How to demonstrate your affection and keep passions riding high.
Do you feel like showering your lady with a little extra appreciation and affection? Well, assuming you’re dropping the four-letter-word enough—and, for the record, you definitely should be; “The vast majority of women really need to hear the words ‘I love you,’” says Elizabeth Babcock, LCSW, a therapist based in Pennsylvania—there are plenty of things you can do that are almost as effective.
From helping out more around the house to making more room for your in-laws, here are the ten greatest ways to demonstrate your love and keep passions riding high. And if you’re looking for more great lines she’ll always appreciate, don’t forget The 13 (Other) Sexiest Things You Can Say to a Woman.
Step away from the smartphone. “Give her your undivided attention,” recommends Kimberly Hershenson, LMSW, a therapist based in New York City. “This doesn’t mean sitting on the couch watching television together, because in that case, Netflix has your attention not your partner. Turn the TV off, look at each other, and talk with all electronic devices put away,” she says. Take a walk, go out to eat, or just hang out on the couch and catch up. The activity you do doesn’t matter, but that fact that you’re giving her your all for part of the day does. If you need some extra help putting the smartphone away, here are 11 Easy ways to Conquer Your Smartphone Addiction.
Seriously. If you’re not the kind of guy who randomly thinks of fun little surprises for your partner and then actually remembers to do them (hey, you’re busy, we get it), set calendar reminders so you don’t forget. “Sure, it takes some of the spontaneity out of it, but that’s better than having life get in the way and not doing anything at all,” explains Michael Hilgers, M.MFT, a Licensed Professional Counselor based in Austin, Texas. “Let technology be your friend. Identify any meaningful specific dates over the next six months as well as four to six arbitrary dates,” he says. Then, assign an actionable item for each date, like grabbing fresh flowers, planning a fun date night, or getting her that purse she’s been eyeing for months. Set up the reminders on your phone, and when something pops up, do it. Easy, right? And speaking of checklists, don’t miss these 10 Pre-Marriage Solidifiers that All Savvy Couples Agree On.
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“Ask her about how her day was and listen in an uninterrupted fashion and validate how she felt if they had something upsetting happen, rather than offering advice,” says Helen Odessky, PsyD, a Chicago-based psychologist and author of Stop Anxiety From Stopping You. Not sure what that means? If she says she had a bad day because her boss moved up a deadline unexpectedly, a validating statement would be something like, “It makes sense that you’re feeling stressed. Deadline changes are the worst.” What you shouldn’t say? “Why didn’t you push back? You’ve got to stick up for yourself.” While an advice-giving response might make more sense to you, sometimes you just need to be there to listen to and commiserate with your partner. “This is often the hardest thing for men, but if you can listen without jumping to fix, it’ll show her you really care,” adds Odessky. If you’re finding things harder than usual these days, here are the 10 Surefire Signs You Need Marriage Counseling.