Last year I had quite the interesting experience of having not four, but five other roommates in a two bedroom apartment for the period of six months before getting my own place nine months ago. So there we were, six guys who were pretty much either dating every weekend or involved in some relationship. During that time I learned a vew things as well as passed on a couple ideas, hopefully we can go over a few of them here briefly.
Before we get too deeply in this, first let me remind you that romance is not intended to be the ‘initiator’, or cause of a relationship.. but rather the ‘enhancement’ of a relationship already in progress. So without further delay, let’s proceed…
— AFTERNOON DATES; Hard to believe, but some guys still think you can’t go on a date unless it’s dark out. An afternoon date in a public place under casual circumstances is a great way to help a lady feel at ease. If all you’re interested in is getting her drunk and driving her home, well chances are this is about as far into this article you’re gonna read. But for you guys who are actually trying to get to know the gal in question so as to see if a relationship is possible, an afternoon picnic, drive to the beach, shopping trip for something she needs, or a sunday stroll though a local art gallery is a low-stress way to spend time together.
— TALK, LISTEN & LISTEN; Sometimes it’s great to just get out with your gal, dance the night away with a loud band and have fun. But realize that when it’s just you two together chances are good that if conversation is possible, she will want to talk. Marriages have crumbled because too many guys under-estimate the desire in a woman to have conversation with the man she cares for. This doesn’t mean talk their ear off, it often means actually ‘listening’ to what they are saying and responding along the same line of thought. But here’s where many men blow it even along these lines. When us guys talk amongst ourselves, admit it.. we tend to talk more about ‘things’ than ‘people’ or abstract ’emotions’. I wish I could give you two simple rules on how to flow with such topics easily, but I can’t. The simplest way is to just listen and be more interested in how the issues affect people rather than measurable things such as scores, mileage, yardage and warranties.
— GIFTS; A buddy of mine and I were trying to count up just how much of our money we’d blown on expensive gifts to women before realizing it never did affect their interest in us. If a woman is interested in you, it isn’t and shouldn’t be because of the size or expense of the gifts you give her. However… there’s nothing like a gift every now and then to keep that sparkle in her eyes twinkling. Now there are two types of mentalities to gift giving… the right way and the expensive way. The expensive way is to simply buy her things that cost a lot thinking her response will be, “He cares $250 for me!” No. This is not the way women think, well, except for maybe some women.. and you don’t want to mess with them.
— The ‘right’ mentality approaches gifts to one’s beloved with this in mind… “Whether expensive or not, it must convey two things; ‘I was thinking of you.’ and ‘I listened to what you were saying last week.'” Get into the habit, again, of Listening. If she mentions in passing she just loves, say.. penguins, log that into your brain so that a week or month later, when you want to get her a card, charm bracelet, stuffed animal, ceramic or something you won’t come home with a poster of a cat only to be greeted with a confused look on her face. (Now, if she was crazy for cats, you’d be on the right track.)
— Be erratic in your timing. Don’t let it fall into a predictable routine. She shouldn’t know that every thursday is the day you get her something. A small gift spontaneously, and then two weeks later and then a day later. Slip it into her purse when she’s not looking, attach balloons to her car when she’s at work on your lunch break, mail her roses at work in a cardboard box, or just have her close her eyes and put out her hands. The point is that if the things she says are important to you and you’ve been thinking about her, let your gifts show how you feel rather than show how much you spent.
— FIGHT COMPLACENCY; When you know you can count on someone, often it’s the easiest thing to take them for granted. Complacency doesn’t hit you like a violent wind.. it creeps in like slowly like an inching shadow. When you’re in a steady relationship, get into the habit of thinking “her needs/my needs”. When you’re just kickin’ it around the pad and watching a video some evening, let’s say the screen door is open and there’s a cold breeze coming in. You’re all into the movie and figure, “Hey, if she’s cold, she’ll close the window.” After all, you can stand a little cold and the movie is really getting good. But that’s when you gotta do one of two things. “Know and Do” or “Ask”.
— If you already know she gets cold easily, don’t ask her if she wants the window closed, just get up and do it without a word. Maybe even go to the closet and bring back a blanket to drape over her. And whatever you do, don’t then look at her expecting something in return, just do it. Now, if you’re not sure whether or not she’s cold, ask if she’s cold and take care of it. If you’ve both been snacking on corn chips throughout the movie, again, don’t ask and make her feel she’s inconveniencing you… just get up, get her a drink and hand it to her without a word. I know, seems simple and inane to just look at it, but if she’s really the woman you want to know for the long run, learn how to care for her needs as much or more as you look out for your own.
“So will doing all this guarantee she’ll be good to me and love me forever?”, you ask.. maybe, maybe not. But it will do one thing for sure.. it will get you into the habits of love for the one who -does- appreciate such things when you do meet her. There is a saying, “Love does the most, yet thinks the least of what it does.”. The motivation behind doing such things is not a knee-jerk formula for manipulation. The motivation should be to express that you care for this person enough to give and care for their needs and joys and find joy simply in the act of giving itself. Much of this can be applied to the area of intimacy as well, where you are more concerned with pleasing your partner than yourself, and trust your pleasure to their unsolicited motivations. The general rule behind all this being that love is an active verb of giving, not a matter of just taking from someone who cares enough to give.
Henry Velez is a writer, traveler and vlogger currently living in the Philippines. He has written extensively on social issues, relationships and travel.