7 Things Guys Love to Hear
When my wife and I were planning our wedding day, I created a “Wedding Time Capsule” for the reception. No, we weren’t planning to stuff it with keepsakes and mementos from that day. Rather, I placed small pieces of paper at every table and asked guests to offer words of advice for our future selves.
When we opened the time capsule on our 10th anniversary, we weren’t sure what to expect. Would there be anything in it? Would only a select few have participated? Would it be stuffed with nonsense and silly notes?
Alas, it proved to be filled with overflowing sentiment. Some of it was incredibly emotional, as it came from relatives and friends who had since passed. All of it was thoughtful, and we were amazed to find helpful pointers being offered to us then-newlyweds with wisdom from marriage veterans who know that words and loving acts can have a powerful effect.
Pondering these excellent suggestions from special people carried a lot of weight, and much of it came from guys. It was an excellent reminder that men also love to hear caring, kindhearted words from their spouses. I never doubted this, but society does. Men aren’t as emotionally detached, hard-hearted and distant as stereotypes make them out to be. Guys love hearing thoughtful things every bit as women.
“Let’s go out, just us.”
Men might be planners, but they also like spontaneity. Remember the spur-of-the-moment things you did when you were dating? You haven’t done that lately because you have all these responsibilities now. But your husband loves it when you act carefree (from time-to-time) and when you both act like kids without any agenda. Maybe it’s a little crazy to go out on a weeknight when you need rest and have to get up early the next day, but you did that nearly every night in college. Do it again. He’ll love it.
Ben Franklin once said, “Never ruin an apology with an excuse.” So, just for a moment, forget who did what. Arguments happen, and it takes a real strong person to step up and admit fault. I’m not suggesting it’s a woman’s job to extend the olive branch every time, I’m only stating a fact: Guys love hearing “I’m sorry” every bit as much as women. It always makes things better.
“You look great.”
Do you ever greet co-workers with a passing, “How’s it goin’?” Over the course of weeks, months and years, that question loses effect. So, sincerity needs to be at the root of this compliment. If your man still looks good after a hot, sweaty day of laboring in the yard, say so, but offer some explanation. The key here is to admire his style, not necessarily his physical appearance, which can change over time – and some of which is out of his control. Most men know they don’t look like Ryan Gosling’s twin, but it’s always nice to make him feel like it.
“I believe in you.”
We humans tend to mess things up a lot. We make mistakes. We fail. But it’s nice to know that someone has your back and supports you through thick and thin. And even when you forgot something important, messed up at work, or your backyard project isn’t working out, it’s important to hear a message of support from someone you love.
“What’s your advice?”
It should go without saying that men like to fix things, especially problems. So when you have an opportunity to ask for some guidance or assistance, go to your husband. There’s nothing wrong with asking your dear old dad for counsel, but letting your other half share his wisdom is important, too. Men like to be in command of the ship and asking for his opinion on something is a dynamic way of showing how much you value him.
“I’m committed to you forever.”
Those wedding vows you took are of foremost importance, but we tend to forget about them as the years go by. There’s nothing quite like hearing an occasional statement of promise and trust. Such a declaration of devotion strengthens bonds. Ever talk to someone married 50 years or more? They always speak of a resolute devotion no matter what, for better or for worse. You said it on your wedding day, and there’s no reason you can’t whisper it in his ear on a regular basis.
If there’s one word that gets overlooked and underused, it’s this: “Thanks.” That word has the power to praise, motivate and cheer. It’s nice to overuse that simple word as much as you can. All guys love hearing it because they often get ignored by messages that speak only to moms, thus making them feel like second-class parents. Every November, giving thanks seems like such an internal, individual, private affair done only in our minds before that big turkey meal. And all of that is fine. But giving thanks is one thing, saying it is another.