I like to say that I am an astute observer of healthy relationships. My mom and dad have been married for 48 years. My sister married her high school sweetheart and they are in their 21st year of marriage. I married my middle school sweetheart, and we’ve been married for 23 years. I’m surrounded by best friend couples who have also been together since high school. These are my observations to keep a woman happy.
• Affirm her daily. Tell her she looks great when she leaves for work. Send her out the door with a hug, a kiss, a love note. Do it all again when you see her later at home. Let others know that you’re proud she’s your girl. Brag about how much you love it when she cooks your favorite food. Hold her hand in public. Escort her like a gentleman. Get her a drink at the party. Most of all, tell her you love her and show her you do.
• Be silly with her. One of the best parts of a relationship is having those moments together when you’re both just enjoying each other’s company. Re-tell the awkward moments when you were dating. Or the first time you got embarrassed in front of the other. Who says play time ends when you’re no longer a child? Laugh and connect. These are precious memories that will reinforce your bond.
• Ask her what she would like to do on those special occasion days throughout the year. But don’t ask an open-ended question. Ask her to choose between Choice A, Choice B, or Choice C. For example, “Hey honey, your birthday is coming up. I was thinking we could either try that new restaurant you’ve been wanting to go to, or I could pack a picnic and we could hike that trail we’ve been talking about, or I could set up a spa day and we can get massages since I know you enjoy them.” The point is you plan the date. This shows that you’ve taken the time to 1) notice her interests and 2) make an effort to plan something that will make her feel extra special.
• Give her your full attention. Women are social creatures. We like to talk! We just want to tell you something funny happened at work or something new that we’ve learned or that something is on our minds. Even if it means you saying, “Would it be ok if we talk in a little bit? I really want to finish watching this game and then I am all ears.” Most women would accept that. And if the information/situation is really urgent, we would say so.
• Acknowledge when you mess up. Recognize that you hurt her by your words or actions. A simple statement either verbally or written will do. It has to be genuine. It should also be done privately so that there is no distraction and an opportunity for conversation can take place. Include suggestions on how both of you can avoid that situation from happening again. This shows that you’ve done some reflection. Perhaps you can mutually agree that she does this and you do that, so that anger and frustration are minimized in the future.
• Offer her help when you see her struggling. No one knows her better than you. You notice she’s not her usual self, she seems stressed, quick to snap back. Women tend to be overwhelmed with the “to do” list inside their heads. Instead of saying, “What’s wrong with you?” Ask her, “How can I help you?” And when she spouts off a list of things to do, instead of absorbing the stress, calmly reassure her that you’re there to help her and ask her to prioritize the top two items that you can do. When you’re done folding that basket of laundry and packing the kids’ lunches, go back to her and tell her that you’re ready for the next task. She’ll know that she can count on you.
By engaging in these six activities, you will show your love and appreciation for your girl and she will reciprocate. That’s what a partnership is all about. Your woman will indeed, be happy and you will be too.