friends and she meets yours. Sometimes it is planned such that you take her with you on a night out with your friends or you take her over to your parents’ house for dinner. Other times, it happens because you bump into each other at the mall.
Whichever way it is, a good girlfriend should gladly let you into the world of her friends and family. If she doesn’t, something is amiss. Here is another thing to look out for. If you have been dating for a couple of months, she has never introduced you to any of her friends and when you bump into one of them and they have never heard of you, there is definitely a problem.
She is a good listener
The fundamental trait of a good listener is selflessness. Selfish people generally don’t make good listeners because one has to put their own cares aside for a while to listen to another. Find a girl who doesn’t struggle to listen to you when you are going through a tough time. If she is a compassionate human being, she will gladly take time to be there for you. If you need a shoulder to cry on she will be with you as long as you need and never judge you or demand anything in return.
She speaks her mind when she is unhappy about something
Maintaining an open dialogue in a relationship is easy when things are smooth and rosy. It is important to maintain the same openness even when one person is unhappy with the other. A good girlfriend should not be afraid to say it when something is bothering her.
Even if it may cause an argument, she should be the kind of girl who realizes that sometimes it is good to argue things out because it eventually puts you on the same page.
She is reliable
A reliable person is someone you can count on to do what they said they would do. It may sound like a simple concept but proves difficult for many people. A good girlfriend is a girl who keeps her word no matter how big or minute the promise is.
For example, you are travelling and she offers to pick you up and drive you to the airport but she doesn’t show up. Yes, you would be livid for a couple of hours and would probably be able to catch another flight out but is that the kind of person you want to spend the rest of your life with?
She is a good communicator
No man wants a girlfriend who pouts and storms off when you disagree about something. A good girlfriend should, first and foremost, understand that disagreements are part of any relationship so they shouldn’t affect her affection for you.
Secondly, she should be able to communicate well in the midst of a disagreement. This could be in terms of her ability to articulate her thoughts and feelings clearly and in terms of her ability to stay calm even when she is very angry.
A smart girl should be able to politely express that she doesn’t agree with you but respects your opinion.
Although these kinds of disagreements are said to make you both stronger, it should concern you if you and your girlfriend are constantly arguing. If your opinions differ heavily, then maybe she is not the girl for you.
She stays positive about the relationship
The fact that every relationship will have rough patches of some sort cannot be overemphasized. If your girlfriend is ready to throw in the towel every time you have an argument, she is probably not a keeper.
A good girlfriend approaches disagreements with a fundamental sense of positivity and willingness to work through them. She recognizes that neither of you is perfect. You are both a work in progress and it takes a lot of effort to make a relationship work
. As long as both of you recognize your individual flaws and are committed to being better people, fights and arguments don’t spell doom for you.
She is open about her feelings
Your girlfriend is supposed to be your best friend so there should be no walls or barriers where feelings are concerned. Whether she is extremely happy with you or seething with anger at you, she should be able to express it to you. No matter how many years you have been together, she should be able to tell you exactly how she is feeling towards you and why. Hearing her tell you what you did to hurt her may not be very pleasant to hear, but you will definitely like hearing what it is that she loves about you and what it is you do that makes her melt inside.
She criticizes you with respect
We have all been in a situation where we learn that someone we thought was a good friend said something terribly hurtful about us to someone else. It is an awful feeling, to say the least. A good girlfriend would never bad-mouth you behind your back no matter how big a fight you had with her. She should be able to speak about you with respect even when she is not particularly pleased with you at the moment and raise whatever issues she may have with you in private. Criticism is not necessarily a bad thing, it only becomes hurtful when it is done in the wrong way.
You look at her and see an incredibly attractive woman
Yes, men are visual creatures. They appreciate the beauty of women. That is why marketers are always using pictures of perfect, Barbie-like models to sell men’s products… and it works. That said, in real life, men are still visual but every man has a ‘thing’ he likes in a woman. For some it is a woman’s eyes, for others, it is her smile or her hair and others love a woman with a ‘decent’ load on her chest. Heck! It could be anything.
A good girlfriend has the ‘thing’ you (as an individual) love in a woman. If you like brown-eyes girls and she has brown eyes which mesmerize you every time you look at her, then you will naturally be more attracted to her.
She appreciates your differences
They say that opposites attract. If you are a fun-loving, outgoing extrovert, you will probably find yourself attracted to a reserved introvert and vice versa. Problems arise when we fail to recognize the needs of a partner based on these personality traits. A good girlfriend recognizes these differences and gladly gives you space to be who you are or do what you enjoy even if she doesn’t enjoy it herself. If you are introverted and she is not, she gladly lets you spend time alone, reflect and just enjoy your own company. If you are the life of the party and she is the introvert, she is happy to let you go out with friends because she would rather stay home and watch a series until you get back at some wee hour of the morning.
You can be vulnerable around her
As archaic as the thinking might sound, many men still feel that it is inappropriate to be vulnerable around women. Unfortunately, this kind of thinking is also perpetuated by women. Your girlfriend should be a girl who realizes that there is nothing wrong with a man expressing himself by crying for example. It takes a strong, mature woman to offer her man a shoulder to cry on and not look at him differently after that. If she would mock you or think of you as any less of a man, then she is not the right girl for you.
You share the same values
It is alright if the two of you fall on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to personalities. Lots of differences are manageable and often healthy between couples. You live for spicy food and she can’t stand pepper of any kind. She is an early riser and you are the typical night owl. These are stark differences but you can live with them in a partner. When differences touch on fundamental values and belief systems, the relationship is doomed from the start. A good girlfriend is an individual who shares the same or similar value systems with you.
Religion is a typical but thorny issue in new relationships. If you are a staunch Christian and you realize that the girl you are dating does not believe in the existence of a supreme being, you may be tempted to end the relationship. You don’t want to invest in a relationship with someone who doesn’t believe in something that is deeply ingrained in you.
She is fun to be around
Let’s look at it like this – no one would say any of their close friends are boring. We all tend to gravitate towards and form clusters with people who are like us. We find people who are like us to be interesting. A good girlfriend should be someone whose company you enjoy because you have some things in common. Ask yourself this question: ‘If she was not my girlfriend, would she be my friend? Would I still enjoy her company? If the answer is yes, she will make a great girlfriend.
She reminds you what she loves about you
When two people settle down in a relationship, they often forget to express what they love about each other. They assume that just being with them should be enough assurance about how they feel. A good girlfriend doesn’t assume you know all these things. She makes a point to tell you what it is about you that she loves or admires.
She may tell you how much she admires your work ethic or how supportive you are of your friends and family. Whatever it is, it is always great to hear what another person appreciates about you. You might be surprised to hear that the qualities she loves most about you are things you never even noticed about yourself.
There is no pre-designed template to determine what kind of girl makes a good girlfriend and which one doesn’t. It really depends on you. If you like intellectual conversations, you will probably love to be challenged by a girl who likes to jog her brain as well. If you are an art lover, you would probably be drawn to a girl who likes the same things. On the other hand, opposites do attract. Rarely do two extroverts end up together. There is something attractive about people who are starkly different from you.
Despite all these variables, there are some basic qualities without which a girl simply cannot make a good girlfriend no matter how hot she is or how much you have in common. If she is dishonest, bad-mouths you to other people or doesn’t have the heart to be there for you when you are going through a tough time, take it as a big red light flashing in your face. Perhaps she is not a keeper.