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I was first brought to a knowledge of this topic recently by this post written by Samara. She found this post from the website “YouQueen” written by someone named Jason with the title “21 Tips on How to Be A Perfect Girlfriend for Your Guy” and it pissed her right off! Unfortunately, her response was less than pleasing to my everlovin’ hubby, jaklumen.

What I want to do is reframe Jason’s tips so that they make more sense and are less provoking to certain people (I’m thinking of you, here, Samara and you, too, jaklumen) Buckle up, ladies and gents! This one’s going to be long.

1. Look Great: Yes, you should look great! You deserve to! Wear clothing that is clean and flatters your body type. Wear colors and patterns that you like, that make you feel good when you look in the mirror. Brush your teeth, wash your face, take showers. Do all those things we all find so necessary. However, no one is saying you have to do them for him. Do them for YOU. A decent enough guy will appreciate it. Guys like ladies who take good care of themselves. However, most NICE guys prefer a girl who takes care of herself for reasons of her own and not just for him.

2. Smell Great. Be Beautiful: So far as I know, there’s not a healthy woman in this world who doesn’t like to smell nice. However, even if your favorite scent is eau d’cheeseburger, there’ll be a guy who loves that smell. Even if you frequently smell like motor oil, there’ll be a guy who’s willing to worship at your feet because you smell that way. If you want to wear his favorite perfume, that’s up to you, but do it because you like to, not because you’re trying to please him.

3. Stop Nagging and Complaining: Let’s face it. Nagging at anyone won’t get you anywhere but unhappy. If you have a concern with something your boyfriend is doing, there’s nothing wrong with asking to discuss it. However, once you’ve discussed something once, don’t bring it up again. It’s too much work for you to keep pestering him about things you’ve discussed. If he doesn’t act on your concerns, maybe you should handle it yourself. If it’s not something you can handle yourself, then, as long as you’re not married by then, you can always break up with him and find someone better.

4. Love Him: If you’re with him, there’s a good chance that this is already a given. However, Jason’s suggestion that men need to hear it sometimes is a good one. Still, try not to say it too often. Find ways to show him.

5. Love Yourself: This actually has less to do with asking him if you’re fat or other such leading questions designed to discover if he actually cares about you as much as you care about him. This has more to do with self-confidence, really. Trust that he cares about you and like the person you see in the mirror every day.

6. Be Devoted: All this really means is don’t cheat on him. If you have concerns with him, or you don’t care about him any more, don’t go behind his back. That’s the coward’s way. Something similar would be him breaking up with you using a text message. Honestly, if you’re going to break up, do it face to face. Otherwise, be brave and stick it out!

7. Like His Friends: I take exception to this one. You’re not required to like all his friends. There’s a good chance that one or more of his friends are real jerks. He may even have old girlfriends that he’s still friendly with. However, the least you can do is try to give them the benefit of the doubt. After you’ve done your best to like his friends, you can discuss your misgivings with your boyfriend and he may help you to understand his attachment to them. There’s usually a good reason for most male friendships, so far as I’ve noticed.

8. Be a Sex Goddess: I take definite exception to this one. Giving a guy sex before you’re married is no guarantee he’ll stay with you. It’s like having dessert before you get your steak. If he can’t respect that, he’s not the right one for you. Drop him like the jerk he is. Also, once you’re married, I don’t agree with trying to fulfill all his fantasies. Still, there’s nothing wrong with being willing to discuss them.

9. Cook: Heck! Even if all you can do is reheat things in the microwave, he’ll appreciate it. Even if all you can do is boil water to make ramen noodles. Sometimes, though, like me, you’ll find one who’s a decent cook himself. In that case, you should try to be appreciative of his work. What guy doesn’t like that?

10. Love is in the Details: I’ve had experience with this one. It’s true enough that guys like to get small gifts. The first time I gave my husband a rose, for no specific reason, he was surprised. Needless to say, he responded with a half-dozen on my next birthday. Guys can usually be counted on to reciprocate if you give them gifts. You don’t have to be extravagant. Then again, if you’re not the spending-money-on-my-guy type, you can find other ways to show him your love, from getting his car detailed to picking up his dry-cleaning or whatever he likes.

11. Appreciate Him: Most guys are raised on the whole “be a gentleman to your lady” thing. You can do your part to keep this going by letting him know you’re grateful. If he opens a door, thank him. If he carries something heavy for you, tell him how grateful you are. Any time he does something for you, no matter how small, let him know you’re thankful. That will help him want to do those things for you more often than just expecting it to happen and being unhappy if he doesn’t.

12. Give Him Compliments: There isn’t a human being on the face of this earth who doesn’t like to get a compliment now and then. However, when you compliment your man, make it an honest compliment. Flattery won’t get you anywhere for very long. If there’s something you like about him, let him know. Do you feel safest when he’s driving? Say so! Do you think he looks handsome in his favorite suit? Tell him so! Jason is right to say that your man shouldn’t be looking to other women for his “ego-boost.” Just don’t go overboard with it. Most guys can tell when you’re insincere. In the end, what you want is to appear loving, not desperate.

13. Make Him Feel Like a Man: I think what Jason means here is “Let” him feel like a man. Most guys get into relationships because they are looking to be the hero in their lady’s fantasy novel. So, let him open up that jar of pickles you can’t get opened. Let him change that lightbulb you can’t reach. Let him kill that spider you’re scared of. Your car has a flat? Let him come and fix it for you. Let him be your knight in shining pick-up truck. This doesn’t mean you are claiming to be incapable of doing any of those things yourself. He just wants to feel like you, somehow, need him in your life. Find a way to help him feel needed that doesn’t involve turning him into your girlfriend. You KNOW what I mean.

14. Be His Partner: Be supportive of your man’s dreams and goals. This isn’t to say that you’re not allowed to have a life of your own and that you should only focus on his life and his dreams. Far from it. However, if he wants to go back to school to become a ballet dancer, or whatever, back him up. Until the day you break up, you’re a team. So let him know whose side you’re on and that you believe he has the power to achieve his dream.

15. Have a Life and Passion: I know there are some women who make the mistake of believing that their lives must completely revolve around their man (I know you’re not one of those, Samara). As far as I’ve noticed, men like women who are passionate about things outside of their relationships with their men. So, stick with that book club. Keep painting that masterpiece. Don’t stop writing that novel you’ve been working on. Your passion for your own life means that you can have equal passion for him.

16. Be Better Than His Ex’s: Honestly, this isn’t hard. He’ll tell you if you’re better than his ex’s are. Mine did. If not, you’ll find yourself on the road to finding another boyfriend. You don’t have to stalk his old girlfriends on Facebook. All you have to do is ask him about them. Find out where they messed up and then don’t do the same things they did. Finding out why he broke up with his ex-girlfriends is also a great way to find out if your boyfriend is a putz or not. In which case, you can break up with him.

17. Give Him Space: All this means is don’t get all clingy. Guys like to do the chasing. If he needs some time alone, whether it’s with the guys or to watch football or whatever, give it to him. He’ll be appreciative, believe me. You can use the time to work on that thing you’re passionate about (see item 15).

18. Have a Pleasing Personality: I’m not going to say you should put his pleasure first because I don’t agree with that. Instead, I’ll say be his friend. By that, I don’t mean like a girl with another girl. Guys don’t really need a friend to force them to talk about their problems. However, you wouldn’t harass your girlfriend if she forgot your birthday. You wouldn’t make a stink if she forgot to replace the toilet paper roll when it was empty or left the toilet seat up. Give your man the same kind of common courtesy and respect. He’ll show his gratitude to you in return.

19. Don’t Take Him For Granted: It’s true that sometimes, once two people enter a relationship, they tend to relax a little bit and sometimes more than just a bit. It’s not something we really think about. After a while, though, we start to think of our significant others as somehow a part of the furnishings. He’s there and you have him. You start thinking you don’t have to do anything special to keep him. I’m here to tell you it’s not true. Even married people should keep dating, just to keep that spark alive. So, if there was something you were doing to get his attention, don’t stop once you become exclusive. Then he’ll know it was all a trick. If he’s smart, which he probably is, he’ll drop you.

20. Work Out: This goes back to having confidence in yourself. If you like the person you see in the mirror, which you will if you’re consistent in your exercise routine, you’re more confident and guys like confident ladies. However, there’s nothing that says you have to do aerobics or Pilates or whatever the exercise trend is. Do whatever sparks your interest. Who knows? You might actually find yourself with an exercise partner in your man and everyone knows exercise is more fun when its more than one. Let’s be frank here, though. There’s nothing as sexy as a well-muscled woman.

21. Be Feminine Yourself: Jason made a big deal about women being more masculine these days and, I have to say, many of us just can’t help it. So, instead, I say, be yourself and don’t be afraid to do so. You shouldn’t have to pretend to be someone you’re not just to catch a man. If he doesn’t like who you are, then he’s not the right one. Stick to your metaphorical guns and find the one who loves you for who you are. I’m a tomboy. I admit it. My life became more complete when I found a man who thought the fact that I could burp and fart without getting all self-conscious was truly awesome. Now we’re married and we’ve been together for over 15 years.

That’s all I have to say. I’m sorry this thing is so long, but I’ve never had this much to say before unless I was writing a work of fiction. I hope this helps, Samara and jak. Incidentally, if you got to the end of this without being bored and clicking away, give yourself a gold star!

Now it’s your turn. Is there something you like about your current SO? If you don’t currently have an SO, what are you specifically looking for? Whose list made more sense? Jason’s or mine? Be honest, now! I’m really looking forward to your answers!