1. Know your Role
Oh no, she didn’t.
Oh yes, I did. Although a nicer way to say that would be “Remember Who you Are.”
To be a great girlfriend, you have to be just that. A girlfriend.
You’re not his mother. You’re not his sister. You’re not his teacher, mentor, or coach.
It’s not your responsibility to baby him, mother him, smother him, make his lunch, nag him, or tell him what to do. Teenage boys are learning how to become men but sometimes we girls forget these years are critical for how boys will turn out.
Instead of controlling your boyfriend, be a partner to him. Do things together, give helpful suggestions when he needs someone to talk to, and enjoy spending time together. Encourage him to listen to his parents and do his homework, but don’t constantly check up on him.
You’ll have plenty of mothering to do one day and your boyfriend doesn’t need another one!
2. Support instead of Enable.
If your boyfriend has chores to do before he can go out for the weekend, I know your sweet little heart floods with an overwhelming desire to help him out.
As the mother of three boys, I know that if I saw one of their little girlfriends sweeping the floor, unloading the dishwasher, or cleaning their room, I’d be furious. Chores won’t kill your boyfriend and his parents are instilling a great work ethic in him.
I’m so thankful that Justin’s parents were strict and gave him chores. He has an amazing work ethic and I’ve developed a better one because of his example.
Enabling someone is when you do something for for someone that they can do for themselves. For example, my three-year-old knows how to put his shoes on, but sometimes he acts like his baby brother and wants me to do it. If I put his shoes on him, instead of making him do it himself, enables him instead of strengthens him.
If your boyfriend has chores to do, give him the space to get them done. You want a boyfriend who is responsible, so let him show you that he is.
Same goes for homework. Don’t do it for him. Study together, but have integrity and each of you do your own work. You don’t want a boyfriend who is willing to cheat to get ahead. Homework is a small thing to cheat on, but that type of behavior can escalate quickly.
Dating should be fun and exciting and by remembering who you are and supporting instead of enabling can keep your relationships strong and healthy.