DEAR HARRIETTE: I’ve been dating a man who is the quintessential nice guy. He calls me a lot. He asks me out on dates every weekend. He has great manners.
On paper, he is everything a girl could want. The problem is, I am bored out of my mind. He is so predictable. I understand this should be great, but I want to have my guy make things exciting, at least a little.
I tried to light the spark by suggesting different kinds of dates, but he is clear about what he wants to do, when the date begins and when it ends. I am spontaneous, at least a bit, and he doesn’t seem to have room for that.
I know we aren’t a perfectly matched couple, but I do like him. How can I get him to think more collaboratively? It is nice to have company, so I don’t want to push him away. -- Rev Him Up, White Plains, New York
DEAR REV HIM UP: Ask yourself if nice is enough. It doesn’t sound like it to me. If you want more, be willing to ask for more. Be honest. Tell him you want to mix things up a bit. Ask him to consider being more collaborative. Think about trying to get closer to him rather than pushing him away. Say as much to him.
Now is the time to get to know him better. He may be cautious about what you do on dates because he is watching his budget. Suggest free or affordable activities that are fun, like apple picking or hiking around a lake and bringing a bag lunch.
If he doesn’t budge for any new idea, rethink whether he’s your guy. You deserve a date who is willing to consider your ideas too.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I feel like the luckiest man in the world when I look back and I see how good my wife has been to me. When I was younger, I played the field, and she never left me. We got married young, and I sowed my oats even after we got married.
I’m not proud of my indiscretions, but I do want to do something for my wife to celebrate her and our marriage. I had surgery recently, and she has been way better than a nurse to me. How can I show her my appreciation now? -- Filled With Gratitude, Los Angeles
DEAR FILLED WITH GRATITUDE: Start by telling your wife on a regular basis how much you love and appreciate her. Notice the little things she does and comment on them. Think about what she loves to do, and plan a special occasion to give that to her. It could be taking a trip or going to the museum or a play. It could be watching a chick flick or taking a walk. Tap into what makes your wife smile, and offer that to her every day. Paying attention to her needs and desires will show her your appreciation.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to email@example.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)