by:Amy Hannold, 247Moms Frugal Living Editor
What do men want? Of all those on our gift lists, sometimes it’s the men who bewilder us the most. How can we be romantic and meaningful, without spending a whole lot of money?
Men want affirmation. Whether you’re a reader of “The Five Love Languages”, (http://www.5lovelanguages.com) by Dr. Gary Chapman or not – it’s pretty universal that love is best communicated by women to their men by showing appreciation for what they have done. When a man feels his woman is content and happy with him, that inspires him. Make an effort to choose his ideas over yours, validate his opinion, and compliment him – sometimes when he least expects you to. Take notice of what he does for you. Brag about him to others, especially while he’s within earshot.
Other love languages to utilize on Valentine’s Day (and every day) include:
Touch: Start with a hug, taking his hand while walking, or a simple pat on the back. Unexpected or timely touch every day is essential to maintaining bond and connection. Affection, intimate touch, and relieving touch (massage) are all important. At the end of a long day, as he leaves the house, or at the dinner table – show him and your children that he’s special to you.
Service: Take the garbage out for him. Detail his vehicle. Pack him a lunch for him, including some of his favorite foods. Prepare his favorite meals, perhaps one from his childhood. Bake a batch of cookies or muffins – enough for him and his golf buddies or co-workers. Surprise him with a note, special treat or photograph in his lunch box. Make him the envy of all the other men at work – he’s got someone thinking of him.
Gifts: Cards, candy and flowers are fine – but, take some time to research what he’s really into. Think about those little hobbies, interests, or desires he has. The more specific and thoughtful you are in choosing a small gift, the bigger the romantic impact. What has he been talking about lately? Show that you were listening.
Time: As with our kids, our men feel loved when we give them quality time. Take the time to put aside all other distractions and focus on him. You can combine love languages when you delight your man with a foot massage, accompanied by your listening ears. Let him do the talking. Ask open-ended questions. Reflect back to him what you are hearing and ask more questions. Over coffee, in the car, or on a sunset walk – show him that he’s so important to you that he’s the only one in the world, at that cherished moment.
Need some ideas?
Send a free Love Language E-Card:
“100 Things I Love About You” Box/Jar:
Write on special individual papers several things you love and appreciate about your man. Lovingly decorate the container. Once you’ve given the gift and he’s read them, keep the jar or box full all year long with other surprises.
“I Remember”, “I Appreciate”, or “I Love You Because” Book:
Using a small journal, photo book (brag-book size), or in a frame create a collage of memories and pictures. The idea here is to give him something he can reference when he needs encouragement. Leave a few pages of the book blank, and add some as the days go by.
Put Your Thoughts on Paper:
Write him a letter. Poetic, romantic or simply factual — communicate what makes him special, what you’ve observed are his strengths and contributions to your family life (include his parenting efforts), and how what he has done over the years has been cherished.
Music Speaks For You:
Load his I-pod, vehicle cd-player, or while you’re enjoying a quiet night at home present him with a selection of songs just for him. Go back a few years to music significant while you were dating, wedding dance song, or today’s music which speak your mind.
Gifts He’ll Remember: Engraved frames, gift certificates for his favorite places/activities, coupons or tokens from you to him (breakfast in bed, guys’ night out, special dinner), favorite sports team tickets/memorabilia, his photo on the cover of a favorite magazine (photo places can do this), etc.
Go For It – You Can Create Memorable, Meaningful Gifts! Talk with your friends and family (or his friends) to come up with something unique. Make a lasting statement of your love – and keep the communication flowing all year long.