Most ladies grumble about the the fact why consistency at the beginning of a relationship cannot be maintained. Well, I don’t know about guys in general, but I can tell you what’s caused it to happen, when it has, for me in previous relationships.
Lack of reciprocity.
That’s really it.
I enjoy doing all those little things that makes my girl feel that she’s special to me. I’m very picky about who I touch and who I let touch me, but my girl gets a disproportionate amount of my physical affection. And I don’t just mean sex. Hugging, cuddling, a brush of fingertips across the small of her back as I walk by, that sort of thing.
I sometimes get little gifts if I spot them and think she’ll like it. I do that with my family too. My mother is still thrilled about a little gardening trowel I got her that had depth measurements stamped in and a built in root cutter. I got it just because I thought she’d like it.
I tend to be pretty verbally affectionate too. Not so much throwing “I love you”’s out everywhere, but pet names.
The problem is, if I’m the only one doing it, well…frankly I start to feel unappreciated. And when that happens, well I don’t stop being affectionate on purpose. But when you’re not feeling appreciated or loved, it’s hard to feel that way towards the person neglecting you.
Yes ladies, guys need to feel loved too.
So if you’re my best girl, and you like when I do something, let me know. Now, I don’t need a big song and dance, but for love of Cupid, give me a damn smile. Or you know what? Hug me just because you can. Surprise me with that sneakers you noticed me eyeing in the footwear store twelve times but didn’t get. Or however it is that your fella likes to receive love.
See, there are five primary love “languages”.
- Quality time
- Acts of service
Now, most people favor one or two, and disfavor one or two. Most people both express and prefer to receive love in the same way, but not always. So figure out how your fella likes to receive love, and let him know you care.
The key here is reinforcement. Let’s say he does something nice for you. If he likes touch, give him a hug. If he prefers verbal, give him a “thanks!”. They mean the same thing, but some people internalize differently.
For example, as I said, I tend to be verbally affectionate, yet verbal affection received is of middling importance to me. Touch is my main way to express and preferred way to receive love. Figure out what your fella likes.
And for love of sanity, don’t nag. Reinforce what you do like. Don’t berate him for what you don’t like, reward him for what you do like.
If you’re ever in doubt about what to do, I suggest you emulate Gomez and Morticia Addams. They’d been married forever, yet are clearly still extremely in love with each other. They keep the passion alive, not by demanding it for themselves, but by giving it to each other.
If you want your fella to keep doing those nice things for you, keep doing them for him. Give him a hug when he comes home from work. Wear that pretty bra he likes. Put your hair up in that braid that drives him wild. Leave a little note in his lunchbox, his car, whatever, with a nice little message. Whatever you did to win him, keep doing that.
Because here’s the thing too many people my age seem to have forgotten. Love and marriage aren’t magic. They’re work. I know “Ok Boomer” is in vogue now, but you might want to ask all those alter kakers who are fifty years into their first marriage how they did it. Last year at my buddy’s wedding, his wife’s grandparents were there, and when they got up to dance it was clear that they were still very much in love. I think they were around sixty-five or seventy years into their first marriage, and it was obvious why it was still their first. It was really sweet to see.
So that’s the why, and my advice on what to do about it. Your man isn’t just an auxiliary support system for your lifestyle choices. Show him the love and affection you want to receive. Do the little things for him you wish he’d do for you.
To paraphrase Hillel the Elder, treat him the way you wish he’d treat you. He’ll probably start treating you the same way again. Show him you’re still interested in him, and he’ll stay interested in you. That is how consistency at the beginning of a relationship can be maintained.
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