Let me slip into something more comfortable
November 10, 2009 11:50 AM   Subscribe

My boyfriend is having a really bad day at work. I'm going over to his house when his day is over (which will be pretty late). What is the best way to cheer him up?

I have the obvious things (sex & beer), but I want to really make him forget today, at least until tomorrow... He'll be getting home pretty late -- probably post-dinner. What is your best idea for how to do this? I don't have time to do a lot of buying of things or whatever, but easy, cool things I should do... things that would make your night Perfect.
posted by brainmouse to Human Relations (32 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

Sex and beer. Seriously. And I'm a woman. Maybe takeout and a movie to watch as well.
posted by runningwithscissors at 11:51 AM on November 10, 2009

Cupcake. Men like cupcakes, right? (I'm having a bad day and would kill for one.)
posted by JoanArkham at 11:52 AM on November 10, 2009

Er, to clarify: I wanted to point out that the "sex and beer" response isn't restricted to men.
posted by runningwithscissors at 11:53 AM on November 10, 2009 [3 favorites]

Make sure dinner's available and ready to eat as soon as he gets home. And if there were any household things he was thinking about doing tonight (cleaning the bathroom or whatever), you could take care of those for him.

Basically, he's probably going to want to sit on the couch and veg out for awhile, so make sure there are no outside stresses.
posted by backseatpilot at 11:54 AM on November 10, 2009

Sex, beer and steak.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:55 AM on November 10, 2009

greasy food to go with the beer.
posted by goethean at 11:57 AM on November 10, 2009

Ahem, *blowjob*

Its more than sex--its oral sex, which allows for total relaxation and the person being the focus not having to reciprocate, at least not then--one less concern. He can just focus on enjoying himself.

I'm also going to vote for a big massage too. Anything where your bf is the focus and can forget about things and obligations and such.

Spend a lot of time telling him how awesome he is too. I always love this.

Then watch his show on the TV.

Finally, flowers. Love 'em.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:57 AM on November 10, 2009 [4 favorites]

Sex and beer...but not in that order....'cuz after sex he'll be asleep.

Seriously, though, I think you've got it covered.
posted by teg4rvn at 11:57 AM on November 10, 2009

Would him seeing you cheer him up? Sometimes after I've had a bad day I don't want to have to deal with people I have standing romantic relationships with as I don't want to bring them into that part of my world. Aside from that thought, beer and sex, in that order.
posted by ZaneJ. at 11:58 AM on November 10, 2009 [1 favorite]

Definitely a massage, if he enjoys them. But not just back and neck - also arms, wrists, hands, face, head. Most relaxing thing ever. Play music in the meantime.
posted by ORthey at 11:59 AM on November 10, 2009

Will you be at his place before he gets home? If so, maybe tidy it up for him – the stuff that has an immediate impact like clearing the sink and making the bed, maybe changing the sheets. Then get the house smelling nice. Doesn’t have to be fancy – you can simmer a few orange peels, few drops of vanilla extract and a cinnamon stick on the stove. And seconding the massage.
posted by yawper at 12:00 PM on November 10, 2009

Men like cupcakes, right?

Inasmuch as cupcakes are generally delicious yes, but the whole "cupcake" phenomenon is pointed mainly at women.
posted by hermitosis at 12:06 PM on November 10, 2009

I was also going to suggest, ahem ahem, the *blowjob.*

Also, just coming home to a rad lady who cares this much about cheering their BF up after a bad day would bring an instant smile to my face.
posted by Lutoslawski at 12:10 PM on November 10, 2009 [2 favorites]

How about going out for a walk and breathe in fresh air? Along the way, talk about the little things in life that we all take for granted, e.g., good health, freedom, safety, acceptable pollution, how the stars aligned and the two of you met one another...

It need not be all sex and beer or tv. Make the little moments count! :)
posted by jchaw at 12:14 PM on November 10, 2009 [3 favorites]

Knowing nothing of your boyfriend, does he like company when he's upset? Does he process a shitty day with rowdiness or shutting down and trying to mellow out? Read his body language and try to discern what he's wanting.

Some bad days I have, I just want to lie in bed and do nothing. Sometimes I want to do something fun to get the day out of my head. But usually I want mellow, and little to no obligations or decisions to make. I don't want a fancy dinner, I don't want to be 'on' in a social way. I usually don't even want much of a dinner. Some tasty, healthy-ish snacks that I can graze, some water or a drink, and quiet time with my wife.

If he wants to talk through his bad day let him, but don't ask a bunch of questions or try and 'help' solve problems he had today. Just let him vent and get it out.

Beer, massage, sex, and your awareness of what he needs will help him out immensely.
posted by gofargogo at 12:19 PM on November 10, 2009 [1 favorite]

Any chance you can see him before the end of his day? Like on a lunch or coffee break? I was having a crap day at work the other day, and seeing my sweetie at my coffee break, just for 15 minutes, really cheered me up.
posted by mollymayhem at 12:20 PM on November 10, 2009

Can I vote for oral sex -and- cupcakes?

Seriously, though, I think the idea of going over and being there for him is a great idea. Something he likes for dinner, and movies/music/TV that he likes and will help him relax is also a good plan.
posted by BZArcher at 12:23 PM on November 10, 2009

Surprise him with a hug at the moment he opens the door, then wrap him in a blanket. Then some food treat, like a small fancy pastry.

Prepare a good but uncomplicated diner. Order take out from a good Chinese restaurant you wouldn't normally order from.

Have a playlist with appropriate music. Select tracks that are either calm or angry, or something else, depending what works for him.
posted by gmarceau at 12:37 PM on November 10, 2009

Is tomorrow likely to be bad too? Along with all of the above, pack him breakfast and food for the day tomorrow so he doesn't have to think about it. Include candy.
posted by Lyn Never at 12:40 PM on November 10, 2009

If you/he doesn't mind illegal substances- a big spliff.
posted by TheBones at 12:41 PM on November 10, 2009

How is the bad day occurring? He might appreciate being able to rant and rave for a bit first, before you move on to *ahem* other matters. ;)

I'd suggest having several things planned - meal, sex, massage, computer games, walk in the park, etc - just in case he isn't in the mood for a specific thing.
posted by Solomon at 12:51 PM on November 10, 2009 [1 favorite]

I lived in an apartment with a large cast iron bathtub. One bad day I arrived home to find my lover had a) run a hot bath and b) put some candles in in the bathroom. I was instructed to disrobe and get in the bath (which had some nice, but not overpowering, bath stuff in it). I complied and was given a glass of wine to sip as I soaked. Then I was left alone with some nice music for about 20 minutes. Then we had dinner and, possibly, sex. I remember being incredibly grateful for it all.

Obviously, you will need a nice bathtub.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:59 PM on November 10, 2009 [1 favorite]

For tonight, whatever you do, wherever you can, defer to his preferences over any compromised preferences of the couple. For instance, if, as a couple, you tend to get a pizza with compromised toppings, just go ahead and get him the pizza he would want if it were all up to him. If he's hinted at trying something sexually that you've been holding back for a birthday or Valentine's day, go ahead and do it tonight, if possible. Does he have a special favorite beer? Go ahead and get that for him.

And if it's not too much, just enjoy it all with him. Even if you have to fake it.
posted by The Potate at 1:11 PM on November 10, 2009 [1 favorite]

This may seem obvious to some people, but because I've had friends and boyfriends who meant well but didn't get it -- when doing whatever nice thing you end up doing, just do it and don't mention doing it because you're trying to cheer him up from the craptastic day he is having. There's nothing worse than an attempt to make you forget your bad day whose very existence is constantly reminding you of said badness.

(That said, these are all great ideas and I'm incredibly tempted to put an M4M ad on CraigsList to see if somebody will meet me at my place with cupcakes, beer and a blowjob. And I'm actually having a pretty great day.)

Seriously though, good luck and remember that just being you -- and not the rest of his day -- is probably a good start.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:16 PM on November 10, 2009

If you/he doesn't mind illegal substances- a big spliff.
And then a blowjob.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:17 PM on November 10, 2009

Do some or all of the above.

But don't say a goddamn word when you're doing it.

Seriously. Shut up. Let him talk. Unless specifically asked to do so, on this occasion, every second you spend talking about your day and your state of being is a tiny little knife in his side.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:19 PM on November 10, 2009 [4 favorites]

Nthing oral sex, beer, steak, cupcakes. Not necessarily in that order.
posted by HabeasCorpus at 1:39 PM on November 10, 2009

Does he have a lot of chores, or busy work, or otherwise irritating tasks to take care of once he comes home? If he has to wash dishes, or vacuum, or get the mail, or take out the recycling, or feed the fish, or whatever - do that for him. If he's the sort of person who wouldn't mind, you could tidy things up a bit so he has a relaxing, welcoming place to come home to. (It can be stressful to arrive home from a bad day to a dirty house and lots of tasks ahead.) If you're feeling really heroic you could wash and fold his laundry - everybody's different, but I know a LOT of people who put that off for as long as possible and generally detest the task.

You could bake him cookies, make him a hot chocolate (in addition to getting him a beer) and some kind of delicious salty snack, and just let him do whatever he wants to do. If all he wants to do is stare at the TV or something, don't be offended - it's not that he doesn't appreciate your efforts or isn't glad to see you, he's probably just mentally exhausted.

If he wants to go for a walk, you could consider taking that hot chocolate in a thermos, and stopping somewhere to enjoy the night for a little while. You could also slip a candle in to your pocket when you leave, so you can light it when you sit down a on a bench or whatever - that's a very nice touch :) Then give him a kiss. Very romantic and often forgotten.

Have fun!
posted by Cygnet at 1:57 PM on November 10, 2009 [1 favorite]

Cool Papa Bell speaks truth. Let him set the tone and pace of the conversation - if he doesn't want to talk, don't push him, and don't babble. If I've had a long day and I'm not up for dealing with people, even the most well-intended attempts at conversation can fill me with resentment.
posted by Phire at 2:02 PM on November 10, 2009

Meet him at the door in something sexy, with his favorite beverage in one hand and something delicious smelling in the air. I disagree with the "Say nothing" idea, but really it's up to you. You know him better than us, what would he prefer, you saying nothing or saying in a caring voice "Hey baby, I know you had a rough day, I'm here to help you take the stress off and pamper you" or some such.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:57 PM on November 10, 2009

Thirding the "don't talk about it" thing. Maybe it depends on the person, but when I've had a bad day, the best thing for me is when someone lets me broach the subject of the badness. Because eventually, I probably will want to piss and moan about it. But until then, I probably don't want to. I remember once I was having a particularly bad day at work (in an existential kind of way, no less) and my SO at the time tried to help by mentioning (repeatedly) how cool she thinks my job is and on and on about it. I loved her for trying, but I really, really did not want to think about work at the time and it soured the whole evening.

But everyone is different. YMMV. This is one of those times where really "getting" your SO will come in really handy. Helping someone handle stress really cuts to the core of someone's personality and the personality of the relationship.

Also, a gluttonous meal and booze.

Good luck!

(Just thought of this part too- don't let something important go, just to avoid the stress of it. Maybe this is just me, but I almost always feel worse if someone stifles themselves or avoids an uncomfortable topic, just to delay it to later. Like for example, the car has exploded and will need to be repaired. Some people might not want to know about it until they've cooled off, but others (like me) really don't want to get all fully de-stressed, only to have something that was hanging out there pop up and bring the mood down again. Again, YMMV.)
posted by gjc at 4:12 PM on November 10, 2009

This one might be coming to late, but you can use it next time it's needed.
Find a square plastic basin, one that his feet will fit in comfortably, fill it with very warm water to where it covers his ankles, test it with your elbow, you want it real warm but not scalding, Pour about 1/2 cup or so (fill the palm of your hand) of Epsom salts, table salt will work BUT Epsoms are the stuff, Add a palm full of BAKING SODA, stir with wooden spoon, slowly wet his feet until they become accustom to the warmth, then add about 1 cup of APPLE CIDER VINEGAR and watch it bubble, stir again around his feet and let him soak until the water chills down, if you want to warm it up, take a glass measuring cup and remove a few cups of the chilled water mixture, Stick it in the microwave to heat back up and pour it back in the basin, WATCH THE HEAT!! I massage the feet while there soaking, This is very soothing and seems to help calm nerves. This is a great start, then just follow his lead, have light snacks, some fruit, cheese crackers, olives, nothing real heavy, A glass or two of wine will help relax also, GOOD LUCK, and ENJOY EACH OTHER...LL
posted by LindaLou21356 at 11:21 PM on November 10, 2009 [4 favorites]

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