Let’s hear it for the boy! This week has been busy with stories of guys being big sweethearts.  With all the damage a few playboys can do to a girl’s self-esteem, it’s important to recognize the genuinely great guys out there and what they do to prove themselves.  These are true examples, so if any guy tries to reason that men don’t think that way or shouldn’t have to do these things, you can know better.  Emotionally adept men exist, and they’re not quite as rare as society would lead us to believe.

For as complicated as men think women are, it’s surprisingly simple to keep the girls happy.  Let them know you care and SHOW it.  Below are some relatively easy habits a guy can adopt that raises his status from replaceable to inescapable.

1. Thoughtful gifts-

  • True story: One of my soccer playing friends is in the beginnings of a relationship with a guy who lives far away.  Out of the blue one day he told her he got her a new World Cup replica soccer ball so that they could play together when they see each other.
  • Why we love it: It shows he’s excited to see her, thinking about her while they’re not together, and he considered her unique likes and personality in choosing the memento.

2. Reminder notes-

  • True story: One of my friend’s husbands was leaving for a while, and he left her a note on the kitchen table.  “Don’t worry about cleaning up or running errands.  Take some time for yourself. Maybe a pedicure? Love you!”
  • Why we love it: He’d noticed she’d been stressed out, knew her well enough to know what she might stress herself over, and took a proactive approach to preventing it.  He showed his genuine concern for her and even though he had his own stuff going on, she was the last thing he thought about before he stepped out the door.

3. Just checking in-

  • True story: My mom came out to visit me earlier this year, and amidst our whirlwind weekend together she and my dad would call to check in with one another. Every now and then she’d get a text from him just to see how it was going or make a funny comment about what we were up to and she’d be beaming by the time she scrolled to the end.
  • Why we love it: He showed he missed being on the trip with her, that he cared what she was up to and how she was doing, and that he wanted to be a part of what was going on. They’ve been together over 30 years, and he still is interested in what she is doing and what she has to say on a daily basis.
4. Getting fired up-
  • True story: My sister worked and lived in a dog-eat-dog environment when she lived in NYC, and she’d encounter numerous situations where people would try to take advantage of her or wrong her in some way. Many times when I’d talk to her she’d be pretty forgiving of the person, but her then-fiance, now-husband took it personally. He’d get really upset and at times angry for her.  He’s one of the most accepting men I know, but if someone crosses my sister, he doesn’t forgive.
  • Why we love it:  He shows his loyalty to my sister purely by his emotions.  His personal emotional involvement exhibits how much he cares about her and his desire to protect her from the pain those people or situations may cause her.

5. Inside story romance-

  • True story:  One of my friend’s husbands always takes her to the highest point in whatever place they visit. It could be a building, mountain, volcano, whatever.  They also have a tradition of eating pizza in every city they travel to together.
  • Why we love it:  The tradition he created is one that only the two of them share together. Whenever he takes her for pizza or to the top of the mountain, she knows that it means more to the two of them together than it would for either of them apart.   By making a point to do these things wherever they go, he shows the importance he places on their relationship.

6. Out-of-the-way surprises- 

  • True story: My friend was visiting me in LA from out-of-town during her spring break, and her long distance boyfriend secretly contacted me, planned a night out at a concert in the city for us, and stepped out of the limelight. He didn’t have my contact information and had to dig a bit to get in touch.  Then he explained how he knew how stressed she had been and how he really wanted her to be able to let loose on her trip. He said he hoped he wasn’t overstepping his bounds, but offered the concert suggestion and an alternative activity he would fund if the other one didn’t work out for our plans.  She was so happy to go to the concert, especially knowing it was from him.  The more I told her about what he’d done, and the more she looked back to realize the lengths he’d gone too, the more it meant to her.
  • Why we love it: He was really concerned about her having a good time, and he took action to make sure it happened.  He found an artist he knew she liked, researched the venue, and executed his plan flawlessly.

7. Little meaningful gestures- 

  • True story: Walking out of the grocery store I watched a little old couple (had to be at least 85) walk to their car.  The man went to the passenger side first, opened the door, waited for the woman to get in, and the shut the door behind her. Then he walked around the car to get in on the driver’s side.
  • Why we love it:  Little gestures like this show that he is thinking of her.  Yes, she can open the door just fine on her own, but he feels it’s important to do this for her.  A Guy giving a girl his jacket, walking to her door to pick her up, and pulling out her chair for her at dinner have the same effect.  They are a steady stream of reminders that he cares.

8. Going against the grain-

  • True story: A friend of mine was getting ready to go out and her boyfriend commented about how silly it was for her to wear makeup or to get so dressed up.  “What makes you attractive is that you’re naturally beautiful. And you’re intelligent, funny, and you add to conversations.”  He wasn’t saying it as a compliment so much as a fact.  Later she told the story with a sort of smile and sense of confidence that just innately came with the story.
  • Why we love it: Most guys love it when their girls get dressed up and look “hot.” Women stress over their looks a lot.  However, this guy doesn’t subscribe to all that and takes that pressure off of her.  He genuinely finds all of her beautiful and lets her know it indirectly in conversation.

9.Letting Everyone Know

  • True story: My cousin was racing dirt bikes, and her husband drove me around the course to cheer her on at various points. Midway through the race he said to me as he watched her leading her division around a curve, “She’s doing so good.  I’m really proud of her.” After the race she was exhausted, pissed off, and venting about a cheating opponent when I said she looked awesome on the course and what her husband had told me about her performance.  Just like that her mood changed. She had a big smile on her face and said, “He said that?” I nodded and she smiled some more.
  • Why we love it:  There are a number of reasons, but most obviously, he announced his admiration for her without any intention of getting payback for it.  He was proud of her and obviously loved her very much to be such an active supporter during the race (thoughtfully driving around to points he thought she would appreciate cheering or places he knew would be difficult). When he thought she was doing great, he wanted others to know how great she was.  Real men show their feelings.