With Valentine’s Day on Tuesday, many women are flooded with “Vietnam flashbacks” of last year’s Valentine’s Day disappointment. For some of you it may sound or look like this:
“…so there we were sitting in the most beautiful restaurant, eating the most delicious food, and I felt like I was doing all of the talking! He just sat there, looking like he was listening but I wonder if he even cared about one thing I said…”
Ladies, if this is you then have no fear because I have a specific roadmap for you to follow which can definitely increase your chances of connecting with your main man this Valentine’s Day. First off, men by nature are kinetic. Meaning they connect to ideas through motion and being physical whereas women connect in a more verbal way. In fact, research shows that men have a higher capacity to learn when they are physical and moving. So if you want your husband to listen to you, then you need to connect with him in a way that he biologically can and here’s how:
1) TOUCH – We underestimate the power of touch. Between Facebook, Twitter, texting, Skyping, etc., people are less and less in the same physical vicinity let alone touching each other. When was the last time you walked up to your husband and just grabbed him and gave him a BIG bear hug? Take advantage of getting that oxytocin (the bonding hormone) flowing between the two of you and give him a good, tight, at least 10-second squeeze on Valentine’s Day morning.
2) PLAN A PHYSICAL ACTIVITY WITH HIM – If you have high hopes of engaging in verbal conversation with your partner on V-day, plan a walk or hike with him. No, I’m not kidding. Any form of physical activity (even hanging out with him while he’s golfing, etc.) will allow that kinetic part of his wiring to help him feel more inspired to not only talk to you, but to listen to you. So know your audience and get moving with him.
3) LISTEN – When you ask your husband a question, listen to him and don’t interrupt him. If it “seems” like he’s finished the answer, wait even a minute longer, because he may have more to share with you. If he’s taking more time than you would to answer, it means that he’s really giving your question thought. If he’s respecting your question, then respect his process in how he answers you.
4) SHOW HIM THAT HE MATTERS TOO – Even if your guy does not emote the most interest in romantic ideas or planning for a day like Valentine’s Day, don’t neglect asking him what HE might be interested in doing that day or evening. Or if you think your idea is pretty fabulous, present it to him with, “What do you think of the idea of _______” as opposed to, ” So here’s what we’re doing _______.” Men like to feel considered and valued just as much as we do. So even if he doesn’t have a specific opinion about the day, at least make him feel like an equal. That alone, will always help him to feel close to you.
5) SEX – Let’s be real: Haven’t you noticed how much better the conversation is AFTER sex compared to before sex?? Enough said.
So the next time he’s sitting across the dinner table from you with a “zoned out” look, rather than fuming with critical thoughts about how you’re “doing all the talking,” lean in closer to him. Better yet, reach across the table and touch his arm, and then start the conversation. My guess is that you touching him may help him to come out of his hypnotic trance and THAT would be a much better moment to talk to him. Remember, he’s not your girlfriend, so be smart about your husband’s biological wiring and if you practice the above, you just might have a Valentine’s Day that is worth remembering this time next year.
Carin Goldstein, MFT, is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Los Angeles and the creator/host of the popular video blog, BeTheSmartWife.com. Visit her blog to watch Carin give free video tips on how to improve your marriage and sign up for her monthly E-zine. You can also connect with her on Facebook or Twitter (@bethesmartwife ).