How do men show their love for their partners? In a Mars-vs.-Venus kind of world, it can be difficult to figure out exactly what a man's feelings are. Read the signs right, though, and you can find the depths of the emotion inside the one you love.
A Culture of Closing Off
While it's a bit of a generalization, most men in Western culture have a hard time expressing their romantic feelings. This causes many frustrations, trips to counselors, and even occasionally divorces and breakups. The problem is that men are surrounded by masculine archetypes of strong, individualistic, and rugged heroes. The John Wayne/Clint Eastwood/Bruce Willis style of hero is not known for opening his heart and letting people see inside.
So how do men show their love instead? Usually it's either through very standard, stereotypical gestures or else it is through such tiny, subtle clues that they are barely noticeable. Often the most sincere forms of expression come across as selfishness, which makes understanding them even more difficult. Remember that whatever way they try, men are trying to reach out; give them some credit for stretching their boundaries
How Do Men Show Their Love: The Three Varieties
Here are three different ways that men let people close to them know they care. Learn to read and appreciate the cues and your man's heart may become an open book to you.
"You never bring me flowers!"
Thanks to Hallmark and jewelry stores, men receive many advertising messages about the best way to "tell the woman you love how special she is!" The dozen roses, the box of chocolates, the diamond solitaire, these, men and women are told, are the tokens of true caring.
The problem is that when these tokens are universal, they become less special. Instead of being an expression of emotion, it becomes a meaningless ritual. In fact, some services will automatically send flowers on anniversaries and other holidays with no actual thought needed at all. How is that a sign of love? Worse, they may be a measure of a bank account, which can make a man reluctant to even try. After all, if he's got a millionaire size love for you but a middle-class job, it makes it hard to get a gift that really shows how he cares.
At the same time, for some men, these are the only cues they have. So if a bouquet suddenly appears on your desk, remember the intention behind it, no matter how generic the brand.
"You never say I love you!"
A real "macho" man eschews blatant affection. "I told her I loved her on the day I married her," goes the stereotype. "If it ever changes, I'll let her know." This kind of man does show his love, but it's through the little things - holding the door for her or a small smile over the paper at the breakfast table. Rather than expressing love overtly, he expresses it by being what he thinks a man should be: tough, responsible, and a provider.
This can be a particularly maddening form of communication, because it seems like the person isn't in love at all. Actually, he is so securely in love that expressing it would be as strange as saying "I'm going to breathe now." You don't announce it; you simply do it. When you learn to pick up these kinds of cues, it can become a very beautiful form of loving expression.
"Why would I want a bowling ball?"
Some men fall between the two extremes. They feel that the obvious things like roses are trite, but they want to do something special for their sweetheart. Unfortunately, few men have the skills to see things from their partner's perspective and their response is to get something they would want themselves.This may mean that his expression of love is to take you to see a new action movie or getting good tickets to the basketball game. If this is something you both enjoy, then it's a great way to share your passions. What if it's not? Try to recognize that it's a way that he is trying to show that he cares. It just may be a bit clumsy and like anything else, it will get better with practice. Respond with enthusiasm, enjoy his happiness, and then return the favor. Treat him to an outing doing something you enjoy. When he looks puzzled at the hot air balloon ride, just smile and tell him that it's your turn to share with him something you love.