You’ve fallen in love, and now you want to make sure your partner is assured that your feelings are genuine. Saying the words “I love you” is music to the ears, but there are other ways to demonstrate through actions and attitudes the feelings you have. Consider these:
1. Attend to the small stuff. When it comes to love, it’s all in the details—tone of voice, an admiring look, a kind word. A genuine compliment can trump an expensive weekend getaway.
2. Give your partner focused, undivided attention. Being fully present—truly engaged with the other person—is a sure way to demonstrate your love.
3. Never judge your partner. Ever.
4. Apologize when you’ve messed up. And mean it. And vow to do better.
5. Use your words wisely—and gently. What you say, positive or negative, has staying power.
6. Ask your partner what makes him/her feel loved. Don’t assume it’s the same kinds of acts or words that make you feel loved. Find out for sure, then do those things.
7. Seek to improve. Is there something you do that annoys your partner? Running late? Dishes in the sink? Be intentional about changing that.
8. Put love into action. Get in the habit of asking, “What can I do to make your life easier today?” or “How can I help with that?” Knowing you have your partner’s needs and interests at heart will communicate love.
9. Lend a hand. Everyone could use a helping hand with the routine chores of daily life now and then. Nothing says “I care” any better than rolling up your sleeves, getting to work, and lightening your lover’s load a bit.
10. Surprise! Everyone appreciates an unexpected gesture of love. Send flowers for no particular reason. Put a love note on your partner’s windshield. Bring a midweek dinner so he/she doesn’t have to cook.
11. Be your partner’s biggest cheerleader. Whatever he or she is aiming to accomplish, you can provide the encouragement and support that makes the difference.
12. Celebrate often. Look for every occasion—big or small–to honor your partner.
13. Be there. Show up for every important (and semi-important) event … even when you’d rather not. Your presence will speak love unmistakably.
14. Praise your partner in public. Give him/her a compliment in front of others, and you’ll earn bonus points.
15. Defend your partner fiercely. If someone criticizes her, stand up for her forcefully. If someone disrespects your guy, show your respect by voicing your absolute support.
What other ways can you help a partner feel loved?