Be The Boyfriend You Wish You Had

Yes, you read the title correctly. It was a toss up between the one I chose and “Treat Yourself The Way You Wanted To Be Treated.” Both are quotes from one of my best friends. I don’t know how guys are, but when girls get together, all we do is bitch about our boyfriends. What they do wrong, why they can’t do anything right, what stupid ass thing they said, what stupid ass thing they did, etc, etc.

We could literally go on all day long. The ranting and raving usually ends with an end-of-the-night “I don’t want you to get the wrong idea because he really is a great guy” or “But I really do love him” — to which we always reply, “You don’t have to say that. I know he’s a good guy and, if you didn’t love him, you wouldn’t be with him.” Sometimes I like to throw in “because he’s such a dumbass that why would you be with him if you didn’t love the idiot?” to the end of that last statement.

Anyway, after years upon years of complaining about our boyfriends’ juvenile stupidity, my friends and I have decided to be the boyfriend that we wish we had. It’s pretty much the same concept as the Destiny’s Child’s Independent Women song. You can love him as much as you want, but don’t let his actions make you feel bad anymore.

You want to go to an expensive dinner and he won’t take you? Take yourself. You want beautiful flowers in a vase sitting in the center of your kitchen table? Buy them for yourself. You want to see a movie, or a Broadway show or a museum exhibit? Order the tickets and escort yourself. The same goes for jewelry or other less-sentimental items that you’ve had your eye on. If you love your boyfriend but he’s not doing it for you, complain less and treat yourself to more.

I don’t have a boyfriend, and I take myself out to dinners with friends, shop, and treat myself to manicures and hair appointments all the time. I can’t rely on a guy to swoop in and buy me everything I want — and I also can’t waste my life away wishing my boyfriend (if I get one) will have the caring, common sense, and money to do all of these things for me; therefore, I do it for myself.

Think about how much breath you waste complaining or how many hours of sleep you lose burdened by the thoughts of not getting what you want out of your relationship (tangibly-speaking). If you don’t want to break up with him (or if you’re single and don’t have a boyfriend at all), then simply be the boyfriend you wish you had.

Have you ever been your own boyfriend?

38 thoughts on “Be The Boyfriend You Wish You Had

  1. Yep. And taking care of yourself/treating yourself also sends the message to other people that you value yourself enough to do those things and that’s attractive. I think this makes someone inadvertently appealing to the opposite sex, even though I know that is not the point of your blog post. As a recently single girl (awful devastating breakup!) I now spend my time doing all kinds of things I enjoy and pamper myself like crazy. Best therapy ever : )

  2. Good point, Candice – being confident enough to pamper yourself without it coming from anyone else or simply just because sends a super “I’m worth it” message.

  3. This a great message to send our to young women (and not-so-young women). Someone just sent me this quote recently and I think it is certainly fitting: “No one is the reason of your happiness except YOU yourself”

  4. Whether it is relationships, friendships, parenting, etc. I truly believe that you can lead by example. I agree that if you hold yourself to a high standard others will hold you to it too. Well done!

  5. This is a great post and concept… yes, if there’s something you want you should go after it. However, think about WHY you want it too.

    I don’t want to go out to dinner simply because I want a nice meal – if that were the case i’d have my fiance cook at home since he’s a chef. I want to go out to dinner because it’s nice to not have to cook or clean up and I enjoy the company of whoever I chose to go with.

    I don’t want jewelery only because it’s pretty – I want it because it’s nice to know that your significant other cares about you and wants to show you by buying you pretty things.

    If I wanted flowers, surely I could buy them myself, but would it be the same as receiving them as a surprise? No… and I can tell you from experience. He sent me flowers for Valentine’s Day and the surprise and knowing he picked the flowers, the vase and the words in the card made it special.

    By all means, go after what you want.. but continue to voice your feelings of what you want and what you feel you’re missing. Any man who cares about you should at least attempt to accommodate you.

  6. I have been single for over a year now. This has been the longest I have gone without a boyfriend since I started dating in highschool. I can honestly say with great confidence I am happy. I have realized you have to love yourself before anyone else can love you. Some of my friends are in very toxic relationships and they call and cry and vent to me all the time. Listening to them has made me realize a lot of things I did wrong in past relationships and what I am not going to put up with in future relationships. I do everything you say in this post. I am always on the move going new places expericning new things. I am loving life right now and I never thougt I could be single and say that. :-)

  7. If your in a relationship you are choosing to stay with that person so you can’t complain about the things they aren’t doing. If you don’t like it leave! I hate how girls complain, but then want everyone to love their boyfriend like they do.

  8. I totally agree with you, Jen! Around Christmas time I was dating someone but it was very new so we weren’t exchanging gifts, which was perfectly fine with me. I got myself a couple of jewelry items to treat myself. It made me happy to get them for myself. My little relationship ended last month and to cheer myself up I bought flowers a couple of times to have in my apartment. It’s funny how little things like that can totally change your mood and spruce up your environment. I try to do things for myself that I know make me feel good. And this doesn’t just have to do with expensive gifts or gifts at all, it’s about caring enough about yourself to not deny yourself of good and positive things. Just because you don’t have a boyfriend at the moment doesn’t mean you’re not entitled to a little pampering. A close friend tells me all the time “relationships are great, but you need to know that if it doesn’t work out you’re going to be ok”. Of course it would be nice if someone you like or love gave you attention, flowers, little gifts, but in the end no one is going to love you more than you love yourself, so why not DIY while you wait for that special one :)

  9. Wow, Jen. This is exactly what I needed. Over the weekend I decided to take a step back from the toxic relationship I was in and asked for a bit of a break. We’ve been together several years and I’ve been ready to take the next step now for a very long time. I hinted as much as I could and at times was as blunt and direct as possible.

    But after a long discussion this weekend, I came to the realization that I’ve been strung along for all this time and he has no intentions of being committed anytime soon. He asked what was wrong with “just waiting” and that an engagement wouldn’t change anything because things are “great as they are”.

    This post is a blessing because it reminds me that I WILL be ok and have to allow myself some ME time. From now on I will get myself flowers and pamper myself and do things for myself because you know what? I’m worth it. I know that now. Thanks for the reassurance!

  10. I love this post!! It is such a truth all across the board that in life you have to be your best friend and that you can only find true happiness within yourself. Never rely on anyone to give you what you want out of life. We are a strong and independent generation of women and we should focus on our success before we try and settle down or follow what’s been the “norm” for all these years. I love taking myself shopping, out to eat, to the movies….I have even traveled to various destinations alone. There is nothing like fulfilling your own needs because in the end it will make for a better relationship between you and your man. Be the boyfriend you want. Treat yourself like gold and the universe will provide the man thats on the same level….and who knows? Maybe when you are out alone, you’ll run into the man of your dreams ;)

  11. I completely agree with this post Jen. Treating yourself is the best thing, no need for a guy to make you feel like a princess. I always get myself the nicest things and it’s the best feeling! When you meet a guy (potential boyfriend) and he notices you are perfectly fine just without one it makes you feel good about yourself leathers them enjoy the chase… Xo! Great post!

  12. I have been single for over a year. I’m currently happy to the point where I’m not looking for a relationship. I’m enjoying my solitude. Although it’s nice to receive flowers from your bf, you should treat yourself as well.

    As RuPaul puts it: If you don’t love yourself then how in the world are you going to love somebody else?!…. Well, something like that, haha!

    But if you wish those things in a relationship then communicate with your guy and let him know you’re into it. Not all women and men like romance and we all are not mind readers. I think some fault should be placed on the unhappy gal. Let him know nicely and don’t nag the guy

  13. Sorry! For some reason the comment section is acting up and I couldn’t post my novel long comment. To finish up my comment… I think someone mentioned before that if the girl is unhappy in the relationship she should leave. I agree but after there’s been an attempt to work things out.

    In conclusion, buy yourself flowers and take yourself out. Show yourself some love!

  14. I love this post. It’s so true especially since I’d spent Valentines Day with my BFF and we pretended to be each other’s date. I hate having to nag any guy to treat me to anything special because let’s face it, if you have to tell them to do something, they probably hadn’t wanted to do it in the first place.

  15. I keep flip flopping my feelings on this. I love the stability of a relationship and the surprises and all the good things that come with it, but when a relationship ends and you feel so crushed you can’t just wallow in your sorrows forever!

    No one is going to want the sad lonely girl begging for a relationship. You have to keep on truckin’ and do things that make you happy. Have a spa day, go to lunch with your girlfriends, see the chick flick that jerky boyfriend would never agree to see with you! As for things like flowers and jewelry I’ll do without until the next love comes swooping into my life and showers me with everything i could ever ask for!! Only in the movies? A girl can dream can’t she!? ;)

  16. As for the self-pampering things like getting a mani/pedi or my hair done — I definitely think women should be doing these things for ourselves (and men should be doing them too as part of their relaxation and self-maintenance rituals). Those are things that relieve stress and make me feel good about myself, so I do them whether or not I am dating/in a relationship or single.

    Now, as for taking myself out for dinner or to a movie,etc — I do those things for myself too. However, if I am seeing someone that NEVER wants to pay and/or participate in these activities, what’s the point of the relationship? Spending time together doing these type of activities are important. I’m cool with paying half of the time, but the guy should be paying the other half of the time (unless he has a short-term financial crisis, etc) or it feels like he’s sponging and that is such a turn-off.

  17. Even if you are in a committed relationship, you should always “be the boyfriend/girlfriend you wish you had.” For one, it shows that you’re independent enough to not need that person financially, but also, it shows that person how you’d like to be treated. Hopefully, they’ll get the hint and man (or woman!) up :)

  18. There’s no reason to be taking yourself out on dates alone if you have a boyfriend. I understand what you’re saying here, but don’t go too easy on us. If the boyfriend you have isn’t the one you wish you had or feel you deserve, get rid of him and find another.

  19. Oh Jen, I was my own boyfriend for the past 2 years, even though I am currently in a relationship (and it’s going so well!).

    I found it easier to pamper myself, have time for myself and my friends, do work and school work for me and revolve around me as a single gal.

    But my boyfriend does pamper me now too. I don’t like flowers so I wouldn’t have him buy any for me. He picks me up from school and work whenever he is available to. He gets the (almost every) door for me (almost every) time. Sometimes, it’s just time saving for me to open the door on my own. He is very intelligent and helps me with my school work. He hates my job as much as I do. And it’s absolutely amazing to have someone to snuggle up against while watching tv. Did I mention he cooks for me?

    Yea it does suck that not all men out there is as fantastic as my man, but Jen, if you recall- I had to deal with a whole mess of assholes before I found this perfect boyfriend.

    What I’m trying to say is, I love myself and I found someone that compliments me (metaphorically and literally). I spoiled myself before I was spoiled by my bf. It really wasn’t all that difficult to be top notch me.

  20. Alexis: It really is true. You can’t rely on someone else for your happiness and, like you said, it doesn’t hurt to “guide” them a little haha.

  21. Buffy: It’s true…I do those things regardless, because it makes me look and feel like a rockstar. And, you’re right, if your boyfriend isn’t doing those things with you (at least occasionally), they’re boring as hell or a free-loader and should be cut.

  22. Mila: Haha, no it’s not only in the movies! (I hope not, anyway!) But you should try to buy yourself flowers…it really perks a person up.

  23. Kitty: (1) Good for you hanging out with your friend on V-Day instead of a guy! (2) So true. (2) It loses it’s meaning when you have to tell someone to do something for you. (That’s a good blog post idea actually, haha!)

  24. Mandy: It’s true — Success and fulfilling your own needs really does take precedence over a guy doing it for you. And that’s a good point! Maybe you’ll meet your perfect guy WHILE you’re out there treating yourself!

  25. Kimberly: About the first part: Aww, I’m so sorry to hear that. It’s really rough when our partner doesn’t want the same things we do (or at least at the same time we do). About the second part: Good for you! Why shouldn’t you pamper yourself and make yourself happy?! Especially if he isn’t doing all that! I’m glad this post helped you my dear :) Stay strong and stay happy!

  26. MC: Good for you buying yourself stuff at Christmas! I love doing that. It still counts as Christmas presents, haha. And, yes, why not do it for yourself while you wait for your special someone!

  27. I think being really busy also does good for anyone. Filling you day with fun experiences and little treats (a cappuccino at work, an afternoon pedicure, etc.) helps boost your moral and self esteem. Consequently, happiness makes people appear more attractive and vying for a spot in a busy schedule keeps an element of chase in the relationship.

  28. “be your own windkeeper…Rachel!!” lmao there can always be a reference to “Friends”…anyway i love this blog this is one of my favs!! <3

  29. Angelica… “Any man who cares about you should at least attempt to accommodate you.” = perfectly put.

  30. Thanks! This post made me feel much better. Instead of sulking how my live-in boyfriend got me beer for my birthday when I thought that maybe this would be the year he’d actually get me jewelry (mind you were in our early 30s), I’m going to go treat myself to necklace after work!

  31. Sarah: Good for you! If a guy isn’t going to do the right thing by us — then we have to do it for ourselves!

  32. Thanks Jen for such good advice! I went out to buy myself flowers recently, and felt a little bit stupid. I should not! This article made me felt so much better!

    And I’m so glad to know that I’m not the only one struggling in dating. I wrote a blog too about my misadventures, come visit!

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