How can you say you care when you do not say or do things that show the care? I cannot imagine that care. I cannot assume you care. I need to hear it; see it. This is the query of the average man or woman to their romantic partner.
Care is not Giver-Defined when it comes to romantic relationships (pre or post marital). Care is Receiver-Defined. You do not expect your partner to accept anything you give because in your mind it is evidence of your care. Surprise is good. Doing things out of the ordinary to spice up the relationship is lovely; but if you want to show the ultimate care, desire to do things that resonate with the specific needs of the person you are showing that care to. To someone, a car is evidence of your care, to another, a seed money to start a business is evidence of that care. Yet to another, always verbalising your love and commitment is the ultimate proof of your care. If you misapply these, you risk not pleasing any of them because their impression of care is inconsistent with what you are showing them.
I have listened to many people who are bitter and broken because their partners do not appreciate what they do for them. I have seen people who have been given everything anyone could dream of, yet are not happy in their homes. In both instances, you realise there are a lot of assumptions as to what the receiver needs or would appreciate. So a lot of resources are invested into things that give little or no utility to the one receiving them.
Last year, a friend wanted to throw a party for her husband on his birthday. She said the husband is not a party animal so she wanted to make it grand - make a statement. I asked for the budget. I tossed it round my head a while and asked her if there was anything the guy needed or had been dreaming of getting? Think think think. Anything. From a trip to Dubai to a trending gadget... think. Mac laptop! She said. The latest model. It's his screensaver on his current HP laptop. I asked her to get it for him. She has not stopped thanking me. It got her more than just an appreciation. For a guy who was desiring to switch to the Mac craze, tagging his wife as the one who got him his first Mac is a display of eternal gratitude to her.
That was a definite proof of care. For some of us, what we do, say, invest in, as far as our partners are concerned, reflect us; our biases, background and social experiences. Few of these things are viewed and executed through the preferences of our spouses, hence their lack of excitement in the end.
It is not about you. Let it be about them so that they can also say it is not about them but about you. Like football, be interested in tech and cars, be interested in politics.... be interested in him and his interpretation of the world around him. Know about the weaves, the wigs and the paints... oppps sorry that did not come out well.... I meant the make ups . Know something about her. That is the only way you would understand and appreciate that the $600.00 hair job is seen as a better investment than some stupid Flat Screen TV.
Know what to say, know how to say what to say. Know her CYCLE and appreciate it so you can understand the periodic drama and the struggle. And it is real bro. It is. Know the workings of her mind, her temperament, socialisation and what influences her. You cannot appreciate or relate in a personal way with things that are not personal to you. Personalise her. Personalise him. Know his moods and his true motives so you can understand his actions. Know what matters to him so you don't play trial and error. He is not a mass of muscles, ego and flex; he is flesh and blood and everything human beyond the manliness.... just like you, sister... just like you.
And when In doubt.... ask them. Even better, be interested in your partner.