- Gender and Relationships
Maintain Your Mystery - Keep Him Guessing... and Interested
When You First Met
When you first began dating him, you were new. You had mystery. He didn't know where you were going Saturday night. He had to ask you if he wanted to see you. He didn't know all your friends, he didn't know every detail of your life.
You had him guessing. You had his attention. He would email or text to see what you were up to. It seemed he was enchanted by you. Remember?
Think about the things your man likes - a good chase scene in a movie? How about Nascar, or Motorcross? Or any sports - football, basketball, baseball, hockey. The Olympics. Golf. Tennis. What about computer games? World of Warcraft? Xbox? PS2? Game apps on the Blackberry? Hanging out in the bar does he shoot pool or darts? Play some Blackjack in Atlantic City on vacation? Can you imagine him enjoying shooting craps in Vegas?
Most men like a little game, a little chase. They enjoy the thrill of not being exactly sure of how something will end. They like to be surprised, they like to be a little competitive. They enjoy a little thrill and a little mystery. They seek it out in their lives. Why would his relationship with you be any different?
Thinking Like He Does
Women tend to be a little more turned on by comfort than mystery. A lady often doesn't play games, and enjoy chase scenes. She's more likely to enjoy chick flicks or comedies, a day of shopping, reading a blog online instead of gaming, watching Sex and the City or Clean House instead of sports.
Personally I'm a huge hockey fan, and my husband hates all computer/xbox kinds of games. Obviously I know there are exceptions, and that this doesn't dictate to all people in all ways. But in general, men enjoy a little chase, a little mystery, and a little gaming, more than the average woman.
The feeling he has during a chase scene in a movie, or during a game, is similar to the feeling he had in the beginning of your relationship. It was anticipatory. It was exciting. It was fun. It was a little unpredictable, and a little inviting.
It was not a feeling of distrust, fear, anxiety or frustration.
There is a healthy way you can maintain your mystery, and keep or recapture that excitement of the beginning, without making him feel like he can't trust you or making him question your motives.
Imagine a striptease. Imagine how she smiles, and dances, looking at no one but you. It's a fun, inviting, captivating and enchanting little dance. You don't know the next move, you don't know the next step. Basically you know the general way this is going to end, but you don't know exactly how, or when.
Maintaining your mystery is much like a good striptease. You aren't supposed to be scaring him, lying, or making him think you're cheating. You don't have to be "not you."
In All Fairness
One of the big reasons the male likes games is that their brains are wired for a certain amount of stimulation. They are hardwired against being in a rut. That's why your classic cheaters will say something lame like that they just wanted someone new.
But a man doesn't have to cheat to have something new over and over. If he's a Yankees fan, he doesn't have to sneak off and cheer for the Angels just for something new, because each and every Yankee game IS new. Each one is unpredictable, and exciting.
You can be new, all the time.
The thing is, when you two came together into a relationship, he made a lot of adjustments to accommodate what you wanted. They may not have been discussed, they may not have been visible. But if you think about it, he changed some of his old habits or ways so that you would feel comfortable (or so that he wouldn't get in trouble.) In much the same way, you should want to do little things for him. Unlike you, he probably can't articulate what it is that he wants. And it's really hard to tell someone to be more mysterious.
To recapture that feeling of newness, all you have to do is be new again. Sounds hard? It's not.
#1 - Get rid of the "arsenal of underwear." Movies make fun of this because men everywhere can relate. Such a simple thing, but so many women neglect to do this. Holy underwear, worn-out bras, stuff he's seen a million times. Do you have your comfortable cottons that you wear all day? Fine. But there's no reason you can't come home and slip into some sexy lace and satin or whatever it is he likes at the end of the day, and surprise him.
Let him see the empty Victoria's Secret bag laying out on the bed or the couch. Let him ask what you got. Smile and wink. "You'll see."
#2 - New recipes. They say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach for a reason. It's because it's true. There is a whole psychology you can attach to his desire to "come home and eat." It should kick in for him in late afternoon, wondering what you have for dinner. Obviously this tip isn't for everyone, as not all women cook for their men every night. But you can adapt this to a little dessert, a very cool breakfast, or a lunch that you pack for a picnic, or a surprise for him at work.
No time to cook? Fine. You know he likes carmel, you can swing by a candy shop or bakery, especially one he doesn't know about, and pick him up a treat. Or stop at a bar and get some crazy Buffalo Wings to go. Maybe you've just got a cuddle-on-the-couch and rent-a-movie date. Something as simple and fun as stopping at a really good Mexican restaurant and picking up an order of Tortilla Chips, Salsa, and Guacamole will surprise him in exactly that special way.
And don't become predictable. Next movie night, make a chocolate fondue. Next, try a peanut platter, or a little sushi sampler, or some fancy cheese and crackers. Or something else different. Maybe even if you don't cook, you could pick one night a week and say you'll handle dinner. Stop at a different restaurant and get something to go, something he'll really like.
#3 - Go out. Do stuff. Take a Yoga or Tae Kwon Do class. Start a cooking club - invite your girlfriends to get together once a week or once a month, where you can take turns being the person to bring the appetizer, and share the recipe. When I lived in Jersey I was in a cocktail club like that, and more recently I was in a "Gray's Group" where we got together under the guise of watching Grey's Anatomy so we could drink wine and chat.
Whether you and your sister are going to a poetry reading in a book store, or you and your officemates are going to happy hour, or you and your friends are just going shopping at Macys, there's a certain mystery to the idea that you have your own life.
To sum it up, get a life.
In general, guys don't like clingy. They don't like being responsible for your every minute. You can do anything - volunteer at the Humane Society to walk a dog once a week. Go to a gym, even if it's Curves, even if it's just once a week. Sounds simple and silly, but it works. You have something new to talk about, you have your own stuff going on. He'll ask. He'll listen.
This is in no way supposed to make him jealous. The advice I'm giving is about adding mystery and newness to yourself. It's not about taking comfort and trust from him.
#4 - Stop being predictable. Just think about it, and throw a curve ball at him when you can.
Tell him - Date night, Friday night. Tell him - I'm taking YOU out. You're gonna love this.
Then surprise him with a trip to the track, or concert tickets, or let him arrive home to find candlelight and you in a negligee.
A very happy guy wrote to me about a year ago to ask some advice on popping the question. When he was telling me about how awesome his lady is, one of the things he told me really stood out. He said, every Sunday after dinner, they would go shopping. Sometimes Shoprite, sometimes Sam's Club, sometimes Walmart. They both had hectic schedules, they were on a budget, and this is something they did together to get whatever was needed for the apartment. One week after he pulled 4 double shifts, he was just freaking exhausted. But he knew Sunday after dinner is shopping. He said he went into the bathroom to splash water on his face and get ready to go. When he came out... Surprise! She set up the couch with his bed pillow, a bag of Dorritos, a bucket filled with ice and a 6 pack of his beer, and the remote. She told him she already called her mother who was going to go shopping with her instead. She said, "Surprise! You deserve a night off!" and left him for a few hours while she and her mom shopped for dog food, and stopped for a cappuccino.
This could fall under the heading of - just doing nice things for each other. But the thing that really stood out for me was how many times he used the word "surprise." He said, Sunday night is shopping night. He said, and I quote: "She's always surprising me. I can't wait to see what's coming next."
Smart girl, that one.
It's great to have a schedule, and dependable time to spend together. But it's also really good to throw a curve ball at him once in a while. If you aren't predictable, you regain a little bit of your mystery. And that's a good thing.
A surprise doesn't have to be expensive. A little mystery can be as much as a wink and a "you'll see." Avoiding the rut is easy if you just give it a thought and a little effort. He'll love it.