You see your girlfriend at least twice every week, usually more. You send each other emails and talk on the phone. You go places on the weekend. In fact, you feel that you are in a really satisfying relationship and you feel good about it. Then suddenly one night, your girlfriend seems sort of sad and maybe even starts crying. And when you ask her what’s wrong, she says you don’t give her enough attention. Almost every man has been through this, and knows how confusing this scenario is. Here you thought you were paying her all sorts of attention, and she she feels so neglected that she’s sad or even in tears. You feel bad, guilty, with no idea of what she wants.
And she must assume you know, because she isn’t telling you – just that she isn’t getting enough attention.
Here’s one thing to consider; if she is the one initiating your contact, she might feel that she is the one giving attention to you. If she makes the first phone calls, she sends the first emails, you might consider doing something to change that. Perhaps you can leave a message on her answering machine every now and then. Invite her somewhere or tell her you just wanted to say hi. Or send her an email without her sending you one first. If you can’t think of what to say, send her a joke or tell her you were just thinking of her and wanted to let her know that she was on your mind. When you watch t.v. or go to the movies together, put your arm around her or hold her hand.
And once in a while, for no reason at all, buy her a greeting card. You can hand-deliver it or mail it. Tell her anything you like, but let her know that you do think of her even if you don’t always know how to show it. Flowers are good, but they’ve become a sort of cliche, mostly for an apology. A greeting card that reflects your personality and message will feel more personal. Maybe in the middle of the week when you don’t usually see her, you can suddenly invite her to dinner or stop by and bring her her favorite dessert. Or show up when you know she’s not busy and take her for a walk. Do something spontaneous that makes it clear that YOU wanted to see HER, and not the other way around.
Intentions count to women – spending time with someone is more than being in the same room with them. Make it plain to her in words that you like being with her. If all else fails, why not ask her what would make her feel like she is getting enough attention. A lot of men would rather walk over hot coals than ask their wife or girlfriend this question, but she will appreciate that you cared enough to ask. Just make sure that you don’t sound angry but are sincere in wanting to know. And really listen – don’t pretend. This is something that matters to her, so focus on what she tells you. It can really pay off.
This may sound like a lot of trouble, but a person who is unhappy will focus on their unhappiness – a happy girlfriend is one who will want to spend her time and energy making you happy.
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