Because love is a two-way street.
As a man writing from a male perspective, my focus is primarily to challenge both myself and my fellow men to put in more effort and do better when it comes to dating, relationships, and life in general. One thing I typically notice though, is many times when I write an article focusing on a certain gender, members of that gender chime in and say "Well, that goes for men/women, too!"
Yes. Of course it does. But making comments such as these are a great way to take the focus off of the actual issue at hand and project our own shortcomings onto others. Naturally, since the majority of my articles are about men, this often comes from them.
So to be fair, I wanted to resurrect and also enhance a list I put together in the past of ways women can be romantic towards the man in their life as well. I typically exaggerate the importance of small, every day things that don’t always seem romantic, but are even more so because of the thought that goes into them when there is no holiday or special occasion required. Just one person caring for another. One thing is for sure: It goes both ways.
1. Slip the waiter your credit card. As reflected in many of my articles, I always insist on picking up the tab at dinner. Always. That also means that I expect for the bill to come after dessert and I will be taking care of it. If you want to do something special for your guy, it would be a nice unexpected surprise to secretly take care of the bill without him noticing. Maybe grab the waiter on your way to the restroom, or arrange to have the tab charged to your card beforehand. Who doesn't like pleasant surprises?
2. Plan a new experience together. The best gifts I have received were experiences that revolved around my interests. To plan something together that neither of you have done before but have both wanted to, will show him that you want to create lasting memories which he will always be part of. You don't have to have the same passions as him, but sharing in things each other enjoy is a great way to build a foundation together.
3. Show up with food. Planning on going to dinner one night, or just staying in and ordering takeout? Before he gets to your place, or if you're going to his, get the food taken care of first (and some wine). It won't require much effort but it will show him that you're willing to take the initiative to do something extra.
4. Get hooked on a new show. Having something to look forward to on a regular basis keeps you both excited and it gives you a good reason to cuddle up on the couch together and share a common interest. Plus, watching something that each other suggests will expand your horizons as well as show them you're willing to compromise.
5. Naughty picture texts. Even subtle, suggestive images can be sexy. One does not need to resort to expletive nudity or revealing photos to get a man's attention, in fact, often times it is the lack of exposure that increases the anticipation for when he gets home. Be creative and have fun.
6. Love notes. I know, we're not in high school anymore…but all the more reason that nobody would expect to open a small piece of paper with "I miss you" or "I love you" written on it. It's free, easy, and can be left anywhere to surprise him. A surefire way to put a smile on his face.
7. Be affectionate in public. No, don't jump on him in line at the grocery store, but guys enjoy affection, too. Putting your arm around his waist, holding his hand, or resting your head on his shoulder if you're standing together are small ways to let him know you like being close to him.
8. Play video games together. Some of the best nights you can have with someone aren't necessarily extravagant nights on the town. They can be when you are snowed in with a bottle of wine and video games. This lets you be playful together and do something a little out of the ordinary. Nothing wrong with some friendly competition.
9. Suggest a road trip. This is for a little later on in a relationship, but suggesting packing into a car and exploring new cities or states together is fun and exciting. Sharing new experiences always brings people closer. Be adventurous together!
10. Show your appreciation. Relationships are a two way street. They're about give and give. One of the biggest complaints I get from men when encouraging chivalry and respect is that women just don't appreciate acts of kindness these days. While a man or woman of quality should never let someone's unappreciation of their actions change who they are as a person – it's difficult to continue when you're not being appreciated.
If you are dating a good man, make sure you take the time to tell or show him that you appreciate the things he does for you. While he shouldn't need your reinforcement, he certainly won't complain about it. Plus, we like to know that what we're doing is right, and to be able to fix it if it's wrong.
Romance and relationships should never be one-sided. Healthy relationships are not about give and take, they're about give and give. If both people aren't contributing equally, it will be a breeding ground for resentment and discontent. Great relationships are a team, a partnership, two people who work together to move forward and to keep each other happy.
As with any successful team, if both members pull their weight, they will be victorious.
Originally appeared at JamesMSama.com, reprinted in partnership with the Good Men Project.
This article was originally published at The Good Men Project. Reprinted with permission from the author.