A Valentine's Guide for Women

I am going to part with a little secret. I could not care less about Valentine’s Day. I find Valentine’s Day to be a little manufactured and fake the older I get.  As soon as Christmas is over, it’s like cupid throws up all over every store in the world. 

Some of you may be thinking, “This guy is a jerk!” or “Doesn’t he care about showing love?” First, let me explain where I am coming from. I have been married to my beautiful wife going on five years. She is way out of my league. She is beautiful on the inside and out. Of course, I had the primal reaction of “she’s cute” which lead me to talk to her.  However, lasting love is not based on physical appearance. Lasting love is built on loving the person, the whole person, on good and bad days.  That takes work from both parties.

It is my goal to be a good husband. To be the kind of husband that the wife misses when he is gone.  It is also my goal to be the kind of husband Ephesians 5 describes. If you are single, in a relationship, engaged, or married, I challenge you right now to stop reading this blog and go read Ephesians 5.  It will not take that long.  

Did you come back?  Good.  Now, you know where I am coming from. Far too often I find friends with relationship problems have lost the ability to communicate with one another.  I am a serial non-communicator.  I will speak to you on little things, but on heavy things I am a deep thinker—a brooder.  My wife, however, has to communicate.  I am not talking about how women speak to a two-to-one ratio versus men.  I am talking about the ability to deeply communicate her feelings, wants, joys, and sadness with me.  The first year of our marriage, I was terrible at that.  My answer was, “I just don’t talk.”  That type of attitude led to more than one fight. As I have gotten older and a little wiser, I have come to realize that to “love my wife, as Christ loved the Church” means I have to speak her love language. 

Ladies, I know some of you are wondering what in the world this has to do with Valentine’s.  The point of all this is to say, you don’t have to have one day to commemorate your love for each other.  A lasting relationship is based on love that is conveyed every day. Since your husband/fiancé/boyfriend may not tell you these things, I want to try to help.  Here are some things that your significant other would appreciate for Valentine’s:

Ditch the Clothes – Seriously, nothing says I put no thought into loving you more than buying you a tie or a dress shirt.  Do we need those things?  Sure. Does it convey your love to us? Not in the least. The only caveat to that would be to the sports fan who mentions/requests apparel based around their fandom.

Listen for the small words – Little things matter.  Men most often make glancing comments about something they want or like. For instance, I once mentioned in passing to my wife that I would like to have a kayak one day. It was just a passing comment. But she listened for the small words. She got me the kayak. I have not used it near enough to justify having it, but it meant the world to me that she got it. Disclaimer: Please don’t think I’m telling you to break the bank.  This was before marriage, buying our house, and having kids.

His stomach is a great avenue – I am a self-confessed fat kid. I like to eat a lot. My wife is a fantastic cook. She can make things happen in the kitchen that I can’t even describe.  Your man’s favorite meal, dessert, or snack is a great way to convey love. Yes, a home cooked meal takes a lot of work and preparation.  It is also more appreciated than he will probably be able to tell you. 

Give the man some space – This probably runs a little adverse to some of the things I have said previously.  Men desire solitude and quiet.  It is important for us to have time to think and process things.  Fishing and hunting are fun, but it is the quiet we really enjoy. Make a plan to give your man a day to do whatever he wants.  He may do yard work.  He may become a vegetable on the couch and play video games.  He may go fishing from dawn until dusk.  Give him the freedom to make that decision. 

Take the time to praise him – That may seem a little childish, but all men have egos. It is the way God made us. Like a dog, we like to be patted on the head sometimes.  Have you ever watched a dog when you pat him on the head? Its tail starts wagging and it draws closer to you.  Men are the same way. Go out of your way to praise your husband.  Behind every man is a good woman telling him he can do anything and that it is all going to be all right. 

All these are simplistic approaches to convey to your man that you love him.  Other ideas include anything that has to do with the kids if you have them. If men will talk about anything, it’s their kids.  Go on a date just the two of you but do not ask him to plan it.  That is not our arena. That is yours.  What is our arena is spending time with the woman we love.

I am no relationship expert, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.  Happy Valentine’s Day. 

Jim Shempert

Editor, One Million Dads
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