If you’re going to get involved with someone, there are a million things you ask yourself about her to see if she’s right for you. But if you’re not also asking questions about yourself, can you actually say you’re a good girlfriend?
If you fail more than three of these sections, consider focusing on yourself for a while before pursuing someone. Trust us – it’s for your own good.
How much effort do you put into your appearance?
Most women are not attracted to someone who cares more about how they look than how they act as a person. But you should put some effort into yourself, and you should at least try to look good when you go on a date. A good guideline is that your first date should represent the same amount of effort you plan to put into the relationship the rest of the time – so don’t set the expectations higher than you’re willing to maintain.
Do you do your own laundry?
Nobody wants to be their girlfriend’s mom. That would be really, really weird. Ideally, you’ll take turns doing all the household chores, or finding some way to share the responsibilities. If your mom still washes your laundry, you’re not ready for a girlfriend.
Do you shower on a regular basis?
You should be grooming yourself on a regular basis. No one wants to be with someone who can’t take care of their personal hygiene – no matter how attractive you are! There are obviously going to be some situations where you won’t be able to bathe as often as usual (such as after a surgical procedure, or if you go camping for two weeks), but most of the time, you should be clean and fresh.
Do you brush your teeth as often as you should?
That would be twice a day. You should floss once a day, too. Hey, your mouth is your own business – but don’t expect kisses if you neglect your oral care.
Do you have goals?
Not everyone has their life mapped out, but you should have a general idea of the things you want to accomplish in life, and you should have a basic idea of what it will take to achieve them. A great girlfriend will also push her partner to reach her goals, too – so make sure you’re ready to be her cheerleader when she needs it.
Do you have a job and/or are you going to school?
It doesn’t have to be a great job, and you don’t have to have a PhD. But you should be making positive strides in your own life. No one wants to carry their partner financially, and no one wants to mooch off their partner, either. Make sure you’re doing what you need to do, for you.
Do you have common sense?
Listen. You don’t have to be a genius, or know loads of useless trivia. But you definitely need to have some common sense and a basic idea of right and wrong. No exceptions. (This one counts for two points!)
Are you kind?
Nobody’s perfect, but you should be generally nice. No one wants to be with someone who’s always grouchy and mean. There might be a fine line between snark and sarcasm versus actual mean behavior – so make sure you don’t cross any lines with her, her family, her friends, people who sell you goods and services… Well, you get the point.
Do you have your own place?
This one isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker on its own. If you’re still in school, it’s perfectly acceptable to live with your parents. In fact, it’s expected! And there’s nothing wrong with the idea of roommates – but it can be a bit embarrassing to have sex when there’s another person on the other side of the wall. Keep in mind that this is definitely going to cause some strain.
Do you pay your own bills?
Whatever bills you have, it’s important that you’re paying them. Debt is no fun, and if you’re not able to pay your rent or mortgage, there’s a chance you’ll be homeless. Just because love doesn’t care about money doesn’t mean that anyone wants to be with a freeloader.
Do you have your own friends?
The truth is, friends are more important than you might think. Some of us like to think of ourselves as more of the “girlfriend” type, and we don’t really have close friends. But this puts an enormous amount of responsibility on the shoulders of your partner – you should never expect one person to receive all of your social interaction. It’s not healthy, and it’s not fair to her.
Do you use hard drugs?
Many women (especially in the gay community) have used drugs at some point in their lives. We would like to feel that we’re accepted as we are, but the only person who wants to date an addict is another addict – and that is not a healthy situation for any of you. Some wonderful women might be able to help you break free from your addictions, but that is not her job and should never be an expectation. Get clean, and then get a girlfriend. And never lie about your drug use to someone you say you love.
Can you read and write?
There are different kinds of intelligence, and no one is expecting you to be a speed reader and an award-winning novelist. But you should be able to compose a complete sentence with proper punctuation and grammar, and understandable spelling. Nobody is perfect, but if you only know how to use chat speak and read one-syllable words, she’ll feel like she’s dating a kindergartener. You should have a basic understanding of your native language. (If you’re polylingual, that’s definitely a plus.)
Do you have morals and ethics?
This is a grey area, as there are different definitions of right and wrong – but there are some things that are universally right or wrong. You should know what you stand for and what is unforgiveable before you even think about entering a relationship.
Do you practice safe sex?
Safe sex is a big deal, and it’s important that you understand your sexual history and any risk factors you may have. Most people stop using protection after about two months of sexual exclusivity – regardless of whether or not both partners have been tested recently. It’s important to get tested and use protection even if you don’t seem to have any diseases – many can come without noticeable symptoms, and to be safest, you should be tested after about six months of mutual monogamy. Some diseases will not show a positive result until six months after they’re contracted. Make sure you know you’re safe before you forego protection!
Do you respect yourself, and others?
The idea of self-respect might have different meanings to different people, but respect for others is pretty unanimous. If you aren’t 100% certain you’ll be able to respect your partner in every way, you’re not ready to have one. This includes not doing the things she’d rather you didn’t do (within reason).
Are you already in a serious relationship with someone else?
No one likes a cheater. There are differences between cheating and an open relationship, however – but all parties involved deserve to know the truth. If you’re with someone who thinks they’re your one-and-only, you have no right to seek out someone else. (And if they’re on board with the idea of sharing you, make sure your new girlfriend knows the situation, too.)
Do you like women?
If you’re only curious, you should be upfront about this. Most lesbians would not be interested in starting a relationship with someone who “might” like women. That’s not to say that you have to be gay to get a girlfriend – but your new love interest should know if you’re inexperienced and unsure. If you already know you don’t like women, but you want a girlfriend for any reason other than genuine interest in her, just don’t. Nobody wants to be used and played for a fool.
Are you over your ex?
There’s this misconception that you don’t really get over your ex until after you’re with someone else. This is a desperate attempt to use the lesbian “urge to merge” for good. The thought is that, if you become enamored by someone new, you’ll completely forget the woman who broke your heart. But it’s not fair to anyone if you’re still hung up on someone else – so just wait until you’ve got things sorted out, please!
Are you open to other beliefs?
Being opinionated is one thing. Being pushy is another thing entirely. Your views and religious beliefs don’t have to be exactly the same, but you should never expect your partner to take on your values. She is her own person and has just as much of a right to her opinion as you have to yours.
Do you have a personality – and a life?
Boring people are… Well, boring. No one wants to be the life of the party all the time. It gets old, really fast – so make sure you know who you are, and make sure you actually have some stories to tell. Live life!
Are you reasonably mature?
No one expects a 19-year-old to act like a 60-year-old, but they don’t expect a 25-year-old to act like a 16-year-old, either. Make sure you’ve got your life together, at least where it should be, before you start looking for love. Keep your sense of humor and your joie-de-vive, but leave the games and drama to the teenagers.
Are you generally non-violent?
Some people like to fight, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But if you’re planning to enter a relationship with someone, it’s important that you can keep your temper under control. If this is an area you have problems with, consider meditation, counseling, or other ways to deal with your emotions. Make sure you won’t take things out on her, before you agree to be with her.
Are you cultured?
Not everyone enjoys going to the opera every night and listening to NPR. But you should have at least a couple of hobbies that don’t require batteries or electrical cords. You should also know a little bit about politics (but don’t bring them up on the first date!), different religions, and how to order food in at least one other language. (Who wants to be the one to butcher foie gras?)
Are you OK with changes in your sex life?
When you’re in a relationship, there will be dry spells and very, very wet spells. It’s important that you can learn to adapt to both, and not demand one when your partner wants another. The best relationships will involve a lot of compromises, but you’re both going to have to compromise. It’s sort of the definition of the word.
Can you deal with PMS?
In a lesbian relationship, there are a few possibilities when it comes to PMS. Either you sync up or you don’t. Will you be able to deal with her grumbling and spoiling your good mood when you’re not on your period? Possibly more importantly, can you handle her snapping back at you when you’re already in a poor mood?
Are you law-abiding, at least for the most part?
Okay, so not all laws are considered set-in-stone. There are some laws that might be excusable, such as jaywalking and underage drinking. (Not that underage drinking is advised – there is a very good reason for restrictions in the places where they exist.) But if you’re a murderer, a thief, or a drunk driver, you are not relationship material.
Are you judgmental or bigoted?
If you’re racist, sexist, or otherwise find reason to discriminate against others based on things that are out of someone’s control, you’re definitely not ready to have a girlfriend. Even if your intended partner shares your judgmental beliefs, your relationship is doomed if you can’t be fair and respect others.
Do you have a good sense of humor?
Humor is a grey area, too – things that are hilarious for someone could be extremely offensive to someone else. It’s important that you can tell what’s OK to joke about and what’s not. For some women, nothing is off-limits. For others, there are many sensitive subjects. If you can’t tell the difference between awkward, nervous laughter and real, genuine entertainment, you’re not ready for a girlfriend.
Are you willing to talk things out instead of just walking away?
If you’re inclined to walk away at the first sign of problems, you’re not ready for a relationship yet. That sort of move is only OK for teenagers. Once you’re an adult, you need to learn to accept responsibility for your actions – and that means talking things through when they start to get uncomfortable.
Are you romantic?
You don’t have to be a cassanova, but you should be able to remember important dates (like Valentine’s Day, her birthday, and your anniversary) and you should be willing and able to give her gifts for these occasions. If money is tight, handmade gifts (or a home-cooked meal) is perfectly acceptable.
Are you occasionally emotional?
Our society has conditioned us to think that open displays of emotion are bad. But the truth is, you need to be able to express your emotions, especially with your partner. No one wants to date a robot. (And in the off-chance she does, real robots don’t need food or sleep, so you’d still lose.)
Do you know yourself?
Particularly if you’re still young, you might not have all the answers yet as far as who you are inside. But if you don’t have a basic understanding (and like what you know, at least for the most part), you’re not ready to have a girlfriend yet. If you don’t know who you are, how is she supposed to know who you are?
Are you patient?
Not everyone has the patience necessary to deal with a girlfriend. There’s nothing wrong with that – but if you don’t, you should avoid any serious commitments.
Do you have fetishes and fantasies?
Everyone does – but not everyone has compatible fantasies. For example, if you prefer it rough and bound, and your partner has sexual violence in her past, it’s probably not going to work out. Be warned!