In an effort to find out what really makes women feel appreciated, wanted, and loved, authors Lucy Sanna and Kathy Miller surveyed women from ages 20 to 70, using over 100 questions. The responses they received were not generally surprising, but they can serve as reminders to us husbands and fathers.
When asked, “What is romance?” the women’s responses included:
- “He treats me as the most special person in his life.”
- “He is available when I need help.”
- “He touches me with tenderness.”
- “He shares his thoughts and dreams with me.”
- “He listens to me intently.”
- “He keeps in touch when we are apart.”
- “He knows what makes me happy.”
- “He surprises me with small tokens of love.”
- “He tells me he loves me.”
So often, it’s the everyday actions and thoughtful gestures that are demonstrations of how we feel.
For some dads, the planning and gift-buying leading up to Valentine’s Day, a birthday or Christmas is a joy. For single dads or others who don’t have a “valentine,” this time of year can be tough to get through. For others, the “romance thing” doesn’t come naturally, and they miss out on the opportunity to build a stronger relationship.
To try to help, here are 14 ideas for cheap dates. (You’re free to spend more, if you want.) If you’re a single dad, some of these ideas can be adapted into fun or special times with your children.
- Exercise together at a local park course, but make sure you don’t try to prove how strong you are. Instead, stay with her. Or just go to the park to play.
- Take her to a free concert in your area.
- Go shopping (and don’t complain).
- Watch a movie that she likes.
- Work puzzles together.
- Take a walk through a zoo or a beautiful area.
- Visit old friends—especially old friends she likes.
- Go bicycle riding, rollerblading, or ice skating together.
- Take her to a festival in a small town.
- Pack the kids off to someone’s house and make a simple dinner for her that you eat by candlelight.
- Visit an art museum or attend an interesting lecture at a local college.
- Go to an expensive restaurant just for dessert.
- Visit the best fountains in your city.
- Go to garage sales and see how many quality items you can get with $10.
- Identify some ways you can relieve some of the pressure your children’s mom feels as a mother.
- Be sure to honor your wife in your children’s presence. Compliment her often and make sure your children show her respect.
- Make plans now for your next date night. Start thinking about gifts, dinner reservations, a sitter for the kids, etc.
- Talk to your children about qualities they might look for in a husband or wife, as well as the qualities they have that will make them a good husband or wife.