16 Things Your Boyfriend Should be Telling You

Good Men Project, 16 Things Your Boyfriend Should be Telling You, Relationship Advice, Communication, Relationships, RLS Section

Mark Radcliffe reminds us of the importance of communicating love


Dear Ladies Who Are On The Fence About Whether Or Not to Dump The Guy Who’s Taking You For Granted: here’s what you should be hearing from the guy who’s worthy of your time. Maybe not right away, but within, say, 3-6 months. Otherwise, hit the “next” button. For the sake of both you and all the guys out there who are waiting for you to be single again.

1) I adore you. This isn’t about sex, this isn’t about desire. This is about how you make me glow whenever you walk into a room, glad that you just exist, whether I’m the guy beside you or just someone admiring you from twenty feet away.

2) You inspire me. I love how you’re living your life, what you’re devoting yourself to, how you’re spending your time, what path you’ve chosen, how you deal with the people around you.

3) I respect you. You’re the first person I think of when I want a serious opinion on something. Anything. From topics like “Am I being an asshole here?” to “Which is better, MadMen or Breaking Bad?”

4) I just love kissing you. Ok, so, years from now, if by some awful paragliding accident we both end up paralyzed and have no use of our lower extremities and can never get it on again, I’ll still feel pretty good about it as long as I can just kiss you as much as I want.

5) I don’t want to change you. Yes, there are some things about you that I don’t get. That I don’t love. But you’re you. And all the other stuff that comes with you, I would never want to lose. So I don’t want to disturb the equation. I want to keep it intact. And just help it grow.

6) I accept your drama. Sure, you’ve got some anger issues with your mom. Or dad. Or sister. Or job that you’re trying to get out of. I can handle that, even when it’s a bit exhausting. I even support it. None of us is drama-free, me especially. I respect that you’re fighting against something.

7) I’ve totally got the hots for you. As in: seriously, can we get these clothes off already? I’m dying here. We should really find our way to the nearest bedroom. Or kitchen. Or rooftop.

8. I love that you tell me off sometimes. Seriously. I may not always admit it, but I respect it. I’m full of bullshit sometimes, and I like to know you won’t take it. If I’m gonna have someone by my side, I better know she didn’t just fall for the first guy that came along, and she’ll keep holding me to my higher standards. I don’t want a pushover.

9. You’re on my mind. Constantly. Especially when I’m supposed to be thinking about something else. When I’m at work, giving a presentation, watching a movie with my buds. There you are, all in the middle of my shit, outta nowhere. And yet, I can’t help but smile.

10. You captivate me. You have my full attention. I’m not thinking about her. Or her. Or her. Just you. Oh, and that presentation I have this week. And my taxes that are due. But mostly just you.

11. I forgive you. The other day, you were completely crazy. Seriously, you went off the deep end about something. You blamed me for something I didn’t do, or didn’t actually say, or didn’t actually think. But hey, you’re human, you’re allowed a ‘gimme’ now & then. (As am I.) And look, with all the beauty you bring to my life, I’m still coming out way ahead.

12. I love you. Sorry to get all heavy on you, but it’s true. While the last guy you dated for three years could never say it, I’m telling you now: I love you. You’re wonderful. I want to be more like you. I want others to be more like you. I want whatever kids we might hypothetically have together to be like you. You’re my idea of a fantastic person. I want to help you be as ‘you’ as possible.

13. I can’t stop talking about you. You’re not some little secret I keep. Or hide. You’re my favorite thing on the planet. I told my mom about you before we even had our first date. I told my buddies about you immediately after our first date (didn’t wanna jinx it). You’re a story I could tell over and over and over again.

14. I see my future with you. Sure, I may not say this right away—I mean hopefully I won’t say this right away, for fear of scaring you off—but I’m thinking about it. We men, we can be planners, we can project, we can get ahead of ourselves. And me? I wanna get ahead of myself with you.

15. I just need to hold you. I may not always feel like having sex. I may not always feel like kissing. But I just need to be kinda near you. Be next to you. Be unable to lay away from you on the bed without wrapping myself around you. I don’t even understand it, frankly, but I do. So accept it, please. It’s something that something inside of me knows I need.

16. Thank you. For existing. For being you. For having your smile. For having the laugh that you do. For laughing at the things you do. For not laughing at the things you think are too stupid. For having a point of view and a strong sense of self. For wearing that amazing skirt the day I met you. For not wearing it when I introduced you to my mom. For having your standards. For getting pissed off when something matters. For showing your appreciation when you see beauty. For just existing. Seriously, I may never even get a chance with you, and if so, so be it. I’m just glad the universe made you. It makes me feel a lot better about the place I live in. But, barring that, come here please. I need to kiss you now. And for a while after that.


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image credit: Flickr/Photos-Change-The-World

Other articles by Mark Radcliffe:

 17 Reasons I’m Still in Love With You

Don’t Fall in Love. Fly in Love


Manhood by Mucking About
Spiritual Awareness in the Story of the Bumblebee
I am A Nature Dork

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About Mark Radcliffe

Mark Radcliffe is a writer living in New York City. He has a weakness for bourbon, jazz and girls who can drive stick. You can read more of his essays here: www.theradcliffescrolls.tumblr.com and http://markradcliffe.com.


  1. Totally an Ideal condition…

  2. All checked on my list ! 10 on 10 ! :D

    • Awesome list indeed! And the guy that does this will loose his girlfriend to the first bad boy that comes along. And the guy will not have a clue why.

      • The whole “bad boy” thing is a biological attraction to alpha males. By the time a woman is 25 or so, she usually gets tired of being disappointed by bad boys. I want a great guy who loves me and communicates it in words. Like the above. Good stuff.

  3. The most important one of all is missing.


  4. “If you settle for les then you deserve, that is what you get”. I’ve me a man who gives me 10/10 on this list. I will never let him go as long as he’ll have me <3

  5. #17 — You’re out of tampons.

  6. Beautifully written list. Too bad all of those incredible feelings don’t last once the honeymoon phase is over.

  7. Perhaps this article would get a little less backlash if it had been titled “16 things to express to your partner to keep your relationship alive.” The point is that there is a lot to be said for what is listed here, and these are frequently things that don’t get expressed enough once people grow complacent in their partnerships, leading to doubt and frustration where there used to be appreciation and joy, Remembering to make sure that your partner knows that you feel these things goes a long way towards preventing them feeling taken for granted, and that means all the more secure when someone else might notice what a good thing you’ve got there and attempt to whisk them away.

    It is so often a feeling of lacking connection or perceived lack of appreciation at the heart oft matter when a partner chooses to leave for greener pastures, so it is to your own good to make sure your partner doesn’t get starved of hearing these things because they sound even sweeter from someone else if they have not been heard from you in a long while…

  8. Samiksha Nagrare says:

    I consider myself lucky because of the presence of such a guy in my life who says all the sentences mentioned above. I love him.

  9. Gives me hope :’)

  10. This list is so dreamy. *-*
    And it is probably going to be the reason why I am going end up with 178 cats by the time I hit 60.
    Thanks, man, really. Thanks……not.

  11. And these are things that women should be telling their boyfriends! (Except the part about wearing that skirt…)


  1. […] This list made me feel grateful. […]

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  4. […] piece was originally run on The Good Men Project. You may also like by Mark […]

  5. […] piece was originally run on The Good Men Project. You may also like by Mark […]

  6. […] piece was originally run on The Good Men Project. You may also like by Mark […]

  7. […] 16 Things Your Boyfriend Should be Telling You – Mark Radcliffe explains that it’s not enough to simply feel the love, you’ve […]

  8. […] 16 Things Your Boyfriend Should be Telling You […]

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