AUGUST ARTICLE OF THE MONTH
12 Ways to Show your Partner You Care
by Cucan Pemo
There are hundreds of articles and websites devoted to making sure that your partner knows that you love them. However, many of these articles are filled with trite expressions of love that seem clichéd when they're overused. To really show your partner that you care, you need better guidelines and better advice. Here is some advice that you can actually use.
Make coffee/tea in the morning
When you're both waking up in the morning, one of the first things on your minds is probably some sort of drink to get you going. One of the best ways to help get your days off to a great start is to make coffee for your girlfriend or wife. Without having to go to the lengths that breakfast in bed goes to, you will show that the first thing in the morning that you think of is her.
Do a little cleaning
After making coffee in the morning, why not straighten up a little before you head to the shower or to wherever you need to go? You don't have to get out a scrub brush, but taking the time to throw the dishes in the dishwasher and scoop the litter pan can be helpful.
Notice things that are missing
One of the ways to really impress a woman is to do something without being asked. When you've running low on toilet paper, be sure to run out to get some. Running low on milk? Stop at the store on the way home. This shows that you are committed to making your lives run smoothly.
Ask if there's anything that you can do
Many women have mental lists of things that need to be done every day, but will only let you know about them when the list becomes too long. Instead of waiting for the argument that follows, why not ask if there's anything you can do? It saves both of you time and makes a woman feel appreciated for the things that she has done in the past.
Fill up the gas tank
Something that you many guys might not think about is a woman's car. Most women hate to fill up their gas tanks - especially when they're heading to work or when it's raining or snowing - so why not fill it up for her when you notice that it's low? It's simple and certainly something that will be appreciated.
You don't need to be a professional writer in order to show a woman that you care about her. But when you're giving her a card for some occasion, be sure to include your own words in it as well. Women sometimes like to save cards and will cherish the words that you wrote over anything else.
Try to make day dates
Because you're both busy at work, you might want a little break from time to time. Why not make a date in the middle of your work days? Meet for lunch or for dinner once per month to break up your routines and remind each other that there is more to your lives than your paycheck.
Get to know their friends
A woman's friends are a representation of the way that she is when you're not around. If you want to understand her, try to get to know her friends. Your wife or girlfriend will appreciate the way that you show that you care about other important people in her life.
Get to know her family
Just like her friends, a woman's family is the group of people that came long before you. Even if you're not the best fit for their tastes, try to find some common ground that you can share.
Ask if something's wrong
When you notice that something is different about your partner, don't ignore it. Ask if anything is wrong and let her know that you are willing to listen to her and help her if you can.
Remember anniversaries and birthdays
There are plenty of calendar services that can remind you of important days, so there's no reason that you shouldn't be bringing an appropriate gift or bunch of flowers when she's expecting it.
Celebrate the everyday
Realize that anniversaries and birthdays aren't the only times that you can celebrate your relationship - why not surprise her with a short note or a small wildflower every now and then? Expense isn't the point - it's the expression that matters.
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-- August Direct Answers
from Wayne and Tamara
Direct Answers appears in newspapers on six continents.
-- Direct Answers by Wayne and Tamara
"I'm currently single and in my 40s. I can honestly say I've never been in love. I think if I had I would have married that person.
I have several very loving sisters, married with children, who would love for me to settle down. I've accepted that children aren't going to happen for me, but I would like to meet someone.
I recently started a relationship with a guy. He was everything I thought I'd be looking for: kind, loving, generous and successful. He fell in love with me and wanted to marry me. Unfortunately, while I recognized all his qualities, I didn't have "that feeling" about him, so I ended it.
He pursued me and, under pressure from him and my sisters, I went back several times only to finish things again and again. In essence, the relationship lasted longer than it should, had I trusted my own gut.
"What am I looking for?" I ask myself this and get the same question from my sisters. The answer is, I have no idea. On paper he was the perfect catch.
I've suffered from depression all my adult life and taken medication for 15 years. My condition, I believe, is under control. I can be over self-critical, lack confidence and my mood is sometimes low. However, I recognize this is part of depression and work hard to fight against it. I am otherwise generally happy, have a good job and social life.
Two sisters suggest my depression is the reason I'm not in a relationship. They act as if I'm writing guys off unreasonably due to expecting perfection. One sister begged me to seek Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
Could my sisters be right?
I feel in my gut they're wrong. I think I would recognize love. I also believe I'm not expecting a guy to be perfect. I know he will have faults, as I do."
Wayne & Tamara's Answer:
"Natasha, do you know your own mind? That's the question. It doesn't matter what anyone else says or does. What we feel is our reality. If you don't feel in love with a man, that is what it is.
Can you explain why one piece of music moves you and another doesn't? Why you like impressionism, but not realistic photography? Those differences can't be settled on a tally sheet.
It seems an odd thought that in your normal state of being you don't love a person, but you should do a form of therapy so you can. Getting you married seems to be on your sisters' to-do list. But just because CBT is the therapy du jour does not make it a good enough reason to go that route.
Doesn't it make more sense to say "I don't love him" than to reprogram yourself into being what someone else wants?
The symptoms you mention fit almost anyone. You sound less depressed and seem to have a better life than many of the people who write us without your diagnosis.
Let us suggest three things. First, go to a new, entirely different health care professional to confirm the reasonableness of your diagnosis and its prognosis. That will allow you to proceed from the basis of factual knowledge. Then stand on your own conclusions.
Second, if you are talking to your sisters about finding a man, stop. You are setting them off and magnifying your own feelings. If they bring up the topic, tell them it is now off-limits.
Finally, reverse the tables. Ask yourself, would I want a man who doesn't love me to marry me?
Your sisters did you a disservice sending you back to a man you weren't in love with. That hurt both of you. The option to marry the wrong man is always on the table, but having no shoes can be better than having shoes that are too tight."
Authors and columnists Wayne and Tamara Mitchell can be reached
Send letters to: Direct Answers, PO Box 964, Springfield, MO 65801
or email: DirectAnswers@WayneAndTamara.com
Read an interview with Wayne and Tamara at: http://datingthread.com/wayne-and-tamara