Generally, guys aren’t all that romantic. At least, not the guys I know. Roses on the bed are hard to sleep on. Dim lighting is fine if there’s a game on.
However if we call romance something else, we may have better luck getting into a man’s head a bit. What if we call it “making a connection”?
Men want to feel that they belong or that they are important. Women call that romance. Men don’t really have a name for it, but “making a connection” will do for now.
If you want your guy to know you love him and that you appreciate him, try to speak his language; just as you would like him to give it the ol’ college try to speak yours.
Candles and music and flowers aren’t usually part of men-speak. Here are a few things in a language that they understand:
1. Dress up like you used to
Men wear nicer clothes when they want to show respect or when they want to look good for someone. It’s nice to have you want to look good for us. If he says something silly like, “What are you all dressed up for?” Tell him, “You.”
2. Tell him how wonderful he is
Well, maybe not wonderful but telling your man that you appreciate him is a wonderful thing, and a little praise for the one we love goes a long way. Even though guys may be verbally challenged, they know that you aren’t.
So if your husband worked through the night to keep your car working, tell him thank you for working hard keeping you safe. Think positive reinforcement. Let him know he is your hero.
3. Acknowledge his day
Both of you work hard. Every once in a while, let him know that you know how hard he worked for the family. The moment he forks over that paycheck is a good time to tell him that you appreciate the sacrifices he makes.
4. See the wrong movie
Sometimes, it’s OK to see that action-car-chase-vampire-zombie movie instead of the one about the girl ice-skater with polio, especially if he usually gives in to see your movie.
5. Touch is good
Sometimes a hand on the back as you pass him in the kitchen, or a hug in the hall means the world. It’s a reassuring gesture that lets a man know you acknowledge him, and he is noticed. In the language of guys, it means that both of you are on the same team. Go team.
6. Know your guy
It could be that nothing in this column applies to your man. Don’t be discouraged. There is little doubt that you already know what you can do to let your man know that there is a connection between you that you wouldn’t give up. Use your gut. If your gut fails you, then ask him. Or ask his mother.
7. Speaking of his mother…
Be nice to his family
You may have real problems with them, or they may be so different that you can’t imagine ever sharing a table at a restaurant. Everyone deserves kindness, including your man’s brother who collects dirt from ancient Anasazi burial grounds. Remember, they may think you are a bit off kilter, as well. Do it for your guy.
Lots. Make it your hobby.
9. Stop bringing up old arguments
There is nothing to be gained from having to be right, even if you were. And bringing up past problems only drives wedges between you. Wedges aren’t good. It’s OK, every so often, to let go of the fact that Flaming Fiesta was not a great color for the family car. Chances are, he already knows. There is no sense in rehashing. Unless you know a dealer that will give you top dollar.
10. Be kind and gracious
Remember that using the phrase “I’m just being honest” is no substitute for being kind. If he has to learn the correct answer to “Does this (fill in the blank) make me look fat?” then you can fudge enough to spare his feelings about his cool fraternity tie.
Seeing from his point of view is not a walk in the park, but learning to speak a foreign language may be the best thing you ever did for your marriage.