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3 Ways to be a better girlfriend

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

How to maintain a healthy relationship

Whether you just met someone new or you've been together for years, your relationship can always improve. Follow these tips to maintain a happy, healthy relationship and be a better girlfriend.

Happy couple on beach

1Be yourself

Start your relationship off on the right foot by being honest with him (and yourself) about who you really are. Own up to your faults, be proud of your assets, and strive to maintain your individuality. It's healthy for the two of you to have separate interests. Therefore, constantly catering to his likes and needs shouldn't be your only focus. You must have other things in your life that are important to you. Of course, you should spend plenty of time together -- but you should spend time with your family and friends, too.

If he doesn't share your love for your favorite activities, don't hesitate to continue taking part in them on your own. Every week, do something that you find interesting or that makes you feel good about yourself. If you become too consumed with him and only his interests, he'll think of you as too dependent and too clingy (which most men find annoying). Don't lose your sense of self just because you are in a relationship.

How to be yourself in a relationship >>

2Be confident

Confidence is attractive. Though you don't need to be in charge of your relationship 24/7, don't be afraid to take the reins now and again. Always be confident in your values, likes and opinions. Whether it's deciding what you want for dinner or what position you want in bed, take the lead -- or at least speak up and express your opinion.

Don't put yourself down. Many women fall into the trap of badmouthing themselves. Sometimes, it's because of low self-confidence; other times, it's just because they are fishing for compliments. Either way, don't do it. No good man wants a woman who puts herself down.

10 easy ways to gain more confidence >>

3Be respectful

Don't be with a man if you want to change him. Respect him for who he is, what he believes and what he does. If you have a laundry list of things you want to change about your boyfriend, then he's not the man for you. Take your relationship slowly and allow it to develop. Pressuring him about everything and anything doesn't make you a good girlfriend; it makes you a nag.

Though you need to respect your man, you also need to respect yourself. If your relationship is unhealthy and stagnant, get out. Life is too short to be miserable.

How to get treated with more respect >>

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