If you want to maintain a loving relationship, then it’s important to show your loved one how you feel in ways that they will understand and appreciate.
1. Understand Your Partner’s Needs
You may express love through gifts when your partner receives love through touch. Recognizing that the way you give love may not be the way that your partner receives love can be eye-opening. Yet, knowing the ways your partner feels loved helps you express love in ways that your partner can appreciate. Try different methods, and see what generates the most positive response. Some research has examined five “love languages,” or ways to relate to your partner, express love, and receive love:
- Words of affirmation: compliments, stating your positive feelings, saying “I love you.”
- Quality time: giving your undivided attention to your partner.
- Gifts: physical symbols of love such as flowers, jewelry, tools, etc.
- Acts of service: walking the dog, cleaning the kitchen.
- Physical touch: having sex (if they’re comfortable and ready), holding hands, giving affection.
2. Verbalize Your feelings
Tell your partner that you love her. Tell your partner when you find her attractive. Your partner cannot read your mind, so express yourself in words when you find yourself admiring your partner. Express the value you see in your partner and remember, it never gets old!
- You may feel more comfortable writing out your feelings than saying them out loud, so write cards or letters to your partner.
- Leave notes for your partner to show you think about her and care for her.
- You can even try to express your love in other languages if you are too shy to say it in your native tongue—just make sure your partner understands what you’re saying!
3. Show Affection
Affection communicates love in a way that words cannot. When with your partner, be affectionate and express your love through touch. Touch his hair, hold his hand, and put your arm around him. Physical touch can create intimacy and show your partner that you want to be physically close to him.
- Recognize that some people prefer more affection than others. Talk with your partner about what he appreciates, how he likes to be touched, and whether touch is appropriate in public.
4. Spend Some Time Alone Together
Life can get busy with work, kids, pets, in-laws, friends, etc. Make sure you set aside some time to spend alone with your partner. Find a sitter for the children, and clear a night to spend together. Focus on your partner and discuss things that are meaningful to both of you; avoid talking about “To-do’s”, children, or money. Make a date night and enjoy doing something together.
- You don’t always have to make date nights romantic; have fun! Do something goofy or choose an activity that you can laugh at and enjoy together.
5. Express Gratitude
Show your partner, you care by acknowledging the things that she does that you appreciate. Express gratitude for the things your partner does (such as picking up the kids, buying the dog food) and express gratitude for the qualities you admire that your partner possesses (such as loving, caring, generous).
- Express your gratitude through words or through a note.
- You can give gifts that express gratitude, such as flowers or a beautiful meal or something special that you choose.
6. Be Kind
Kindness is the best predictor of stability and long-term satisfaction in relationships. Being kind shows your partner that you are invested in showing love in the relationship. Those who see kindness as a muscle that must be exercised tend to experience more positive interactions than those who see kindness as a fixed trait.
- If your partner expresses a need and you are tired, distracted, or overwhelmed, don’t neglect your partner. Turn toward your partner and connect.
- Kindness is important during fights, too. Treat your partner with kindness, and recognize when you have not been kind to your partner and repair the damage.
7. Share Joy
Celebrate your partner’s good news. Be there for your partner when things are difficult, but especially be there when your partner experiences positive news. Partners who celebrate good news together have better long-term stability. Show that you support your partner and share in his joy. Give your partner your full attention when he shares news.
- Engage wholeheartedly with your partner. Ask questions and show your enthusiasm.
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