One man offers what he’s learned from a divorce and subsequent relationships as well as from asking women what matters most.
I’m no expert on women.
In fact, after a divorce, it would be fair to say that I failed miserably with the woman in my life.
Upon further reflection, however, I learned a few things about how to treat, love and care for the woman I am with. It may have been too late for my marriage, but it isn’t too late for my next relationship. Or for your next relationship.
You could say that mistakes and failures in relationships are the keys to learning, growth and understanding. The worse you are at relationships, the better you can understand them.
It’s true what they say – failure is the breeding ground for success.
Based on my own experiences and having checked in with women I know, here are 11 ways to make a woman feel loved.
Make time for her consistently.
A woman feels loved when you make time for and prioritize her in your life. I’ve seen a lot of men who tend to create lots of time for women during the dating process, but not once we’re in a relationship with them.
Just like how you create time for anything else you value in your life, you have to create time for the woman in your life. Make it time that’s dedicated exclusively to her – fun nights out, game nights at home, or joint adventures with friends.
Creating time for the woman in your life helps her feel important, cared for and loved. If you continually date and woo her, she won’t feel taken for granted.
Most women go out of their way to nurture, care for and serve the people they care most about. So much of their work and giving is ignored. Simple appreciation for what she means to you can make a world of difference to her.
There are so many things women do that we take for granted. Thoughtful gestures, healing touch, passionate kiss, care for children, or thoughtfulness toward family are just some of the many things a man can appreciate about the woman in his life.
Notice what she did and let her know that you appreciate it. A thoughtful gesture, kind word or small gift will help her feel appreciated.
Take your gratitude practice up a notch by looking for what you can appreciate about the woman you’re with, not what you can criticize her for.
Accept her for who she is.
Appreciate her for the best version of herself instead of reminding her of her flaws. The simplest way to love a woman is to accept her for who she is – no need to change her or wish she were different. No need to tell her that she doesn’t measure up or is insufficient in some way.
Society has spent generation after generation creating an “ideal” mold that all women should fit into. Society tells women what to do, what to eat, how to look and even how to dress. Just because news, media and culture harass women and get them to conform doesn’t mean that you should.
Tell your woman you love her unconditionally and accept her completely for who she is – no improvement needed.
Let go of trying to change her.
Along the same lines of accepting her is learning to let go of trying to change her in the relationship. You can’t expect or demand that a woman be a certain way in your relationship.
You can’t change a woman. The best way to help a woman become the best version of herself is through compassion, understanding and kindness.
Instead of attempting to change her or to get her to become someone she’s not, work on becoming the best person you can be. Work on your growth, your desire to change her, and how to let go of that desire.
Part of accepting her involves compassion and understanding for what she’s going through.
Compassion means understanding her challenges, her upbringing, and the difficulties she’s experiencing in daily life. Compassion means being present, being empathetic, and being forgiving – it’s seeing where she’s coming from.
It’s not having to be right all the time. It’s letting her do things the way she wants to do them.
Compassion is putting yourself in her shoes. Compassion is seeing things from her perspective. Compassion is being there for her or being thoughtful toward her as she’s experiencing a life challenge. Compassion can involve simply creating space for her or holding her for comfort.
Offer a listening ear.
Women, more so than most men, love to talk as a way of expressing themselves, as a way of sharing and even as a way of loving.
One easy way for us to love them is to listen to them without trying to fix them, help them, or troubleshoot for them. Listening without judgment or advice helps people feel heard and seen.
In our society, we usually engage in two-way conversations; we always want to respond, fix something or offer advice. Instead, try listening with empathy to help a women express herself and be who she is.
Show openness and honesty.
When you do converse, nothing can make a woman feel more loved than honesty.
Women, I’ve found, value this quality more than almost any other one. Being able to have an honest conversation, share deep and intimate thoughts and have an open conversation allows women to feel safe.
Turn offs include hiding information, not being completely truthful or outright lying about something. Women can usually deal with whatever it is you say to them, but they feel hurt and betrayed when you lie or hide the truth.
Opt for more honesty in all parts of your life so that you’re living more of your truth with the woman in your life.
Be vulnerable with her.
Women feel loved when you share your feelings and your experiences – positive and negative – with them. They don’t want to hear your every fear and worry, but they do want to hear what you’re struggling with and your challenges.
Just as much as they appreciate your being there for them, they want to be there for you. Sharing your vulnerability gives the woman in your life a chance to comfort you, nurture you and love you.
Women understand how difficult it is for men to open up, so opening up to her helps her feel special, needed and loved.
Commit to being a better partner.
The best thing you can do for her – and for you – is to become the best version of yourself. Grow, learn and work on improving yourself. Work on eliminating bad habits and becoming emotionally stronger and more vulnerable.
You may be doing a lot of personal development work, but also work on becoming a better partner in your relationship. Read books on becoming a better man, attend workshops about being a better partner and try counseling if you think it will help you work through old patterns and harmful tendencies.
When you commit to becoming a better version of yourself, women get the benefits of a better you. Healing your emotional wounds, becoming a better listener, and being more present in your life are all big wins for her.
Show small acts of thoughtfulness.
It doesn’t seem like fancy trips or heroic declarations of love impress most women. More than heroism and grand gestures, it’s the small, everyday acts of thoughtfulness and care that seem to matter most.
Thinking about small ways to show appreciation, to make her life easier or to anticipate what she needs are just some of the ways you can show her how much you love her.
What does she need help with?
What would brighten her day?
What has she really appreciated that you’ve done for her before?
Consciously think of small ways to improve her life – things like putting away your own clothes or the dishes in the kitchen seem to make a much bigger difference to women than you can imagine.
Shower her with sweet nothings, affection, and chocolate.
Yes, women like to be praised, appreciated and loved with words.
You don’t have to be a Shakespearean Romeo to tell your woman how much you appreciate her. You don’t need to write poems or declare your love in the public square. Small love notes, words of appreciation and greeting cards that share your feelings can warm her heart and improve your relationship.
Show her affection by holding her and touching her the way she likes to be touched. Do things that she enjoys. Be thoughtful of her needs and more aware of her feelings.
And this goes without saying – BUY HER CHOCOLATE. I haven’t met a single woman who doesn’t like chocolate. Not chocolate for special occasions, but chocolate just because. You don’t have to wait for birthdays or V-day for chocolate – today is the best day to share a box with her.
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