I am not what you would call a “girlie girl”. I don’t require a lot of the things that most women love: I dislike flowers, expensive cars don’t impress me, diamonds don’t move me, labels mean nothing to me and the swag I’m into has nothing to do with your money, criminal record or good looks. But there is ONE thing that I must have that all women require: Affection. What is affection? Well, guys, let me tell you what it is NOT first.
Affection cannot be represented by things. You cannot show me affection with flowers, candy, new clothes, bling, a big house, a luxury car or a fat bank account. Hallmark cards are a nice start but do not, in and of themselves, possess the ability to give affection. The fact that you may even work 2 jobs to pay for our lives together does NOT translate into affection. You may lay down your life for me, take a bullet for me, go to prison for me, even kill someone on my behalf—and I would still crave affection because these things are not IT. So what is affection?
Affection is: a feeling of fondness or tenderness for a person or thing; attachment. (freedictionary.com)
Did you get that? Affection is a feeling—something that you all seem to avoid like poison—that emanates from tenderness. Now, let me back it up.
Do not misunderstand me. Women like gifts. We love gifts. But gifts given to replace tenderness do not stack up. I don’t care if you bought me a Phantom. I would enjoy the heck out of driving that sucker, but I would still long for you.
So, guys, what can you do? How can you make something so absolutely intangible happen? I’ll give you three things to help you.
Understand what affection means to her.The definition I gave is very conceptual and ethereal; you cannot go out and buy it, steal it, borrow it, or download it from the internet. It is absolutely a feeling—but even feelings have outward signs. Each woman is unique in what she needs from her man; but there are some general things that work with us all.
- We crave words of affirmation from you. Every time you tell a woman that she is beautiful, that you like her hair, her outfit, her jewelry, her makeup, her cooking, her sewing, her homemaking, her lovemaking, her child raising—then you have shown her some serious affection.
- We are excited to hear about your life outside of our relationship. It isn’t because we are nosey, or we want to help you solve your problems (we know how y’all are with that). When you freely talk to us about what’s happening outside of us, it shows us that you trust us with your heart.
- We love the little things. Guys always erroneously assume bigger is better; but with most women the thought really is what counts. You can go out and spend $500.00 five minutes before you come home on the anniversary, and she will love the gift; but trust me, she will know that it was last-minute. Not because of what the gift was or was not, but because of how connected she is to you. I am talking about little, everyday things: little text messages throughout the day; hugging her from behind; bringing home dinner…these things? we relish in a way that you really do not understand (because otherwise you would do them all the time).
Understand the clues that say: I am not feeling the LOVE.If you are the kind of guy who has difficulty sharing his feelings or understanding other people’s feelings, I want to try to help you here. Most women actually have trouble expressing what they want from you—and it comes out sound like this instead:
“Do you still love me?”
“Are you still attracted to me?”
“Why don’t you call me anymore?”
“Why are you avoiding me?”
“You aren’t listening to me.”
“You’re so distant.”
“We used to be so close.”
“I just want you to hold me.”
If you hear these types of phrases, you’re in luck—your woman or wife is in the 1st stages of disengagement and can be quickly brought back around. Even though she may not have the right words to express her feelings, what she is feeling is real: you have emotionally shut her out. Maybe you’re stressed all the time about money or work or illness or kids or family problems—but whatever it is, you have closed yourself off from the woman who loves you and she’s freaking out. You must help her understand what’s happening with you. If you really want to move forward in the relationship, you owe it to her to do the next step.
Be honest, direct and fair. Many guys—shoot! Many people don’t know how to set boundaries. As women, we need that—we need you to set boundaries so that we will not overwhelm you and we don’t go overboard. So be direct and honest—but kind—in letting your lady know when you need a moment alone, when you need to get your head together, when you still love her but just need a second to recalibrate. A real woman will honor that (I can’t speak on dem gurls out there that’s spoiled and childish—I’m talking about women who have grown up spiritually and mentally, age not a factor). However, if you never share why you’re so distant, she will assume the worse and you will begin to hear the questions mentioned above—because she’s trying to figure out what’s wrong and how she can make it better, when maybe you do not feel that way at all. This is how mole hills become mountains in relationships.
I wish I could say more. At the end of the day, it is really about a spiritual connection. Guys choose to actively engage in doing the things that are tender, affectionate. Those little steps will make a huge difference in your wife’s (or woman’s or girlfriend’s) ability to be the kind of woman you want her to be.