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The Newcomer

Valentine tips for would-be Romeos

I once knew a guy who, in his own fashion, courted a woman for a year and she was totally unaware of it. I knew another guy who said when he courted a woman she would know it.

And therein lies the difference between the man whose Valentine has a big smile on her face and the guy who maybe doesn't even have a Valentine to spoil this February 14.

There is no law that says courting has to be limited to bachelors. I don't know of a wife who wouldn't appreciate a little courting year-round.

Some fellows just don't get the hang of what pleases a woman-what sets the scene, so to speak.

Actually, it takes very little to coax a smile out of a woman. Women have a thing about hands. A touch of a warm hand lingering on a shoulder over the morning good-byes can carry her on a high all day long. Holding her hand over the breakfast table racks up points for a week. Walk her down the street once holding hands and she's the queen of the block ready to crown you king.

Setting the mood is an important step for bachelors and husbands, who want to foster romantic moments. It can be as simple as lighting a candle, placing a nosegay beside it and changing the sheets on the bed.

(For the uninitiated, a nosegay is a few flowers bunched up together and tied with a ribbon. Even the biggest klutz should be able to manage that.)

Conversation is also a big issue with women. We like to be talked to not at. And eye contact is very important. This means that a guy cannot expect to get a kiss if all he ever says to his wife is "Get me a beer" while he's watching TV. Even rephrasing his request to "Please get me a beer, honey" won't cut it.

Conversation is an art that needs to be nurtured between lovers or it withers and fades over time. You've seen the old married couple in a restaurant, stoically lifting forks from plates to mouths, not looking at each other and never exchanging a word. When I see them, I see a dream that has died...or maybe never bloomed.

Of course, this romance business goes both ways.

It's just as important for a woman to treat her special guy as if he's her year-round Valentine. The only tip I have on how to do that is to get a copy of the tape Light His Fire.

And it helps to remember that only one side of a man's brain works at a time, while a woman's brain operates on both sides simultaneously. That makes it possible for a woman to multi-task, but impossible for a man to concentrate on more than one thing at a time.

Isn't it amazing how much men have accomplished using only half a brain!

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