There used to be a Paid Service Announcement about parents spending time with their children. According to the ad, children wanted your time not gadgets. How does attention apply to dating and relationships?
We all want attention, even those who say they don’t. If you’re married or in a relationship and your companion ignores you, what do you have? Not much - you probably have a better relationship with your pet. Attention shows the other person that you care. I recently had a spa service where the technician told me about her upcoming divorce in detail. The crux of the matter was the man, her soon to be ex, paid no attention to her. He came home from work and watched movies on his computer. The two of them weren’t even sitting together and watching television.
Women value attention. It’s simply another way of saying, “I love you.” Before you start grumbling about women being attention whores, don’t underestimate men’s need for recognition. Men adore women who listen.
European and Latin-American men have it all over Americans because they focus more on who they are with. This makes them more desirable in the dating game. Why not even the playing field?
1. Unplug - When you’re out on a date with someone new or not new, don’t read texts or answer the phone. (Most items really can wait.)
2. Eating in a restaurant - Don’t face the television or crane your head to watch television. Only in America do we have a television in almost every restaurant and bar. In other countries, people actually talk while dining.
3. Call your date, don’t text - Texting is to convey simple messages such as running late. Hearing your voice deepens affection. If someone doesn’t want to hear your voice, then it’s a non-relationship.
4. Turn down or off the television when your significant other or date is talking to you - This shows the other person that he or she is important.
5. Do things without electronic media - Physical activities such as walking, biking, hiking, or canoeing allow you to talk, share, and focus on one another.
6. Listen – Wait for a conversational lull to insert your answer, similar story, or platitude.
7. Ask questions - This not only helps you learn more, but also shows you’re paying attention. The questions have to be relevant. If your date is talking about how she rescued baby ducks stranded in the road, an inquiry about any desire to travel to the moon won’t work.
8. Eye Contact - If a person isn’t looking at you when you’re speaking, it is hard to know if he or she is paying attention. Eye contact is the non-verbal way of saying “you matter.”
9. Non-verbal cues - This can be anything from a smile to a nod that signals your attention. Often when a man is interested in a woman he uses his body to block her from other men’s view. He’s saying this one is mine.
10. Remember - It isn’t enough to hear what someone is saying, it’s also important to remember. A person scores major points if he or she remembers favorite foods, flowers, movie quotes, etc. This is another way of telling your date that he or she is important. This information can be used to plan future meetings or gifts too.
11. Handwritten Notes - These are becoming so rare that they are almost like gold. The notes don’t have to be elaborate or even overly sentimental. It is a quick and unexpected reminder of your affection. (A text is nice, but it isn’t as tangible as a physical token.)
12. Proximity - This can be tricky depending on where you are in the dating relationship. Plenty of couples at restaurants sit so far apart, that it looks like they’re not speaking. Scooting your chair closer, or leaning in your date’s direction shows interest. If your date steps away or begins leaning back, then you’re too close.
These are a few ways to show that special person that he or she matters. I’ve talked to dozens of people about first dates. One of the central themes for the lack of a second date was the belief that the date wasn’t interested. This could be true, but more likely the date didn’t convey interest appropriately. Both parties walked away thinking the other wasn’t interested. Something to consider.
Here's a video about a man who decided to give his girlfriend the time she needed.