While those in healthy relationships might think of affection as a natural demonstration of love, the art of appropriately expressing one’s emotions to the opposite sex is a skill that intimidates many men. The reasons for this are as varied as the male population itself: some men were raised to maintain a stern and serious demeanor and to regard acts of affection as frivolous and unnecessary; some let their emotions atrophy over the course of years of comfortable routine and grow to take their wives or girlfriends for granted; and others simply have little or no experience with women.
If you are one of the millions of men who find it difficult to show affection for a loved one, don’t beat yourself up! You have the power to change your behavior and attitude by paying close attention to the wants and needs of your partner and trying out the six tips listed below. Just remember that every individual—and every relationship—is unique: what drives one woman absolutely crazy with desire might leave the next as cold as a dead fish.
1. Be Physically Demonstrative
Over time, you’ll figure out how your partner likes to be touched – and you should do so on a regular basis. For starters, passionate kisses and warm embraces are great ways to demonstrate your love. You can offer a shoulder massage, or to lay dozens of little kisses up and down her neck. Such innocent little pecks can even ultimately lead to the chance to engage in more intimate activities…
2. Be Generous in the Bedroom
Perhaps it’s most important (especially in the earliest stages of a budding romance and years later, long after the honeymoon magic has worn away) to be a generous lover.
Learn what your partner likes in bed and be attentive, making the fulfillment of her fantasies a priority. Those who are giving in this department are more likely to be sexually satisfied, too. What goes around comes around.
3. Find Out What’s Important
Affection isn’t only manifested physically – it can be mental and emotional, too. With that said, “listening” is more than just waiting patiently for your turn to talk (or to resume watching TV!).
Find out what truly makes your partner tick by engaging deeply in conversation and asking follow up questions. Make an effort to understand her opinions, and take them into careful consideration.
4. Keep In Touch
If you’re in a committed relationship, check in at least once a day just to say hello, or to express your feelings for your partner, even if the message is as simple as “How’s your day going?” or “I love you.” If you’ve just begun dating, consider sending the occasional email that communicates you’re thinking about her. The smallest efforts to make contact can often mean the most.
5. Compliment Her
A well-placed compliment can melt any woman’s heart.
Just make sure it’s appropriate to the mood and situation, and that it comes from a place of love and sincerity. Passive aggressive or backhanded compliments (e.g. “That dress is really nice because it makes your legs look less like tree trunks,”) are far worse than saying nothing at all.
6. Bring Her a Gift
A small token of your esteem will always touch your partner where words can’t. Don’t have the money for jewelry or flowers? Pick a small bouquet of wildflowers from the local park, or craft her a homemade “Thank You” card. Anything with personal significance that signifies you know what she likes will be doubly appreciated – even it’s as simple as her favorite candy bar!