Every human wants to feel special.
We fill our lives with little acknowledgments of specialness and celebrations of importance to ensure that each of us feels this sense of unique belonging.
We give each other names to distinguish our specialness from that of another. We celebrate the day of our birth each year to recognize the importance of our existence and the value of our time on this planet. We give each other gifts to signify our love for each other and willingness to sacrifice our time and material possessions. We’ve even developed ways to greet each other at each new day’s birth to express our gratitude for the blessing it is to spend another day in good company.
These acts, great and small, make up human relationships, so to become the best lover you can be, you must become an expert in this area.
The key to a successful relationship is making your girlfriend feel like the most special person on the planet.
If you don’t intentionally find ways to express your love, she’ll feel neglected, and your relationship will begin to crumble. She wants to feel appreciated and know she’s special every day you spend together, not just on her birthday or anniversary.
The little details of your everyday interactions with her are what distinguish a long-term lover from another forgotten ex.
So, which will you be?
This article will dig a bit deeper into what it means to feel like you matter in a healthy relationship and then get into some practical ways to make your girlfriend feel this way.
The science of specialness: what does it mean to matter?
To make your girlfriend feel special, you must deeply understand what it means to matter.
For as long as humans have existed, we’ve been on a constant quest to find value and meaning in life. We are eight billion individual minds spinning around on a great rock through the vast emptiness of space. With so many others just like us and such a short span of existence to prove ourselves to the universe, it’s only logical for each of our eight billion minds to question his or her value and place in existence.
Why me? What makes me worth anything? What makes me worthy of love?
Part of what it means to be a great lover is knowing how to make your special one of these eight billion see that they matter and are worth loving.
So, what does it mean to matter, and how can you make your girlfriend feel that she matters?
Studies break the science of feeling special into three categories: attention, importance, and dependence.
First, humans need attention. We need to see that others notice us and care about what is going on in our lives.
We want to know that what we choose to do on this earth is looked well upon by others. We want to know that what is going on in our lives is essential to someone other than us. We want others to care about our emotional well-being and to genuinely listen and care about what we say.
This is attention.
Second, we need importance. We must perceive that we are cared for and seen as different from the rest–uniquely necessary.
In a world so vast and full of so many complex beings, we can’t help but wonder if the hope of bringing anything new to the planet is naive–perhaps even arrogant. To feel like we matter, we must know we are unique.
We must know that we have things others don’t have and are seen as distinctively special. To know we matter, we must feel appreciated.
Lastly, we must have dependence. We need to feel that we are relied upon for something important–that we are needed.
Humans want to know for certain that the world would be worse without them. It feels good to impact things for the better.
In the 1970s, Harvard scientist Ellen Langer conducted a study in a nursing home that unveiled so much in terms of the importance of dependence on human psychology and well-being. She gave plants to two groups of nursing home residents, telling group one they were responsible for caring for the plant and group two that the staff would do it for them.
After eighteen months, twice as many residents from group one were alive.
Humans need to know that something relies upon us. That is dependence.
How to make your girlfriend feel special?
Now that you know a bit about your girlfriend’s psychology and just how important it is for her to feel your love, let’s explore some practical ways for you to do this.
This list could be expanded into hundreds, thousands of different points, but I’ve narrowed it down as these are the ten that have proven the most important in my ten-plus years as a men’s coach.
As you go through these ten, consider the three points discussed above: attention, importance, and dependence.
1. Listen to her
Listening to your girlfriend provides a blend of attention, importance, and dependence that will make her feel your profound affection for her.
Listening–and not just hearing, but understanding–tells your girlfriend that you care about what is going on in her life, you consider what she says essential, and you will let her words affect your life.
Girls love a guy who listens and makes them feel heard. Paying attention to what she is saying and considering her words wisely before you respond tells her that you care deeply about what she is saying.
Being a good listener is a rare quality in men–get it right, and you’ll make your girlfriend feel like the luckiest girl in the world.
2. Trust her
Trust is one of the most intimate displays of love. Showing your girlfriend that you trust her is crucial to making her feel special.
When it comes to trust, actions speak louder than words. Here are some ways you can show her how much you trust her.
- Insist she takes time alone: There is nothing more infuriating than a clingy husband. Women want to feel desired and needed but free and independent simultaneously. Pushing your woman to have a girls’ night out or insisting that she get away from the house for a weekend will make her feel trusted and nurture mutual respect.
- Don’t nag her constantly when she’s away: Once she’s out of the house, leave her be! Let her experience her solitude without needing to check up on her 24/7. While the occasional “I miss you” text is a great way to make her feel your love from a distance, keeping her in constant communication with you will make her feel like you think she’s hiding something.
- Don’t be clingy: When she does some chore or task she doesn’t normally do on her own, leave it be–don’t feel the need to double-check it. Sometimes she’ll do something wrong, and sometimes, something will break, but the trust you show her by granting her independence will be far more valuable.
3. Surprise her
Little surprises in your everyday life as a couple can make a huge difference. Oftentimes, especially in long-term relationships, men let the mundanity of life and the routine of their schedule squeeze the excitement out of their relationship.
To make your girl feel like she matters and keep your relationship alive, you have to add a bit of pizazz to your romantic life and make her fall in love time and time again.
Here are a few little acts and sweet gestures that will make her feel special:
- Impromptu dates: An impromptu date night will make your girlfriend feel special. It doesn’t have to be a special occasion. It doesn’t need to be her birthday or your anniversary. Most women like spontaneous date nights more than planned ones, anyway.
- Love letters: Sweet notes or text messages in the morning go a long way. Showing your girl that you are constantly thinking of her is the most heart-warming thing to her.
- Flowers: You can’t overuse flowers–women love flowers. What makes flowers better, however, is flowers at an unexpected time. Drop them off at her work or have them delivered to her while she’s away on a work trip. Flowers. Flowers. Flowers. You can’t go wrong with flowers.
4. Make sacrifices
Sacrifice is the ultimate display of love. Humans desire nothing more than to know that someone else would give up something of their own just to see them happy.
Sacrificing your time or money to be with your girlfriend will give her that sense of importance and attention that humans so deeply crave.
Here are a few ways you can make sacrifices to make her feel special:
- Cancel your plans: Canceling something you enjoy to be with your girlfriend proves to her that she is the most important thing in your life. Call off a night out with the boys, skip a game of pick-up, take a day off from the gym (even if it’s a push day)–laying aside anything that you consider important will make your girlfriend feel special.
- Get her expensive gifts: While you shouldn’t need to “prove” your love through outrageously-priced purses or boots, expensive gifts are a fantastic way to show your woman what she means to you.
- Go her way: Deferring to her preferences in your everyday decisions (restaurants, paint color, movie choice) shows her that you’d rather make her happy than you. Women love to feel special in this way.
- Be with her when she is at her low: Unless she prefers to be alone in her misery, staying home with your girlfriend when she is sick or at her low is a great way to sacrifice time and money to prove her specialness to her.
5. Give her compliments
Giving your girl sincere compliments is a sure way to make her feel special and grant her some attention and importance that we all desire so fervently.
Here are a few of the best compliments to make your girlfriend feel loved:
- A compliment from a distance: A sincere text message or cute little notes reminding your girl that she’s beautiful just takes a few seconds and can make all the difference in her day. This knowledge that she is always on your mind will give her a giddy sensation that won’t abate until you see her again.
- Compliment her outfit: Most girls care about how they look, so complimenting an especially becoming dress or something you know she took time to pick out will make her day.
- Compliment something tiny: Women find it charming when men notice small changes in their appearance. Complimenting her new nail color, different hairstyle, or change in makeup makes her feel noticed and loved.
6. Be faithful (even in your glances)
The ultimate display of care for your girlfriend is staying faithful to her in every aspect of your life. Go the extra mile to show her she is the only girl you want.
Sidelong glances at other women will create resentment that can tear your relationship down the road.
There is no better feeling in the world than knowing that you are the only person someone desires. It gives women (and men) this priceless, out-of-this-world sensation to be loved in this way.
Telling your woman how special she is to you and expressing this love in displays of affection and care (especially in public) is the best way to show your faithfulness.
7. Be patient with her
Be patient with her, even when she doesn’t deserve it.
Giving undeserved love is one of the best ways to make your girl feel special. If she has had a tough day at work and is getting upset at the stupid little things, showing her patience and understanding will touch her heart (even if she doesn’t show it right away).
Showing patience in the face of difficulty removes your relationship from the situation and proves to her that your love is unconditional. Try as she may, she could not matter to you.
It may be difficult at times, but patience has proven time and time again to be a fantastic way to give someone their worth.
8. Physical touch
One of the most important ways to make your woman feel special is by maximizing your physical relationship. Here are some of the more subtle means of physical affection that men miss:
- Kiss her forehead: The forehead kiss is an underused move that you ought to have in your arsenal if you want to make a girl feel appreciated and adored. While lip kisses are nice and very romantic, the forehead kiss displays ownership and affection that all girls love.
- The massage: Give her a massage with no strings attached. So many men treat their physical relationship with their girlfriend as an “if I do this, will you do this” trade-off. Giving your girl a massage when she’s tired with no expectations or hints at anything more will make her feel loved.
- Touch in public: Physical touch in public is a fantastic way to express your faithfulness to your girl and make her feel special to the whole world. A hug or kiss in public says, “this is mine, and no one can have it!” Women die for this.
9. Support her in every aspect of her life
One thing that often gets overlooked in dating and long-term relationships is supporting your partner’s dreams and hobbies.
To make your girl feel special and unique, you should put a lot of time and effort into supporting her in what she enjoys. Key to this is understanding the difference between supporting and allowing.
She doesn’t want to feel as if her hobbies and aspirations are getting in the way of the life you want to live. She wants to feel supported and delighted in. She wants to feel invested in–as if you believe in her power to achieve just as strongly as she does.
When you take dish duty for the night or encourage her to take that dance class, she will feel special in so many ways.
10. Pay attention to the little details
Pay attention to important dates and things she finds special.
Women are all about details. They notice when you notice and fail to notice things that they find important.
Keeping track of your anniversary, first date, and birthday should be the bare minimum. A man who will make women feel special will go above and beyond, remembering and keeping track of things that even she doesn’t.
I hope, as we draw this article to a close, you have come to understand that what you do for your girl isn’t what matters. What matters is how you do it and the heart you put behind it.
Many guys overcomplicate relationships by viewing their partner as a high-maintenance pet with a long list of needs. They think that as long as they check box A-Z she’ll stick by their side and love them forever.
Women, like all people, just want to feel special. They want to know that their place on this earth and in your life is meaningful. They want to feel your attention. They want to feel how important they are to you. They want to feel that you need them–that you would be worse off without them.
How do you do this? You listen. You trust. You make sacrifices. You give her physical attention daily and compliment her, reminding her that she isn’t like the rest. You support her dreams and stay patient in her hard times.
But most importantly, you do all these things because you want to–not because you read some article online telling you to do so.
That is what will make your girlfriend feel special.
And if you’re still struggling and you feel like your relationship is slipping away from you despite your best efforts, know that you aren’t alone. Here at Knowledge for Men, we are trying to heal broken relationships and teach men what it means to love and to love fully.
We are coaches trained to help guys in situations just like your own. These are men who have lost girlfriends due to their inadequacies and naivety. Men who have faced the reckless seas of love and sunk time and time again. Men who, after finally triumphing, took it upon themselves to help others avoid their pain.