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8 Sweet And Intimate Ways To Show Your Love

8 Sweet And Intimate Ways To Show Your Love

Just because spring is over doesn’t mean love isn’t still in the air. But just because you say you love someone repeatedly doesn’t make it so. True love is shown through your actions. Of course, words can be a part of it, but if you don’t put in any extra effort, those words are simply air flying through the breeze.

My wife and I have been together for almost a year, and we still always kiss goodnight, say I love you before leaving the house, and text each other randomly throughout the day just to say we miss each other. Sure, if I wasn’t in love, I might find what I just said way too mushy. But I care way too much for my wife to let what other people might think get in the way of me showing her how much I love her.

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If you truly love someone, show them you do by:

1. Touching more

Holding hands isn’t just for those who have recently fallen in love. You should always want to grab your mate’s hand as you walk down the street, or to the mall, or just while you’re sitting on the couch watching TV. Small public displays of affection that are simple and quick show your partner you care. While I’m not advocating for full-on make-out sessions at the grocery store, there’s nothing wrong with hugs or pecks here and there to remind your love just how much they mean to you.

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2. Being silly

What’s the point of having your best friend around all the time if you can’t act ridiculous around them? Get into water gun fights or tickle wars, no matter how old you are. Poke fun at each other (in good taste, of course), and don’t get upset when it comes back on you. Plan elaborate pranks that will keep you both on your toes. Use your relationship as a gateway to reminding each other how much fun it was to be a carefree like when you were first in love.

3. Giving gifts and planning surprises

Don’t wait for anniversaries or holidays to give gifts. The best presents are the ones given off-the-cuff, like when you were out at the store and saw something you just knew you had to buy for your love. Surprise movie or dinner dates on a Thursday can liven up a relationship more than you realize. Always go that extra mile to show you were thinking of your significant other.

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4. Sending love notes

I mentioned my wife and I text each other to say “I miss you” at random, but it doesn’t hurt to go the extra mile and leave handwritten notes hidden around the house. Or you could go even further and mail out a letter that’s simply to be returned to your home expressing your happiness and love. When you put your words down into writing, you’ll realize just how much you really do care about them.

5. Listening to them

You’ve had a long day, and you just want some peace and quiet. Then the phone rings, and you have to hear about the absolutely atrocious day your significant other had. Don’t blow them off with stock responses like “Yea, that’s awful” or “You gotta be kidding me?” Actually listen to what they’re saying. Help them find a solution to their problems. Truly connect with them, even on their worst days. They’ll appreciate your sincerity, and will be there when you need to vent.

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6. Giving thanks and praise

I just started experimenting a bit more with my cooking. While I don’t really care much how my food tastes, and would be happy eating whatever is in the pantry, I thrive off of knowing my wife enjoyed a meal I prepared. At the same time, I work hard to prepare these meals so she can come home and relax. We never take each other for granted, and always give sincere thanks to each other when something is done for us.

7. Take time to enjoy each other

We live in a busy world. It’s important that you take the time to appreciate your significant other. Spend quiet time together to reflect on your memories and plan for your future together. You don’t want to get caught in a rut because life has gotten in the way. Set other obligations aside every day to spend time with the one you love, even if it’s a few fleeting moments of bliss.

8. Continue to grow together

You’re both individuals with independent goals, but you’ve come together because you want someone to share your accomplishments with. As you grow as an individual, be sure to grow with your significant other as well. Don’t wait for something magical to come along that will tell you when to make the next step; be the catalyst, yourself. You may have your own goals in life, but when you’re with someone, you should always work toward a common end together.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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