Leandie Buys Realtionship Therapist & Clinical Sexologist

Men: Here’s how to SHOW her you love her

Words are futile without action. You may tell your partner that you love her, but do you show it in a way that she recognises?

Men often think that their partners know exactly how they feel about them.

“She knows I love her,” has often been said in my practice rooms. But the women shake their heads in disagreement. “How must I know?” they say. “He never shows me.”

Men might think that they show their partner that they love them, but they might not be showing it in a way that their partner recognises.

Women ‘see’ love very differently to men. They believe that they are loved when they feel that their needs are being met, that they are being heard, and that their dreams and goals and search for happiness are being acknowledged.

If you love her, then you have to prove it. Every. Single. Day.

The effort and romance that you put in at the beginning of your relationship when you pursued her need to continue throughout your relationship. Just because you have ‘won’ her, doesn’t mean that you should stop winning her over every day.

It takes time and energy to really listen to her, to understand what she needs, and to help make her dreams happen. But THAT is how great relationships work, and how they last. When she knows that you are putting in the effort to help her be the best she can be, she will reciprocate.

Too often, I see women coming to me for relationship help saying “I do EVERYTHING at home.” They feel trapped, unappreciated, and used. They feel like they are just maids, chefs, and prostitutes for their husbands, with no acknowledgement of who they are as a person.

They don’t feel supported in their careers, and they take on the responsibility of ensuring the family’s happiness, while their own happiness goes unfulfilled.

Men are often very confused by their partner’s frustrations. “I provide financially for the family,” they say. “I do tell her I love her, but I don’t know what else she wants.”

This is true. Women often don’t communicate their needs clearly.

They feel so guilty about asking for something that they try to give their partner ‘clues’ as to how they are feeling rather than just coming out and saying it clearly. The men become so frustrated with the ‘games’ and continual misunderstandings that they eventually stop listening at all.

And that is why I’ve put together a list of ways that men can SHOW their partner they love her. Ways that will help open up communication in the relationship, and might give men a clearer understanding of what their partners REALLY want when they drop hints about their behaviour:

 

DO

DON’T

When she says “can we talk”, recognise that she needs to tell you something important.

That you need to put away your phone, turn off the TV, and listen. She’s turning to you for help, and you need to step in to a supportive role.

Women find it difficult to ask for help, or to be confrontational in their relationships. If she has built up the courage to come to you, you need to know that what she has to say is serious, and you need to take it seriously.

Don’t roll your eyes and think “here we go again” and check out of the conversation emotionally.

If you think your partner is constantly harping on at you about the same thing, then maybe the problem is that you’re not understanding her correctly. Maybe you’re not taking the issue seriously enough.

Take a minute to think about how you might have misunderstood her, and try to get her to explain herself in a different way. Ask questions, and keep asking until you have found a solution to the issue.

When she asks you about your day, she makes an effort to keep the kids quiet and give you her full attention. Try to do the same for her.

Don’t ask her about her day, and then get distracted by the TV, your phone, or your video games.

When she gives you a hug or a kiss on the cheek, reciprocate with a similar level of intimacy. Just enjoy the moment.

She is probably needing some moral support, or reassurance, and just needs a show of support from you.

Women are natural nurturers. The love hugs and kisses, but they often stop sharing physical contact with their partners because they don’t want to give them the ‘wrong message’.

Don’t try to take every attempt at physical contact to the next level.

Continuously trying to initiate sex after a simple kiss or hug will lead to her avoiding every kind of physical contact with you.

You may think that your relationship lacks sex and intimacy, but talk to your partner about it – you might find that she avoids contact with you because she’s afraid that being intimate will lead to further demands.

It’s a catch-22 situation. This is called Desire Discrepancy and you can read more about it on my blog.

Just because you are partners, doesn’t mean you ‘own’ her body, and are entitled to access her breasts and vagina at all times.

I know this sounds harsh, but men often feel too comfortable with grabbing their partners’ breasts, or touching them intimately without permission.

Women are still in control of their own bodies and they need to know that you respect them.

When women feel respected and loved, and that their bodies are cherished, they are far more willing to be intimate with their partners.

Don’t just assume that your partner likes to be touched intimately at all times!

Men and women react very differently to intimate touch. If a woman were to just grab a man’s penis, he would be ‘ready’ for sex and intimacy in no time at all.

However, if a man were to just grab a woman’s breasts, or touch her vagina without foreplay, she could feel violated and disgusted instead of intimate.

Talk to your partner about this. Ask her what she likes and doesn’t like. Believe her when she says she doesn’t like something, don’t just think she’s being ‘square’.

Occasionally, she would like the sex to be all about her.

It is much easier for a man to reach orgasm and feel satisfied with the sexual experience than for women.

For women, sex is physical as well as emotional, and if they don’t feel safe, cared for, and respected, they will not be able to enjoy the experience fully.

Once in a while, try to make sex just about her – find out what turns her on, where she likes to be touched, what music she loves to listen to, and how she likes the whole thing to be initiated. Kiss her, caress her, and enjoy ‘outer-course’ before intercourse.

 

Don’t just try to reach climax as quickly as possible, then turn over and go to sleep.

There are times when ‘quickies’ are fun and exciting, and there are times when sex is about intimacy and connection, not just intercourse.

Sometimes men feel like their partners just ‘lie there and get it over with’, but that is because women often feel like their needs are overlooked when it comes to sex.

They get so tired of not getting what they want that they eventually give up, and either they have a ‘headache’, or they have sex just for the sake of it.

Women are often bad at telling their partners what really turns them on. They feel guilty or embarrassed about asking for anything. Try to get your partner to tell you exactly how she feels, and what you can do to make sex exciting again for both of you.

Don’t implement relationship rules like ‘sex every third night’ just to make sure you get some. Try to figure out why your partner isn’t keen to be intimate in the first place.

Bring her flowers “just because”.

Women love to feel loved and cherished. An unexpected gift, with no strings attached will show her how much you care.

Even better than flowers? A thoughtful present that shows you have been listening to her. It doesn’t have to break the bank! It just has to be something thoughtful.

For example, a little chocolate with a note from you, hidden under her pillow. Or bringing home her favourite DVD from the video shop for date night.

Don’t bring her gifts only when you want something.

Whether you’re trying to get her to have sex with you, or you’re trying to say sorry for something, she knows that there is an ulterior motive.

She will know when the gifts are sincere, or when they are actually a symbol for something else.

Take care of your appearance.

Just as she tries to dress well, wears make-up, and watches what she eats, you should take care of your body and appearance.

Couples that have been together for years often stop making an effort for each other, and then they wonder why they don’t feel like their partner desires them.

Yes, we all age.

Having children can cause a woman’s body to change dramatically. But making the best of what she has, and taking care of her health is one of the ways a woman shows her partner that she cares about him. Do the same for her.

Don’t just allow yourself to develop a beer belly, and forget to shower over weekends.

Remember how you would make an effort to look good and smell good when you were dating? Do that again!

No woman wants to have sex under the weight of a man’s beer belly. Nor does she want to listen to you fart in bed, or burp after every sip of beer.

She doesn’t want you to be Brad Pitt, she just wants you to be respectful of yourself, and her.

Respect her space, and keep the flatulence to a minimum. And for goodness sake, please close the door when you go to the toilet!

Help her – even when she doesn’t ask for it.

If you ask her whether you can “help with the dishes” most women will just say no. Even though they actually would appreciate the help.

The best way to show you care is to go ahead, and help without asking.

Coming home to find that you’ve vacuumed the house, or changed a light bulb, or organised an electrician for that faulty plug will definitely be appreciated.

Don’t just sit back and watch her do everything. She may not ask for help, but she certainly needs it sometimes.

Try to assess the situation, figure out what you could do that would be the most helpful and just go and do it!

If you’re struggling to come up with ideas, sit her down and ask her to be honest with you and tell you what you can do to help her.

Ask her for a list so that she doesn’t have to keep nagging, and make sure that you tick items off the list every day. There is no point in offering your help and then never actually helping!

Greet her when she comes home.

Remember when you were dating and you would jump up off the couch when she came home, and rush to help her with her bags?

Remember when you opened doors for her, and were a perfect gentleman on date nights?

Do those things again! Put in a little effort to show her how much she means to you, and you will be rewarded in return.

Women love being loved, but they also love showing it. If she knows that you are putting in effort, she will reciprocate.

Don’t just sit on the couch in front of the TV and mumble ‘hello’ as she walks through the door.

Don’t just assume that she’s got it covered, and doesn’t need help carrying the shopping bags, or getting the kids inside.

Every little bit of effort counts.

Make an effort to notice the small things.

If your partner mentions that she’s going to have her hair done, make a little note of it in your diary so you can remember to compliment her later.

We all have busy lives, and sometimes the small things can slip our minds even when we have the best intentions. That’s were technology can help!

If you know she’s got a tough presentation coming up at work, or she’s nervous about a big promotion, jot it down in your phone’s diary so that you can remember to send her an encouraging message on the day.

Don’t just assume that the small things don’t count.

Often they count more than the ‘big things’.

Noticing a new haircut means more than you know!

Knowing that you support her and are there for her during tough times at work will make your partner feel extra special.

 

Obviously this advice goes both ways. Relationships are not 50-50, they require 100% from both partners. They require constant effort and maintenance. Communicating with your partner, and asking her how she’s doing is the only way that you will find out how you can help improve your relationship.

This women’s month, try to put in a little extra effort – I guarantee that your partner will reciprocate! And it will change your relationship for the better.