Based on my own expectations in men and my own experience, these are the things I believe you should be able to teach your boyfriend without annoying them too much, or without having to bribe them with a sandwich.
1. You can like my taste in TV shows, too you know?
So far I’ve managed to get Rhys to watch 2 Broke Girls, Glee, and two seasons of Grey’s Anatomy. To my delight, he actually enjoyed it and the only thing I couldn’t sway him on was Geordie Shore. But hey, 3 out of 4 isn’t bad.
2. The release of the bitter, angry, chocolate munching beast inside me once a month works in your favour too.
If you let me complain for a few days, and instead of complaining back at me complain with me, then I’ll be more grateful for you when I revert back to my charming self. You’ll earn massive brownie points too if you bring me a bag of Milky Bar mini eggs or a bag of sweet and salted popcorn. I’ll also return the favour and be somewhat patient when you suffer from Man Flu.
3. I’m not your mother.
Speaking of man flu, there’s only so much we can take. I’ll be nice and I’ll even make you tea without you asking, but don’t push your luck. I also shouldn’t have to tell you to eat with your mouth closed, you filthy animal.
4. Maybe it’s time to move out.
Speaking of mothers, and as great as she is, maybe it might be time to leave yours. I mean, the maternal nest is great and everything, but a bit of freedom never hurt anybody. Getting your boyfriend to see that he might need to start to consider leaving his family home isn’t an easy task, but then there’s all the exciting bits where I get to pick out his bedding, so really, he must see the advantages of this.
4. Like my friends when I want you to, and bitch about them when I don’t like them very much.
Now all girls are guilty of this, our friends wind us up and we expect our boyfriends to know that this time it’s okay to bitch about them. Obviously, they don’t understand this, and then when we’re all friends again he doesn’t see he has to stop bitching now.
5.How to be Chuck Bass (or other imaginary husband).
This is possibly my favourite. There are few areas we can work with when it comes to men, except for little habits and clothing. Luckily for me, Rhys understands my adoration of a well dressed man. He’s probably also aware it works out better for him if he lets me choose the contents of his wardrobe. I mean in all seriousness, what could possibly go wrong? He’ll look suave, surprise everyone and ultimately be taken seriously, and I’ll get to admire a nice blazer. We all win. To my absolute joy, the last time we went out he was able to dress himself in such a way without my persuasion. Job well done.
The important thing with trying to get men to do things, don’t let them know you’re trying to get them to do things. Suggest things, like “This colour looks really good on you, you should think of getting a tie in this colour, in case we go some place nice.” They really are delicate creatures and don’t take fondly to criticism, avoid a man tantrum and be nice about it – you’d want the same courtesy.
No one is saying that your boyfriend (manfriend? boyfriend sounds so juvenile in my advancing age) needs to be coached into fitting your ideal of the perfect partner. But there is always room for compromise, learning to fit each other a little better just means you can grow together instead of growing apart. No one agrees on everything, and no one is perfect, you just need to give each other the space and encouragement to grow. You’re never going to be a trophy couple, but who doesn’t enjoy a good argument now and again? At least I can teach you how to dress well and you can teach me that they’re not all the same.
Side note: To be honest, I’m pretty lucky. Rhys buys me MAC lipsticks as a surprise and knows how I like my tea made. He also checks the levels on my car. Maybe I don’t have anything left to teach him.