1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Don’t let the relationship progress too far without discussing major issues.
Having children, religious differences, whether either of you is willing to relocate for a job — these can be landmines in the future.
4. Exercise often.
It reduces stress, releases endorphins, and makes you hot.
5. Don’t snoop unless you really have good reason not to trust him.
Emails and voicemails taken out of context can cause a lot of unnecessary heartache.
6. 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 that it’s the biggest regret of his life.
7. 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.
8. Be affectionate.
If he returns the affection, it’ll make you confident. If not, it’s time to find a newboyfriend who is affectionate.
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.
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 only wears Poison.
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.
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 singlenight. The old adage is true: when you look good, you probably feel good.
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.”
14. Don’t let yourself become dependent.
Know how to unclog the sink and change a tire. Skills are confidence boosters.
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.
16. Be yourself.
Trying to maintain a façade is exhausting and confidence-eroding.
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.
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.
H/T: The Frisky