Real love doesn’t have to mean grand gestures like dozens of roses or sparkly gems. We think the best kind of love is much more subtle. It’s often quiet and thoughtful, but it’s always loyal and consistent.
Even if you already love that way, how do you show it? We’re not talking those Pretty Woman moments complete with white limousines and Italian operas blaring. We’re talking those everyday, in the trenches, walking the dog, making dinner, carpooling with the kids kind of gestures.
We don’t have a one-size-fits-all template, but we do have five tried-and-true guidelines for showing the depth and meaning of your love to the person in your life that matters the most. Even if you don’t know their love language, give these strategies a shot:
- Listen without judgement. Learning to be a good listener sometimes means just being an open ear, rather than offering suggestions or solutions. Make your partner feel secure in the knowledge that you’re always available to listen, and that you’ll never judge them.
- Support them always. This goes for times when they’re down, but also critically when they’re succeeding. Their fails are your fails; their successes are yours too. Hold back the “I told you so’s” or those latent feelings of jealousy. You two are a team that stands stronger when united, weaker when divided.
- Say “thank you,” and mean it. Say thank you early and often. Thank them for taking out the trash, folding the laundry, buying you that gift you’ve been coveting, and making thoughtful dinner reservations. When you don’t reserve genuine “thank yous” for the big things, you’re steadily showing them you don’t take anything for granted.
- Show spontaneous affection. A real hug before you dash out the door in the morning, a surprise kiss on the cheek when you’re out with friends, or grabbing their hand while you’re crossing the street can go a long way.
- Don’t be afraid to say it often. It’s not just about showing your love. Saying it is just as important, and saying it often. Say it in moments of genuine affection, but say it in moments of anger or frustration, too.