It's easy to dial up your guy "just to say hi" -- unless you're rushing between meetings, downing martinis with friends, or so far away you feel like you're on different planets. But it's always best to pick up the phone. "Men love to be needed and to know you're thinking about them," says Pat Love, Ed.D., coauthor of How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It. Use these communication tips to feel all warm and fuzzy in 15 minutes -- or less.
When: You're having lunch with That Ex -- you know, the one you dated before meeting your beau. Calling Plan: This requires two chats: the face-to-face, full-disclosure talk about your past relationship in advance of any reunion. And the reassuring post-lunch phone call. Skip the details (unless he asks) and be clear that sparks didn't fly: "It's nice to stay in touch, but we don't have much to say to each other." A pity play like, "Poor Steve. He's going nowhere with his job" never hurts.
When: You're on a work trip with a crazy schedule, and you have a king-size bed all to your lonesome. Calling Plan: After your hotel wake-up call, make one of your own. "First thing in the morning is a cozy time to connect and say hello. It's like waking up together," says Paul Coleman, Psy.D., author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Intimacy. He suggests keeping it under 5 minutes. Try him before bed if you want to talk longer and get sexy. Say what? You're under the covers, wearing nothing but his old T-shirt?
When: You're in Cabo with the girls, reading gossip rags and analyzing text messages. Calling Plan: Amp up the mush, "I wish you were here" or "You and I should come here together." He'll appreciate it while sitting at home trying to suppress his jealousy instinct. "When a woman leaves town, a man's testosterone, and thus his sex drive, goes up," Love says. Researchers believe this is nature's way of helping him compete with potential rivals. Wait until you're alone and block out 15 minutes to talk.
When: You're out late with coworkers who know the bartender. Calling Plan: Call pre-happy hour to ask about his day, and manage expectations by giving him a realistic ETA. Report the deets on where you're going and who you'll be with, especially the people he knows. "Too much information is better than too little," says Ian Kerner, Ph.D., author of DSI: Date Scene Investigation: The Diagnostic Manual of Dating Disorders. Unless you're going to be late, don't call again mid-shenanigans. "It'll just remind him of the fun you're having without him," Kerner says.