Rhetorical Analysis: 9 Actions That Are More Intimate Than Saying ‘I Love You’
I'm officially pumping the breaks on thrashing Thought Catalog because I'm slightly worried that Scaries greenhorn Kendra may be trying to take Sunday Scaries down from the inside. The last thing I want to do is step on the toes of Thought Catalog's potential mole.
Which brings us to Elite Daily, that site that clogs your Facebook and is so congested with ads running that you worry your laptop is going to explode from being overworked while trying to load them all.
I stumbled upon 9 Actions A Guy Can Take That Are More Intimate Than Saying ‘I Love You’ by way of a Facebook friend posting this on her boyfriend's wall. While that dude spends his time trying to sew his balls back onto the blank space where his manhood used to be, I decided to do him a favor and confront this article head on.
As always, original article in italics.
1. Make her dinner.
First of all, all men should know how to cook. You don’t need to compete on “Iron Chef,” but you should be able to survive without having to order takeout.
Cue Old Man Body's grocery list, which included Diet Cherry 7-Up and a Google pricing system ($-$$$) for his bottles of red.
Cooking for yourself is much healthier for you; cooking for your woman is just plain sexy and, not to mention, rather intimate. Set the table, light some candles, maybe throw on some background music. Then do what men have been doing for millennia: Feed your partner. Not literally… although that could be fun.
The notion that cooking for myself is healthier for me is blasphemous. Yeah, in the summer I grill everything so my meals do resemble something that a healthy, productive person would cook. But in the nine months where it's a tad too cold to cook outside, I'm dousing my macaroni and cheese in Frank's Red Hot. So, sure, I guess I can make two boxes if that's what she's into.
2. Take her stargazing.
I’ll admit this one is my favorite, but mostly because I find staring at the stars to be incredibly soothing. Having someone you love with you just makes the whole experience all the more intimate. You can lie in a field and listen to the night as you look at the stars. There’s something almost magical about lying on the earth and allowing yourself to drown in the infinity that is space.
My dad took my mom stargazing for their first date and it ended with them having to leave the beach because a random person's dog peed on my mom. They've been together for 36 years so maybe this actually makes sense.
It makes you feel more grounded, more present, more understanding of how little you really are. What could be more intimate than being nothing together with the person you love most in the world?
Let's read that last sentence again: "What could be more intimate than being nothing together with the person you love most in the world?" Uh, I don't know, maybe some Vengaboys-style sex on the beach?
3. Roadtrip with only a vague destination.
If you don’t have a car, rent one and hit the road. It doesn’t have to be a long trip, although a longer one at least once in your life is highly recommended. Roadtrips are both awesome and intimate.
"You'd literally be the last person I'd want to do a road trip with." - Every single person I've ever met.
I'm the person who is either complaining about how long the trip is taking, or I'm the person pounding Gamechangers in the backseat so I'm too drunk to drive/asking you to pull over so I can pee.
Generally speaking, traveling together is always great for a loving relationship — it allows you to both leave your comfort zones and create new ones together.
Or it requires you to box yourselves up in a tense "How the FUCK don't you know how to use Google Maps?" situation that culminates in her saying, "This never would have happened had you not wanted to go to The Jerky Outlet."
Only roadtrips, however, allow you to make countless pitstops along the way and create countless memories to accompany them.
4. Give her a key to your place and a few drawers.
This is always an intimate moment, as it’s simultaneously the moment the man realizes he’s considering spending his life with this woman, and the moment she realizes her man is actually in it for the long run.
Whoa whoa whoa, let's pump the breaks for a second here.
The key and drawer is especially meaningful to the woman, as to her, it’s not just a place for her to sleep and store a few of her things. To her, it’s realizing her man is actually willing to give without expecting in return — that he’s willing to inconvenience himself in order to accommodate her needs.
Well yeah. Considering my late 20s is just turning into a "what is he going to lose next?" marathon, I'm about to give a set of keys to the homeless man down the street in an effort to ensure I can drunkenly get into my apartment at the drop of a hat. It's a hell of a lot easier than repeatedly throwing my iPhone at my neighbor's second story window in 10 degree weather.
There's a myriad of reasons as to why this is an essential move, but none of which have to do with intimacy. What if I leave my oven on because I'm 28 and still not positive I'm using my oven correctly? What if I need someone to start the dryer for me while I'm watching the Lions game? What if I didn't set the DVR for that night's Real World: Skeletons?
And as far as I'm concerned, she can have all my dresser drawers. My laundry basket is the only dresser I need.
5. Protect her when she needs protecting.
To be clear, there are plenty of women who can protect themselves, just as there are plenty of men who can’t.
Recently, The Today Show did a segment on female self-defense where every scenario ended with the victim punching the attacker in the nuts. Some real bang up journalism on par with Douchebag Pete breaking the Ryder Cup captaincy news.
Nevertheless, every single, straight woman in the world wants a man who is willing to protect her should the moment present itself. Sure, she can handle herself, but she still expects you to fight for her. You are in this together and even if it takes fighting tooth and nail, the two of you will make it out together.
I'm obviously not dating Resting Bitch Face, but one time she was trying to coordinate a cab home from a bar for me and twelve of my best friends, and in the middle of her scrambling I just said, "RBF, shutttt the fuckkkk upppp." which immediately caused her to break down crying. Long story short: being sensitive in the midst of adversity and problem-solving isn't exactly my forte.
The moment you realize the person you love is willing to put him or herself in harm’s way in order to protect you is the moment you understand the true nature of love.
6. Hold her even when she’s definitely going to get you sick.
Intimacy isn’t only about life’s most beautiful moments. It’s also about night sweats, dry heaving, runny noses, bloated faces and less-than-rosy attitudes.
So you're talking about every Sunday night ever.
Protecting your woman from harm is one thing, making sure she regains her health and overcomes illness is another. Again, it’s about putting your own health, your own well-being, at risk in order to help the woman you love. These moments are as intimate as they are because they allow us to see our partners at their worst and most vulnerable, while allowing our partners to see us at our strongest and most caring.
Not trying to be a selfish lover here, but we may need to flip the script on this one. At one point, my Tinder description was, "I get really bad Sunday Scaries, so just know that going into this."
7. Form intimate bonds with each other’s parents.
The holidays are a perfect time to get to know each other’s families. They’re special moments in our lives as they usually produce the most vivid of memories. The traditions we share with the people we love most are a big part of our lives. Spending the holidays with the woman you love is saying to her you are willing to start your own traditions, together. It’s saying, “I love you so much I want us to get to know each other’s families.”
Moms love me. I once got banned from my ex-girlfriend's house because she said I spent too much time playing Boggle with her mom. There was another time where she left the house for the day while her mom and I chilled out and watched Brokeback Mountain together. Talk about intimate fuckin' bonding.
Bring her to your home for one holiday, go to hers the next. Start your own little traditions — it’s a new life you’re building, so make sure you create traditions you’ll cherish.
My cousin once brought a girl to meet our family at Thanksgiving and the night ended with my sister slamming her foot on the dining room table asking, "Is this a varicose vein?" He never saw the girl again, nor has be brought any other girls around our family.
I think I'll stick to spending my holidays at Tube Socks's house shooting guns, playing with this dogs, and watching football.
8. Plan a future together.
You can say “I love you” all you want, but the only thing that really lets her know you love her is including her in your future plans.
My future plans look something like this:
"Hey, I'm going skiing this weekend - any chance you can pick me up after? Got a sneaky feeling I'm going to get after some après-ski pitchers."
The further in the future you’re talking, the more she’ll understand how serious you are. If you really do love each other, it’ll be more intimate of a moment to her than you could possibly imagine.
My idea of intimacy isn't having my girlfriend ask me, "You have how much credit card debt? You won't pay off your student loans until you're how old? Why didn't you tell me this before I moved in with you?"
She wants some sort of reassurance every so often that you still see the two of you spending your lives together. The more serious the relationship, the more you can plan. Eventually, if all goes well, you’ll be planning your wedding day.
At this point, I think I'm more of someone's second-husband-that-gets-married-in-a-courtroom kind of guy.
9. Be there for her every day, for the rest of your lives.
This is a super aggressive alternative to saying, "I love you."
Words are just words. People say things all the time. We make promises. Tell lies. Change our minds. People are pretty flaky for the most part.
When people try to make plans with me, I consistently respond, "Sounds great!" because it's non-committal yet encouraging. So flaky? Yeah, you could say I'm flaky.
Intimacy itself doesn’t necessarily have to exist in a single moment; it isn’t necessarily a grand gesture either. The most intimate moments in life are the ones that take years and years to develop, to build, to understand.
Like farting. I need at least a three year buffer period between meeting a girl and allowing her to fart in front of me.
The Develop Phase: "I'm still not positive girls poop or fart."
The Build Phase: "She's been spending weird amounts of time in the bathroom without the faucet or shower running. What's up with that?"
The Understand Phase: "We've been together three years. Do I really feel like breaking up and going through this again with another girl? Alright, fuck it. Fart all you want."
The most intimate moment the two of you could ever share is the moment you look at the life you created together and thank your lucky stars for having somehow, in the chaos of billions of individuals, managed to have found and fallen for each other.
Kind of like Adam in Girls, I still fake being asleep until I'm 100% positive I won't have to talk to anyone immediately upon getting up. May be getting a tiny bit ahead of ourselves here.