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Romance: Advice from a Pro

by BEN TRIPP

Many male readers have come to me asking, “what can I do to bring the romance back into my special relationship?” The only question I am asked more often is “how do I get bloodstains out of automobile upholstery?” It is possible that the first question would obviate the second, if only someone would explain all about what women like. Here is a simple list that will help you reignite the spice in your lady friend’s heart.

1. When you think something nice, say it.

This sounds obvious, but when is the last time you said, “I love the way the light glows through your earlobes when you open the fridge” or “that welding mask looks so cute on you” or “fat is coming back in, baby, and you’re going to be fashionable again”? Men get wrapped up in concerns about verbalizing their feelings, both positive and negative. But negative feelings have a way of slipping out during drunken bottle-throwing fights, while positive feelings don’t have such an inevitable outlet.

2. Arrange special time for ‘just the two of you’.

When is the last time you went to a car show with her, or to an indoor shooting range? We guys have a tendency to imagine that women get enough ‘together time’ just going through the day. In fact we often take their word for it when they say they don’t want to be around us for even one more second. Really, women do want more time with us. They just want it to be dedicated to togetherness. This is a horrible waste of time, but there it is.

3. Send her flowers at work.

Women love flowers, and chocolates. But send her flowers. If you send her chocolates she will accuse you of trying to make her fatter than she even is, and it’s no good saying “that’s medically impossible”. It’s the principle of the thing. So send her flowers instead. Roses are trite, but they do telegraph that ‘just-laid’ message; mixed bouquets are more affectionate than romantic, but still say “I love you”. Try to resist the urge to make a joke out of the note, such as “sorry about the toilet” or “To a Foxy Grandmother”. Unless she’s a grandmother.

4. Be a good listener.

A great way to while away that interminable ‘together’ time you arranged for is to listen to what she’s saying. The sheer novelty of it will keep you going for five or six minutes, after which just try not to fall into the trap of saying ‘uhuh’ every time she pauses for breath, even though you’re really not listening at all. For the man that is genuinely willing to listen, there is a wealth of useful insight to be gained into what women are most interested in from a relationship standpoint. My wife, for example, mostly talks about cars, which bores me to tears. But then she sees I’m crying and she’s deeply moved.

5. Touch her.

By this I do not mean lunge for the lungs, if you follow my meaning, but rather take the time (taking time is an essential part of relationships with women, which is why gay men are perceived as promiscuous: they can get three times as many relationships into the same amount of time because there are no women involved) to make non-sexual physical contact. A kiss on the forehead or a hand on the nape of her neck, a squeeze of the hand, a gentle hug from behind, these little gestures all say “you are my special, special friend”. If your loved one is paralyzed from the neck down, do remember to say when you’re touching her, because she can’t actually feel it.

6. Explore your own gender issues.

Am I saying you’re a homo? No. I’m saying that all of us guys end up with some vestiges of sexism and Chauvinism in our characters, except Richard Simmons. And look at the price he’s paid. It is healthy to examine your assumptions about women in general and see how those assumptions are reflected in your behavior towards your own bitch. For example, I have attempted to leaven my observations with a little humor of the “women are fragile, stupid creatures with volatile emotions” type; if I gave this any serious consideration I would realize such humor is low and witless and violates my commitment to gender equality. At the present time I’m not giving it any consideration, however. Enough you should get my valuable advice.

BEN TRIPP is an independent filmmaker and all-around swine. His book, Square In The Nuts, may be purchased here, with other outlets to follow: http://www.lulu.com/Squareinthenuts . Swag is available as always from http://www.cafeshops/tarantulabros . And Mr. Tripp may be reached at credel@earthlink.net.

 

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