In the excitement of a new romance, it seems easy and natural to communicate your love for the other person. After marriage, however, many couples settle into a routine in which one or both partners feel as though they are taken for granted. Don't let another day go by without reinforcing your love for your spouse. Follow these steps to show your partner how much you really love them.
- Expand your love to include yourself. This may sound contrary to the objective, but you can't really love your partner fully until you love the parts of yourself that you previously believed are unlovable. This doesn't have to happen overnight, but each day, you might spend ten minutes loving yourself the way that you want to love your partner. Follow the steps below and apply them to yourself as well. As you increase your love for yourself, your love for your partner will grow even deeper.
- Find out your partner's preferred "Love Language." Do they know you love them when you speak words of love? Or maybe they feel loved by your actions? Some people feel loved by receiving little gifts, and others by the amount of time that is spent with them. Each are great ways of loving, but finding out your partner's preference will enable you to love them in ways that are particularly valuable to them.
- Speak your love. Clear communication will let your partner know how much you love them. Speaking from your experience is a way of sharing yourself so that your partner can hear it. You might say, "My heart expands when you walk into the room" or "I think about you throughout my day, and each time I do, I smile." Say whatever is true for you. Remember that actions often speak louder than words; don't just say something, do something.
- Show your love through your actions, such as drawing a bath, giving a massage, doing the dishes, or writing a poem. Choose an action that appeals to you as well as your partner! If you're doing something you don't want to do, no matter how much you love your partner, this will show.
- Spend time being present with your partner. (This is often the least used, but the most powerful form of loving.) Turn off the phone, the TV, computer, and the radio and sit together allowing yourselves to experience each other without words. Being present with one another allows for total acceptance, and expands the love that you both feel.
- Appreciate yourself and your partner. Successful relationships have a five to one ratio of appreciations to criticisms. Notice things big and small about your partner that you really value, and say them out loud.
- Speak the truth. Telling your partner the truth is a loving thing to do because it shows trust and respect, and it creates a deep connection. If you want to share the depth of your love, but don't know how, it's all right to say exactly that. If you're scared you'll do it wrong, then state that. The truth doesn't have to be positive to be meaningful. It just needs to be true for you. Show your spouse unconditional acceptance. Abandon expectations and love them no matter what they do. Expressions of disappointment and disapproval of your spouse arise out of unmet expectations and undermine your efforts to build a mutually satisfying and safe environment.
- You can't make a mistake in loving someone. Anything you do with love in your heart is a wonderful thing-- for you. If that person also feels loved by it, then that's great too!
- Take your partner out to different places such as out for dinners, movies, or vacation.
- It's a common misconception that one has to "buy one's partner" with expensive gifts. A Sunday afternoon picnic in the countryside (or even in your own garden) doesn't have to cost much.
- Love is a complex thing, but it doesn't have to be hard to show your love. Surprise them with a gift, that would normally not mean much,and make it mean the world, because it connects you two together, or represents an inside joke, or memory you share. (For example - maybe you took a trip to the mountains, and you went on a hike and saw some beautiful shiny rocks off the trail where it would be dangerous to get to. Later that night you give your lover a little box with rocks that looked exactly like the ones you saw down the mountain.) It's a sweet, and loving thing to do, that comes straight from the heart.