I am always amused when I see a “relationship status” on Facebook that says, “It’s complicated.” What exactly does that mean? He cheated and I may not take him back? We broke up but maybe we’ll get back together? He’s married but maybe he’ll get a divorce? With all of the complications in life, why would any female choose a complicated relationship?
I’ve had many, and they were not enjoyable. What I came to learn is that the long-lasting relationship involves a very “simple” boyfriend – one who takes all of the drama and uncertainty out of that aspect of my life. So, here’s to the simple boyfriend and 18 things that he brings to a relationship!
1. He is honest
When you have fixed your grandma’s famous pork chops for a special dinner, he tells you that pork is his least favorite meat. He’ll then give you a big hug and say that he will eat them anyway, because he loves you.
2. He is trustworthy
When he says he can’t meet you because he has to work late, he calls later from work, just to say “hi.” A knock on your door at 10:00 pm – there he stands with flowers and a bottle of wine to share.
3. He is even-tempered
While you are freaking out over a situation at work or some personal family crisis, he holds you tightly, soothes you with a great shoulder rub, and tells you that everything will be okay. If plans for a weekend getaway go awry because you have a paper or a work project due, he will bring over your favorite take-out and offer to help.
4. He is not possessive
When you haven’t seen your girl friends for a while, he encourages you to take that trip with them and offers to “dog-sit” while you are gone. You then come home to an immaculately clean apartment with a “Welcome Back” gift on your kitchen table.
5. He is flexible
You have to cancel a date to a concert because of a nasty cold. He goes to the concert venue, sells the tickets, and arrives at the door with your favorite take-out and a movie.
6. He is unselfish
He thinks of you at least as much as he thinks of himself. If you don’t want to see a particular movie, that’s fine with him – he will let you pick an alternative. If you’re too tired to get all primped up to go to that party, he’ll stay home with you and watch TV instead.
7. He is not jealous
One of your best male friends from high school is in town, and you want to meet him for dinner. The simple boyfriend gives you a big hug and tells you to have a good time. Simple boyfriends are self-confident enough to understand that everyone has friends of both sexes without any romantic or “flirty” motives.
8. He likes himself
This is so important. When a boyfriend is “comfortable in his own skin,” he does not have to pretend to have or to be something else. He doesn’t have to be a “player” or try to impress you or anyone else. It’s so refreshing! When the two of you are out with your work friends, he readily admits that he knows very little about the work you all do. Later, he tells you how much he respects what you and your fellow workers do, even though he may never fully understand the challenges and the responsibilities.
9. He won’t ask you to change
Not your hair, not your make-up, not your dress, not your habits, not your laugh, nor your weight and not your beliefs and principles. He will never worry if you ate some extra cookies and that you love going to the gym mainly because your personal trainer is super hot (see point 7). He understands that everyone has their own quirks, style, and values, and he accepts them with love.
My current boyfriend never asks me to buy new clothing that is more in keeping with his “crowd” (despite the fact that I am a modest, plain dresser), nor does he request that I “tone down” my heated discussions with his friends and family members. Instead, he celebrates my individuality by telling me often that he loves who I am, just as I am. I once had a boyfriend who was on the school board of a district in which I was a teacher. When we decided to go on strike, and I was painting signs in my garage, he arrived for dinner and helped me finish up the painting! No, he didn’t support the strike, but he supported my right to disagree!
10. He is not concerned with “appearances”
When you choose a particularly “outspoken” mode of dress, and you are on your way to a party of his friends, he will honor your individuality, stay by your side and proudly introduce you to other guests. When you have not had time to “do” your hair, and choose a pony tail instead, he will tell you that he loves your hair like that!
11. He accepts your friends and family
No one has a perfect set of friends or family members. I have had a friend for over 10 years, whom I love dearly, but she has some very annoying personality aspects. For one thing, she talks incessantly and hops from one topic to the next, barely taking a breath. But she is my friend and has always “been there” for me. A few boyfriends I have had refused to be around her and wanted me to severely curtail my times with her. My current boyfriend may joke about her privately, but he is kind, gracious and “puts up” with her whenever we are all together (with a smile, I might add).
12. He has your back
Simple boyfriends will not deliberately put you in uncomfortable situations or will extricate you if they have. And if your plane has been delayed two hours, he will not tell you to take cab because your arrival is just too late. He will be there with a silly “welcome home” sign. And he will not allow friends or family members to be rude or discourteous to you. In short, he is loyal.
13. He doesn’t like drama
Simple boyfriends do not create drama, nor do they participate in it. While drama may be exciting and stimulating to some, it is a sign of immaturity, and immature boyfriends do not make for lasting relationships. When your friends are in an uproar about a cheating husband or wife and an impending divorce, he will calmly listen to your “rants” and honor your feelings, but he will not take sides and insert himself into the drama. He is your “steady Eddie,” helping you to gain the perspective you need.
14. He is patient
If you are not ready for physical intimacy or for the two of you to move in together, he will not push you or try to “guilt” you into something with which you are not comfortable. Patience extends to smaller matters too, like not freaking out because you are going to be 30 minutes late. If you are late for a dinner date, he will welcome you with open arms, just glad that you could make it at all!
15. He doesn’t play games
The “bad boy” types tend to be game players. They may give you a “rush” at first, go AWOL for a time, come back into your life, etc. They are unreliable and will never participate in a solid relationship. The simple boyfriend is steady and thinks playing games is immature – and it is. If an old girlfriend needs his help to get out of an abusive relationship, he will explain the situation to you, describe what he will be doing to help, and will keep you “in the loop” the entire time. When he returns, he will shower you with love and appreciation for your understanding and willingness to support him.
16. He likes simple activities as long as they are with you
The simple boyfriend will be happy to take walks with your dog, to have a lazy day of reading, to grocery shop with you, or to go to the laundromat. His happiness comes from being with you, and he states this regularly. He will offer to run errands for you or to help you clean your apartment, with a smile on his face and a lot of cuddling when the tasks are completed.
17. He sees his girlfriend as his best friend too
The simple boyfriend wants to be a friend just as much as he wants to be a lover. Beware of the boyfriend who does not honestly confide in you and ask you to confide in him. This is not a permanent partner. When your simple boyfriend, on the other hand, hears that you are having a difficult time with your ex-husband over child support or visitation, he will want to hear about it, to help you consider options, and to support the decision you ultimately make.
18. He won’t degrade you
The need to call you names and to criticize you is a form of emotional abuse and comes from two sources – low self-esteem and the need to exert power. Simple boyfriends lift you up! If you are having a bad hair day, or a sudden outbreak of acne, he will tell you how beautiful you are in his eyes. If you have inadvertently insulted one of his friends, he will re-confirm his love for you by intervening to repair any “damage.”