Nothing says “I love you” to me more than when my husband plans an outing for us. It can be a hike, a day trip to explore a town new to us, a reservation at a restaurant, or a trip to a museum. The activity isn’t the main focus from my perspective. He planned it, and I didn’t have to put any of my mental bandwidth into it. *swoon!*
Some would say this is the “quality time” love language. Maybe so, but what matters is he’s showing his effort and thoughtfulness to take care of the relationship itself (as I talked about in my January article on Intimacy, read it here).
There are many different ways to turn “I love you “ from words into actions. Whether spoken to a romantic partner, your children, or other family members, if the actions aren’t there to back up the loving words, the words ring hollow. Below are 10 impactful ways to say “I love you” in your actions. But there are thousands more. See how creative you can get in coming up with your own ideas.
- Greet your loved ones with a big smile, a hug, and a kiss.
- Really listen to what your loved ones are saying; give them your undivided and undistracted attention.
- Support each other through tough times.
- Do simple (even random) acts of kindness, such as massaging shoulders or feet, cooking a favorite meal, or running a bath.
- Spend one-on-one time with your loved ones, with no particular agenda.
- Commit to truly accepting each other’s faults.
- Come home on time. Sober.
- Be impeccable with your word. If you say you’ll do something, do it, and by the time you said you’d do it.
- Take responsibility for your part in any conflict, and then look at how you can do better next time. Step out of the blame game.
- Share yourself and what lives deeply inside of you. This is a precious gift and conveys trust and security.
As Valentine’s Day approaches, be sure to talk with your partner about which actions mean “I love you” to them and to you. You may want different actions, and that’s very reasonable. What matters is that you actively learn what each other needs. And remember, what you need today, may be different than what you needed 20 years ago. So, update your understanding of each other as you grow and evolve together.
Author’s content used under license, © Claire Communications