Everybody's different -- therefore, defining what a good boyfriend is depends on what qualities a person values, especially if you're looking for someone with long-term relationship potential. There are many desirable characteristics for a boyfriend to have, but ultimately you'll have to decide what strengths you value in a romantic partner.
Honesty is a basic tenet of any healthy relationship. You definitely want your boyfriend to be honest with you so that you will trust him. Research by James McNulty, Ph.D., of Florida State University indicates that honestly expressing difficult emotions, such as anger, may be healthier for a relationship than simply showing forgiveness while still harboring resentful feelings. When difficult times arise, you want a trustworthy boyfriend who will honestly share his thoughts and feelings with you for the benefit of the relationship.
A good communicator is one who listens as well as he talks. He lets you speak without interrupting, and he makes honest attempts to understand what you are saying. During conflicts, many people are inclined to pre-plan responses without listening to their partners, and some even become over-critical and judgmental. If your boyfriend encourages you to express your thoughts and feelings, even if they differ from his, then this is definitely one of his strong suits.
A boyfriend that makes you laugh brings a significant strength to your relationship. Health professionals with Help Guide state that "when laughter is shared, it binds people together and increases happiness and intimacy." Whenever you find yourself taking things in life too seriously, it's nice to have a boyfriend who can help you see the humor in situations and encourages you to lighten up. Laughter also offers great health benefits, such as a stronger immune system and boosts of energy.
Being wined and dined by your boyfriend may make you feel loved and appreciated, but it may be an impractical gesture if it doesn't fit his budget. If your relationship becomes serious and the two of you are considering a long-term partnership, you will want to know that your boyfriend will make responsible choices that won't cause him or you harm. While no one is perfect-- and mistakes are inevitable -- you should feel confident that your boyfriend will make good choices overall.
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