6 Ways to Say I Love You
Simple Ways to Show You Care
Be a Good Listener: Because communication is the foundation for good relationships, this one seems obvious, but to many, it’s a challenge. The truth is, nothing validates a person more than feeling like their thoughts and words matter. We all want to be heard. Listening to your partner, your children, your friends, and coworkers is an important way to say you love them, support them, and appreciate their contributions.
Notice the Little Things: There’s an old 80’s song that begins with the words, “Compliment what she does.” Besides being heard, people like to know they’re being seen. Over time, being familiar with a loved one can evolve into taking things for granted. Acknowledge the little things that make your partner, family member, or friend special—it’s a wonderful affirmation and boosts self-esteem. A small compliment or recognition is relationship gold, and it should be applied often. If you want your love to grow, it needs to be nurtured.
Surprise Them: Everybody loves a great surprise. It can be as simple as a chore completed or as special as the perfect gift—but both make an impression. I live in a climate where the winters are harsh, so you can imagine how I felt when I found my walks neatly shoveled after a huge snowstorm. Here’s the thing, if you’re actively listening and noticing the little things, you can look like a hero every time. Has your partner been talking about an upcoming movie? Plan to stream the film and order dinner in for a low-key, but awesome evening. Have the kids been talking endlessly about a new video game? For no reason at all, buy it and leave it near their game station. Smiles and squeals will ensue, flowed by, “You’re the best!” It’s that simple—and it’s that important.
Put it in Writing: I realize we live in a technology-driven world, but there is a lot to be said for a handwritten note. The effort takes to draft and write a letter is an important way to say you care. I saved many cards and letters sent to me by my parents throughout the years. The messages were often newsy and simple, but every single word they sent was filled with love. Now that they’re both gone, rereading those notes makes me smile and gives me comfort. A note or card left on the counter, sent to the office, tucked in a backpack, or yes, even a text to a friend is a reminder that the recipient is important to you.
Feed Your Love: You don’t have to be a gourmet cook or pastry chef to send this very loving message. Food is not just sustenance—but a true expression of love. If your chocolate chip cookies are a favorite—bake a few dozen as a surprise. If you know your partner has a stressful project going on at work—send them off in the morning with a delicious breakfast to start their day or have a special dinner waiting when they get home. Lastly, if cooking and baking just aren’t your thing—order online and have a delivery service drop off the treat—it’s all going to taste great and perfectly say, “I love you.”
Offer to Help: For many people, asking for help is a really difficult thing to do. In a culture of self-reliance and independence (single parents, I’m talking to you) it’s hard to admit it when you just can’t get everything done and meet every obligation. If you make it clear that as a partner, family member, or friend you’re available to help–and then follow through with the offer, it can build a bond like no other. Always keep in mind that if you say you’re going to do something for someone, dropping the ball is worse than never offering help at all. Reliability and follow-through are the epitome of showing love and creating a strong relationship.
How do you show your love? Comment below!