How to Get Your Boyfriend to Act Like He's Your Boyfriend

Three Methods:Communicating DirectlyGuiding His Behavior with Your OwnManaging Your Expectations

You care about your boyfriend, but sometimes it may be hard to see that he cares about you. If your boyfriend doesn’t act the way you think he should, you may need to work with him to better understand what you expect out of your relationship. A direct approach would be to bring it up to him, but you may choose to show him what you mean by being the sort of loving companion you hope he can be. Either method may work, but you may find the most success by combining them.

Method 1
Communicating Directly

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    Tell him what you want him to do. Your boyfriend may not be aware that you don’t think he’s acting the way a boyfriend should. Resolving your issue may be as simple as having a conversation with your boyfriend about your expectations.[1]
    • Tell your boyfriend how you feel without accusing him of anything or making fun of his behavior to make sure he’ll be receptive to what you have to say.
    • Be clear about how you’d like him to act and be open to hearing his opinions about it.
    • Try saying something like, “I would feel better if you were more willing to show me affection around your friends,” or “I wish you would pay more attention to me during the school day.”
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    Let him know when he makes you feel unwanted. If your boyfriend does something that makes you feel like he doesn’t care, take some time to discuss it with him. Your boyfriend may have hurt you unintentionally, but he won’t learn what hurts you if he isn’t aware of his mistakes.[2]
    • If your boyfriend does or says something that hurts you, it may not be appropriate to sit down and discuss it right away, but don’t let it go.
    • When you have a chance to sit down and talk to your boyfriend about what he did that hurt you, try to speak to him calmly about it.
    • Use “I” statements like, “I feel like you don’t care when you say things like that,” instead of accusing him of anything to avoid an argument.
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    Ask him questions to help him open up. Some guys have trouble opening up about their feelings, and that can make it difficult for them to act in an affectionate or romantic way. You can help make your boyfriend feel more comfortable by asking him questions about his feelings to help him open up slowly. [3]
    • Ask your boyfriend how he feels about you, and listen to what he has to say. Once he gets accustomed to answering questions about how he feels, he may eventually be able to volunteer the information without you asking.
    • Ask direct questions to make it easier for him to answer. Try asking things like, “how do you feel about me?” or “what’s the most important part of our relationship to you?”
    • Pay attention to how you respond when he opens up. Acting critical of his feelings may make him less apt to answer your questions again. Support him by thanking him for answering you and telling him it means a lot that he tries.
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    Write him a letter. If you feel uncomfortable discussing things with your boyfriend in person, you may want to write him a letter that explains your concerns and how you feel about him. What’s important is that your boyfriend understands that you’re unhappy and what he can do to fix it.[4]
    • Try not to use aggressive or mean language in your letter as it may make him feel defensive.
    • Your boyfriend may want to speak to you in person after reading the letter. Remember to stay calm and discuss your feelings without getting angry.
    • Getting angry is perfectly natural, but people tend to become more closed minded in arguments. Avoiding an argument can help to ensure your boyfriend really listens to what you have to say.

Method 2
Guiding His Behavior with Your Own

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    Provide encouragement when he does nice things. When your boyfriend does things that are exactly what you like, make sure to let him know. Encourage the behavior by responding well or openly telling him that you appreciated his behavior.[5]
    • Try saying something like, “I love it when you do that.” It will demonstrate that what he did was positive and you’d like him to do it more often.
    • If he holds your hand or does something else that you wish he’d do more, respond with positive body language. Smile and hug him closer so he knows you appreciate the gesture.
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    Be assertive. Being direct and explaining what’s going on is often the shortest route to a solution. You may want to address your boyfriend directly and explain to him that you’re unhappy and would like him to alter his behavior.[6]
    • Being assertive and being aggressive are different things. Don’t approach the situation out of anger, but rather in hopes of improving things between the two of you.
    • If you want your boyfriend to hold your hand while you walk down the hallway at school, don’t wait for him to take your hand. Instead, take his.
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    Give love to receive it. Remember that relationships are two way streets and you shouldn’t expect your boyfriend to behave in an outwardly loving manner if you don’t do so yourself. Make sure that you demonstrate your feelings for him in a way that makes him know how you feel.[7]
    • It wouldn’t be fair for you to expect behavior from your boyfriend that you’re unwilling to do yourself.
    • Showing your love may make your boyfriend more comfortable expressing his own. It may be difficult for some people to open up about their feelings, but by making him feel comfortable and loved, it may be easier for him.

Method 3
Managing Your Expectations

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    Be willing to compromise. When you open up and explain what you want out of your relationship to your boyfriend, he still may not be comfortable doing everything you want him to do. Relationships are about compromise and mutual respect, so try to find an understanding that makes you both happy.[8]
    • Don’t compromise by accepting something you aren’t comfortable with, but try your best to understand how your boyfriend feels.
    • Your boyfriend may be willing to be more open about his feelings in private, but he still may be uncomfortable giving you affection in public. You will each need to decide what you are willing to do for the other in order to find a fair compromise.
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    Make sure you’re on the same page. You and your boyfriend may not have the same understanding of what’s normal behavior in a relationship. You should clarify each of your expectations and try to find a mutual understanding.[9]
    • If your relationship is new, your boyfriend may not have ever dated someone like you and may not understand how to meet your needs without some guidance.
    • Your boyfriend may feel as though you haven’t been acting the way he was expecting either. You should both try your best to find an understanding you can both appreciate.
    • Be clear about what you want out of your relationship and ask your boyfriend to be clear with you about what he wants. Once you have both been honest about your expectations you can find common ground and consider compromises to help solve any problems you identify.
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    Be supportive and expect the same in return. Changing your behavior can be difficult and even stressful, but sometimes relationships require emotional compromise. Your boyfriend may struggle to show his feelings in the way you’d prefer, so be patient. You may also occasionally lose your patience, and your boyfriend should try to demonstrate the same understanding to you.[10]
    • You may want to point out to your boyfriend when you are trying to behave the way you feel is appropriate for a relationship, but do so nicely.
    • Try saying something like, “I’m always here for you when you need me, and I’d like to know that you’ll be there for me too.”
    • If you can both provide one another with patience and understanding, you may find a natural compromise in both of your behavior.

Article Info

Categories: Commitment Issues