Hey, everyone! The Frisky has 19 ways to feel more confident about your relationship! Isn't that great?
Well, not "Hey, everyone," so much as I meant, "Hey, women in relationships with men!" Because let's face it, heterochicks: every single suggestion is written with your significant other as a penis-bearing person, with the assumption that you are a vagina-individual. Because everyone's in those kinds of relationships, duh, and men-people don't have to do anything to boost a relationship. Men-people aren't really that INTO relationships, if I remember my Patriarchy 101 well. But let's look at these 19 awes tips, yeah?
"1) Don't snoop unless you really have good reason not to trust him. E-mails and voice mails taken out of context can cause a lot of unnecessary heartache."
That's right, ladies. I know how much you snoop. And, I mean, you're allowed to do it if you have a good reason! But stop snooping, you insecure chicks who always snoop! (Assumption: Women snoop to see if they can catch male significant others cheating; does not suggest any sort of communication if one person in the relationship is worried about infidelity.)
"2) Give him a little friendly competition. It doesn't hurt for him to know that your tall, built, wildly successful artist friend from college periodically tells you you're the one who got away and it's the biggest regret of his life."
Because who needs honest discourse? If you don't feel appreciated in your relationship, just hurt your manfriend by letting him know that you could maybe have it so much better. Totally ethical! (Intentionally hurting your SO because you don't feel appreciated is pretty much wrongitty wrong.)
"3) Skip the games and be up-front. If something's bothering you, tell him directly. Guys don't know what to make of it, and it shakes them up and gives you the upper hand."
Never mind that this tip totally negates the previous one. Remember, guys EXPECT you to play mindgames, so if you don't play mindgames, it'll fuck with him (like a mindgame!) and it'll give you the upper hand ... in your mindgames. (Always be up-front, even when it's something as simple as, "I've had a bad day today, and it would make me feel better if I got some attention." Don't be up front so you can fuck with your significant other; that's dishonest.)
"4) Be confident in yourself. Finish your degree, apply for the better job or write that novel. If you have a good sense of your own self-worth, you'll be confident in your relationship."
Yes! Because you should be doing all of these things for the sake of your relationship! (You should be doing these things anyway; this is more of a life tip. Value yourself and your time, and do the things you want to do. Don't do it only because you want to strengthen your relationship.)
"5) Set some ground rules at the beginning. If you both agree that Friday is the night for hanging out with your friends separately, it won't be a conflict when he wants to play poker or you want to take a short road trip with some girlfriends." (Nothing inherently wrong with this tip. It's similar to being up-front; if you expect to see each other every weekend, and your SO feels differently, you want to get this out in the open before one of you is resentful.)
"6) Don't let the relationship progress too far without discussing major issues. Having children, religious differences, whether either one of you is willing to relocate for a job -- these can be land mines in the future." (Also nothing wrong here; again, this goes with being up-front. If you're reasonably sure that you don't want children, and your SO is reasonably sure that s/he does not, it's time to either figure out a compromise or consider ending the relationship.)
"7) Work out. It reduces stress and releases endorphins and makes you hot."
There's no excuse not to work out, ladies! It reduces stress even if you're so busy you have to get up at 5 am to do it! It makes you hot so you can be that trophy girlfriend for your hunk of manmeat! And obviously, you all have time for it, you're all able to afford it, and your body is 100% capable of a full work-out! Awesome. (This is not a remotely decent tip; the underlying assumption is that you'll feel more confident in your relationship if your manfriend finds you more attractive. This devalues women's worth with regards to everything except appearance, and it assumes that every woman, regardless of ability, income, number of children, number of jobs/work-school hours, etc. etc., is capable of working out.)
"8) Be affectionate. If he returns the affection, it'll make you confident. If not, it's time to find a new boyfriend who is affectionate."
Shower him with love! That's the only way to get that bf to shower you right back. You know, you're responsible for this part of the relationship. And if he's not affectionate in the way you want him to be, dump him! (People are affectionate in different ways. If you're feeling neglected, talk to your SO. That's not to say that you can't ramp up your own affection-displays, but there should be some mutual affection anyway.)
"9) Avoid the temptation to endlessly analyze details. If he wears the shirt his ex-girlfriend bought him, it may just mean that it's the only clean white shirt he has that day."
Because boys are dirty!! Hehehehehehe. (Everyone overanalyzes; it's not necessarily a girl thing. It's often a hard habit to break; my favorite way is to catch myself doing it, and to tell myself, "Here's one little thing that happened that seemed like it could be negative. But here are three little things that happened that seem positive. And here are three HUGE, important things--meeting parents, planning future trips, etc.--that are definitely positive. There's nothing to worry about.")
"10) Similarly, avoid discussing relationship issues with paranoid girlfriends. Paranoia is contagious and, before you know it, you'll be worrying if your boyfriend is cheating, because your friend's husband came home smelling of Angel when she wears only Poison."
Because all women are crazy paranoid, and no good friend would ever reassure you about an insecurity. Also, don't talk to your friends for support! (Friends are a great source of support, whether you want to gush about your SO or express a concern. This is a stupid tip.)
"11) Have lots of outside interests apart from the relationship. When you start to feel insecure, it helps to have something else to obsess over."
Well, we all drop everything when we've got a boyfriend, so it's totes understandable that you have nothing to do except obsess over the poor guy! (Don't people normally have interests outside relationships? It's not healthy to drop everything even if you're NOT feeling insecure. This tip also implies that women need SOMETHING to obsess over; plenty of women--and people--are not obsessive.)
"12) Present your best self to your partner and the world. Don't always go out dressed in sweats, and don't sleep in ratty T-shirts every single night. The old adage is true: When you look good, you probably feel good."
AKA look hot! (No, when you FEEL good, you feel good. And your "best self" can be more than just your clothing and appearance. If you're feeling insecure about your relationship, this tip will only help superficially. If at all.)
"13) Replace negative self-talk with affirmations. Every time you find yourself thinking, "I don't deserve this guy," change it to "I deserve a wonderful relationship and more.""
(It's worth mentioning that this tip is a reversal of the ridiculously bullshit assumption that a woman is lucky to have "caught" any guy. That's good.)
"14) Don't let yourself become dependent. Know how to unclog the sink and change a tire. Skills are confidence boosters."
Because being a woman means that normally, daddy and hubby are the ones to do all the dirty work! (You should learn these things even if you're single, unless you don't own a car, in which case, it matters less about the tire.)
"15) Let go of emotional baggage. If your grandma told you your sister was the pretty one or your dance teacher said you weren't graceful enough to be in the front row, it doesn't mean your boyfriend thinks you're homely or a klutz now."
Don't freak him out with all of your weird problems, ladiez! (While it's a good thing to let go of your personal insecurities, it should be for yourself, regardless of your relationship status.)
"16) Be yourself. Trying to maintain a façade is exhausting and confidence-eroding."
(Negating tip #12, or at least in my case!)
"17) Similarly, let him be himself. If he feels like you're always picking at him, he'll strike back and it won't feel good."
Because it's up to you to groom your man, but not too much! Don't want to drive him away! (This tip is common sense; the reasoning behind it--nagging--is stupid.)
"18) Don't compare your relationship to other people's relationships. The grass isn't always greener, and you never know what's going on behind closed doors."
(This is actually a good tip; a lot of my friends have been a bit secretive about major relationship issues. It wasn't until I got out of a very unhappy sexual relationship that I learned that one of my seemingly happy friends was having the same problems I was.)
"19) Memorize his credit card numbers. You'll always have the capacity for really serious revenge."