They say men don’t express their emotions as well as women, but who’s they? Doctors, experts, sexperts, all my ex-boyfriends, and my 9-year-old niece, which is good enough for me. I’m not typically a fan of generalizations, but in this instance I’ll make an exception. That’s a hefty list, after all, plus my niece is really wise.
|Ohh hush, I kid, I kid!|
Not that all men are inept at articulating their feelings, of course, and not that the ones who are, are inept all of the time. There are exceptions to every rule. We all have moments when the mood, the feelings, the words, and the stars all align, it just seems to come more naturally and prolifically to the female population, agreed?
I don’t know if it’s due to nature or nurture; if men are created this way or conditioned this way. Honestly, it really doesn’t matter because the result is the same: men would rather endure an hour of water-boarding than an hour of talking about their feelings. I get it, fellas, believe me. But what us ladies cling to is the hope that, even though you don’t always voice those more tender emotions, you do feel them. That somewhere beneath the layers of stubble, callouses, deadlines, baseball stats, and beer cravings, when you look at us your heart will sometimes jumps into your throat and your muscles grow warm because what you see is worth watching.
So while your lack of communication skills can be tolerated due to universal affliction, if there is just one aspect you should try to improve, it’s telling your ladies when those moments creep up on you. Acknowledging, out loud, what you see or hear or feel, so that she can find pleasure in your appreciation. But most importantly, it’s giving your ladies the compliments they want to hear, not just the ones you want to say, because not all compliments were created equally, boys.
Here are four examples of the ways you might choose to compliment your lady, starting with the most pointless and ending in the point of all of this. Who knows, you might pick up a thing or two ;0)
1) The “Thanks, but you’re clearly blind” compliment. Yes, you love her legs. Yes, she loves hearing that you love her legs. But if she thinks her thighs rub too closely together, or her knees are too knobby, or it’s the Monday after a long weekend of drinking and she’d swear on her great-great-great-granddaddy’s grave that the beer bloat has extended all the way down to her puffy little toes, then telling her you love her legs will be nice to hear (vanity is greedy!) but it will bounce right off her the second you leave the room. Chances are she already called you a liar anyway, so that shouldn’t come as a surprise.
What I’m saying is, if you praise your lady for something she doesn’t agree with, she'll chalk it up to poor male judgement and it won't get you laid. Well, okay, it might get you laid, but it certainly won't win her everlasting love or a place in her personal record-books. Getting your lady to love something new about herself is a worthy cause, and I would never claim otherwise, but don't beat a dead horse,
There are better ways into her
2) The “Yeah, me and a million other women” compliment. When you tell your lady she’s sexy; when you wax poetic about her natural size-Pamela Andersons; if you’re obsessed with that bodacious booty…by all means, tell her till you’re blue in the face and these, too, will likely land you in the sack. Ego-stroking can easily lead to, umm, other stroking, but only for so long. If you really dig your girl and want her to stick around, move beyond the physical traits that are a) blatantly sexual, and b) common to all women. (Unfortunately, not all of us were blessed with the Pams, but we do all possess them to some degree. Mostly—jury’s still out on me.)
3) The “Okay, he really does think I’m special” compliment. Now we’re getting somewhere! When you shift focus to the parts of her that are less sexual but no less sexy—the assets that are uniquely her own—you’re making significant headway. But in addition, be specific; don’t just tell her what you love, but why you love it. Dare to look a little deeper, for her sake – I promise you that adding an adjective here and there won’t kill you. Remember, “I love your hair” is good, but “I love your soft hair” is better; “I love your smile” is good, but “I love your happy smile,” is better. When you do this, she’ll see that you’re looking beyond what she is to who she is, and it doesn’t get much better than that. A little goes a long way, boys -- we’re not talking poetry here.
4) Finally, the “This guy really gets me” compliment. Earlier I said that you need to give her the words that she wants to hear, not just that you want to say. I meant that if you really want to score for the long-run and make your lady feel special, you need to do a little investigative work! If you don't already know, listen to her closely and figure out what she really loves about herself; the qualities she’s happy with, worked hard for, and most importantly, is proud of. In contrast to #1, she’ll be deeply appreciative of a compliment for something she does believe. These are the acknowledgements we crave, guys, because they validate and emphasize our own sense of self-worth (Yeah, yeah, feminists, not that we need it. Pshh, hell yes we do. Everyone does.), and there’s nothing better than knowing that our man loves us for exactly the same reasons we love ourselves. It might be acknowledging her innate kindness and patience, or it could mean pointing out the tiny, beautiful bit of green in her big brown eyes; maybe it’s her quick wit, or the small, almost imperceptible slope of a shoulder muscle she’s been working so hard for. Every girl has at least one thing she's supremely proud of; find it.
If you're wondering who I am to tell a guy how to do something as simple as appreciate his lady,
the answer is no one special, my friend. Just a gal in love who merely laughs when my man smacks
my ass for the 10th time that day, but melts like buttah anytime he belly laughs at one of my jokes.
Do you agree? Why or why not? And don't worry about me, I promise I only bite Ranger, never