The word “acknowledgement” is one your significant other probably uses a lot, and it’s a word in which the relationship’s actual context is never clear. She says she needs more “acknowledgement” from you; you feel confused because you see her all the time, therefore you acknowledge her. Right?
Wrong. What she means by acknowledgement is that she wants to know that you see all the little things she does. From picking up after you, to cooking you (all of your) meals, she wants to feel like her efforts have been noted. Liken this to when you want acknowledgment after completing a big project at work. (C’mon, you know you do.) The point? Short of uttering Thank you, babe after each and every nice thing she does, show her you recognize her efforts by making some of your own.
Buy Her Flowers
You’ve been there before, and you’ll be there again: More often than not, flowers are synonymous with screwing up. When men do something wrong in a movie, cut to the bouquet-on-doorstep shot, avec apology, every time. (Usually followed by: minimum first base, probably second, more-often-than-not home run.) Here’s a radical idea: Instead of getting her flowers as an apology, bring her a bouquet as a surprise treat — and be classy about it. Almost all women love getting flowers; it’s clichéd but romantic. It’s a caveman-simple gesture that nonetheless connotes not just romance, but also the (possibly inaccurate) feeling that you want to spoil her for no reason other than ‘just because.’ By doing little things for her, like getting her something she wouldn’t stop to get herself, you are reminding her that she’s on your mind, and that you want her to feel, yes, acknowledged. Well done, son!
Pay It Forward
If there is a certain thing she always does for you, do it for her in return without her requesting it. For example: if she always gives you rides to work and meetings, offer to give her a ride — no, this is not a euphemism; grow up — to save her the frustration that is big-city driving and parking. By essentially shadowing her, you are proving that you are willing to give back, even when it’s not asked. This confirms that you notice the time and effort she puts in to help you, and that you’re happy to do the same for her.
Plan a Date
You’re both so go, go, go that, come end of day, you’ve grown to look forward to (and expect) some of the things she does to make your life easier. And though she wouldn’t do things for you that she didn’t want to, it can still be a bit exhausting for her. Give her a day off by first offering, and then insisting, on taking the two of you out for dinner. The change of scenery, as well as the feeling that you want to give her a night out, shows her that you get that it’s not always about you.
At the end of the day, many of us in mature relationships have learned that to give is to get. Those of us who pamper our man do so because we genuinely want to. We only feel, and display, resentment when we don’t feel recognized. These little tidbits might come naturally for some of you but for the rest, it’s a reminder of the importance of balance. Acknowledgement, boys, means making her feel appreciated in return.
Image courtesy of jamelah.