2. Give him a chance to practice.
Though he may feel tentative and uncertain, your appreciation will foster boldness on his part to continue his efforts. Translation: don’t gently tease him for not quite getting the right amount of cheese on the pizza he tried to make from scratch for dinner, or for picking a sports bar when he planned a date night out. As you show only appreciation and withhold criticism, he’ll be more confident. And at that point, you’ll have the foundation to give feedback that won’t be seen as criticism. (“I love this sports bar – so fun! Since we’ve come here three times in a row, you know what I’d love at some point? A seafood place on the lake or something. That would be cool, too.”) As he sees what you like, you’ll enjoy more experiences that are tailored to your likes & dislikes, and he’ll develop confidence that he’s pleasing you. That’s a win-win!