Friday, June 24, 2011

Time for a Little Dress Up

If you ever had sisters, you probably remember how they loved to play dress-up. Although you wouldn’t admit it, you probably played along with them a time or two; dressing up and pretending that you’re somebody different. You might have even been in a few amateur theatrics that you put on in your own living room, for an audience of your parents.

You know something? Women never really outgrow that stage of playing dress up. They like getting dressed up fancy, just to do it; even if there’s no reason. That’s part of the joy of shopping for women; just getting to go dress up in something different.

Dressing up also changes how they feel about themselves. One of the reasons that women buy so much clothing is that they think they’re ugly. Granted, not all women think they’re ugly. There’s the one or two percent out there who are really stuck up about how they look. But with women, there’s pretty much no middle ground. Either they thing they’re God’s gift to mankind, or they think they’re ugly. They might have a moment or two where they don’t think that way, but those are rare moments.

When a woman puts on something new and pretty, it makes her feel pretty; that makes her feel good about herself. So, when your wife buys new clothing, she’s trying to make herself feel good. That’s it.

They also like it when we dress up. Something about a man, dressed up in a nice suit, attracts a woman’s eye. Now, women aren’t visually stimulated like men are, but they do notice how one is dressed. My wife always comments when I get dressed up. Guess what? She’s not alone in that.

So, here’s the plan. Since Friday night is probably your date night, make it a fancy one this week. I don’t mean that you have to go out to the fanciest restaurant in town (although you can if you want), just that you have to be the fanciest ones in town. Put on your best and have her do so too. If you end up eating I McDonalds, everyone will be staring at you. That’s all right, let them think you just came from the prom.

Maybe you could put a little acting into the game as well. Pretend that you’re Al Capone and she’s your doll. Or, you could pretend that you just struck it rich, and she’s a gold digger. Have a little fun; get out of your routine, be somebody you’ve always dreamed of being.

The point is to help her feel good about herself. Just getting dressed up will do that. Any stares or attention she gets will help her feel good too. Like I said, have fun, laugh, make the most of it.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Picture You Perfect

Pictures can be very romantic. They can capture special moments, special feelings and especially special people. So, when was the last time that the two of you got a picture taken as a couple? If you’re like most of us, the last picture might be from your wedding.

Even if you’re not all that interested in capturing your entire life on film (or electronic images like we do today), your wife probably is. I’m more of an artistic type of photographer, so whenever we went places, I was taking pictures of what was there. My wife always wanted the typical “tourist pictures” of the family standing in front of or beside some sign or monument to tell where we were.

To a woman, unless she’s an artistic photographer, pictures are memories of things that she’s done with people that she loves. As such, they’re important to her. Not just to have, but to go through every once in a while, remembering the great experiences you’ve had together as a couple and as a family.

So, to get back to the original question I asked you, when was the last time the two of you had a picture taken together as a couple? I don’t just mean snapping a quick pic either; I’m talking about a nice, professionally done photo of the two of you. If it’s been a while, then you have an opportunity to schedule a nice romantic gift for your wife.

Call your local photo studio, and schedule a session to get your photo taken together. Go through the extra effort to dress nice for the photo, even getting a hair cut if you need it. This photo is going to be around for a while, so you want to make sure it comes out nice.

Oh, and don’t forget to smile for the birdie.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Be Sure to Take Her Along

There are those of us who occasionally have to travel or attend dinner for business purposes. To us, it’s nothing exciting; just part of business. But, to our wives, it’s an opportunity to get out, go somewhere and do something.

Actually, I think they’ve got a better idea about it anyway. I’ve been on enough boring business trips, that I’m really not that interested in going on another one. It’s much better to take her along and turn that business trip into a fun trip. Park the kids with someone, pay for the extra plane ticket, even try and get an extra day in there, if possible. It makes the trip much more enjoyable.

The issue isn’t about where you’re going. Granted, if your company sends you to Hawaii, and you leave your wife at home, you’re going to have a lot of explaining to do. But, most of the time, the company doesn’t send us anywhere all that interesting. Still, wherever it is has got to be more interesting than staying at home with the kids.

You can make anyplace into an interesting trip, if you try to. There are interesting places to go, things to see and new restaurants to try. Even if you’re in the middle of nowhere, you can use the extra time, just to spend some time together. After all, what else are you going to do in the evening?

So, park the kids with their grandparents for a few days, and take your wife along with you. That can turn your boring business trip into something interesting; maybe even a second honeymoon. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Overcome Her Negativity

Have you ever noticed that women in general are negative? Now, I realize that any time someone talks in generalities, they end up being generally wrong; but, I’m going to take a shot at it anyway. What I’m saying about women may not be true in all cases, but it is true in most cases. Women tend to be negative.

Let me back that up with a little bit of something to show you what I mean. First of all, women have a much greater tendency to be worriers than men do. As men, when we have a problem we can’t do anything about, we tend to set it aside, waiting until we can do something about it. In the mean time, we work on something that we can do something about.

Women also complain more. Us guys will usually keep our complaints bottled up inside us, while women have a genuine need to get their complaints “off their chest.” So, they complain. They also tend to think that the worst is going to happen, instead of the best. They also think very negatively about themselves. A man walking by a mirror in a store will look at himself and think, “Yeah, I’ve still got it.” But, a woman going by the same mirror will think, “I’m fat. Is that another grey hair? I’m getting too many wrinkles.” I’m ugly. Finally, women are much more likely to say “no” to having some fun, especially if it involves something out of the ordinary. They like things calm and familiar, not crazy and adventurous.

Okay, so let’s not put our wives down for how they are, let’s just understand it. The important thing is that both you and her don’t be negative; because negativity feeds upon itself, breeding more negativity. What you need to do, is overcome your wife’s negativity with your positivity. Realize that she’s that way and help her overcome it by the things that you say.

I think, of all the negativity I’ve seen in women, the biggie is their negativity towards themselves. Knowing that, I see a great need for us husbands to be constantly affirming our wives, especially affirming how they look, to help her feel good about herself.

So, what do you do if your wife is overweight? Simple, just don’t talk about that part. Talk about how beautiful her hair is, or her eyes, or her breasts. Don’t add to her negativity; overcome it with talking about the things that you see are beautiful. This isn’t about you, it’s about helping her.

The last thing you want to do is to add to her already negative opinion about herself, her life and her surroundings. Remember, her complaints have basis in what she’s feeling in her heart. So, if she complains about something regularly, that means there’s something behind that complaint. You may have to do a little digging, but you should be able to find out what it is.

If she’s complaining about something, it might just be words. But, if you find that there is some basis in fact, behind her complaint. Then you should do something about it. Maybe she complains about the house a lot. Okay, why? Could it be that the house has some problems that need to be fixed? Granted, as guys, we’re much less likely to notice this than our wives are. So, pay attention to her complaint. Investigate it. If there is a problem with the house, you’d probably better do something about it.

The end result of all this is that you can affect how your wife feels about things. It’s not easy, but it is possible. You can be positive enough to overcome her worries, her complaints and her negative opinions. Don’t take any of it personally, just look for ways to overcome it.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Love Note Rocks

Any true book lover can tell you that historically, the longest-lasting writings are all done in stone. The question is, is your love for your wife long lasting enough to put it on stone? This isn’t for the faint of heart now, if your love won’t last as long as that stone you’re putting it on, are you sure you want to declare it there?

Granted, etching words in stone with a hammer and chisel is a rather cumbersome task. Fortunately for us, we don’t really have to go to that extreme. No, instead of etching our messages into the stone, I think it would be much more practical to paint them on the stone.

Here’s how you do it:
  • Gather some nice stones, something about the size of a fist.
  • Clean your stones (your wife isn’t going to want dirty stones; besides, the paint won’t last)
  • Figure out which way the stones sit better (which side is up). Paint a small (1” – 2”) circle or oval on the up side of each of them, with acrylic or latex paint. Allow it to dry.
  • Paint your wife’s name in the circle. Allow it to dry thoroughly.
  • Now, flip the stone over and paint the entire underside of it. Allow the paint to dry.
  • Paint a loving phrase inside that circle. Allow it to dry thoroughly.

In case you’re having some trouble coming up with loving phrases, here’s a few that you can use:
  • I love/need/want you (real original, right?)
  • You are wonderful
  • You are beautiful
  • You are the world’s best wife/friend/lover (whatever you want to put there)
  • You make me happy/feel special/want you more
  • I never get tired of just looking at you
  • How was I so lucky to get you?
  • You rock!

Now that your love note rocks are ready, you need to make the delivery. There’s a couple of ways you could go about that. One is to put them in your flower garden, then casually take your wife out there to look at the flowers, letting her discover them. Another is to place them along a route and take a walk to find them (only, you’d better be ready to carry them back for her). You could even make a little cluster of them in a basket, or by the front door and let her find it.

No matter how you make the delivery, your wife will be the only woman in the neighborhood whose husband loves her enough to make his love note so permanent as to put it on stone.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Romantic Getaway

It’s summertime, the time of outdoor activities, back-yard barbecues and vacations. The kids are out of school, the sun is going down later and everyone is taking advantage of the time to enjoy themselves. Nothing wrong with that, just don’t forget to enjoy yourself with your wife as well.

Whiles you’re planning this year’s vacation, why not plan it in such a way as to have some time for just the two of you. There’s a couple of different ways that you can do that:

  • Plan two vacations, one with the family and one as a couple. Leave the kids with your parents, while the two of you get away.
  • Plan a family vacation that will give the kids something to do, while you spend some time alone.
  • Plan on sending the kids to camp, sometime during the summers, so you can have a couple of days alone.

The point is that the two of you get at least a couple of days alone. Of course, if your kids are grown up this isn’t a problem, but with kids, it can be a real challenge.

Don’t try and fill those days that you spend together with activities, try and fill it with each other. Read the Bible or a marriage book together. Take some long walks. Watch the sun come up or go down. Sit together to listen to the waves crashing on the shore or the wind blowing through the mountain trees. Have long talks about your dreams. Lie in each other’s arms and kiss.

The point of the exercise is to have some time where the two of you are just focused on each other. Not on doing something together, nor going somewhere together, but being together. Some time, in which you don’t have to rush to pick up the kids, get back to work or run off to some activity.

Make sure you leave laptops, phones and other distractions behind when you do this. Matter of fact, it’d be a good idea to leave your watches behind as well. You don’t need a watch to tell you when it’s time to eat, just eat when you’re hungry. Nor do you need a watch to tell you when to sleep; you can do that when you’re tired. You’re leaving everything behind that requires keeping track of time, so why not leave time behind as well?

Enjoy your time of just being you together, enjoying exploring the person that you are joined together with, just as if you were on your honeymoon once again. In fact, why not make it a second honeymoon?

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Gift to Relax Her

It seems that lots of guys equate romance with gifts, more than anything else. You know, the classic gift of giving your wife flowers or chocolates. Fortunately for us, women seem to like receiving those gifts. They almost seem to accept them as if they’d never been given a gift before.

What is it about giving gifts that makes it so special? It’s that when you give a gift, you are really giving a part of yourself to the other person. You see, the only real thing any of us have is our time and our ability. So, when we go to work somewhere, whether it is for a huge conglomerate, a small business, or even working as an independent contractor, we’re trading out time and ability to others for money. When we buy something with that money, we’re actually buying it with part of our lives. So, giving a gift, is giving of yourself.

A relationship is also about giving of yourself. Oh, maybe it’s a little bit intangible how we give of ourselves, but that doesn’t change anything, we still give of ourselves. Or, at least we give of ourselves if we want that relationship to be successful. Without giving of yourself, the relationship really never goes anywhere.

Okay, so now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, what type of gifts, besides flowers and chocolate, are good ones to give to your wife? That’s an easy one; give her gifts that make her feel special. To do that, the gift must do at least one of these four things:
  • Pamper her
  • Make her feel feminine
  • Make her feel special
  • Have something to do with some non-professional interest, like a hobby

So, let’s go back to those two classic gifts, flowers and chocolate. Do those fall into one of those categories? Well, we can say that both of them fall into the category of making her feel special. But, we can also say that the chocolate pampers her, because the chocolate we give as gifts is not just your run of the mill, pick it up at the convenience store type of chocolate. The flowers make her feel feminine, because they are beautiful and perfumed; both things that are often associated with femininity.

Here’s another gift that should hit three out of four of those criterion; give her bubble bath. I don’t know why, but women like to soak in a hot tub, especially if they have bubble bath. So, if she likes it, then it sounds like a good gift to me.

Actually, soaking in a hot bath is a great way to relax, especially after a stressful day. Maybe she’s got more wisdom than just personal pleasure in taking those hot baths.

You might have a little trouble finding any place that sells bubble bath these days. Never fear, it is still available. If you can’t find it anywhere else, you might try looking at the store Bath and Body Works. Last time I checked, they had several different, scented bubble baths available.