Your girlfriend doesn’t always know what’s best for you. Sometimes she’ll give you advice that might not be helpful or suggest courses of action that run contrary to what you want. Girlfriends are not endless fountains of wisdom from which every word should be held as sacrosanct—but they do still care about you, and a lot of times they will know what’s best. Here are a few examples of when listening to your girlfriend will always pay off.

1. When she picks out you clothes.
You’re a reflection of your girlfriend. When you go out and do something stupid, that’ll get back to your girlfriend and probably won’t make either of you look great. The same principle goes with clothes: If you wear something she doesn’t like, instead of becoming immediately defensive, hear her out. She likely has legitimate reasons for criticizing your outfit, and you’d be wise to take that advice when it’s given.

2. When you need to ask for directions.
It’s a common trope in popular media that the man in a relationship refuses to ask for directions when driving. The joke’s popularity is due entirely to the fact that it’s true, and with the age of GPS, this argument has only been exacerbated by desperately trying to wrestle with the machine designed to get you where you need to go, stating it’s “broken” or that you simply know better. In these instances, your girlfriend will probably ask that you pay attention to the GPS or pull over to get directions directly. This isn’t the same as her saying she doesn’t believe in your abilities—she just wants to get where you need to go in a timely manner. So put away your pride, do her and yourself a favor and ask for directions.

3. When she tells you to calm down.
Guys tend to get worked up a lot. We keep a cool head in most situations, but every once in a while something trivial will send us over the edge. If your girlfriend is telling you to calm down, it’s probably because she’s worried about you or she doesn’t think your problem is worth an overzealous reaction. So try keeping a level head, and when she tells you to chill, chill.

4. When she compliments you.
Accepting compliments can be tough sometimes. When my girlfriend says nice things to me, I tend to rationalize it as her just wanting to make me feel better and that any genuine feeling attached would be merely incidental. Don’t make the same mistake: When your significant other gives you praise, take it at face value. She might be trying to boost your mood, but if she’s in a relationship with you, it’s because she probably means it, too.

5. When she talks about her day.
This one sounds a lot harder than it actually is. As a guy, I know how easily distracted we get. Sitting through a long exposition on what your girlfriend’s day was like can feel nearly impossible, but it’s important you give her your time. She listens to you when you talk, so do the same for her. Have a conversation, pay attention and she’ll think better of you for it.

6. Always.
Honestly, listening to your girlfriend isn’t that hard. If your eyes glaze over every time your significant other speaks, you might need to get out of that relationship. Communication is the most important function of a relationship, and while it’s tough staying totally alert through every conversation, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. You don’t have to take all of her advice or hold up any criticism as completely valid, but she should still feel like she’s being heard.

Photo: iStock/kupicoo