• Always try to be forgiving of mistakes and wrongs (whether big or small, accidental or intentional), and be accepting of her flaws (whether physical, mental or situational).
• In general women are physically smaller and have less muscular strength than men. Make her feel safe physically, not necessarily by being big and strong (though that helps – time to renew that gym membership!) but by showing that you can protect her with wits and wisdom (for example by demonstrating an ability to defuse confrontational situations with words).
This isn’t limited to interactions with people – something as simple as catching her if she stumbles or trips can also help. Speaking of the physical, she must feel that you find only her beautiful – at the very least, don’t let her catch you blatantly eyeballing anyone else (this includes celebrities).
• Be honest, reliable and predictable. Always stay true to your word, no matter how trivial the matter. A forgotten promise to you is a lie to her. On a related note, always be open and transparent about everything in your life – a good start is to involve her with your family and friends. Imagine you’ve been with someone for years and you only just find out about a longtime friend or family of hers – it happens and really it’s not a big deal as long as no deception was involved, but it doesn’t change the fact you might feel at least a little hurt.
• Money matters, but it’s not about being a billionaire. Demonstrating that you can handle financial matters with good judgement and decisions (doesn’t mean you need to be a cheapskate) and showing that you can plan for the future are more important that any dollar amount (e.g. finding good deals on hotels and flights for a trip).
• Never put her down or demean her, whether it’s directly at her or indirectly through a third party (e.g. telling her or friends that you’re too good for her). That’s just the start though – constant positive comments that increase her self esteem will complete the magic (be specific and genuine).
• Life is unpredictable. Be a solid rock for her when she goes through emotionally unstable times (exams, family issues, work problems, etc.), and ensure that she feels it’s safe to express her feelings when with you without feeling shame (letting your own vulnerabilities be visible to her too helps, especially if it’s related to what she’s currently going through).
Patience is often necessary as low points usually take time to pass – refrain from the temptation to make her “snap out of it” using logic (e.g. if she talks about a conflict with a coworker, be supportive and listen rather than direct her to a website about conflict resolution skills). In a situation involving a disagreement with a third party, make sure you firmly take her side.
• Be in touch with how and what she thinks, and make sure she knows this and that you are “on the same wavelength” with her so that she knows there’s always someone who understands and “connects with” her in any situation. There are times in life when your actions have to be in sync without exchanging a single word.
• Let her know that you love her – not just with words, but with sweet behaviors (and gifts) too. Little things add up to paint a big picture of just how important she is to you, and she will see it. Even better, show that she’s more important to you than anything else in your life.
• Make sure you have your own life together – saying you’ll support her weight-loss efforts when you’re a fat slob yourself isn’t going to instill much confidence.