A good boyfriend or husband knows that any man who waits until Valentine’s Day to romance the woman in his life is missing the point 364 days out of the year.
He also understands that while grand romantic gestures are great, the thought put into everyday activities are even better. Here are fifteen small things that actually have a big impact.
1. Remember her friends’ names.
She’s told you about Susie at least 17 times since you’ve been together, not referring to her as “You know, that girl with the weird eyebrows” will let her know that you actually pay attention when she speaks —especially about things that may not involve you directly.
2. Clean up after yourself.
The cave men out there have given all of us guys the unjust reputation of being complete slobs. There are three possible scenarios here:
A: You have your own place which she visits, in which case she will appreciate you keeping it clean.
B: You share a place, in which case she will really appreciate you keeping it clean.
C: She has her own place and you spend time there, in which case it is imperative that you help keep it clean. It’s not really that hard.
3. Actually tell her how you feel.
Men are notorious for not being open and honest about their feelings, and just like you tell women you’re not a mind-reader, neither are they. She will appreciate you respecting her enough to open up to her.
4. Don’t pressure her into anything.
Guilt trips are never cool, no matter how small the issue is.
5. Don’t criticize her food/drink choices.
“Are you really going to eat that?” “Are you sure you want another drink?” Yes, she is. And now she’s going to order two because of your stupid comment.
6. Don’t take forever to respond to her text.
You don’t have to be completely glued to your phone, but you probably are anyway. If she texts you, at least have the courtesy to text her back in a reasonable amount of time. It will show her that she is a priority to you even when you’re busy. It just takes a few seconds.
7. Watch what she wants to watch.
Maybe you couldn’t care less about the Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills, but being in a relationship isn’t always about only taking part in your own interests, it’s also about taking part in things that your partner enjoys, even if it’s not your favorite. Plus, you will get bonus points and probably get to pick the next movie you go see.
8. Learn to cook.
If you don’t already know how, learn at least one or two dishes to make for her now and then. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant, and women think it’s sexy when you’re in the kitchen. Sounds like a win to me.
9. Give her massages.
She’s had a long day. And even if she hasn’t, why would any guy complain about this? It’s an excuse to get physically close to her and make her feel relaxed. As if you needed an excuse for that, though.
10. Take her on a date.
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been together, you should never stop dating. Whether it is out to dinner or a night on the town, it is important to not let things get stale. Give her a good reason to dress up and go out.
11. Whatever you’re getting, get her one too.
Going out to grab a coffee? Getting up to get some water? Don’t come back empty-handed. Even though it’s something tiny, she will appreciate your thoughtfulness.
12. Give her space.
The only thing worse than a guy who doesn’t give her enough attention is a guy who gives her too much attention. Sometimes she just wants to read a book or watch a trashy TV show by herself. Respect her alone time, it will allow her to rest and reset, and she will love you for it (especially if she doesn’t have to ask).
13. Listen. Just listen.
Men are naturally problem solvers. When we hear about an issue we are compelled to attempt to come up with a suggestion or solution. When a woman vents to you, that’s not what she’s looking for.
She wants you to simply listen and at least make an attempt to understand. She doesn’t want you to give her the answer, but the support she needs to figure it out on her own.
14. Don’t talk badly about your ex(es).
Women understand that how you speak about those from your past is usually more of a reflection of you than it is of them. Someday, if your relationship ends, you are basically predicting to her how you’re going to talk to your friends or your next girlfriend about her. Not very reassuring.
15. Go shopping with her.
Dude, it’s Saturday, and you’re not doing anything anyway. If she wants to go to the mall, just go with her —but be in good spirits about it. I never understood why so many guys have a problem with this. You get to go and help her pick out clothing that makes her look sexy, and then you get to see her wear it later on, it’s a win-win.
Just don’t be a downer while you’re there or it will do more harm than good. Oh, and offer to carry her bags. Just offer.
This article originally appeared at JamesMSama.com