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Health & Sex

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Decoding Men's Oddball Love Signals

His gifts are terrible. He talks when you want him to listen. His idea of a date is take-out pizza on the couch. Is this your guy's notion of affection and romance? Well, actually, yes.

What, This Isn't a Date?

decoding_mens_love_signalsSo now you know why your man gives such bad gifts. But why does he plan such horrible dates? Or, more to the point, why do his dates always involve Domino's pizza and Kickboxer 3 on pay-per-view?

"Look, I've interviewed hundreds of men for my books," Schwartz says, "and they're all extremely clear on this point: Guys just want to connect with their woman doing something that they love. It's basically an organic process for them. It's like, What would I enjoy? Oh, Thai food sounds great! And what about a movie and some beer? Wow, perfect evening! And who can I share this perfect evening with? My lady, of course! Your guy knows what he likes, and if he can experience those things with the woman he loves, he's happy." So you see, we're lazy... because we love you!

Take the tale of Brian and Sarah, and the spring, seven years ago, when she moved in. "I've always been a bit of a homebody," Brian says. "So I was skittish about letting her know that, for me, a good time often meant staying in and watching sports. I loved her enough, though, to want to share my great passion with her. Besides, one of the things I like about sports on TV is that it lets you carry on a conversation — you could even call it couples therapy." Today, they're happily married with a 2-year-old son, and Sarah loves baseball — and the Yankees — every bit as much as Brian does. Which is either a testament to the power of manly love or a classic example of Stockholm syndrome.

And while we're on the subject of dates, let me put this plainly: Your man might moan, might whine, might flee to the restroom 14 times — but the mere fact that he agrees to go with you to any type of chick flick should always be seen as the gargantuan male sacrifice that it is.

"Believe me," says Rob, "any man who's willing to do this is merely doing it to show his woman how much he loves her. And if he is willing to do this for you, rest assured, he must really, really love you."

"I grew up with three sisters, so I enjoy doing things with my wife that other husbands might not — like talking about how we want to furnish our house. But as for movie night, I'd much rather see Transformers or Star Trek than some romantic comedy." —George Lee, 37 Dallas

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