Sadie Holloway is a workshop facilitator who teaches interpersonal communication skills to help people strengthen their relationships.
How many ways can you think of to say 'I love you' to your intimate partner without using those same words? Sometimes the best approach to letting your spouse know how much you love her is through thoughtful deeds and actions. Try a few of these simple suggestions the next time you want to lovingly express the way you feel about your sweetheart.
Open your heart to different ways to connect with the one you adore.
Love can be expressed quietly with a simple, gentle touch of the hand. Reaching out to your partner for no reason at all, other than to feel a close connection, can improve your intimate relationship.
Talk about love and romance issues on a daily basis.
Increasing closeness and intimacy in your relationship involves talking about love every day, without actually talking about love. Talking about love doesn’t have to mean that you actually talk about your relationship or your sex life. Talking about love can also mean that you discuss things that are expressions of your commitment to one another. For example, every time you and your partner talk about a shared dream, you are expressing love. Every time you give thanks for something your spouse or boyfriend or girlfriend does, you are saying ‘I love you.’ Expressing appreciation is an essential habit of happy couples. Every time you work together as a team to solve a problem, you are expressing love.
Be open to finding creative ways to tell him how much you love him.
Let go of your expectations about what a sincere profession of 'I love you’ looks like. Greeting card companies and Hollywood have trapped us into thinking that it isn’t love if it doesn’t feel romantic. But there are so many more ways to say 'I love you' than what mainstream media would have us believe. Try a few different ways to express how devoted you are if you want to increase emotional and physical intimacy in your relationship.
For you and your partner, sharing a private joke may be the way that you express your true love. Perhaps, due to your cultural upbringing, holding hands in public doesn’t feel comfortable, but cuddling in a dark movie theater does. Other things that you and your partner can do to affirm your love for one another could include;
- telling deeply personal stories to each other
- taking a class and learning a new skill together
- helping each other overcome a fear of something by being there for them every step of the way
- making long-range financial plans that protect you both from adverse life events
- exploring a spiritual path together through prayer or meditation
Find a way to connect with your partner in a manner that works for the both of you. Forget those clichés and stereotypes about what love is supposed to look like.
This video offers a humorous, light-hearted take on how couples show their mutual feelings of fondness and affection. Do you and your partner communicate how crazy you are about each other in ways that no one else could possibly understand? Share your stories in the comments!
Here are a few more acts of kindness that can bring you and your partner closer together.
- Make the home you share together a fun, safe and relaxing place to be.
- Say kind things to your spouse in front of others.
- Give your spouse space when he or she is in a bad mood, but let them know that you are ready to talk whenever they need to.
- Show warmth and affection when your wife or husband comes home. A hug, a kiss, even a sincere "Hi honey, I'm glad you're home!" can make a world of difference to your spouse, especially if they have had a rough day.
- After a fight, offer forgiveness long before it has been asked of you.
Resist these bad habits that can pull you and you partner apart.
Are any of these habits standing in the way of having a more loving relationship with your spouse?
- Excluding your spouse from important decisions or withholding important information about finances, work obligations, other social engagements and relationships;
- Ignoring your partner's needs or putting the needs of others first;
- Questioning your spouse’s judgement and trying to undo or override his or her decisions without talking about it first;
- Intentionally withholding compliments and praise as a form of punishment;
- Denying your spouse the opportunity to help. People need to feel useful. By giving your spouse the opportunity to help you, you reinforce the notion that you are on the same team.
Over time, these habits can sabotage a relationship. At that point, romantic words may no longer matter. It will get harder and harder for you to give and receive the affection and intimacy that you both want and deserve.
Don’t hesitate. Even if you can’t find the words to express your love, don’t wait to show your partner you care. Find simple ways to intimately connect with your partner on a daily basis. Life is simply too unpredictable to wait until the right time to tell your partner how much love you have in your heart.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2013 Sadie Holloway
Bethany Maxine on June 21, 2013:
What a lovely article =). I agree that being stuck on the idea of traditional romance can blind us to simple sweet gestures that show love.