Marriage thrives on open communication. Just as you may be quick to give constructive feedback when something isn’t quite right, the soul also craves those little affirmations that remind your spouse or significant other that you notice the little things, are still glad you chose her, and that she makes your life complete.
You may find, in doing some of these suggestions below, that your girl begins to find creative ways to send you similar affirmations. Happiness is contagious, after all.
Note: In an attempt to avoid redundancy, let’s just state, right now, that throughout all these suggestions is an understood agreement that social media and hand-held devices are not be used when you are attempting to make your girl feel special. Distracted attention is no attention at all.
Build her up, don’t tear her down
It’s easy to get caught up in the every day, and when something goes wrong, we are quick to judge. If you’ve been together awhile, it’s easy to think your girl has developed a thick skin and doesn’t need an ego boost. And while she probably isn’t that fragile, and doesn’t really need an empty compliment or fluffy poetry, she does need frequent reminders that YOU haven’t changed. That YOU still find her amazingly beautiful, inside and out. That YOU couldn’t live without her and are glad you chose her. It doesn’t always have to be with words, although those are nice, too. It’s in the way you look at her. It’s in your touch. It’s in your willingness to make time for her.
Kiss. A lot.
If you have kids, now is the time to gross them out. It’s not just about the passionate kissing that you hope will lead somewhere. It’s the affectionate kisses that are manna for the soul. The little caresses that tell her that you love her so much, you just have to be near her. The playful smooches that tell her that you love the way her nose tilts up, or the dimple on her cheek. The little reminders that you haven’t forgotten how ticklish she is on her neck, and you love it when kissing her there makes her giggle.
Listen without Distraction
Maybe her pet cat died, or maybe her best friend is going through a divorce. Her sister just lost a baby. She has problems at work. What ever it is, she just needs to talk. She’s not asking you to solve her problems. She’s not asking you take action on her behalf. She wants you to listen. She wants to cry on your shoulder and know that you are there for her, and that you support her no matter what. Don’t turn the game on. Don’t look constantly at your phone. Don’t try to minimize her problems by belittling them or trying to trump them with your own problems. Just listen. Give her a safe harbor.
Don’t let a day go by without saying “I Love You”
When you have been together awhile, it’s easy to get into a rhythm. You’ve told her you love her hundreds of times. Do you really need to say it again? Yes! If you can’t be with her, or you are out of town, send her a text. Leave her a voicemail. Make a “date” to talk on the phone at a specific time each night. Whatever works best for you. But don’t let a day go by without sayting those words.
Have a regular date night
If you are married and have kids, or even if you are in a long-term relationship, sometimes dates seem to go by the wayside in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. You are busy playing taxi, working, keeping up the house, working out. Whatever the excuses are, you need to make regular time for each other.
Time away from the noise, so you can remember what it’s like to flirt with each other over a glass of wine, or talk about your future on along walk while holding hands. Make the time, and give her your undivided attention. If you’re struggling for date ideas, read this article written by my wife, 8 free date ideas for couples to do.
Go on a couples retreat
No, this isn’t like the movie. And it’s not couples counseling, either. Most marriage or couples retreats aren’t about saving the relationship, but about deepening it. Usually, women have to drag their men kicking and screaming to something like this.
How truly valued would your woman feel if you turned the tables on her, and you suggested it? Even better if you already have one picked out! She will know she picked a good man if you not only go, but fully participate. Just don’t pick a retreat that might embarrass her, like some sort of sex seminar or Tantric Yoga class. You might lose a few brownie points for being self-serving.
Learn how to give a good massage
Guys, this is a good one. Your girl works hard, whether she is a hire powered exec or a stay-at-home mom. She is under a lot of stress, keeping the house, her job, and her life running smoothly. Nothing says “I appreciate all you do” more than a good massage.
A simple shoulder rub is nice, but a full massage is even better. And invest some time in learning how to do it right. She’ll appreciate the time you’ve taken to focus on her, and your skills will help her relax and recharge.
Don’t forget your anniversary
Of course, this is a bit of a cliche. But there are lots of little details about your life together, and you will really please her if you can remember at least some of them. Your anniversary, her birthday, the anniversary of your first date, your first kiss…even if you have to put some of the dates in your calendar to help you remember them, do it. It’s little details that show her you pay attention, and that she is important.
Hopefully you have found some useful tip here. You can probably come up with a list of 10-15 more items on your own, specifically tailored to your girl and what she likes. The key is to make sure it’s focused on her (not what you could get out of it), and requires you to give your undivided attention while participating with her. She will love you for it.