Saying that guys aren’t as sensitive as their female counterparts sounds like something out of a primetime sitcom: “BUT I DONT WANT TO SHARE MY FEELINGS I JUST NEED TO WATCH MY SPORTS!” [cue laugh track]. But generally speaking, men and women have different ways of communicating (or not communicating), so sometimes it might be tough to know just when your boyfriend needs you there. Shrugging problems off with an “I’m fine” shouldn’t always be taken at face value. Just keep in mind that everyone is different in terms of the level of support they want.
1. When he loses his job. He might seem fine getting to sleep in and watch a bunch of TV (and hell, that’s fine for a couple of days) but everyone needs help getting out of a funk. Remind him you’re sticking with him no matter what, and sending him a few job opportunities you think would be good for him is always appreciated.
2. When he’s going through a rough patch with his friends. Guys get in guy fights, they just don’t always voice their feelings the same way women do. So if he doesn’t seem as close to his friends as he used to, give him more space to do “guys nights” or even invite him out with your girlfriends and their partners.
3. When he’s at home with the flu and “doesn’t need anything.” Some people really, really want to be alone when they’re not feeling well. But if he’s the kind of guy that doesn’t want to make a big deal out of needing help, he might like you coming over with some chicken soup and a movie. And even if he wants to be left alone, dropping off some chicken soup and leaving would still be appreciated. Literally throw it at the door and leave.
4. When he’s up for a promotion. He might be smiling and excited, but his inner monologue is just wordless screaming.
5. When he needs a birthday gift for his mom. Buying gifts for women is hard. I mean, buying gifts is hard. Buying gifts for your mom is nightmare mode gift buying. Give him some advice. He might not even know he needs it.
6. When his great-uncle dies. Even if it’s not someone he was super close with, deaths can affect people in weird ways. Be extra accommodating for a week or so.
7. When he has to get his wisdom teeth taken out. Even minor surgeries freak people out (“WHAT IF I’M THE ONLY PERSON IN THE WORLD ALLERGIC TO LAUGHING GAS AND I DIE???”), so just sending him a quick text letting him know you’re thinking of him can help. Staying with him and holding his hand the whole time is probably overkill, but he does need someone to pick him up while he’s still high on gas.
8. When he’s unsure about the future. You took a huge job opportunity that involves moving three hours away. Or he’s been working late and you’re spending less time together. He’s might be afraid to initiate a Big Talk, but if you’re serious, bring it up so you can figure out a solution together.
9. When he wants to suddenly quit his accounting job and become a stand-up comedian. His switch might not be as drastic (maybe he wants to go from financial accounting to… management accounting), but assuming his career-change plan isn’t completely insane, go to his shows, help him fundraise, and show him you know he can do it.
10. When he’s overexerted. It might be frustrating to have a boyfriend that comes home and passes out after going to work all day and then night school. But he probably needs your support now more than ever and you don’t have to plan a big date night to show it. No one, no matter how tired they are, dislikes cuddling.
11. When he’s struggling with money. Be mindful of how tight his funds are when he’s trying to pay off student loans and buy you a birthday present on his entry-level salary. Sometimes you can’t help feeling disappointed in a situation, but try to have reasonable expectations.
2. When he’s buying a new suit. Not every guy needs help matching outfits, but if he’s totally clueless about what kind of tie goes with a black shirt, you might want to tag along to give some input.
This article was originally published on cosmopolitan.com
Read more Relationships
Read more Sex
Read more Mind Health