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How to Feel Loved, Cherished and Adored on Valentine’s Day by Michael Friedlander

Was your last anniversary or Valentine’s Day overflowing with fun, love and romance or were you left wanting at evening’s end? If your recollection tends towards the latter, and you’d like a more satisfying experience in the future, consider these tips.

1. Get what you need

A sumptuous, candlelit dinner accompanied by romantic music can be less than appetizing if you didn’t hear “Wow, you look fabulous” at the beginning of the evening. Perhaps you could fully appreciate the beautiful, new bracelet that adorns your wrist, if only a handwritten card had been taped to the box.

When you go without what you need, you can feel upset, unwell or offbalance. Women often put the needs of others before their own, and then lose sight of what’s really important to their emotional and physical wellbeing. Is there something you crave, but rarely receive, in your relationship? Are you hungry for affection, words of appreciation, quality time together, a gentle touch or some other way of feeling love and adoration? Identifying what you need and getting it will open the space to receive and appreciate everything that follows.

2. Know what makes you happy

What thoughts have you glowing inside? What brings the biggest smile to your face? You might be happy with the traditional candy, flowers and dinner out, but then again, does that really light you up?

You must determine what will make you happy and then go for it. More than anything, men want the women they love to be happy, and they’ll do almost anything to make it happen. Your part is being specific about what it is.

3. Provide quality information

Prior to celebrating our first Valentine’s Day, Bette told me exactly what would make her happy. “Here’s the address of my favorite chocolate shop,” Bette advised. “Milk chocolate almond bark is my favorite.” Knowing how to make Bette happy afforded me the confidence to explore additional ways to delight her. One reason why being married to Bette is so fun and easy is because she never makes me guess what will make her happy.

Women sometimes feel “If I have to come right out and tell him, then why bother? I can do it or buy it for myself.” Telling a man “Oh, I’ll be happy with anything, just surprise me” and then expecting him to decrypt your clues is a recipe for disappointment. If you want to be surprised, be kind and generous by offering him several options from which he can choose.

Write down everything you need, plus what would make you happy. After making sure he’s not in the middle of something else (watching TV, reading, driving, etc.), directly ask “Honey, would now be a good time to tell you what would make me really happy?” That’s definitely going to get his attention.

Once you have his full attention, tell him what your needs would look like when they’re fulfilled. “I need you to make dinner reservations where there’s music for dancing. It’ll take me at least an hour to get ready after work, so please leave enough time. And when you pick me up, I want to feel like the most beautiful woman you’ve ever seen.”

4. Create partnership

After you’ve offered your suggestions for making you happy, with options for surprise, ask the partnership question: “Is there anything you need from me to give me what I’m asking?” which makes your list a request rather than a demand. Listen for the response; it may surprise you, but in a good way. He just might ask for a copy of your list.

Bette and Michael Friedlander celebrate their fourteenth wedding anniversary this Valentine’s Day. They believe that peace on earth begins at home, and lead the Blissfully Married workshop series for couples who want to bring more love, respect and appreciation to their relationships. For more information or to attend a free, three-hour workshop call 347-850-7750.

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