Trying to figure out the best time to broach a touchy topic, ask your guy a favor or convince him to do something you know he’ll dread? It’s easier than you think — if you learn how to tune in to his body clock, says Gabrielle Lichterman, founder of the Hormonology blog and coauthor of 28 Days. While we all know that women usually experience hormone-induced mood swings on a monthly basis, Lichterman attests that men, too, are affected by hormonal highs and lows — only their levels fluctuate daily. Want to get his hormones working for you? Follow this timing guide:
Need to move, negotiate, or fix something? Ask him for help between 9-12 a.m.
It should come as no surprise that guys wake up bursting with testosterone. And aside from the obvious frisky factor, this surge in hormones makes him feel ambitious and determined, says Lichterman. This is the perfect time to ask him for a favor, particularly one that makes him feel like Mr. Fix-It. Buying a car? Indulge his competitive streak and drag him along to help you haggle with the salesman and score a great deal. Or you can cash in on his peak in spatial thinking by asking him to help move your couch or measure your closet space. He’ll feel heroic, and you’ll reap the benefits.
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If you want him to agree to your plans, mention them between 3-4 p.m.
Trying to convince him to sign up for dancing lessons, commit to your new book club or otherwise agree to do something that would normally send your man screaming in the opposite direction? Then this late-afternoon window is the perfect opportunity, says Lichterman, since his super-low testosterone levels will make him mellow and amenable to pretty much anything you throw on the table.
Broach a touchy topic by chatting with him between 8-10 p.m.
At this time each evening, another hormone called oxytocin — a.k.a. the “cuddle hormone,” due to its bond-inducing effects — is on the rise in his bloodstream, says Lichterman. That means this two-hour timeslot is a prime opportunity to resolve any lingering spats (“It hurt my feelings that you didn’t call today”) or get a grievance off your chest (“Will you please shave your goatee?”). You’ll probably get met with nothing but a sincere apology and the promise to change his ways. Sure, his sweetness may be as much due to timing as a true desire to please you, but hey, who cares — as long as your wish is his command?
Elise Nersesian has written for Redbook, Stuff, and other publications.