Husbands who truly love us and have at least the IQ of golden retrievers should know what we like and what we don’t, right? They shouldn’t need a manual. We shouldn’t have to spell it out for them, right?
It’d be nice if our men intuitively knew what we wanted, but they don’t. They really don’t. Most men have no clue what women want. None. My husband certainly didn’t. Early on in our relationship, he used to communicate his desire to get busy by turning on the Playboy channel. Now, I have nothing against the Playboy channel. My husband and I used to watch it together. It was quite an education, but turning it on doesn’t equal foreplay or romance in my book. In fact, it’s the opposite and I eventually cancelled our subscription for that reason.
You can’t fault your man for brining you chocolate when you are on a low carb diet. You can’t fault him for taking you out for Mexican when, by gum, he should know already that you despise spicy food. You can’t fault him for buying you flowers when you really just want to hear the words, “I love you.”
Men are clueless. Almost all of them are. (I was going to write, “They all are,” but one or two somewhat more clairvoyant men read this blog and will send me a comment about such a statement. So let’s just say, all men are clueless except for the one or two who read this blog, and they are only clued in because they are avid blog readers). If you want romance in your life, you need to give your man the clues.
This isn’t as easy as it sounds because, if you are like me, you don’t know what you want. There! How can he know what you want if you don’t know yourself? To help figure out what you want, think about these questions:
1) Romance is the way your man shows his love for you. What words or actions make you feel adored?
2) When you watch other happy couples together, what do they have that you pine for?
3) When you watch romantic movies or read romantic books, what do the male characters do or say that makes you swoon?
4) Think back to when you were happier in your relationship. How did he romance you then?
Then, talk about it. Tell him what you want. Explain that you want to feel loved. Say that you need him to show you that he adores you. You need it because of the hard times because, sometimes, you truly don’t know whether or not he gives a damn. Write a Romance Instruction Manual, such as the one below that I wrote for my husband. Give it to him. Let him carry it around in his pocket. It just might make all the difference.
Touch me, not because you want to have sex, but because you love me. Touch the back of my arm. Touch my neck. Hold my hand. Place your palm against my upper back.
Kiss me. Kiss my cheek. Kiss my forehead. Kiss the back of my neck. Walk up to me in front of other people and kiss me on the lips, and say, “That’s just what I needed.”
Court me. Show me amazing things. Remind me to see the sunset. Marvel at the stars with me. Sit and listen to the crickets with me.
Be with me. Walk with me. Ride the tandem with me. Watch James Bond with me.
Tell me that I’m beautiful. Tell me in the morning, when my hair is a mess. Tell me when I’m dressed up. Tell me when I come into the coffee shop. Tell me just because.
Say I love you. Say it when you leave for work in the morning. Say it when you come home. Say it as we are falling asleep at night.
Surprise me. Send me small gifts, even if it’s not my birthday or Mother’s Day. Pick flowers for me. Take me somewhere unusual. Send me a card for no reason. Hide a note in my purse. Send me a text message.
Help me. When I seem tired, harried or overwhelmed, do more. Ask to help and, when I don’t suggest a way to help, help anyway. Entertain Kaarina. Empty the dishwasher. Straighten up the house. Sort the mail. Scoop the poop. Wash the dog. Make dinner.
Excite me. Encourage me to face my fears. Rekindle my sense of adventure. Help me to loosen up. Push me beyond my limits. Make me ride a roller coaster with you. Blindfold me and feed me.
Bring me on adventures. Take me to new places. Enjoy new cuisines with me. Explore the world with me.
Listen to me.
Look in my eyes.
Rub my back, neck, or shoulders without me asking.
Practice random acts of helpfulness. Let Rhodes out in the morning or put food in his bowl. Take dishes out of the sink, even if they are not yours, and put them in the washer. Put the clothes away.
A professional journalist, Alisa Bowman is the author of Project: Happily Ever After, a memoir of how she saved her marriage, and coauthor of Pitch Perfect, a must-read if you've ever had a sense of dread tie up your insides before a speech, presentation, or conversation. If you enjoyed this post, you will no doubt love her updates on Facebook and Twitter.