Here’s a list of things that actually matter to me, as a girlfriend, far more than what “10 Types of Guys Women Love” articles can ever assume.
Because most of us don’t stay in love just because he’s “nice/kind/handsome/smart/financially stable/cooks well”, unless the girl is leeching onto superficial means.
I wrote this to remember that the most impactful memories in life are usually the nameless moments on ordinary days, when there’s no commercialised #Vday obligation to do something special – moments born from the choice of daily effort to express one’s love in a million other ways than saying “I Love You.”
That we, as females, do appreciate the simple albeit extraordinary little things (and it doesn’t take Mr. Grey to sweep a girl off her feet).
1. WILLINGLY ABLE TO TRAVEL FOR ME
My bf wakes up at 5am almost everyday to gym before work starts. If he sleeps at my place, he’ll leave earlier to drive home. One day, I woke up for work surprised to see him again. He drove all the way back just to send me to the station so I could save me those few minutes taking the bus.
I’ve been on first dates where the guy would make plans to his convenience or go on about how “far he had to drive”. Once, when I needed a lift home from work (I usually take the train), I had an ex who said he didn’t want to pay $4 for ERP charge but spent $20k gambling instead. My bf has been doing it for >6 years since we were just friends without saying a word.
2. KNOWING MY FOOD CRAVINGS
We all know the repetitive “what shall we eat” question despite the endless options in Singapore. But for a guy to make thoughtful decisions, that’s a plus.
Yesterday I ended work and was too tired to think of a place for dinner so I left it to him to decide. Instead of just going to a place he liked, he remembered that I casually mentioned a craving for Popiah the day before and Googled for the “best place for Popiah” (yes, I lurrrve Popiah).
3. REMEMBERING WARM DRINKS HELP MENSTRUAL CRAMPS
I was eating dinner at home when he asked if I wanted a drink. When he came back from the kitchen, he silently placed a warm cup of milk on the table (I usually have it cold).
He knew I was on my period and the day before, he spied at me adding hot water to my milk because I had cramps.
4. BEING TRANSPARENT ABOUT HIS PHONE
A lot of guys don’t realize just much women decipher from body language, be it tilting the screen away when a text pops or placing your phone facing down during dinner (yet picking it up to check every 5 minutes).
When I first got together with my bf, he said, “ton of couples argue over social media/phone matters. I don’t want you to be insecure. I’ll set your thumbprint as a password and I make it clear that you can view my phone whenever you want.” Despite so, I’ve never swiped in before, but I’ll always be grateful for the thought.
5. BEING SENSIBLE ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA
Relating to point 4, a lot of men may not be doing anything guilty, but they find it intrusive for partners to view their phone and end up arguing about it due to pride (which might make matters worse, as what’s there to hide, right?).
In this digital age, there are ton of gorgeous (or photoshopped) people easily found on Instagram’s explore page, and we hear of cheating cases stemmed from online connections all the damn time. Unless his gf is overly paranoid and haunts all his contacts, a little assurance goes a long way.
6. BEING NICE TO MY FRIENDS
A man who is good for you, will be good to those who are good to you. I love it when my bf gladly does what I would for my friends, like sending them home despite their insistence to drop them at “just somewhere convenient” because I asked him if he could. In Singapore, that’s extra brownie points when it’s the most expensive place to own a car.
7. BEING RESPECTFUL TO MY FAMILY (AND TELLING ME TO BE)
Even on days when I’m raging about my mum being a bloody maniac terrorist (don’t worry I love you mum), he keeps me in check and reminds me of how I’d feel on normal days when my PMS isn’t as cathartic.
8. BEING SENSIBLE ABOUT “GUY TALK” (IF IT CONCERNS MY RESPECT)
I understand that guys are entitled to guy talks (but in fact, women can actually be more explicit). I constantly hear of men crossing the line in conversations when they say “eh don’t tell (insert gf’s name) okay? She’ll kill me.”
My bf’s acquaintance tried to persuade him to have “Thailand plans”. Even after saying “no”, that guy insisted “don’t worry I won’t tell Chev okay,” which pissed my bf off a little because it disrespected me. Men who stand up against other men who disrespect you in a way that’s “socially accepted” but hurtful can have the express queue in marriage.
9. REMINDING ME OF HOW MY FLAWS ARE OK
Never underestimate the impact of a cystic pimple on a female’s emotional stability. Even if he says I’m still beautiful and I say “stop it I’m not”, he repeats it anyway. Which is kind of cute, because yes we do need to hear it even if we say we don’t.
For extra marks, he’ll spend time assuring me that it’s not as bulbous as the baboon butt I described (and we do know if it’s a genuine compliment or not).
10. HELPING ME WITH CHORES
Running errands like choosing curtains, carrying my IKEA basket, and fixing those curtains, what more can I say? Extra points when he recommends something even better, like changing the knob too…because “might as well”. I never knew I’d be so appreciative about a boyfriend who is a handyman too (he helped me assemble & fix my furniture and lights).
It could also be washing the dishes, or helping to take the cutleries for my friends at my birthday party.
11. SAYING MY SINGING IS GOOD (LOL)
“And I’m not saying it just because I’m your boyfriend.” +1pt / “You have a soothing voice, or maybe because it’s just you.” +5pts / *Falls asleep when I sing* +100pts
12. LETTING ME CHANGE TO THE SONG I WANT
Even if he had too much feels; intensely lip-synching and bobbing his head to his playlist while driving.
13. LETTING ME CHARGE MY 20% PHONE WHEN HE HAS 38% (LOL)
Perhaps he knows I’ll spend the extra battery ‘Snapchatting’ him so it’s worth it. But a guy who lets me have more battery life is like the digital equivalent to sacrificing his life in reality so I can live longer. Think Jack in Titanic. (just kiddin…but it’s quite cute tbh)
14. COVERING ME IF I SEEM COLD
There’s nothing quite as simple, yet touching, as being looked after when you’re in the most vulnerable state of slumber. Or even if I’m in the cinema and I don’t say a word. “Take my jacket lah.”
15. BEING THOUGHTFUL ABOUT GIFTS
It’s not about how expensive, but rather how thoughtful and personal a gift is, that makes it truly gifting. It’s only when you know the value of money that you’ll know the value of what money cannot buy.
An expensive bag won’t make me as happy as a man who knows how to work within his budget (for our future maybe?), and give something that he remembers I need. I’m not the salvation army, I can buy my own shit.
16. CALLING ME IN CASE I OVERSLEEP
Because he knows my morning routine and if something’s amiss like a late text reply, he’ll take the initiative to call me just to make sure I don’t oversleep for work. Or gentle reminders about things I need to do even if it doesn’t concern him.
17. WANTING TO KNOW HOW MY DAY WAS
Even if I’ve ranted about the same thing for 50 times, a guy who genuinely listens and thinks of a logical reply is a sweetheart.
Because even if the topic doesn’t matter to him, he knows it matters to me. Always, always be with someone who wants to know what’s in your head.
18. SOLVING AN ARGUMENT THE GENTLEMAN’S WAY
As we grow older, it’s more important to be kind than to be right. I spent 6 years in a past relationship arguing repeatedly because it was all about “me being right” and not “us being okay”.
To stop the fight, all it took was my bf to pause mid-way and place his hand on me. He looked at me in the eye in a way that souls speak better than tongues (aka bribing puppy eyes) and said, “you know it really hurts me and I don’t know why you need to turn agro on me. I can’t use that tone on you because that’s just how much I love you, you know that.” Seeing him tear up made me forget what the fight was about.
19. SAYING SORRY WITH REFLECTION
A lot of men don’t know how to apologise. Saying sorry is brave, but saying sorry with genuine reflection and the will to make a change is a true gentleman’s gesture.
Especially when you say it like THIS: “Hey just wanted to call you and say I’m sorry I ranted to you so much about work. I thought about it and it made me seem like a man-child haha. Thanks for hearing me out, and I know that you have your own problems so I feel bad having to burden you with mine.”
20. ASKING ME WHAT HE SHOULD WEAR
You get the picture: a bored spouse in a polo tee and unwashed denims tragically nodding away while his excited girlfriend sashays across in different outfits. Unlike the latest Heineken closet ad, it’s actually nice when a man goes with your opinion about his outfit.
21. ADVISING WHAT’S BEST FOR ME, WITHOUT FORCING ME
A girlfriend told me that she cut off a man from Tinder because on the first date, he rigidly told her that she “shouldn’t smoke.” Fun fact: women do know the hazards.
Her answer? “Yes I know smoking is bad but I hate guys who keep dictating. Like ni shi shui (who are you)?” I appreciate men who advise, but never force. If there’s something my boyfriend doesn’t like, he reminds politely, but never throws his weight around because he knows he cannot force my decisions.
22. RESPECTING WHAT I LIKE (CLOTHES, HOBBIES)
I’ve had numerous Ask.FM questions from girls who are heavily restricted on what they can or cannot wear. Refer to point 21.
23. BEING ABLE TO PROTECT ME (PHYSICALLY, MENTALLY)
Yes, it does make a difference to have a boyfriend who is fit/tough. What if I was robbed?
24. ENCOURAGING ME INSTEAD OF PUTTING ME DOWN
Everyone has insecurities. But a spouse who supports you to be the best version of yourself, in a patient and loving manner that grandparents know, is the greatest blessing a human can receive.
And supporting me isn’t telling me that every idea I have is “going to work” – it’s giving me a truthful opinion about what won’t, and what’s best, while helping me in any way I need so I can achieve what’s possible.
So when they ask “why did you pick him”, I know that there is a difference between somebody who wants you and somebody who would do anything to keep you.
I was best friends with my boyfriend, Stephanus, for >6 years before we got together. This is for him. 🙂