Whether it's your boyfriend or husband, you ought not ask a question you already know the answer to.
Let me guess. You ask and he says no. Or, you ask and he begrudgingly accepts only to botch the meal or complain enough that you've gotten a permanent restraining order between him and the kitchen. This leaves the process of cooking for two a lonely activity.
Predictable, I fear. All of it. Women do themselves no favors when they ask a question they already know the answer to. It gets even worse when they accept the answer by maintaining the relationship despite the answer.
Here's what else is predictable. You'll respond to me via telepathy by thinking, "Well duh, how else do I get someone to do something without asking them to?" To which I'd reply:
- Do your friends need to ask you to offer an ear when they're feeling depressed?
- Would your parents need to ask you to help them move?
- Would your boyfriend need to ask you to help him with something he was visibly struggling with?
I'll save you the monotony in your response: No. No. And no. And the reason they need not ask is because you are aware and thoughtful. There's also the matter that you actually care about them. Does your partner care about you? Are they thoughtful and aware? Don't think too long about these questions for the longer it takes to reply, the more worrisome the response is.
And I beg of you not to reply with, "What if they can't cook?" Since you know I'll reply with the obvious which is, "Cooking with someone can be as much about cutting up ingredients, washing pots and pans along the way and really just being present with the person you care about."
It's okay, you can think me annoying or preposterous. You can even think me naive. So long as you think me right because I am. We ask questions we already know the answer to when we know that the answer isn't the right one. What we should do is assume that our partner is aware, thoughtful and caring.
Tell me which of these two phrases sounds better to you:
- I'd love to cook together tonight, what do you say?
- When we cook together tonight, what would you like to make?
Let's answer them with a little presumptive communication.
Phrase 1 may be responded to with "yes" or "no" or "what do you want me to do?" or "are you sure hahahaha?" or "I'm really tired from (blank)" or...
Phrase 2 may be answered with "I don't want to cook together tonight".
You see, with phrase 2, you didn't ask a yes or no question. You presumed that they'd want to cook with you because that is what an aware, thoughtful and caring partner would want. If they don't want it, you have your answer and it goes beyond cooking that night. Or any other night.
When we get to the point of expecting our partners to be aware, thoughtful, caring, attentive, unselfish, present, etc., we can get to the point of teaching people how to treat us.
I mentioned earlier the issue of maintaining a relationship despite the answer. We do a good job of this and that is not a good thing. They don't like shopping with us. They don't like cooking with us. They don't like watching our shows with us. All to say, they like doing things with us only when those things matter to them. There is nothing caring, aware or thoughtful about that.
Think about it!