The upside to this, of course, is that you should be able to expect some reciprocation here; you may have to cuddle her a lot and like her stupid dog, but she’ll probably respond by learning to play “Diablo 3” with you and not giving you a hard time when you go out with your friends.
“But what if my girlfriend really needs to buy expensive clothes using my credit card to be happy? That’s not fair, is it?”
Of course not, unless you’re extremely rich and like buying people things. This brings me to the second way to make sure you’re in a relationship with a happy woman:
Be Honest About Who You Are and What You Can Give.
A significant portion of men who say they cannot find a happy relationship also admit to desiring women who don’t really suit them: i.e., the pudgy, balding stockbroker who’s constantly hurt by supermodel girlfriends who cheat on him with better-looking men. This is awful, and the poor man definitely does not deserve to be cheated on--but he’s also not being honest with himself about what he can give these women. If they want to date a rich and ridiculously attractive man, they won’t be satisfied with just one of the two. Maybe that isn’t fair, but we all know life isn’t fair. (It also isn’t fair to the girls who would probably love to be in a relationship with a pudgy, balding stockbroker, but who never get a chance because they’re not “hot enough” for him, right?) The point here is that in order for you to be happy, you must stop trying to force a relationship with someone who wants things you cannot give and start looking for someone who is happy with what you have.
This goes for personality, too. I once dated a guy who really didn’t want kids. I did, so to make me stay he said that maybe I could change his mind. Of course, that meant I was constantly trying to change him in order to get what I needed, and that made him resent me. I even went so far as to start arranging to take him to get-togethers with my friends who had kids, or volunteering us to babysit in the hopes that he would get bitten by the baby bug--or at least stop hating kids so much. His love for me withered under the constant pressure for him to give me what I needed. The truth was, no matter how much else he gave me (and he was great in almost every other way), it wasn’t enough to make up for that one point where we disagreed.
Bottom line: Don’t try to give what you don’t have in you. Most likely you’ll fail, and your girlfriend will feel like you were either leading her on or she was never good enough in the first place. Even if you succeed, feeling forced into unnatural behaviors will just make you resentful, and knowing you resent her will make your girlfriend unhappy, even if she’s technically getting what she wants.
An important note: “Be honest about who you are” also means being clear on what you want. It’s hard to do, especially for nice guys and people pleasers, but it’s important to realize that if you aren’t getting what you want--even after you give her what she wants--then she’s not the girl for you, no matter how much you may otherwise like her.
When you’re going through bad relationships, it might be hard to believe that eventually you’ll find someone. But you can, and you will! And when you do, happiness for her will be a relationship with you, a guy who can honestly, sincerely be the man she needs.