Ask any adult and they’ll tell you that men and women are different in many ways (beyond the obvious physical differences!). Emotionally, men and women often have different needs. Our challenges in understanding the needs of the opposite sex have made books like “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” bestsellers. Let’s take a look, then, at a few things tips on how to successfully romance a woman — from a woman’s perspective.
Compliments are a little like frosting – too slick, and they slide right off. Too thick, and they’re sickening. But a cake without frosting is a little sad; and a woman without compliments may feel the same way. A good compliment can make a woman feel truly appreciated and loved. What then differentiates a “good” compliment from a bad one? Here are a few factors:
• Sincerity – women like to know that they can trust a man. We like to hear compliments that are clear and specific, that come from the heart. Most women would rather receive one sincere compliment rather than ten insincere ones. A single insincere compliment can also serve to discredit you, and devalue your future compliments.
• Specificity – A vague compliment is like that frosting above, but you forgot to add enough sugar. It’s okay, but it is just kind of “neutral”. Add a specific detail or two, though, and the compliment takes on new value. Compare the impact of “That’s a pretty dress” with the more specific “I love your dress. It really brings out the blue in your eyes, and really shows off your sexy body.” Which one do you think is apt to make your partner feel more appreciated?
• Frequently – while some men toss out compliments like they’re business cards at a Rotary convention, others are so frugal with compliments that the woman ends up feeling unappreciated. If you fall into the first category, check out the two recommendations above. If you’re in the latter category, you might want to try praising your partner a little more often. Compliments that come freely and more frequently make us feel appreciated and loved.
• Unexpectedly – If you find your partner “fishing” for compliments, it may be that you could improve on your complimenting skills. One tip is to offer compliments and praise when she isn’t expecting them – as a sign of your love and appreciation for her and all she does for you. Some women say that the only time they get compliments is when they ask for them, or when their husbands want sex. So they are suspicious of all unsolicited compliments. How sad is that? Let your partner know how much you love and appreciate her, and she’ll appreciate your attentiveness.
• Intelligently – one of the greatest compliments you can give a woman is to appreciate her mind/soul/intellect. It’s far easier to hand out compliments about physical attributes – her appearance, her outfit, her haircut, etc. than it is to compliment her intelligence. Next time you have the chance to tell your partner how much you appreciate her for something non-cosmetic, do so. Tell her how impressed you are with her handling of a difficult situation, or her patience in a stressful area, or her creativity in resolving an issue. Tell her how you appreciate the decisions she made on specific issues. Let her share her day and her accomplishments with you, and listen to the many choices, decisions and frustrations she faced. Appreciating her intellect, her giving nature, her negotiation skills, etc. can help her recognize that not only are you really listening to her, but that you appreciate her as a person, as well.
Gifts and Thoughtful Gestures
A heartfelt gift can be an incredibly romantic thing. For those of you on a budget, romance does not have to mean big budgets. One man, I know left cards for his wife every day for a week when she was struggling with an issue at work, telling her how much he loved her and appreciated her. She shared that this was a real source of strength for her as she dealt with the problems during the day, giving her self-esteem a much-needed boost.
Sometimes the presentation of the gift can be as important as the gift itself, too. Flowers grabbed in the grocery store and flung at your partner with a “These were on sale” comment may show you care, but a lot of the potential impact is lost in the process. Even an inexpensive grocery store bouquet can be a romantic gesture if presented correctly. Accompanied by a kiss, present the flowers to your partner with a smile, and a gracious compliment. Something like, “I saw these and couldn’t resist getting them for you to brighten up the kitchen. Can I stick them in some water for you?” will do just fine, if you aren’t the naturally romantic type.
One caveat – most women don’t appreciate having gifts associated with sex. Even if the sex was stunning, try to make sure your gifts are presented as tokens of your appreciation for her giving nature, or your growing love for her, or a wonderful weekend together. Tied in with a sincere compliment about something non-sexual, if possible. Gifts tied to sex can make a woman feel cheap and used; while a gift for the same weekend presented “because you’re always so fun to be with” carries a far more positive connotation.
One of the most thoughtful gifts you can give a woman is your time and your attention. Listen to her, what she likes and dislikes. Ask her to tell you about her day, and then listen. Don’t’ interrupt or tune her out, and don’t try to “fix” her problems for her (unless she asks you to intervene). Just listening to her and offering sympathy and caring, laughter and sharing, will tell her that she’s important to you.
Take an afternoon off and go have a picnic in the park together. Get a babysitter and go out for a romantic dinner, or ask her for a list of five things she wants to do and try to hit two or three of them. The most important thing is not how much money you spend, it’s the time you spend with her and the fact that you are making her your priority for that time.
Most women would love to have more time, attention and interest from their husbands and boyfriends. Although there are obviously exceptions, the fact is that the “romance” fades from most relationships as time and outside demands wear on the couple. I hope that these tips have given you some ideas on how you can put a little of the romance back into your relationship!