Hold on to that Lovin’ Feeling — Savvy Tips for a Strong Relationship

strong relationship

Men, let’s be honest. We’ve gotten kind of lazy in the love department. We’re all romance and chivalry until we land a partner, and then… well, not so much. We can love better than this, guys. Don’t forget… our ancestors wrote the Kama Sutra. We’ve got a reputation to uphold, and quite frankly, we’re falling flat on our faces here.

One of my good buddies came to me recently to tell me how he planned to propose to his girlfriend of three years. His idea was elaborate, expensive, adventurous, and he was completely stoked about it. I just asked one little question: “Does she like that kind of thing?” And he said, “Well, no, but–” And that, right there, is about 90% of the problem I’ve noticed among Desi men in general. We tend to be partially blind when it comes to the little flashes of forethought and insight that make that special girl or guy feel completely adored.

The good news is that it’s not that hard to learn. One of my favorite lines from any movie ever is from Finding Forrester: “The key to a woman’s heart is an unexpected gift at an unexpected time.” I sort of adopted that as my motto, and my wife and I are here to tell you it works. Yes, you can spring for the usual flowers and jewelry on Valentine’s Day and her birthday, but what really shows her you care is the Tuesday evening bouquet of roses, for no reason except that you think she’s amazing.

But we’re not just talking about materialistic gifts here. Let’s break it down a little more broadly, and apply it in the way that best fits your relationship.

Strong Relationship Tip 1 —  Go Straight for the Gut.

Find objects or actions that connect with her, in her grief, her joy, her memories, her hopes. It could be a memento of her grandmother who passed away last year, or a writer’s guild membership, to cultivate her dream of becoming a novelist. This communicates that you see her, right where she is, and that you care.

Strong Relationship Tip 2 — Be Boring, but Together.

We’re all busy. If you and your partner are like most people these days, you both work full time, have hobbies, friends, kids, etc. You don’t have a lot of hours to spend focusing on your relationship. That’s why it’s important to make moments out of the little day-to-day rituals you take for granted. Don’t let her cook alone. Don’t let her wash dishes alone. Jump on the tava and make roti together. Rub her shoulders while you watch the news. Read to the kids together. It may seem small, but those moments can add up to a very full lifetime in the end.

Strong Relationship Tip 3 — Sweat Equity Counts. Not the Kind You’re Thinking, Maybe.

Is there something your wife has been asking you to do for months? A household repair, an insurance upgrade, a weird noise in the air conditioner? This is prime opportunity knocking. She’s coming to you for help because she thinks you’re

A. Man enough to fix it

B. Invested enough to care what she needs.

Don’t let her down. In fact, exceed her expectations. If she asks you to take a look at the sprinklers in the backyard, fix the leak and update the borders on her vegetable garden. If she’s worried about your blood pressure, go see your doctor and take up a long evening walk after dinner. This proves to her beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are listening, that you care, and that you’re amazing with a pair of hedge clippers. Win.

Strong Relationship Tip 4 — Yes! Bling and Ya-yas.

Some women really are material girls at heart, and that’s okay. She doesn’t stop liking pretty things the moment you give her that ring. So follow through for her sake. The key in this case is not to wait for the obvious occasions to spoil her. Remember, we’re going for an “unexpected gift at an unexpected time,” so look for the least likely moments to wow her with that bag she was admiring on your last trip abroad, or a gift card to her favorite salon. Or if your partner is more of a wild child, she might prefer to be surprised with a new experience, like a Daft Punk concert, or stand-up paddle boarding on the river, or kickboxing lessons, or, if you can swing it, a trip to that faraway city she always wanted to visit.

There’s a Theme Here, Guys.

By now you’ve probably noticed the pattern. No matter what kind of gift you give, it’s about seeing and knowing your partner. When you make a presentation for work, the first thing you need to know is your audience. That sets the tone for the facts you choose, the tone you take, the way you dress… pretty much everything. That’s how you connect, and get results. Your relationship with your life-long partner is no different. Know your audience, make adjustments, and connect. No matter who you choose to live life with, it’s a sure bet that if you see her, know her, and lavish her with laser-accurate acts of love, she’ll be happier. And honestly, so will you.


Kuber Bhalla

Kuber Bhalla loves coffee, fitness, and the company of extraordinary people, including his ultra-talented wife. He works as a finance guru by day and an entrepreneur by night. He is happiest when building something new, especially projects that help people connect and collaborate to make the world better. Look for him at his local coffee shop, or send him an email at kuber@onlychai.com.

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One Comment

  1. Great advice. Advice fit for any girl’s prince charming

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