*Imitating Will Downing* “This one’s for fellas” (but I suppose you ladies can chime in, too. We need your candor):

Well brothers, we’ve survived another miserable Valentine’s Day. Congratulations! No more chocolates and flowers to hunt for. No more fighting in the aisles for the last greeting card. You’re officially in the clear.

However…

Even though Valentine’s Day in our rear view mirror, we still need to step up to plate in terms of how we display our affection to the fairer sex. Though I’m not suggesting that success in relationships is (or should be) based solely on what you give your lady, I will argue that some of the following everyday “gifts” can go a long way in pleasing your mate. So in continuing with my “those who can’t do, teach” theme on dating and relationships, here are a few of those “Million Ways” you can please your woman. Hear me now:

 

1. The gift of paying attention to taste and size: You’ve heard womenfolk say it before. And it’s true. To women, size does matter. In this case, I’m not referring to your ‘package’. I’m talking about the size of the clothing you give her as a gift. If there is one sure fire way to get your lady mad at you, buy her a piece of clothing that is either too big or too small. There are certain messages she will read in either scenario. But you can most certainly expect a less than favorable outcome in both situations. You’ll get the coolest of cool points if you can find an article of clothing that (a) she loves and (b) she can fit. But unless you’re into calculated risk-taking (and you shouldn’t be. Trust me on this one), just stick to a gift card from her favorite clothing store.

2. The gift of paying attention to, well, other stuff: When your lady has spent hours in the salon getting those highlights in her hair, she expects you to notice without her having to tell you. I admit, I’m not the most observant person in the world myself, so I can definitely see the challenges in this. But I remember once when I miraculously noticed my lady friend’s hairdo, she smiled from ear to ear. If we were dating at that time, I suspect I would’ve been on the receiving end of some instant fireplace action, if you catch my drift. Pay attention to stuff. Your rewards might be greater than you can ever imagine.

3. The gift of not saying stuff just for the sake of saying it: Make it count, and make it accurate. One thing about women is that they are absolutely BRILLIANT when it comes to identifying B.S. lines we use to curry favor with them. Coupled with that, they know exactly when they’re cute and when they look like a hot mess. Telling your lady she looks beautiful while she’s wearing sweaty gym clothes or even if she feels like she’s packed on some weight might earn you a side-eye of skepticism, even if you think it’s true. But what will definitely get you the side-eye (and probably a trip to the doghouse) is some lame attempt to compliment her when she’s sick in the bed with tissue sticking out of both nostrils and green mucus-y stuff drooling out of her mouth. She’ll read right through you. Sympathize with her, but shut up.

4. The gift of special food for a special person: When a guy really hits the jackpot, he’s able to get a woman who is anything but high maintenance. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still go to considerable lengths to treat your lady to the occasionally special culinary experience. So when it comes to food, particularly to celebrate special moments with her, I suggest one of two things: (1) learn how to cook and drop some fantastic meals in her lap or (2) be very judicious about the kind of restaurants where you take her. Unless she specifically wants to frequent certain places, avoid joints with counter-dining, giggling teenagers in the next booth, drive-thru windows (Duh!), buffets, or beeper thingies which let you know when your table is ready. Consider going to places where you would feel out of place if you weren’t wearing a tie.

5. The gift of channeling your inner Mr. Belvedere: This concept applies to all fellas, whether you live with your lady, spend a good amount of time at her place or if she spends even a modest amount of time at yours. Get off your John Brown hindparts and do some housework! By that I’m not talking about lifting your legs while she vacuums or moving your feet while she dusts the table. I’m not talking about taking all of your crap and tossing it behind the couch. I’m talking about scrubbing bathtubs, mopping floors, cleaning and disinfecting trashcans, washing, drying, and putting away the dishes, laundry, dusting. Of course, the outdoors work is also a part of your responsibility. But make your indoor work count too. If you think rock solid abs, bulging biceps, and a nice car are sexy to women, you should see what putting on a pair of rubber gloves and pulling out the Windex does to them.

6. The gift of doing for her and not for yourself: Whatever you do, don’t call tickets to the Michigan/Ohio State football game a “gift”, if she doesn’t like football. I don’t know what tiny organism crawls inside men’s heads, but something occasionally possesses us to buy our lady gifts that we secretly want for ourselves. Uh, don’t. And also, don’t try to be slick by buying her something that has more of a benefit to you. Buying your lady a garter belt and thigh high stockings, hot as that sounds right about now, will more than likely get picked up on by the womanfolk as a nefarious attempt to satisfy yourself under the guise of being a generous gift-giver. I mean, how would you feel if your lady bought you a yoga mat, some patent leather pumps, or a leopard-printed head scarf?  And while we’re on gift-giving, put some thought into your gifts fellas. Don’t buy at the last second. And please, please, please don’t buy your gift at a gas station. That should go without saying.

What’s up brothers? Anything else you can add?

– ACL

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