Avoid criticizing him for what he’s not doing, and use positive reinforcement to express how much you love it when he cooks for you, rubs your feet, cuddles up while watching a movie or whatever he does that qualifies as romantic to you.
Remember to keep the scales balanced in your relationship. Your significant other will be much more willing to do for you on a regular basis when he feels reciprocity. As much as you like random gifts, so does he.
You described your man as “great,” so you should have no problem spoiling him. One of the best things about men is that most of them honestly can be as easy to please as they often claim to be. Cop a pair of tickets so he can watch his favorite team live, pick up something that goes vroom! from the nearest hardware store or just cook his favorite meal and have his favorite drink waiting for him by his plate. Attention to details will take you a long way in a relationship.
Also, pay attention to the ways that your partner may be showing his romantic side in his own ways. The male idea of expressing love (or, at the very least, affection) isn’t always roses, candles and flowers. It’s the things that most women take for granted. Men are showing love and affection every time they take out the trash, shovel snow, change a lightbulb, help you move, or plunk down cash or a credit card to pick up the tab for what you need or just what makes you happy.
So we’re very clear: It’s all a sacrifice. No one actually likes doing any of these things, but it becomes worthwhile because it makes a partner’s life easier and makes her smile. That’s love.
Most men who commit to a relationship genuinely care about their partner and place a high premium on keeping that person happy and maintaining the relationship. Folks get lax over time, of course, and both parties begin to take each other for granted. But know that your partner is most likely to go the extra mile when your appreciation is explicitly expressed. Never underestimate the power of acknowledging your mate’s efforts and explicitly saying, “Thank you!”
Demetria L. Lucas is a contributing editor to The Root and the author of A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life. She answers your dating and relationship questions on The Root each week. Feel free to ask anything at firstname.lastname@example.org.