On March 8th, we recognized International Women’s Day. Many of you may have bought your wife or girlfriend flowers. Some of you may have cooked a romantic dinner, and some may have just been extra nice to the women in your life that day.
The problem with these gestures is that they often lack any real meaning. What exactly does this day mean? And what does your gift mean? What does it symbolize, and are these small gestures helpful?
Every day should be International Women’s Day. Women give birth to us. They raise us and they care for us deeply. They love us, unconditionally. They’re always there for us, and they support us in our journey throughout life.
Here are some ways you can celebrate the women in your life each and every day.
Say “Thank You”
Words are entirely free and mean more than any material gift ever could. Communication is key to any relationship, whether it’s your wife, your mum, your sister, or your friend.
Women are often much better at communicating their emotions than men. But when a man effectively communicates his feelings to a woman, it is a powerful and uplifting exchange. Women deeply appreciate hearing you say “thank you” every so often.
Start saying thank you more often and appreciating all the little things the women in your life do for you. Express gratitude often, and your relationships with women will blossom.
Give Them Some Space
When it comes to romantic relationships, being left alone for some quality time of their own will be met with deep gratitude. Our modern lives are hectic, and whether you like to admit it or not, a woman’s life is far more stressful.
Women naturally pick up a lot of slack in many ways. They see life from a different perspective and do things around the house or with the kids that don’t enter into our male thinking patterns. Washing clothes and preparing school lunches are two common examples.
Start giving your partner more quality time on her own where she can get away from everything and be in her personal space. She will thank you for it.
Women are great at supporting the men in their lives, men are not quite as good. Men tend to get lost in their own journey and are so focused on what they’re doing they forget their partner is also on her own mission in life too.
The belief that women should stay at home and look after the kids and their husbands are so ingrained into our culture that many of us are not as supportive as we hope to be.
Women are ambitious, they have their own goals and dreams, they also have a vision and a desire to create something of their own. We need to support them.
A great partnership is when two people embark on different missions but hold each other’s hands along the way. A great partner supports the other in all their endeavors and works hard to help them achieve their goals. However, sometimes this support system only goes one way and can leave women feeling unsupported and demoralized.
Support your partner and all the women in your life. Help them achieve their dreams and never stop lifting them up.
Write Letters and Notes
There is something still very romantic about sending love letters or leaving love notes around the house. If with a partner, notes left around the house can be a great form of intimacy and a way of showing appreciation.
Your mum, your sisters, and your friends will also love receiving a letter every now and then. There is no specific content required. Just the thought and effort put in can mean a lot to the women in your life. Anyone can buy a bunch of flowers, but a letter takes time, thought, creativity, and real effort.
Think about all the ways she has helped you in the last year. Tell her how much that means to you. Handwrite the letter and send it via the post. Everyone loves getting mail, especially if it’s full of love and appreciation.
Buy a Gift That Reflects Their Personality
We have all received gifts that we know were thoughtless. A real gift is one that you have thought about, it was chosen based on your knowledge of her and what she likes or will find useful.
A box of chocolates says, “I felt like I had to buy you something.” Creating a mixtape for her gym sessions compiled of her favourite tunes or tunes you know she will love is deeply thoughtful. Equally, a copy of her favourite book or bottle of her favourite vegan perfume shows that you actually thought about her and what she would like.
A great man empowers the women in his life. There are many ways to empower women, and it’s essential that you do. When you empower women, you’re helping to move towards a better future for women in general.
Boost her self-esteem with words of encouragement and most importantly, listen to her. Celebrate her self-expression and allow her to be her authentic self. Don’t hold the women in your life to society’s unrealistic standards of beauty and “success.”
Support her unconditionally and with your full love and appreciation.
Listen To Her
One of the simplest ways to celebrate any woman in your life is to simply consciously listen to her. Most men are terrible at listening to their partners which makes women feel underappreciated and unheard. This is not the best feeling in the world.
Instead, make a conscious effort to listen to her. Listen to her ideas. To her thoughts. Listen to her dreams and listen to her problems. We all, as humans, need to do a better job of listening to each other. Many of us only listen to others to reply and not to discuss and explore.
Sometimes, to help the people we love the most, we just need to hear them out and stay silent. Not everything needs a response or a solution. Listening to your partner leads to a better relationship and marriage.
Schedule Time Together
Many of us are so busy with work and our kids, we forget our partner even exists. Yes, we’re all busy. We’re all determined to succeed. Yes, we need to take care of our kids too, but life’s a journey and we shouldn’t forget to enjoy the process.
Start scheduling quality time to spend together. Put it in your diary and put it on a weekly repeat with an alert, so you don’t forget. There is a massive stigma against “date nights”. The fact is, couples who schedule date nights have happier relationships and more intimacy with one another.
Those that don’t schedule quality time together naturally become distant and resentful of each other. This leads to heated arguments and further distancing. Communicate and schedule all your quality time.
Celebrating the women in your life goes beyond the purchasing of flowers or chocolates once a year. You should be celebrating those women every single day with your words and actions.
Using the advice above, you can create a conscious relationship with the women in your life and build a stronger connection than ever before.
Andrew Miles is an ethical writer specializing in sustainability, eco-living, veganism, and wellness. He is the founder of vegan men’s website, meman mevegan, and writing agency, Andrew Miles Writing.
Andrew is on a mission to make veganism more accessible to men, as well as changing men’s attitudes on important social issues such as relationships, men in the 21st century, and mental health.
You can follow him and his work @memanmevegan