Sometimes all it takes is one simple statement: “You’re the only woman I want.” Confession: I haven’t been anybody’s girlfriend in a long time. This year will be my thirteenth wedding anniversary, so it’s been a minute since I had the kind of concerns you have when you’re straddling that fence between single and legally committed. At heart, though, I think we all have a similar list of things we really want but are really hesitant to ask for, whether we’ve been dating someone for a month, or been married to them for a decade. Things like:
1. Compliment her.
2. Hold her when she’s crying.
3. Express tender gestures.
We don’t need our life with you to resemble a romance novel, but there are many small, sweet things you can do that will make her feel both desired and cherished. It may not seem like much, but this kind of intimacy is so important, and it’s something that’s almost impossible to ask for.
4. Reassure her every now and then.
Sometimes all it takes is one simple statement: “You’re the only woman I want.”Logically, we know that, but there are times when our rational mind is overcome by insecurity or hormones or the current cover of Maxim. I’m not saying you have to indulge that, just, you know, extend a little bit of gentleness.
5. Do stuff.
Wash the dishes. Fold the laundry. Change the sheets on the bed. Rinse your plate and put it in the dishwasher. Mow the yard. Give the kids a bath. Search for the missing socks. We handle this junk all the time, you guys, and you’re guaranteed second base at minimum if you would do some of these things unprompted from time to time.
6. Encourage her.
It’s so easy for women to lose themselves in the girlfriend/wife/mother roles. Remind your girl of the things she’s really good at and encourage her in her hobbies. Give her a gentle nudge out the door to go hang with her friends.
7. Commit to her.
If you’re going to be with your girlfriend, BE with her. Don’t half-ass it. Don’t split your time between her and the memory of your ex or the possibility of the future. Listen to her. Love her. Look at her when she’s talking to you. If she trusts you enough to share her heart with you, you have a responsibility to handle it with care.
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