When you’re in love, you always want to find ways to demonstrate that love. Sometimes it may be a major, significant act like asking someone to marry you. But most of the time, it’s little favors or simple daily deeds that confirm your feelings and make your lover feel good.
According to emotional fitness guru Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D. in an article for Psychology Today: “There are a million ways to show the one you love just how much you care. These loving acts can make the difference between a mutually supportive and emotionally engaging relationship and one that you just let happen on its own. The more energy you put into loving, the more love you will get in return. It’s that simple.” Here are ten suggestions:
1. Be an Active Listener: More than anything else, if you practice this every day, you will confirm for your partner that you care enough about any of their thoughts, feelings, or concerns to listen to whatever is important for them to express to you. Keep an eye on their body language and how they are telling you something. It’s also the best way to learn the little things that will please them most: a new book they would like to read, a TV program they would like to watch, a different restaurant they want to try, hiring someone to cut the lawn so that they don’t have to. Listen!
2. It Never Hurts to Flirt: Not only is flirting easy, but it’s free! A wink, a touch on the arm or lower back, holding hands. Flirting just feels good, too. In fact, health experts now extol the benefits of flirting to reduce stress and improve self-esteem, confidence and mental health. Chances are you may flirt once in a while, but Dr. Goldsmith believes it doesn’t hurt to step up your game. “Couples that engage in flirtation with each other have more fulfilling lives in general and much better sex than those who just go to bed and ‘do it,’” he declares.
3. Surprise Them: The cool thing about surprising someone you love can be easy, cheap and quite rewarding. A romantic text or phone call during the middle of the work day to let them know you’re thinking about them; tickets to a concert or play they would enjoy; a card or a note telling them how much you miss them and can’t wait to see them later. It’s long been known that it feels good to do good things for others, but especially a soul mate. “A surprise need not be elaborate or expensive,” says marriage and relationship coach Stacey Greene. “It should be from the heart and filled with opportunity for strengthening the bond between you and your spouse.”
4. Give Them A Big Kiss: A sudden, surprise smooch can really elevate your lover’s day! Kiss them on the neck or shoulder. Kiss them on the forehead or cheek. Then move in for a loving, sensual kiss square on the lips. If it turns into a warm, passionate canoodling session, that’s fine, too.
5. Find Time to Talk About Your Deepest Feelings: “Being able to share your greatest joys and pain will deepen your relationship.” Dr. Goldsmith advises. “When someone understands your losses, doesn’t judge you for your feelings, and will support you in your healing, that sounds like love to me. Just remember not to turn your partner into your therapist.”
6. Make Your Lover’s Favorite Meal: You’ve seen this in Rom-Com’s a hundred times, but there’s a reason. It can be a very powerful reminder of your love. Going out for a delicious meal at a restaurant is often an easy choice and can be very enjoyable. But it can also become a mechanical and expensive habit. “To change things up a bit and do something special for your partner, try preparing their favorite dinner, or making them breakfast in bed,” Stephanie Perez counsels for joinonelove.org. “Preparing a special meal for your significant other will take some effort on your part, but that’s ok because that is what makes it special.” She also provides an excellent list of recipes for 61 “easy date dinners” and a compilation of easy breakfast-in-bed favorites.
7. Admit When You’re Wrong: Not always easy to do, but it’s usually pretty easy to admit that you’re human and thus not perfect. We screw up all the time, so make sure you just admit it when you do and apologize. As a companion practice, it’s always beneficial to complement your partner on things they do and thank them!
8. Be kind to in-laws, friends and relatives: In a love relationship, you automatically become connected to everyone else in their orbit. “Chances are that you don’t like everyone in your partner’s life, but that’s normal,” Dr. Goldsmith observes. “You need to remember that it isn’t your place to be critical of the people in his or her life, but it’s good to listen when your partner wants to talk about family. Being neutral in this area can make life easier.
9. Do Things Together: The more daily or ongoing activities you share together the better. Chances are good that you have a lot of common interests already, but you can also leverage those to explore new hobbies or interests such as ballroom dancing if you like both music and dancing. “Sharing activities or hobbies as a couple is incredibly important to the health of your marriage,” say Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott in an article for symbis.com. “Enjoying hobbies, recreational activities, and downtime together allows intimacy to flourish in your relationship.”
10. Tell Them You Love Them: This little act seems so simple, but so often people just don’t do it or do it enough. Never let a day go by without telling them you love them. The more often, the better! Every day!