wikiHow to Support Your Boyfriend

Three Methods:Showing Emotional Support When He's WithdrawnShowing Emotional Support When He's OpenShowing Support Anytime

Supporting your boyfriend is an important aspect of a relationship. Everyone wants to be supported and needs it at points in their life. Perhaps he has gone through an especially stressful time for one reason or another. He may have one or more male friends that he can count on, but his girlfriend is often able to provide extra support that friends and family might not be able to give. A girlfriend can show a boyfriend support either directly or indirectly, through good times and in bad.

Method 1
Showing Emotional Support When He's Withdrawn

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    Don’t take negative emotions your partner has personally. Stress cause men to withdraw and women are left feeling rejected or abandoned as a result.[1]
    • Do your part by not taking what his life or emotions do to him as an indicator of your value as a girlfriend or how he feels about you.
    • Pushing and expressing your unhappiness due to his unhappiness adds to his stress and will only make him pull away more.
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    Spend time with your friends. Take the focus away from your boyfriend’s stress and the relationship by placing energy and attention to your friendships.
    • Call up your girls and plan a night out or a trip to the nail salon for pampering.
    • Catch up with friends over lunch or drinks.
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    Reconnect with yourself and your new life. The best thing you can do when your boyfriend is unhappy is to inject some happiness into yourself by doing something positive in your life. When he sees you happy, it actually decreases his stress levels.[2]
    • Find a new hobby like yoga or a painting class.
    • Focus on being more successful at your job or in your classes at school.
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    Let him come to you. If he withdraws and keeps his distance, practicing the steps above will help him come to you in his own time and his own way.
    • Resist the urge to feel the void of silence with incessant texts and questioning.
    • Exercise self control and relax.
    • With the pressure of staying connected is removed, he’ll be inspired and motivated to come to you.

Method 2
Showing Emotional Support When He's Open

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    Listen actively. Ask your boyfriend how he is doing and listen. Do not ask him questions in preparation to respond instead ask him with the intent to listen. If he is ready to vent to you, give him the opportunity to do so by being an open vessel of support.[3]
    • Use eye contact with small smiles and head nods to indicate that you are listening to your partner.[4]
    • Use words and phrases of positive reinforcements when responding to your boyfriend: “yes”, “I agree”, “I get that completely because…”, etc.
    • Use questions of clarification to better understand details of what’s being said.
    • Console him in a loving, positive way. If he’s open to gestures, give him a hug or a kiss to reinforce him being open and vulnerable with you.
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    Act as his anchor. It is easy to flail in the wind and get swept up in a storm when going through personal stresses and struggles. It is important that your boyfriend can look to you as his anchor during his time of need.
    • Be compassionate. Don’t allow tension to sink the relationship or place stress on the relationship as a whole. Notice the signs of his stress and show compassion towards those emotions.
    • Keep lines of communication open, even if he chooses not to use them. Make sure that he knows he can talk to you when he’s ready and willing.[5]
    • Don’t forget to take care of yourself while you’re trying to be there for your partner.
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    Be sweet to him in subtle ways. Often times with men, in effort to preserve their manhood and limit their stress levels, it is best to show support simply and through subtleties in lieu of loud, bolder gestures.[6]
    • Make him his favorite meal or treat him to his favorite restaurant without him asking.
    • Give him a relaxing back massage to help him unwind.
    • Suggest that he have a night out with his friends versus plans that two of you might have made to attend a movie or an event.
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    Help him relax. Get him out of his head by taking him somewhere that gets his mind of his worries or concerns.
    • Figure out ways to laugh together.
    • Spend time together with the emphasis being less on talking and more on experiencing one another.
    • Engage in a physical activity like bowling or playing pool.

Method 3
Showing Support Anytime

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    Show support by being his cheerleader. Support him in his work and hobbies by offering positivity and words of encouragement. It is an instant self esteem boost to know that someone is proud of you and has your back.
    • Show him how supportive you are of him by admiring and respecting him in front of his friends, your friends, or family members.
    • Find an accomplishment or an attribute about him and lift him up to the people around him or you. “Hey, did you know Harry just got a job at Carter’s corporate office?” or “I’m really proud of him for pursuing his songwriting. It’s been amazing to see him grow.”[7]
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    Compliment him to make him feel great. Men crave compliments just like women do, just not as often or not quite in the same way. Men want respect so compliments that reflect that should be the kind you give.[8]
    • For small gestures, just as readily as you would for big gestures, say “thank you” to show your appreciation in a simple but effective way.
    • Admire his looks by telling him, “You look really handsome today” or be more specific and say, “You look really handsome in that shirt today”.
    • Show him that you’re in his corner by saying, “Hey, I’m on your side.”
    • Never be too prideful or too egotistical to admit when you’re wrong. Say “I’m sorry” whenever there’s a need to.
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    Respect his career dreams. If he works hard or long hours, don’t question it. Offer help and support by being present when he needs it.
    • Realize that he is building and show that you want to be a part of that by asking him questions that express genuine interest for what he does and who he is trying to become in the work place.
    • Have confidence that he can do his job and do his job well and watch as your faith leads to how well he approaches his work. Offer a complimentary back rub or head rub every now and then as a treat.
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    Encourage him to set and work towards goals. Motivate and support him in being the best man he can be by helping him create goals that he can work toward.
    • Talk to him about where he wants to be and what he wants to do in life between the next six months to two years. After you help him see that image, help him think bigger in five years, in ten, and in twenty.[9]
    • Make goals are as specific and grounded to reality as possible, but make room for goals that might be a little more star-worthy. For every “I want to be debt free by the time I’m 35”, leave room for “I want to skydive from a plane”.


  • If your guy is telling you something that is hard for him to say, or to relive again, take their hand.
  • Giving space is key to being supportive.
  • Keep your problems to yourself. He is confiding in you, so be a good confidant by keeping his secrets your secret.


  • Don’t push. Pushing can lead to him projecting his negative emotions onto you by saying mean things. Don’t fan the flames by being too aggressive with how you try to support him.
  • There is always give and take in a relationship; just make sure that it is semi equal. If you support him, he should support you back.
  • It is natural to want to internalize his emotions as something to do with you, but try not to take things personally.
  • Don't let the guy take advantage of your support. If he is going to say something just to get your support, make sure there's a limit.

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Categories: Going Steady