There are some guys who whisper “I love you” in your ear, look longingly into your eyes and tell you how beautiful you are, and plan romantic get-a-ways where you dress in your Sunday finest and violins serenade you at dinner.

Others spend untold amounts of money putting a new bathroom in their home to accommodate your children since Operation Brady Bunch will be commencing in t-minus 3 months and counting.

In my guy, I’ve got, and love, the latter.  He isn’t the mushy type, and expects I have realized by now, that simply bringing me so closely into the lives of his children should be more than enough to hang my heart on.  The bathroom is a great show of love from him.  According to his friends he does not crack open his wallet often – and that is all I will say about that.

Part of your responsibility in your relationship is to appreciate how your partner shows love and wants love and see if that is in alignment with how you want to be loved and can show love.  Let’s unpack a bit.

How he shows love is tricky because as a woman you will probably want grand displays of affection.  For instance, we do not do fancy dinners, in fact we split meals at restaurants.  My guy thinks they are a waste of money – I am not a foodie (now, I am a French Martini type of girl).  So this is fine with me.  For my birthday I’m thrilled if the 7 of us go Kayaking and then have pizza.  I get a new bathroom for my children and my hand held as we sit with financial planners and accountants planning our future and determining if I should open an individual 401k or a SEP for my business.  He spends time during his week off relandscaping my backyard getting it ready for sale (oh, and with one of his best friends who was here visiting).  My car is often detailed as I get ready to attend a networking event.

To many women this is all nice but they still want the violins.  And that is fine…but your guy better be able to bring the violins.  My guy has no interest in bringing the violins…if I wanted them he would pull up a video on YouTube and play it as we eat his amazing blueberry pancakes.

If you want to wake up every morning to an “I love you text” and flowers every Friday when he walks in the door – then my guy is not for you.  If you want someone to drive to your home at 7am on Valentines Day to make breakfast for you and your girls (before he coaches two soccer games AND plays a tennis match) well, then you might do well with my man (ok, well you can’t have mine, but we can find you your person for sure).

And how he needs love should fit with how you show love.  My guy wants help around the house and in the building of a life.  He wants me to be an active participant in planning our financial future and the bathroom sinks cleaned.  He wants to know he can count on me to run a kid to a carpool so he can go play tennis.  He wants to be respected for his service, his integrity, and his crazy (and with that last part there is a bunch of crazy to love – a bunch).  He likes the notes I leave him…and the text I send to him every morning when we are not together…and when I call the pro shop at the golf course and pay his greens fees before he plays 18 with his buddies.

But don’t worry, he does realize that while I don’t need mushy he needs to inch in a bit.  When he starts to talk about how great the financial arrangement is of us creating the Brady Bunch I remind him that it is first based on his undying love for me.  He rolls his eyes, and squeezes my hand a little harder and replies “oh yeah, that too.” And I have mentioned to him that the bathroom will not fit on my finger – it isn’t an “engagement bathroom.”  I can joke all I want because he knows I don’t want a ring…when we are ready to take that next step it will not be about the pomp and circumstance of him hating Steven Singer.  We aren’t about that.