By Matt Kelly
Love is not just a single emotion. To me, love is the accumulation of an array of emotions that we feel towards another person. It not only involves happiness and comfort, but also feelings of anger, sadness, and remorse. What I mean to say is that love is the encompassing concept that allows you to feel your emotions freely, without judgment or fear. It gives you the ability to truly be yourself without a filter. I think it’s clear that it ascends far beyond physical attraction. And while sex is very important in a relationship, there are plenty of other ways you can express your love to your significant other.
Listening to your partner seems like such a simple concept but it often gets overlooked. You have to make sure you’re actually “listening to understand” and not “listening to respond”. The difference is when you listen to understand, you’re actually absorbing the information and are critically thinking about it. When you listen to respond, you’re simply hearing the words but waiting for your turn to speak. If your partner is talking to you, it’s because they care enough about you to include you in their thoughts and ideas.
Acts of Kindness
Remember that feeling as a kid when you were so tired and ready for bed but remembered your bed was a mess from the night before and you’d have to fix it before going to sleep? And then you walk into your room and see your mom had already made your bed for you? I bet you loved your mom a little bit more that day. The same can be done for our intimate relationships now, as adults. Simple things like making dinner, doing the dishes, giving a nice back massage; these are all ways of showing your appreciation for your partner and letting them know that you care about their happiness.
Go Out Together
Schedules and routines are a part of everyday life, and they can be so draining and boring. It’s important to keep things fresh in your relationships. Plan for a night to go out to dinner or see a movie. Or plan a day or weekend trip to a city or the beach. Or even just going for a walk or a hike. Getting out of the house together can give you and your partner something to look forward to and even gives you more means of communication.
Showing your affection for someone at home is important and lets your partner know that you love and care about them. But make sure that it’s not the only time you show your affection. Reach over and hold their hand as you’re walking along the sidewalk. Lean over the table and give them a quick kiss while you’re out to dinner. These can show your significant other that you not only want to be with them, but you’re proud to be with them.
You have to remember that you are not alone. In a relationship, you’re both going through life together, so make sure that extends to what’s going on inside your brain. By confessing your thoughts and not holding them inside for yourself to deal with, it shows your partner that you trust them and want them to be involved with your own thoughts and feelings. It can be very therapeutic to ask for help, especially in someone you trust. It not only can strengthen your relationship together, but in your relationship with yourself.
Spend Time with Each Other’s Friends and Family
Friends and family are some of the most important people in a person’s life. They have the power to affect how someone thinks and feels about themselves and the world around them. That’s why it’s very important to have a good relationship with your partner’s loved ones. Similar to public affection, your partner feels proud to have you by their side when you’re together with them and their family and friends. It also shows them that you want to be involved inside their world.
Your significant other wants you to be a part of their life, so make sure you’re there to help them through it. It’s hard sometimes when you have a lot in your life that you’re already dealing with, but by helping your partner get through their tough times, they’ll want to help you get through yours. You being supportive can show them you want them to succeed and be the best they can be.
As important as listening is, talking is just as crucial to expressing your love for your partner. Anything from talking about the weather to asking for advice can let your partner know that you value their opinion and that you care and are confident enough to express your own opinion to them.