Step Up Before She Steps Back

Whether it's your first date or you've been together a few years, don't take the path of least resistance. If you're always expecting her to make the plans, pick the restaurant and movie, or cook the meal for an evening in, no wonder she's cranky and tired when it's time to snuggle. If you want a more positive response, take some initiative and show her you care.

Do... hold the door for her. Even independent women like to see that you respect them and value their company. You don't have to make a big deal of it, but hang back and get the door for her. It makes her feel special.

Don't... tell her what to wear. She welcomes your opinion about what looks good on her, but don't forbid her from wearing that revealing top or body hugging dress. That's controlling, not caring.

Do... pay the first time or two you go out. If she's got manners, she'll offer to pay. But don't take her up on it. She wants to know that you think she's worth a bit of extra effort.

Don't... ask her if you can split the check every time you date. She wants a guy with manners, not a cheapskate. Instead, delicately negotiate some financial back and forth on your outings. Let her pay for some things, and you pay for some.

Do... surprise her once in a while. She appreciates flowers - but they don't have to be a dozen long-stemmed roses from a florist. Find little ways to show her you're thinking about her - bring the dessert she loves when you come for dinner or stock her favorite bagels at your place.

Don't.... become lazy. She wants you to come up with date ideas and pick a movie you'll both like. Find a sporting event to attend together. Suggest a walk in the park with the dog. She won't feel appreciated if weekends mean her cooking, you sitting on the sofa watching sports, and a quickie before snoring off into dreamland.

Make an effort to impress her. Don't take her for granted and she won't take you for a boring, thoughtless waste of time. And if you just can't help indulging your selfish side, remember that those little thoughtful gestures can pay off big. When the lights go out, you might find she's in a wicked-good mood and ready to take some bedroom initiative of her own!

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