While stumbling through the Yahoo homepage I came across a list titled “Top 10: Traits of a Good Girlfriend.”
I was immediately intrigued. The list came from a website called askmen.com, which was surprising, because they didn’t consult me when making the list? I wasn’t informed that men had decided there were 10 definitive traits that made a good girlfriend? I became skeptical. I have a girlfriend, and she’s pretty great; does that mean she has all these 10 traits?
Clicking on the link led me to the askmen site, only to find out the list was written by someone named “Madeleine Holden.” Even more questions arose in my head. Is this woman speaking for all men? Why does she write for askmen.com? I had to take a look at this list and see if it was legit.
Trait 1: She’s Loyal to You
This one I think is a given for most people, besides open relationships. Most relationships are framed to be monogamous, and not cheating with someone else is a fundamental part of that structure. Like the article says, loyalty extends beyond cheating though, it also means having your significant other’s back.
Loyalty is a universally admired trait in relationships that both people should be held accountable for.
Trait 2: She’s Herself Around You
Another trait that is vital for both sexes in a relationship. If you’re not comfortable around the person you’re with, then what’s the point? The entire relationship would be built around a fabricated version of yourself and ultimately fall apart if you ever revealed who you really were. Don’t play a character in a relationship, respect yourself enough to show your loved one the real you.
Trait 3: She Listens To Your Problems
I’m beginning to see a trend here. Guys and girls value the same things in a relationship for the most part. Guys are obviously less vocal about their problems and are all around shitty communicators. Girls are much better communicators. Guys, if you have a girl that will still listen to your problems even though you’ve refused to open up to her before, you’ve got a winner.
Trait 4: She Lets You Be Vulnerable
This is pretty similar to the last one, but does offer a bit of a distinction. It’s in a guy’s DNA to want to be immune to vulnerability and to never cry in front of his significant other. Some girls don’t want to see their boyfriend cry because they feel that it shows weakness, and in their eyes, the men are supposed to be the rock of the relationship. Every guy has some sort of a soft side. No matter how hard they try to bury it inside, something pulls at their heart strings. Whether it’s their favorite team losing an important game or tragic event, if a guy feels so insecure that he can’t cry in front of his loved one, he’s got some work to do.
Trait 5: She’s Got Your Back
Essentially the same thing as loyalty, no guy is going to want a girlfriend that talks about him behind his back if they get into a fight, and neither person’s self-esteem should never be at risk. A relationship should always be about building each other up, not bringing each other down.
Trait 6: She Shares Your Values
This is a weird one. Long term relationships always benefit from shared values, but agreeing on everything isn’t good either. Sharing the same beliefs on everything doesn’t teach anyone anything. It’s just not healthy. It’s also not healthy to share beliefs on kids and marriage on a first date, so wait until a serious relationship before digging deep.
Trait 7: She Includes You in Her World
Friends and family are super important in a relationship. If your girlfriend isn’t introducing you to her friends and family, she’s not taking you seriously. And if you can’t get along with them, that’s a death sentence to a relationship for both guys and girls.
Trait 8: You Find Her Attractive
One of the most obvious things that a guy looks for when looking for a girl is attraction. Let’s be real, that begins with physical appearance, it does for everyone. Looks are the first aspect people judge each other on, but looks can’t make a relationship last. Attractiveness covers all aspects of a person, and you have to be attracted to more than their looks for it to work. Looks inevitably fade over time, personality doesn’t.
Trait 9: She’s Kind to the People in Your Life
Just like guys need to show respect to a girl’s family when he gets the privilege of meeting them, she needs to respect his friends and family. A good girlfriend has to be liked by the guy’s mom, that’s just an unspoken rule.
Trait 10: She Makes You Laugh
A sense of humor goes a long way and the clichés are true, laughter really is the best medicine. No relationship can be always serious, and it’s important to be able to joke around and share a good sense of humor. Just don’t start roasting each other, because then feelings can get hurt and relationships can end.
This list is just like every other list of its kind that litter the web. Cliché tips for people that we already knew, peppered with personal experience or research from other lists like it. The truth is: Every relationship is different just like every person is different. No two guys are going to want the exact same thing in a girl.
Lists like these don’t help, they aren’t a checklist to go through when finding a girl to see if she’s the one. That’s something you find out on your own, by learning more about her and seeing how you interact together. There is no definitive formula to the perfect boyfriend or girlfriend; there will always be things you like about a person and things that piss you off. Relationships are about finding a balance and respecting the person you’re with, not paying attention to stupid lists like these.