Bait, Bid, and Bite, everyday affections.

The flip-side to last week’s post about giving time and space, I would like to take the time this week to address the “bait and bite” of comfort-seeking behaviour in relationships.

In CBT this behaviour is referred to simply as “validation”, although it’s not exactly what we think of when we generally hear the term. In relationship psychology it’s called a “bid”. And it goes a little like this.

One member of the couple experiences something.

They feel an urge to share it with their partner.

Their partner acknowledges the vocalization and the experience.

It seems simple, and it is, but it makes an enormous difference.

When we reach out like that, regardless of whether we are pointing out a cute dog, explaining what went wrong with our work day, discussing something we read or looking for confirmation that what we witnessed did, indeed, happen, we are comfort testing our partners. We are saying “this is my life experience, and I want you to also experience it”. We are saying “please see what I have seen and tell me it is valid to you as well”. We are saying “this is what matters to me right now”.

And all we need is for our partner to acknowledge what we said and acknowledge our experience. That’s it. They don’t need to agree with us, to share our emotions, to continue the conversation. All they need to do, in essence, is say “yes, I can see the dog”, “I’m sorry your work day was bad”, “that book sounds interesting/not my thing”, or “I saw it too”. It’s that simple.

We “bait” our partners with actions that are designed to captivate attention and words to draw their attention to things around us. If they “bite” and acknowledge the bait, however minorly or however personal or weird their reaction is, we feel acknowledged, wanted, respected and loved. If they ignore us and react passively or dismissively, we feel insecure. It’s the ultimate comfort test and all humans do it, introvert or extrovert, male or female. It also directly correlates with relationship longevity.

Example of positive, comforting “bait and bites”:

Him: “Wow, look at that truck.” “Look there.” “Truck ahead.”

Her: “Pretty cool.” “It’s red.” “Is that a toyota?” “Not my thing.” “Where?” (Typically with some emotion in voice or on face, turning to look at what he is pointing out.]

All acknowledge what he has seen, what he is saying and establish some sort of personal connection. On the other hand, a negative, worrying “bait and bite”:

Him: “Wow, look at that truck.” “Look there.” “Truck ahead.”

Her: “Huh.” #silence# “Wait one moment.” “I’m busy.” “Sure.” (Typically in a flat tone, whatever is said, without turning her head to the truck.]

None acknowledge what he has seen, all refuse to share the moment or indulge in a personal moment, all focus entirely on her.

It isn’t about talking more, or forcing yourselves to talk about your day or to do things together. It’s more about the responsiveness percentage when you share information with each other. The more bait goes unbitten, the more detached a couple become. The more bait we bite, the longer the relationship lasts. So skip the candlelit dinner or the relationship adviser if you want to revive the spark. Perhaps first try and look at your partner, respond to their comments, and invite them back into your world.

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

How often would you say you make a bid of your partner? How often to they bite the bait? How often do you respond to their bids? If you’re not sure, try and keep a “bid diary” for a bit and tally up how much you share each other’s world.

 

For help starting out homemaking, check out The ESSENTIAL Beginner Homemaker’s Guide. For help budgeting all your everday and not-so-everyday essentials, from food to transport to clothes, check out On A Budget: The good homemaker’s guide to economizing.

Why He Doesn’t Want To Come Home.

A phenomenon Jon and I have discussed previously, to no great conclusion, was revived by the recent idle drivel coming from the mouth of the UK’s own minor version of Bernie Sanders.

The short form of the matter is that, however much men will joke about “well, it beats being home with the gf/wife”, an increasing number of men actually act on it. They will go drinking right after work, take on overtime, or even go and do an unpleasant job for a friend or relative, relishing the time away from home. And we were stumped. But a little more discussion, insight and thought has led us to a fairly satisfactory answer: he doesn’t want to go home because he has no space there.

Humans may be social animals, but we are also private animals. As fairly reclusive introverts, Jon and I know this more than anyone. And we can see that even the most outgoing of extroverts from time to time withdraws into themselves the same way we need to do on a regular basis. Humans need time and space to think, to be quiet, to work on solo projects and to unwind. For introverts its about recharging, for extroverts it seems more about reminiscing and planning, for ambiverts its a bit of both.

And for most of our lives, we get that time and space. From around seven or eight years old, the point where we begin to see ourselves as a unit of society and socialize more sacrificially, passively and/or empathically, we are granted a right to time and space. We get to walk off on our own, have our own possessions to keep us busy away from everyone else, maybe even our own room if money and culture allow. This is Retreat with a capital R. And we need it. As we grow older, this boundary becomes more defined, even with friends and family. We learn to tell people we want some quiet time, that we’re tired, that we wanted to read a book or watch a show. And we learn that when others say similar things, they also need their space.

For some reason, though, many decide to throw this harmony out of the window when it comes to looking for a mate. My only guess is that it’s based on the same mechanism whereby people will lose weight, learn game, or even join a cult to find a partner. We simply put temporary effort into changing ourselves because we know, consciously or subconsciously, that being better means mixing our genes with better ones.

Some also temporarily give these people their personal space. They don’t have their own room any more. They don’t even have their own bed. They don’t have any space in the house where they can be left alone. They don’t have any time where it is appropriate to say “I just want to read a book right now”. Because they are convinced that they need to hand their whole lives to the other person in order for a relationship to work.

But the problem comes in with that “temporary” clause up there. Just as with spontaneous weight loss, a bit of game or joining a cult, unless your changes genuinely become a core part of you, this effort will melt away as the relationship cements. You will grow tired. You will have days where you don’t want to talk at all, or where you just want to sit down and regather your thoughts after work. You will want your time and space back. And so will your partner.

But in this sort of relationship, nobody makes the first move to letting that happen. All of a sudden, the person they loved and wanted to spend every second with becomes a chain around their ankles. They won’t shut up, they keep walking in on them gaming/reading/listening to music/indulging a hobby, they start pushing to do more things together to “relight the spark”. They both resent this constant presence and paradoxical distance.

And that is why he doesn’t want to come home. Because she is there. She is always there. It isn’t his home. There is no peace, no quiet, no time and space for him. There is no Refuge.

Of course, you needn’t spend any time apart to prevent this situation from developing. Jon and I easily spend every free minute together. He doesn’t have to go to the pub after work and I don’t need a girls’ night out to recover and get some social space. But you have to learn to be alone together sometimes. You have to be quiet, and restful, and minding your own business sometimes. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, but a little peace and quiet goes a long way.

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

What are your observations on couples who can’t spend time together? What are the ways you and your partner meet the need for Refuge? Have you tried being alone together?

 

For help starting out homemaking, check out The ESSENTIAL Beginner Homemaker’s Guide. For help budgeting all your everday and not-so-everyday essentials, from food to transport to clothes, check out On A Budget: The good homemaker’s guide to economizing.

Can We Both ‘Marry Up’?

It is a common assumption made by most dating resources and, indeed, most people, that relationships are a zero-sum game: that someone has to be better for having the other, and that for that to happen, the other must therefore be worse, having made a sacrifice to improve their partner. But I have already discussed why this is not necessarily the case.

What I’m getting to today, thanks to an interesting post by IB last week, is the mentality that brings about this assumption. Because there actually seems to be a step in between “I observe that most relationships are unbalanced” and “therefore there has to be a loser”. And that step is “everyone wants to marry up”.

In and of itself, the statement is innoccuous: of course everyone wants to marry up. We want the genetically fittest partner we can get, as well as a compatible one, so we look out for one who is generally an improvement on us. Sexier, richer, younger, more mature, more famous, brighter, etc. Thus, we look for something better. But the implication is that for someone to be better than us, they must be “hyper”, or “above” us. Thus, we win and they lose.

But the reality is that we also seek compatibility in our genetic fitness. The masculine seek the feminine, the feminine seek the masculine. The creative seek the scientific, the scientific seek the creative. The doctors seek the nurses or the patients. The artists seeks the muse, the model an artist. We want someone who can do what we cannot, what we either do not have the time or the energy or the skills to do. If it had a term, it would be “paideiagamy”: the pursuit of someone who rounds us out, who makes us a complete unit of society.

And this is where we find that middle ground of “marrying up”.

You see, there are two ways of marrying up.

The first is when partner A is clearly beneath partner B. Not just in one aspect, but as a sum total of their desirable qualities. In these cases, only two results are possible. Either partner B becomes idle, and lets slide the characteristics that made them better, causing an evenly married couple where partner A resents partner B for “bait and switch” and partner B resents partner A for “ruining B’s life”. Or partner B continues to work on improvement, or at least maintenance and grows distant, causing partner A to become insecure about the quality gap, causing anger on both sides. In short, you cannot just “marry up” and rest on your laurels.

But there is another kind of marrying up. This is where the partners are either equal or equivalent. Equal in that they are approximately the same in all desirable qualities. Or equivalent in that, despite specific differences, their sum total of desirability is even. However both partners are focused on improving themselves and extend that efford to each other. In working to improve each other, they end up with a continually better partner: one who gives them better access to that which they desire. But they are also improving, incentivizing their partner to also invest in them. Through this process, each member of a couple will appear to have benefitted greatly from the relationship. Their friends and family will compliment the quality of their partner for “fixing” them. But in reality both have improved.

Of course, the second kind of marrying up is all an illusion. Neither married someone objectively better than themselves. You’ve just married your approximate equal and both encouraged each other to improve, giving the impression to everyone but yourselves that one of you struck gold. But “true” marrying up is as much a recipe for failure as marrying down, or being lazy in a relationship are.

So the answer is: Not really. You can’t both marry someone better than you, not in absolute terms. But being unable to both “marry up” does not lead to “zero-sum game”. You can just as easily marry an equivalent, a slight superior or a slight inferior and end up both vastly better off for it. Which may make others assume you married up after all!

Ultimately, you can only win at the game when you play it together.

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

What is your perspective on improvement through relationships? And what would your paideiagamy look like: focus on complementarity, on similarity, on contrasts, on better qualities..? Do you think there are any more steps to the disillusion->marry-up->zero-sum-game mentality?

 

For help starting out homemaking, check out The ESSENTIAL Beginner Homemaker’s Guide. For help budgeting all your everday and not-so-everyday essentials, from food to transport to clothes, check out On A Budget: The good homemaker’s guide to economizing.

Being One Of The Others. Part IV. Risks and Rewards.

The concept of “otherness” is based on the idea of “us vs them”. In short, when we have established what we are, everything else is not us, and therefore must be “them”. The “other” is the individual who has not yet found a place where they belong, or who primarily deals in an environment where they do not belong.

In Part I: Stepping Out, I explored how Other Girls (OGs) are less often an absolute reject and more often the female equivalent to the male rogues: capable, gender-conforming individuals who feel at odds with the main group they live among. In Part II: Partnering, I explained what makes an OG tick and how an OG winds up choosing another Other as her partner, addressing all major variables from unattractiveness to countercultural preferences. In Part III, Beyond School I observed how everday social interactions change for OGs once they are in control of their lives. Now I’m moving onto the final part of the series so far: risk and reward. What does an OG chase, what does she avoid, what does she want and what variables affect these decisions?

RISKS.

Everyone has a risk reward ratio. It helps us to assess what is worth the effort we put into it and what is likely to backfire. Do we jump the fire as a part of a tribal ritual? Well, we probably should because the risk of getting burned is less dangerous to us than the risk of expulsion. Do we jump the fire for giggles? Well, we probably shouldn’t because the rewards of social approval are less beneficial than not burning our butts.

Naturally, a person who lives life on the outside of society will have much greater sensititivity to risks. This is because when there are fewer people to pick up the pieces, we are less wont to chase danger. And even when we are surrounded by police, health care and good samaritans, a feeling of otherness leaves an instinctive fear of danger. We keep an eye out for anything that might go wrong, sometimes to a point of paranoia, because we can afford it far less than anyone else.

However this sensitivity does not always make an OG act in a risk averse manner. Sometimes the risk is calculated, seen as high and taken. This is because being outside of society also means you need to chase your own rewards. Nobody will defend, clothe or feed you, so you need to take very calculated risks to minimize danger and maximize your rewards.

REWARDS.

OGs will work tirelessly for rewards. But what they perceive to be a reward may not be obvious to someone internal to the main society. An OG often needs something that is disproportionately rewarding to chase it, otherwise it is never enough.

An OG can share rewards valued by her original or main culture, but the nature of living outside it means that there must be things she values more or differently. If she valued the main culture most of all then she would be working harder to conform to it. As it stands, she must be operating differently to embrace nonconformity.

Some reward variables in OGs include:

  1. Placing greater value on loyalty. As someone who is rarely the recipient of loyalty, an OG treasures it greatly and offers it gingerly. When she has someone’s loyalty she will reciprocate thoroughly because to her, that loyalty is gold.
  2. Willingness to discard people. On the flip side, if you are not valuable and not loyal to an OG, she is ready to drop you. This is because an OG lacks the social infrastructures that allow most women to be deeply nurturing, and taking on burdens and risks for any degree of reward is too much effort.
  3. Self respect and internal motivation sits high. Again, if you are out on your own you need to be willing and able to sweat your own work. If she is socially isolated or disconnected you might find she places value on herself and her work, and on anyone and anything that contributes to it.
  4. Self loathing is a constant battle. On the flip side, many OGs blame themselves for their situation, be it true or not. They need to work hard to produce anything, and every failure rests on their own shoulders. Thus: failure is inadmissible.
  5. Being comfortable is a luxury and a trap. Like all humans, an OG wants deep down to sit back and never work again. Unlike many main society girls, an OG cannot sit back without increasing risks in her life exponentially. She may be constantly striving for the next good thing, never savouring the fruits of her labour.
  6. In isolation, primitivism can be engaged. On the flip side, an OG is also very happy to rest on her laurels whenever she can and will often reduce her life to bare essentials to make it easier. She will glaldy live only for food and idle pleasure and be oddly happy with this situation.

Not all OGs have all these points, and every additional variable mentioned until now still counts and can change the result. However those six should provide something to mull over when attempting to decipher what motivates an OG.

REALITY.

Many variables can change the way an OG perceives the world, most of which have been addressed in Part I. However it is important to consider both sides of the coin, the good and the bad. And not all variables to an OGs behaviour are pleasant.

Remember how I mentioned that an OG can be rejected even though she is pretty, feminine and extroverted, because she has behavioural or personality issues? Well there is a reason for this. OGs are vastly more likely to have mental or personality disorders than main group girls. In essence, however you rank each individual problem, there is something that separates her from the main group, whether it’s her choice or someone else’s. It’s less that an OG is more likely to have or develop a mental disorder and more that a girl with a mental disorder is more likely to be an OG. Having a handle on various common mental disorders and especially the minor, more manageable ones can shed light on the behaviour of OGs.

Being forced into a state of isolated independence has an odd effect on anyone. Even a mentally healthy OG may seem a lot colder on first impression, or whenever she is out of her comfort zone. An OG has either been rejected or disappointed by people many times in her life. Therefore she has learned to either shrink back from society, which is the introvert option, or to present a cold front, the extrovert option. Oftentimes the OG is nothing like that underneath the surface. Introverted OGs can be bold and tough and happy when they socialize in small doses. Extroverted OGs can be soft, sweet and friendly when they get to know someone. But the guard will be up for anyone new.

OGs are often fast to reject one sex or another. OGs are more likely to be introverted than extroverted and introverted OGs are more likely to have issues with one sex. The reason for this I don’t know, but I assume that between being an introvert and being an outcast it is easier to experience social life from the sidelines than it is to mingle thoroughly. However this can either take the form of discomfort… or bitterness. If an OG has excluded half the human population from her social boundaries, whatever the reason, it can be very hard to prove her prejudices wrong and gain her trust.

OGs can be incredibly tribal. Even introverted, unsubcultured OGs who socialize minimally and do not connect themselves with any distinct culture seek a tribal structure. At the end of the day, OGs are still humans and women: weak, hairless, armourless, slow, small animals that have long depended on numbers and big strong warriors for protection. That sort of ancestry doesn’t leave your genes any time soon. An OG will more likely warm up to someone who actively shares her interests and spends time in the places she frequents. This is a positive for many subcultured rogues (Other Men), who are often excited to meet girls who are genuinely interested in their hobbies. But it’s a nightmare as well, as any deviation from her passions can be taken as a personal threat and result in exclusion from “her tribe”.

These variables have great impact. A mentally ill OG, however minor her problem, may perceive risks and rewards very differently to a mentally stable OG. An OG will often perceive opening up socially to be a risk, and this risk may be enormously skewed against one sex. The reward sensation an OG experiences upon meeting someone who shares her interests is overblown, but deviation from that could easily reignite her risk alarms.

In short, getting close to an OG can take a very long time. It can be difficult. And sometimes it’s just not worth putting up with the wait and the standoffishness, because, let’s be honest, you don’t need everyone in your life. But when you meet an OG you just get along with, or when a girl who was quite cold slowly starts to grow friendly towards you, don’t necessarily be surprised. And if you’re absolutely desperate to get close to an OG on your own terms, then test the water, sit back a bit, see what happens and test again. Act as though you were on a friendly mission in enemy territory, and you need to get through a defensive battlefield to have an actual discussion with someone important. Because, let’s be honest, forcing yourself into an OG’s life is essentially breaking tribal barriers.

Got any more questions about OGs? Wondering about something I have already touched on? Got something to add? Ask away in the comments. 😀

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

For help starting out homemaking, check out The ESSENTIAL Beginner Homemaker’s Guide. For help budgeting all your everday and not-so-everyday essentials, from food to transport to clothes, check out On A Budget: The good homemaker’s guide to economizing.

Rough Play Is A Requirement.

I am not sure where the idea that women are frail and delicate and need to be handled like fine porcelain or sugar sculptures came from. But it seems pretty pervasive.

From the occasional radical feminist who claims BDSM sex, or even light, playful wrestling, is somehow male dominance and aggression to the PUAs who walk about Kino as though any guy, without direction, would either never touch a woman or accidentally break her, it seems that men touching women “too much” or “too harshly” or “not enough” or “not gently enough” or just not “the right way” is a generally accepted idea. And although this idea has merit when talking about a man and a woman who do not know each other well, some people carry it into marriage, or for their whole lives.

But roughness isn’t just a welcome facet to sexual encounters and other intimate times: on many levels it is a requirement. This is just from personal observation and reading around, but the more I look, the clearer it seems to me that most women, myself included, crave an amount of action, physicality and yes, roughness with our partners. There are two scales for this: playfulness and force. On the playfulness scale we have a range from friendly, through toying, teasing, sensual, sexual, dominating, right up to serious, which may be taking it too far. Friendly roughness might be pushing someone aside, sensual roughness is guiding them directly by moving their body like a puppet, serious roughness would be bordering on actual violence. On the force scale we have playing limp, equalizer, controlled, overpowering and full force. Playing limp is passive resistance, equalizer is matching their power, controlled is allowing for push and pull, overpowering is just enough to take over and full force is using all your strength.

And everyone’s needs will vary on both scales. Some women will prefer friendly, equalized roughness. Some will prefer teasing, limp roughness. Some will prefer dominating, full force roughness. It is necessary to understand this to see what I’m trying to say. Not all women want to be completely dominated and thrown around the room. But some form of rough play seems essential to a healthy sex life for the vast majority of us.

[NSFW links.]

Some women end up with gentle men, but still have a desire for domination.

Some women enjoy the most intense forms of abuse and neglect.

Some women just want to be chased a little bit.

But on some level most women want it. And, from my personal observation, it goes beyond a want into an actual need. The more I read and the more I observe my own needs, the more I see that rough sex, when desired, is not something meekly being suggested to “spice things up”. More often than not, it’s something these women want regularly, the standard for the sex they crave. Even those of us who have only been with one man, who has always been at the same level of intensity, will crave a pre-calibrated amount of roughness. It’s not about what we fancy, about curiosity, about boredom or about something we used to get. It seems to be, quite simply, an inbuilt need.

Thoughts?

TTFN and Happy Hunting.

 

For help starting out homemaking, check out The ESSENTIAL Beginner Homemaker’s Guide. For help budgeting all your everday and not-so-everyday essentials, from food to transport to clothes, check out On A Budget: The good homemaker’s guide to economizing.

Tomorrow the papers will be signed…

…it’s odd to think of marriage this way. Well, to me it isn’t. I was never really the little girl who dreamed of a white wedding. I was the little girl who idolized Xena and wanted to be Peter Pan. I was the little girl hunting sheep round the back of our farmhouse. I had no time for dressup, boys or parties, although party food was more than welcome.

And I don’t think I ever grew out of that. If anything, I matured into it. I can say with almost complete confidence that I hadn’t once imagined a wedding until Jon said he’d want to get married. I was actually not all that into the idea of marriage until I met Jon. It just seemed like pointless expense that apparently most men didn’t want anyway, so whether I found someone whose company I actually enjoyed or became a spinster, marriage just wasn’t a concern.

So it’s odd to be looking at it now and realizing how unusual this is.

Everyone else seems to want a dress and a gathering, to be the centre of attention for a day or fifty. You’re expected to have a white dress, matching shoes and a giant cake, all your friends and family gathered for a fancy speech and a meal and a dance. Flowers that match the dress or the venue. Or if they’re less traditional they might want a themed wedding, something different, maybe a steampunk wedding or a candy themed wedding with an elaborate cake and jars of sweeties everywhere, I don’t know. So many people want to make it important, make it “the big day”, make it special. And if they want that for themselves, then that’s fine.

But I still don’t see the point of a wedding beyond making banking, child custody and joint ventures easier. Oh, and the tax break. The ceremony just looks like the best part of a deposit on a house that was wasted on fancy perishables, to be honest.

We’ve been together for almost four and a half years now and remaining together to raise children and grandchildren and look after each other into old age was always really the goal. Neither of us got into the relationship accidentally or just for the fun of it. Within three months we’d already ventured into the size of family we were looking forward to having. Sure, we wouldn’t be together if we didn’t find each other fun, but there was always a goal, it was never just fun. I’m not even sure I could build a human relationship purely based on fun. Fun is transient. My goal is to build and craft a life where I can have the most fun, enjoy myself the most. Not to just leap on it as and when it comes and live with consequences later. This was my first relationship beyond teenage social obligations to have “a boyfriend” for school conversation.

We’ve been living together as a married couple for over a year and a half now. And, again, it doesn’t really need celebrating. This is just what humans, or at least we, as humans, do. We wanted to have children and grandchildren together and look after each other until death, so living together was a natural move. We had shared our living spaces even before that, over weekends and weeks and fortnights. There were no surprises. He knew I had the odd day when I had low energy or needed to cry a lot. I knew he had days when he just wanted to sit and game. He knew I painted and read and wrote when I wanted to calm down and I knew how to get his favourite meals put together. It was a pretty seamless transition.

We’re not religious, although neither of us are vehement atheists either and I have a bit more of a belief in things beyond what we can directly experience. So there was no religious urge to marry. We would live like this regardless of whether or not we were contractually obligated to and if there is a powerful being that judges our relationship quality, I’m not sure that being legally married or not makes any difference to it.

So it doesn’t really feel like we’re celebrating anything.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s amazing to be with Jon. He is the most perfect human I have ever met. He’s good looking, tall with nice hands and a great grin. He’s smart and widely read and eager to discuss any subject with me as long as neither of us is illiterate in it, which is a rare occurrence. He’s more scientifically minded which balances and overlaps with my creative mind and where he helps me with mathematics, I can help him with language and linguistics. He and I naturally lean towards similar if not exactly the same viewpoints and even when we disagree we find merit in the other’s perspective. He’s also the only person I can be with half a day or all day, every day, for months on end without a break and not get tired of. Scratch that: he’s the only person I can talk to for over an hour daily for four days and not get tired of. He’s the only person where I don’t have to resort to the digital barrier of emails and facebook so he doesn’t drain my energy. We’re headed in the same direction in life: to a nice smallholding where we can both be self employed with 4-10 biological children and some fostered children once our own are mostly grown up. He’s great and an excellent match for me.

But I really don’t feel like I need a piece of paper to tell me that. I know that.

And I don’t need a piece of paper to tell me we will constantly strive to be together until one of us passes. I know that too.

So here’s to a tax break, future children and a great night out. May there be many to come.

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

5 Things To Do For Your Husband Today.

Often we rely too much on someone telling us what they want. And not everyone knows what they need, how to express it or that you can help. Same goes for your husband or live-in-partner. However close you are and however much you ask, there will always be things to do to make his life better that he won’t ask you for, but will appreciate immensely.

In my personal experience and from observation, here are five things you can do to make his day nicer that he wouldn’t even consider asking for.

1: A massage.

A staple of stereotypes and jokes, massages are really great. And I’ve found that men tend to be more likely to offer a spontaneous massage and women are more likely to request one than the other way around.

But everyone benefits from a good rub down once in a while. Start by waiting until he is sat down and relaxing and begin at the shoulders and neck. Work your way down his upper arms, then back up and down his back. Massaging his legs and feet are also options. Try and mix up the massage techniques. Men have fewer nerve endings near the skin surface than women, so a deep tissue massage where your knuckles are really digging in can feel very pleasant to them.

2: Pudding.

Everyone loves treats and most people enjoy a treat after dinner. However people turn to unwholesome foods more often when there isn’t something better on offer.

With a few minutes, some cream and some fruit you can make an ice cream, with a little extra time and a pastry recipe you can make a pie. Think of his favourite pudding and surprise him with it tonight.

3: Wash his outdoor clothes.

Many men enjoy spending time outdoors or simply have to for their job and chores. Does your husband do the gardening, go jogging, walk the dog or collect firewood? Then he will have some designated outdoor clothes he uses for them.

It might look like his tatty old jacket, muddy wellington boots and dusty overalls are meant to be that way, but as long as you don’t accidentally break them, many men appreciate coming home to the holes in their jacket patched, their boots mud-free and their overalls washed and dried.

Just because he likes his old clothes doesn’t mean he wants them to look old all the time or fall apart entirely.

4: Find/buy him something to enjoy together.

Your husband likes you. That means he likes spending time with you, seeing you smile and enjoy yourself and sharing his hobbies with you.

Look into a few of the things he likes that you weren’t all that interested in. Maybe he’s an avid gamer, a fan of a certain comic, interested in music or fond of gardening. Then, find something you think you would both enjoy and plan to do it together.

You don’t have to actually do it today or to surprise him with it. The fact that you took the initiative to learn about one of his hobbies and want to spend time joining him will make him incredibly happy.

5: Have some quiet time.

However much of an extrovert he may be, however much he adores you, everyone likes a little bit of quiet and men seem to want just a touch more quiet than women. It’s possibly even a biological difference, just like women need a bit more sleep than men.

But this doesn’t mean you need to be out of the room whenever he wants quiet. He still loves you and wants to spend time with you. Just make a point of putting on his favourite show or leaving a book on the table for him and cuddling up as he enjoys it. Make a drink, get something to do in silence and just sit there together.

And those are five things you can do today to make him happy and show him how much you love and respect him.

What do you do to make your husband or wife happy? How do you try and make each day special? Please share your advice and anecdotes with us!

TTFN and Happy Hunting!