We asked Lizzie Post, coauthor of Emily Post's Etiquette 18th Edition (William Morrow, 2011), for some tips on the little things you can do to put a smile on his face.
1. Pick up little clues, and act on them
"Your partner might give ‘wooing' hints in casual conversation by simply talking about themselves and the things they like," says Post. By tuning in to the things that he talks and cares about, you can use his interests as a clear guide of what will make him happy.
For instance, if he is really focused on his career at the moment, and specifically refers to someone at his company as his role model, see if you can arrange a consultation with this person. Something like this will be what Post terms "a noticeable difference" and shows that you went out of your way to think of his needs.
2. Warm his heart
Whether you're picking him up from work or from the airport, grab a cup of his favourite warm drink and place it in the cup holder waiting for him when he gets in the car. You'll win points for remembering his order -- and showing that you can anticipate his needs.
3. Make a note
Next time he mentions a book he's been meaning to pick up, buy him a copy to leave on his nightstand. Don't forget to inscribe a short but sweet message on the book's front page -- something for him to smile at each and every time he opens it. As Post says, it's great to "put your own personal spin on it."
The point of adding a little note and going above and beyond is to show him you're making an effort. "Unfortunately, things like doing the dishes and cleaning the house are what people tend to expect, and they fall flat. Those are everyday things. Something like this goes beyond the expected and will get noticed," says Post.
Page 1 of 2 -- Try surprising your man with his favourite meal, plus learn the simplest way to woo your mate with our advice on page 2
4. Surprise him with a favourite meal
Heading out for an evening with your friends or out of town for work? Before you leave, why not cook your significant other one of his favourite dinners and leave it for him in the fridge with a little note that reads: "Made with love."
"When wooing your partner, it's about putting their needs first and making them happy," says Post. Leaving him a ready-to-go meal is a great way to remind him how much you care. (And of course we all know the old adage that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach is definitely true.) Bonus points if you write out heating instructions for the dish.
5. Be genuine
When wooing your other half, you should have no expectations in return. Be genuine and, as Post says, if you're doing it for recognition or in hopes that your partner will reciprocate, those are not the right reasons.
"You have to genuinely have no expectations about it, and don't point it out or call attention to it in the moment. It can seem contrived if you have ulterior motives," says Post. We all do things that go unrecognized, especially when we live with our partner, but once we point our actions out it is as if we are keeping a tally.
Although Post admits there are no set guidelines on how often to do these little things, she emphasizes an importance of incorporating them into your daily and weekly communications. "Doing something small on a daily basis does not make you a doormat, instead it shows that through thick and thin you can find the love," says Post. Not every day will be perfect, but if you take time for these little acts of love, you can showcase both your loyalty and your consideration.
Wooing is all about putting your partner first and doing things that will make them happy, even if it doesn't align with the way you wish to be wooed. Pay attention to what excites, stimulates and captivates them, and your job will be easy.
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