5 Ways to Show Your Partner You Love Them
Every relationship expert—whether they’re a true professional or those who claim the term from personal experience—will surely tout the benefits of showing love to your partner on a regular basis. However strong your bond, though, you might not have the necessary clarity to know how you can do so. Worse yet, every individual has unique needs and preferences, which means each romantic relationship has countless opportunities for making their partnership work, so long as they can figure them out.
From date nights to everyday affection, keeping a few relationship tips in mind can help you and your partner build a strong, healthy relationship. Implement one at a time or work on them all at once to turbocharge your marriage. Either way, they can lead you toward long-term relationship success.
1. Learn to speak their love language.
Understanding the concept of love languages, and, more specifically, your partner’s love language, can go a long way towards knowing how to love your spouse. In its simplest sense, the idea of love languages considers the fact that different people express love—and want to receive it—in different ways. In the context of a committed relationship, knowing how your partner expresses love can help you show affection while avoiding feelings of anger and resentment over unspoken and, therefore, unmet expectations.
For instance, perhaps your love language is acts of service, so you love nothing more than when your partner takes a chore off your plate so you can fit in some alone time at the end of the day. Their love language, though, is quality time, and they took care of that chore to be able to spend as much time with you as possible. By understanding one another’s desires, you can compromise to ensure each of your needs are met.
This isn’t only applicable to romantic relationships, either—love languages are a great way to connect with your family members or be a good friend. Even in your current relationship, you can’t avoid the fact that people change, and your partner’s love language might, too. Sure, there’s no such thing as a perfect partner. But, understanding your own identity and your partner’s love language—including any changes over time—can lead to a more fulfilling romance.
2. Genuinely listen to them.
Have you ever been talking about a hobby or personal passion but the person you were speaking to saw it as nothing more than a distraction from things they themselves cared about? Or, even worse, they may have expressed outright contempt at your enthusiasm.
Of course, this is a red flag in any context, but the last place you’d want to find your vulnerability met with such negativity is in a romantic relationship, and your partner surely feels the same way. So, it’s a good idea to create a positive environment for your partner to talk about whatever it is they love, no matter your own level of interest (or lack thereof).
This is a key aspect of good communication and shows genuinely unconditional love, not to mention engagement in the conversation itself. Not only will your partner know that you are a safe space away from their own insecurities and any previous rejection, but you’ll find the mental health boost that comes from the oxytocin of this kind of positive social connection and intimacy.
3. Find ways to surprise them.
In any kind of relationship, in more pop culture references than can be named, most long-time couples worry that their love life lacks the butterflies and surprises that a new relationship might. Of course, it’s not a bad thing to know that you and your spouse are in a long-term, committed relationship.
You know just about everything about your partner, and that’s a good thing! One of the best parts of a marriage is that you don’t have to learn a bunch of new things about a different person with every new relationship. Still, there’s no harm in finding effective ways to surprise your partner.
Fit a little time into your joint schedule and plan a fun activity for your next date night. Or, take a moment away from the demands of work and surprise your partner with a cup of coffee. Once you’ve put some thought into a good thing you can do for your spouse, more will come to mind easily—and those thoughts of not being enough will fade away.
4. Remember the little things.
When you have a new partner, you mark firsts—first date, first kiss, first time you meet their family. But you can turn to these same so-called little things in your relationship to ensure the two of you enjoy the joys of a happy relationship long after that first date. Something as simple as reaching out to hold hands can build a stronger connection and increase intimacy between you and your partner.
Every single day, you can find a good time to work towards this kind of relationship success. Remember—a strong relationship depends on your own feelings and your partner’s. It can be as simple as making time to play board games on a Saturday afternoon. You can reach for small things like this or a grander, more obviously important factor, and your partner’s contentment will inevitably rise alongside your own happiness.
5. Work through the tough times.
Every successful relationship has its own share of ups and downs, whether that’s simple miscommunications and disagreements or more serious issues. These happy couples have one unique feature in common—they work through these bad times with the common goal of strength in their relationship for the long run.
Amidst the possible issues you might face in making your relationship work, couples therapy can often be a critical tool in your arsenal. A relationship coach or LCSW can help you both through a hard time, whether it’s learning effective communication or how to set boundaries. Alternatively, one or both of you might work with a psychologist or psychotherapist to embrace forgiveness or get a handle on your finances. A sex therapist can even help you with issues of physical intimacy! Of course, booking an appointment or intensive therapy retreat isn’t the only thing you can do to improve your relationship, but it may well be the best way to truly show your partner your love.