1. Never get mad at her for being cautious. If it takes her a while to let down her walls, don’t throw a fit about it. Accept that it has nothing to do with you. It has to do with her and her past. She needs time. You can either act patient or walk away — but don’t make her feel guilty over her insecurities.
2. Never come home late without letting her know. All you have to do is send her a text. Give her a warning. Let her know you’ve hit traffic or your boss has requested you stay late. If you forget to fill her in, she is going to spend hours wondering where you are. She is going to assume the worst.
3. Never flirt with other women. You might think it’s harmless — but your girlfriend doesn’t feel the same way. If you respect her, if you care about her, if you don’t want to hurt her, then you won’t flirt with your waitress or bartender or cute coworker. You will remain faithful in the fullest sense of the word.
4. Never dodge her questions. If you laugh at something on your phone and she asks you who you’re texting, answer her. If you go out with friends and she asks who showed up, answer her. You don’t have to go into detail, but at least give her a quick explanation. If you avoid answering, she is once again going to assume the worst.
5. Never lie to her (even about small things). She already finds it hard to trust. If she finds out you’ve lied to her or misled her about something, she is never going to believe a word you say again.
6. Never give her a reason to doubt you. Show up when you say you’re going to show up. Follow through on your promises. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Prove to her that she can trust you. If you give her even the tiniest reason to doubt you, she is going to pull herself away.
7. Never keep secrets from her. Never sneak around behind her back. Never hide anything from her. Be honest with her. Be blunt with her. Let her know how you’re feeling. Don’t keep her in the dark. Don’t make her wonder whether you can be trusted.
8. Never drool over other women. You’re allowed to find other people attractive — but you shouldn’t go on and on about the celebrities you wish you could bang. You shouldn’t make your girlfriend feel inadequate. You shouldn’t push her toward jealousy, push her to draw comparisons, push her to hate herself.
9. Never joke about cheating. It’s not funny. It’s not clever. It’s not going to make her laugh. It’s only going to make her wonder whether there is any truth behind the humor. It’s only going to make her feel even more insecure than she already does.
10. Never cheat on her. It’s one of the worst things you could ever do to her — and she is never going to forgive you for it.