16 Courtesies That Say "I Love You" Without Saying a Word Itís the simple things in life that make living with one another easier. Use these easy-to-follow tips to brighten your spouseís day. BY DIANE GOTTSMAN
While it's nice to hear the words, actions are just (if not more) important.
“ A real man will do some pretty frilly stuff to show his wife that he loves her!”
While it's always nice to be told "I love you," it's also a wonderful feeling to have your spouse show his or her love through non-verbal gestures that are equally, if not more important. Most of us are used to sending off our husband or wife with a quick peck and "Love you / Love you too," but it's the day-to-day "little courtesies" that we offer that cement our relationship and give our mates reason to love us even more.
Here are a few ideas (that could apply to either spouse) to get your creative juices flowing:
Hold hands: not just a quick sign of assistance when she is stepping off a high curb, but locked hands, fingers intertwined, while sitting across the table or walking side by side.
Look her in the eyes and gently kiss her on the forehead: a different gesture from a pat on the headójust a simple sign of subtle passion, adoration or simple affection.
Smile when he walks thru the door: rather than asking, "Do you know what time it is?" or, "Did you pick up the dry cleaning", try a smile and a six second hug instead.
Pour her a glass of wine and don't let her in the kitchen until dinner is served: Come home early and surprise your wife with her favorite meal. The fact that you took off work early, went to the market, cooked a meal and are wearing an apron shows the enormous amount of planning you put into the romantic event.
Pay attention to special holidays and anniversaries: don't assume he won't want a present or special card. Just because he always says, "I don't need anything" doesn't mean he doesn't deserve a sweet present from the one he loves.
Sit next to her, without complaining, while she watches her favorite show: okay, you can read or play "Words with Friends," but the fact that you are next to her is a significant plus.
Make a concerted effort to really listen: Nod and respond when she tells you about her day and the idiosyncrasies of her office mates whom you don't know, will never meet and could care less about. Ask questions and stay alert.
Leave a love note on his car: make sure and sign your name!
Bring her coffee (or juice) without being asked: every morning, forever, always and not just once.
Sit with her in the emergency room when your son has an allergy attack: this is different than saying, "Do you want to go, or do you want me to go?" Do it together and share the pain.
Paint her toes: you'll make a mess, but so what? A real man will do some pretty frilly stuff to show his wife that he loves her!
Surprise her by filling her tank with gas and get her car washed without her knowledge: face the front of the car toward the street in the "ready" position for a few extra brownie points.
Offer her a back rub without "benefits:" remember that this time it's about her, not you!
Warm the car up on a chilly day and have a "to go" cup with her favorite hot beverage waiting: buy her a special travel mug especially for the morning commute.
Get the kids ready for school and cook or take them to breakfast so she can sleep in: bring back her favorite breakfast food.
Have a tailgate party in the middle of your living room: serve his favorite foods and plan it around his favorite sports show or sporting event. Sit with him and laugh while he yells and curses at the television.
Make a commitment to do something special for each other, even on days that are not holidays or special occasions. The more you practice the better and more creative you will become.
Diane Gottsman, a nationally recognized etiquette expert, is the owner of The Protocol School of Texas, a company specializing in etiquette training for corporations, universities and individuals, striving to polish their interpersonal skills. You can reach Diane at 877-490-1077 or www.protocolschooloftexas.com. You can also follow her on Twitter @: www.twitter.com/DianeGottsman.