What Do Guys Really Want for Valentine’s Day

What Do Guys Really Want for Valentine’s Day

What Does a Man Want for Valentines Day?

Ah, the stress men face when Valentine’s Day nears. For me, and many men, it’s as tough or tougher than Christmas because it needs to be romantic. It needs to be right or we are screwed!

But what about men? What do we want? I mean it’s our day too right?

Well, I got on it and I surveyed my vast network of guys and here are the surprising results.

Make it about us too

Surprised? I wasn’t. Getting some nice cologne is okay, but if I must then shower you with gifts the rest of the night, well that doesn’t seem fair. We want it to be our day too. Somewhere along the way, Valentine’s Day became more about women than men. At least that’s how my guys felt. Don’t shoot the messenger!

Okay, okay. How about 75% you and 25% us? That will work.

Spend quality time

Yep, we want to be together alone too. You and me against the world! A cool restaurant maybe, with white linens and candles glowing. The real ones, not those fake plastic flickering things. It’s fun to look around at other couples enjoying themselves and think just how lucky we are today.

Many guys I talked to live in cold climates and they loved the idea of cooking at home together and snuggling up around the fireplace.

Others were fine doing whatever their significant others wanted to do as long as it was quiet and intimate. Yes, I’m talking about men!

What Do Guys Really Want for Valentine’s Day | Recognition for their effort

This may sound odd, but the guys told me that they get worried about not spending enough or doing something that every other guy does like getting flowers or chocolates.

Gary said, “I worry about Beth looking disappointed at me because I didn’t make it special enough.”

It’s important for women to realize that most of us are not good at this romantic stuff. We try, but we still need your help to make us better. Tell us that we made you happy and recognize the effort. If you do, you’ll find that we can and will get better.

Go for it in the bedroom

Let’s face it, sex can get a bit boring after years together and three kids running around. Make tonight special for both of you and mix it up this year! Spend some extra time doing some fun stuff with your hands and your tongue. Set a new precedent in the bedroom by teasing him.

He should be in as a romantic state as he ever will be on this day so go for it!


This is my favorite. I’ll take a massage without having to reciprocate (I know, selfish) over a gift any day. And most men agreed with me. Follow up with a some oral givings and we will be in heaven!

What Do Guys Really Want for Valentine’s Day

My big takeaway is this: Valentine’s Day should be fun for both of you, but through the years, it has become a chore for men. Yes, that is our fault but help us be better won’t you?

And on behalf of all the men that screw up on Valentine’s Day, let me say, “There is always next year to get it right!”

Check out my great infographic and get some ideas churning for the big day!

Little Ways to say I Love You without saying the Words

Little Ways to say I Love You without saying the Words

Tiffany here. Who would have thought three little words could be so huge? You feel it in your heart, but actually saying, “I love you” for the first time can be a tricky situation, and it’s often difficult to know just when the time is right. Say it too soon, and you risk scaring him away. Wait too long, and he may begin to doubt your feelings, and maybe even the relationship. Good news – it doesn’t have to be all or nothing! There are lots of little ways to show your love without ever uttering a word. You can build your emotional bond by letting him know you care through your actions. It’s the little things that count.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Boston dating coach, Gregg Michaelsen tells us men communicate differently than women. While they may not shout their feelings from the rooftop the way we tend to, we need to look closely at the things they do to show us they care. Does he put air in your tires and fill your gas tank before you leave to visit your sister who lives in another state? Does he call and check on you when you have to work late, or bring you your favorite coffee to help you get through a rough day? Does he fix the leg on the antique table your Grandmother gave you, or rub your back when you have a headache? It’s little things like this which prove his love for you. His actions are much more powerful than words. We can do the same with our own little ways to say, “I love you.”

Little Ways To Say I Love You

Keep this list handy for inspiration, and think of your own uniquely sweet ideas which symbolize something special about him, and your relationship.

  • Always kiss him hello
  • Leave little notes on his car windshield or bathroom mirror, or sneak them into his pocket
  • Cook his favorite meal, just for the two of you
  • Bake him cookies – just because
  • Bring him breakfast in bed after a romantic evening together
  • Take the time to get to know, and like, his friends
  • Take the time to bond with his family
  • Text or call him once during the day to let him know you are thinking of him
  • Hold hands whenever you can
  • Watch the Super Bowl with him, even if you hate football
  • Wear that red dress he loves so much
  • Make him a love song playlist, the modern equivalent of a mix tape
  • If you see something he would love, don’t be afraid to get him little surprise gifts to show he was on your mind, and how well you know him
  • Make him a handmade Valentine
  • Laugh at his corny jokes
  • Cut his hair or shave his beard – it’s actually surprisingly intimate!
  • Show appreciation when he does something nice for you
  • Give him the last french fry or bite of dessert
  • Show up with beer, pizza and his favorite movie if he’s had a rough day
  • Listen when he needs to vent
  • Ask him about his day, look him in the eyes, and give him your undivided attention
  • Cheer him on when he needs encouragement, and be supportive, not critical
  • Make a big deal of his accomplishments
  • Try your hand at golf if he loves to play, or a hobby he has a passion for. Who knows, you may develop a new interest!
  • Compliment him
  • Send him a letter if you are away and tell him you miss him
  • You chose him for a reason – don’t try to change him
  • Go with him to boring work functions
  • Ask his advice and respect his opinion
  • Help him with a difficult or tedious task
  • Back him up when someone puts him down
  • Three letters — PDA — because you are proud to be with him
  • Give him a foot massage when you are relaxing on the couch
  • Tell him when he does something you like in bed
  • Always kiss him goodnight

Eventually, if all goes well, one of you will finally say those three little words and mean it! But until that moment, treat him the way you like to be treated, and show him you care through your actions.

If you would like more suggestions on things you can do to strengthen your relationship, check out my book, Pennies in the Jar: How to Keep a Man for Life.

What is Love All About?

What is Love All About?

Happy New Year! It’s Kirbie today to share with you about a podcast I was listening to recently. It was on a topic many people misunderstand – love. In the coaching Gregg and I do, love is always a huge factor. We are all in one of these phases – I just lost someone I love, I have someone I love and I want to keep him, or I want to find someone to love. Most of our coaching deals with the first – I just lost someone I love. It was this, combined with the podcast, which inspired me to write to you today about this burning question – what is love all about?

You Choose to Love

Love isn’t going to land in your lap. As much as I would like it to happen, love isn’t going to just land in my life. When we meet a new man, something either clicks between you or it doesn’t, but this isn’t love. It’s excitement or infatuation, maybe lust. You can make a choice, though, to learn more about this person, and over time, you build intimacy together and begin showing one another your love.

We all know someone we would describe as being ‘incapable of loving’. A person who can be described in this way is someone who is choosing another emotion, like anger, instead of love. Your emotions are a choice you make, but many don’t realize this. We often coach women to begin listening to the voice in their heads – to hear the negative thoughts and insert positive replacements. This is the beginning of controlling your own emotions.

Think of it this way. You’re driving down the highway, minding your own business until someone cuts you off, causing you to slam on your breaks or swerve. What you do next is your choice. You can choose to be grateful you didn’t get into an accident or you can choose to rant and rave, flip them off, and generally have a hissy fit. Whether you realize it or not, you make a choice.

Your Actions Show Your Love

When you are in a committed relationship, love is something you do, something you show your partner. Love isn’t something you just feel. You choose to love someone by being there for him. If your spouse is up in the middle of the night ill, you choose to love him when you get up with him, to comfort him and meet any immediate needs he may have. This is an act of love. A choice you made to love him by caring for him.

By the same token, you can show someone you don’t love them by your inaction. I have a very close relative who has major medical issues which often land him in the emergency room. His (now ex) wife wouldn’t even lift a finger to help him. He either had to call a rescue squad or ask another family member to take him to the ER. His wife never missed a beat in her life. She showed him she didn’t love him by her lack of action.

When You Love, You make a Commitment

For those of you who are parents, you may understand this better than anyone. You love your children, and you, as a good parent, know that showing your love to your children means supporting them, disciplining them when necessary, encouraging them to learn and grow, and taking on their feeding and daily care. This isn’t something you do because you’re required to. I have seen the results of parents who don’t love their children. It does happen and with devastating results. You make a choice to love them, and with that choice, you make a commitment to their care and well-being.

The same goes for a relationship. When you choose to love someone, you make a commitment to them – to be supportive of their dreams, to care for them when they are ill or injured, to be honest and open with them.

Recognize Love

With all of that said, do you recognize love, or a lack of it, when it is in your life? Gregg spends a lot of time in his books explaining how men love, and much of this fits how men love. We both hear many women tell us “he doesn’t love me”, then they go on to explain how the man in question came over and fixed their car, garbage disposal, garage door or leaky toilet. Maybe he came and hung a shelf, dug a new garden, mowed your lawn or took out your trash.

His actions showed you his love. He chose to do those things instead of hanging with his buddies or watching sports. He made a commitment to you to help you.

On the other hand, does your man only provide lip service? Be careful of a man who only says he loves you without putting actions behind his words. Especially a man who is treating you poorly, hurting you more often than he helps you. He makes many promises, delivers on few, if any. He says he loves you, but he chooses to work 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, spending day 7 in front of the television or out playing golf. He says he loves you, but instead of spending time with you on your one night off, he chooses to go to the bar with the same buddies he was just with 2 nights prior.

So Then, What is Love?

Love is deliberate, not something that just happens. What we often call love is really emotions like euphoria, desire, excitement, happiness and maybe even lust. Those things come and go as quickly as the things which cause them. He says he loves you, you feel excited and happy. He chooses to date another woman, you feel devastation and heartbreak. Rather than listen to what he says, look at the choices he makes, the commitment he has to your relationship or his actions toward you.

The same goes for you. If he doesn’t feel loved, are you showing him you love him? Did you make a commitment to the relationship? Did your actions show him you love him? Did you choose him over an extra 3 hours of yoga class? Love goes both ways and requires a lot of effort.

For more ways to learn about strengthening your relationship through actions, commitment and choice, read Gregg’s latest book, for sale only on the Who Holds the Cards Website, Pennies in the Jar: How to Keep a Man for Life.

The Difference Between Sex and Intimacy

The Difference Between Sex and Intimacy

I was driving the other day, thinking about nothing in particular and somehow, this question came up. Why do people confuse sex and intimacy? I’m guessing something someone said on the radio prompted this thought, but I got so lost in it, I couldn’t tell you who or in what context. It’s Kirbie today with the difference between sex and intimacy.

The Difference Between Sex and Intimacy

We were intimate.” This phrase bugs me. You were not intimate, you had sex. Intimacy is built without sex. Many couples who choose not to have sex before marriage have built a tremendous amount of intimacy. By the same token, many couples who have a lot of sex together have no intimacy. Intimacy is the emotional connection between you – the energy and passion. If you come home at the end of a really bad day, someone with whom you share intimacy will be right there to provide you the emotional support you need. He will pull you close, put his arms around you and make you feel suddenly protected from all of the evil which lurks outside.

How do You Build Intimacy if Not in the Bedroom?

Building intimacy happens in those little moments which almost go unnoticed. The late-night stroll in the park, hand in hand, where maybe you hardly say anything to one another. The support you provided to him when his childhood dog died – you were there, with a hug, to hold him as he grieved the loss. Gregg calls this ‘pennies in the jar’ in some of his books. He talks about collecting great moments together to build up a defense against a break-up. Sitting up all night talking after an old boyfriend announces his engagement, or going out to choose a new puppy from the animal shelter are things which build intimacy. I remember when my ex-husband and I were in high school – we were both 16. His sister had cystic fibrosis, and at 19, she was a case study doctors wrote about. In 1979, people with CF didn’t live as long as she had. After a final battle with her lungs, she asked to go home – she asked to die. He came to my house that evening, in obvious and deep pain. Even though we were only 16, this was a very intimate experience for us. I held him in my arms while he cried and cried over his loss. I’ll never forget it. I think of him to this day. Intimacy also happens in those moments where you know your partner so well, it scares you – and vice versa. He brings you your favorite latte on a Saturday morning, along with your favorite cinnamon raisin bagel, toasted just how you like it. You recognize at lunchtime he’s having a really bad day, so you plan to take him out to dinner at his favorite place, or cook his favorite dinner at home. You go out of your way to play a fun evening for him and his friends when his team makes the playoffs – you get their favorite beer, order up some pizzas and head off with your girlfriends while they watch the game. Another way in which you can build intimacy is to express your love in front of others. If this makes him uncomfortable, this might not be a good idea, but if he’s into public displays of affection, this goes a long way.

How to Kill Intimacy

I’ve also been in relationships where I’ve watched intimacy dwindle away. One sure-fire way to begin killing intimacy is to stop spending time together. If you live together, this could mean sleeping in separate bedrooms – or sleeping at the same time. While having sex won’t necessarily build intimacy, avoiding sex with each other is a sure-fire way to kill it. Becoming a workaholic is another great way to kill intimacy. If all of your energy suddenly goes into your work, you will be too exhausted to devote any time or energy to your partner. You won’t be thinking about stopping on the way home to buy his favorite cut of steak or grabbing the Sunday Times because you know he likes to do the crossword. Allow your confidence to take a nose dive, or watch his confidence tank. This is another intimacy-killer. If your confidence starts to dwindle, maybe because of a setback at work or some other event in your life, it can begin to put a wall between you – especially if you are one who doesn’t share those things well – someone who internalizes everything.

Building a Lasting Relationship

Whether you’re married or dating, you should always be building those intimate moments. It’s not all on you to do it, but it’s something to always keep in mind. When you see your partner start slipping in some of these activities, it’s a signal to you. If he starts sleeping at different times or working a lot, something needs to be addressed. These ‘pennies in the jar’ keep your relationship solid. You can even think of them as one way to avoid the dreaded affair. Never stop accumulating them! You’ll be ‘rich’ beyond your wildest dreams – at least in terms of your relationship.
How Will I Know if He Really Loves Me?

How Will I Know if He Really Loves Me?

“How will I know if he really loves me…?” Tiffany here. Sorry if you now have that classic 1980’s Whitney Houston song stuck in your head. But really, is there any way to know for sure? It’s not like guys profess their love from the rooftops and gush all over when they see us. They’re not wired that way. And if by chance he does say those three magic words — I love you — well, what then? Words are just words. Does he mean them or is he just trying to appease you, or worse, is he just trying to get in your pants? Some guys are devious that way, and some women fall for it because they are blinded by their own feelings (feelings we proudly show every chance we get, because, face it, we ARE wired that way). Let’s go back to that song that’s stuck in your head.
How will I know (Don’t trust your feelings) How will I know How will I know (Love can be deceiving) How will I know How will I know if he really loves me I say a prayer with every heart beat I fall in love whenever we meet I’m asking you what you know about these things
When it comes to relationship advice for women, Gregg Michaelsen knows about these things! This Boston dating coach will be the first to tell you men love DIFFERENTLY than women. It’s pretty much the whole premise of To Date A Man, You Must Understand A Man, one of his best-selling dating advice books. According to Gregg, women ooze love unconditionally, but men don’t love like that.  They don’t generally spill their emotions, constantly confirming their love for us. But that doesn’t mean they don’t love us back. Even if it’s hard for them to TELL us how they feel, they SHOW us, in their own way, through their ACTIONS. We just need to know what to look for!

Solving Your Problems

Does he give you a massage when your back aches? Did he put air in your tires and check your oil before your trip to visit your parents? Does he mow the lawn when the grass gets too high? Did he bring you your favorite pumpkin spice cappuccino because he knew you had a big deadline at work last week? When guys do these “manly” things for us, they are showing us they care. Now that we know this to be true, we can use it to our advantage. Compliment him on how nice the lawn looks, and show appreciation when he makes sure you are safe. Do this, and he will be showing his love every chance he can!

Protecting You

Does he open the door for you? Does he give you his coat when you’re chilly? Does he walk you to your car and make sure you get home safely? Does he defend you at all costs? Chivalry is not dead! In fact, it’s a powerful way men show their true feelings. He’s not just being a gentleman, ladies. He cares about you! Don’t let his effort go unnoticed.

Socially Announcing You

If he loves you, he will want to introduce you to the important people in his life. He will want you to meet his friends, and he will want you to meet his family. He will share his hobbies with you and invite you to join in. He will update his relationship status on Facebook and post photos of you on his profile page. He will be proud to show you off, and he will be excited about including you in his life.


Not to go into too many graphic details, but is he a taker or a giver? If he wants to please you just as much as he wants to be pleased, he cares. Simple as that. Showing his love can rarely be faked. You just need to pay attention to the clues. Actions speak louder than words. So be confident in his feelings for you, even if he doesn’t say those three words right away, or as often as you’d like. You will know.

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