You’ve heard there is nothing sexier than a man with soap suds up to his elbows at the kitchen sink. The suds aren’t sexy. It’s the random act of kindness. I remember early in our marriage when I came to understand this: it turned me on when DH did nice things that I didn’t expect.

DH still does thoughtful things that I value, and I do the same for him. It’s our emotional bank account that we both make consistent “deposits” to. Those random acts of kindness on his part make me feel good and warm about our relationship. And you know what that can lead to… oo la la.

I’m not saying that if he washes my car or asks about my day, I am going to instantly jump into bed with him NOW. (Well, maybe, but I don’t think our bodies work that fast anymore!) Caring, and lust, builds up over time. 

So I started thinking about the kind things that DH has done for me that make me love him even more. 

Tell me I’m beautiful.

DH often tells me I’m beautiful out of the blue. I may not be feeling beautiful at the moment, but I know he is saying that I’m beautiful inside and out. I love that.

Buy me something little that shows you know me. 

DH has been the grocery guy lately, since I work full-time at home and walk the dogs. I am in constant need of red wine (that’s a given), and I’m fine with simple box wine. Once in a while, he brings me one of my favorite bottles. He’ll say, I got you Seven Deadly Zins wine because I know you like it. I could just hug that man when he gets me my fave. It just delights me–first, that he knows my favorite wine and second, that he was trying to please me. 

Respond to me. 

It’s no secret: I know DH is only half listening to me at times. But I still appreciate the fact that he responds to what I say. I know that he doesn’t always “appreciate” my chatter. One example is when he is watching TV alone and he will pause what he’s watching to hear my thought or question. He acknowledges me and interrupts what he likes just to listen to me. That makes me happy. In turn, I try really hard to not talk his ear off.

Do a small thing that’s important to me.  

We had a mouse issue, like the rodent kind. This vermin was running rampant in the kitchen and mudroom, high on dog kibble. DH did the deed with some poison, and after two weeks of finding the morning mouse poo, the nightly mouse forays seemed to have stopped. Within a week, we had a powerful smell from the back closet. DH said he would remove the dead mouse from the closet tomorrow, but in fact, he did it that night. Which I was grateful for. 

Help me with my DIY project…

I was spray painting tree branches. Yes, stuff I found in the yard. I wanted to put them in a vase but first spray paint them white. Spray painting is tedious since you have to do many thin coats and branches have a lot of angles and surfaces. Plus, you have to do it outside. One night I left the sticks outside on the cardboard, and DH brought everything in for me. It gets dewy and rainy in Virginia, so I was glad to see he had done what I had forgotten.

…or contribute to my decorating project.

My friend had this long, skinny wooden box with no top. It was just for putting decorative stuff in. Of course, I wanted a box like that, too. I told DH about the box with no top and although he didn’t quite understand it, he said he’d make me one. He spent a few hours getting it straight and square, and filling the nail holes, then sanding it. He was quite proud of it. I thought it was perfect! I fill it with moss and seasonal decorations, which is creative and fun for me. I don’t know if he understands now why I wanted a box with no top but he knows it made me happy. 

Listen to my music with me.

I know that DH doesn’t like my music. He knows why I like my music, but he doesn’t like it. Still, he tells me to put on my music while I’m making dinner or when we are in the car, and he listens to it with me. I appreciate that. 

Get excited about what I’m cooking for dinner.

Odds are, I’m not excited about making dinner, unless it’s Saturday night and it’s a huge production and a new recipe. So when DH says, what are you making? I tell him, and he responds positively with, “That sounds good!” Suddenly, my attitude about cooking improves!

Buy me flowers.

I love getting flowers–from our yard, the florist or grocery store. I don’t need a dozen red roses. I don’t even care how little planning went into buying them, because I am still delighted to get them.

 

And that, my friends, is how to sex me up…with acts of kindness.

Your partner may or may not respond to what I respond to. However, if you feel like you are the partner that is giving all the time and not receiving the same, it can be tiring, frustrating and even angering. Relationships are a big experiment, even long-term ones.

Let me know what works in your partnership and what heats up that emotional intimacy factor!