It has been said that personal experience is the best teacher. If that's the case, I'm waiting for someone to send me my PhD in "stupid relationship mistakes."
Frankly, my lack of "skills" in this area cost me more than a few relationships. It's like I tried out as a walk-on to play nose tackle for the Seahawks without a helmet, pads, or a clue. Let's just say I didn't make the team...
What I'm offering you, then, is not the same old "10 ways to show your sweetheart you appreciate her" spiel. Instead, here are 10 ways NOT to show her you appreciate her.
Learn from my mistakes, and do the polar opposite of all the things I've done ... or didn't do ... or didn't even think about doing.
1. More talking, less listening. That's the key!
The idea here is to avoid eye contact, look around and tap your foot until she's finished talking - just to make sure you get your point across. Don't be afraid to cut her off mid-sentence if needed. You should also entertain yourself by looking at Facebook on your smartphone. Heavens, what if someone posted a hilarious cat meme? You wouldn't want to miss that. Priorities, am I right?
2. Communication is a one-way street - it's safer that way
When your better half reaches out to let you know how much she cares, take your time responding. At all costs, never fall into the trap of sending a random text to let her know you're thinking about her - that could take upwards of 15 seconds! You don't have time for that! Apply this 15-second rule to direct conversations ... Less is more, I say. Be a man, and keep your thoughts and feelings to yourself - unless, of course, you'd like to bring up some problem or discuss past relationships.
3. Is she trying to tackle you for some one-on-one time? JUKE!
Whatever you do, avoid picnics, walks at sunset, intimate dinners, strolls in the park, or even making lunch together. Snuggling to your favorite movie should be carefully reconsidered. In general, just avoid anything where you might accidentally find yourself "getting to know her."
4. Feed her M&M's (and M's)
When in doubt, misquote, misinterpret, and misunderstand. Put words in her mouth. Take things she said out of context. Let her know you've been listening carefully ... just not to her. Master the art of "rewriting" past conversations (or, better yet, just forget them altogether).
5. Compliments are gross
Compliments are the glue of a relationship - and let's face it. Glue is messy and sticky and it smells funny, so real men don't bother with it. The worst times to compliment your sweetheart are when she gets her hair cut or colored, when she gets her nails done, when she buys a new outfit, and when she accomplishes a fitness goal.
6. Apologies are for weaklings
Everybody knows men don't make mistakes, so what reason is there to ever say you're sorry? Avoid needless apologies by pretending you didn't actually botch things up beyond recognition, but if you really want to kick things up a notch, try the more advanced technique of blaming your sweetheart instead of yourself. Taking accountability will put you on the upward path to personal growth - and that's just too much cardio!
7. Gratitude is a trap!
If your honey does something kind and you thank her for it, the next thing you know, she'll be expecting you to acknowledge her generosity all the time... Ew! Remember, being passive-aggressive is the key to irreparable relationship destruction, so bottle your gratitude up and keep it hidden, for goodness' sake!
8. Leave your messes around the house - like little keepsakes for her to remember you by
Treat her like your mom, or even better, your maid or poorly paid nanny! Do her a favor by leaving a trail of clothing, pizza boxes and soda cans for her to discover and dispose of. She'll never run out of things to do. It's like an Easter egg hunt that never ends!
9. Wait, what? She WORKS?!
As far as you're concerned, the work you do on the job or at home is the only work that counts! Try forming a mental image of her doing nothing all day while you toil for hours on end. Who cares if this has no relation to reality whatsoever? If it benefits you, go with it!
10. Most of all, never ever (EVER) say "I love you."
Not after six months. Not after six years. If you blurt out these three magic words, the next thing you know, she'll want to have you (gasp) meet her family, or (ugh) make a real commitment to her. It's unthinkable, really.
Well, there you have it. Men, believe me when I tell you I have made these very mistakes at one time or another - to various degrees. Sadly, so have most of us. But you can still save your own relationship before it's too late. It's really just a matter of letting your sweetheart know you're there for her. Make her feel appreciated, and see what happens ... She's worth every effort.