Advertising
Advertising

I’m Not Going To Say “I Love You” To My Partner Even If I Really Do

I’m Not Going To Say “I Love You” To My Partner Even If I Really Do

How do you get to the point of I’m not going to say “I love you” to my partner even if I really do? When saying “I love you,” it is so easy when starting your life with someone. You show them you’re into them; because you are. As time moves on and you figure out you want to spend your life with that person, it’s easy to fall into the rut of “I love you, have a good day.” Or “I’ll see you after work, love you.”

Don't say, "I love you", show me.
    photo credit: thehdimg.com

    My husband and I have been married for eight years.

    Over the last year we have tried to move away from just saying, “I love you.” Sure we still say those three beautiful words, but we have learned how to say them without actually having them come out of our mouths. Here are a few of these ways.

    Advertising

    1. We take time to listen to each other.

    When we do things like this for each other it says, “I value what you have to say.” My husband has gotten to the point of when I am trying to talk to him and he is around other people, he says, “Can you please give me a moment, it’s important that I hear this.” Nothing in the material world screams, “I love you!” like this action does. Just the fact he stops and takes a breath for me gives him brownie points.

    2. Following through with my word.

    When it comes to my husband if I tell him I will do my best to do something, I jump through hoops to try and do it. Why? Because the smile on his face drives my day. I want him to know that it does.

    Advertising

    3. Showing each other intimacy.

    It doesn’t mean that you just go and jump into bed with your partner. Intimacy comes with two sides, sexual and non-sexual. Most people love the bedroom scene. We actually went through a period where I couldn’t stand being naked around him. Realizing this was an important part for him (and at one time myself also), I went for help. Doing this one action showed him, “I love you, you’re important to me, and so are your needs” it was very beneficial.

    4. Surprises.

    Going back to when you’re dating, it’s easy to send your girlfriend flowers, or make cookies for your boyfriend. My husband isn’t really into sweets, so using the first example and listening for things that he would like is how I surprise him. He knows when I say, “Wow, how cool?!” he just screamed, “I love you” without having to say a word. I know when he tells me, “You really didn’t have to do this” but there’s a smile on his face when he says it; I just told him that he means the world to me.

    Advertising

    5. We take time to notice each other.

    What does it even mean? One way we say we love each other is to actually look at each other, yes I said it. We put down the electronics and we look at each other. It usually follows with a compliment like, “Wow, honey I really like your haircut!” or “You look beautiful without any make-up on.” I know that this is a corny way to say, “I love you” but honestly; do you take the time to put your electronics and appreciate your partner? For me and my husband, this was a huge barrier in our intimacy. There were times where T.V or video games were more important than each other’s happiness. We had started to notice each other were unhappy until it was almost too late. But just taking the time to realize this was one of our barriers meant more than saying these words, “I love you”.

    6. We take time to be silly with each other.

    I’ve had friends ask me, “Why do you have that manner?” Answering this was simple, one great way that I show my spouse is saying, “Come play with me.” or “Let’s have some fun together.” When we did this for the first time we were walking through a craft store. There were these awesome pool tube swords. My husband, Nicholas kept walking by them. How do you not seize the opportunity to safely beat the crap out of each other and laugh like kids? I bought four of them, a different color for each family member and we laughed for hours over this activity. Through this action we learned how to say, “I love you,” through laughter; making our lives richer.

    Advertising

    This article by another Lifehack author helped me realize we were heading for success: Lori De La Cruz and it was called, Numerous Messages Behind “I Love You”

    It is my hope, one day the end result will be a heart warming old folks photo like this one

    Growing Old
      photo credit : www.tumblr.com

      Featured photo credit: MoshLab Wallpaper via moshlab.com

      More by this author

      10 Creative Ways To Comfort Without Speaking 15 Recipes To Tackle Winter Flu Fed Up With Your Party Shots? Try These 5 Jello Shot Recipes I’m Not Going To Say “I Love You” To My Partner Even If I Really Do

      Trending in Communication

      1 7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language 2 How to Apologize When You Have Made a Mistake 3 7 Science-Backed Books About Spirituality That Will Change Your Life 4 20 Things Life Is Too Short to Worry About 5 How to Find Inner Peace and Lasting Happiness

      Read Next

      Advertising
      Advertising
      Advertising

      Last Updated on January 15, 2021

      7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

      7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

      The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

      Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

      Posture

      First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

      • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
      • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
      • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
      • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

      All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

      Facial Expressions

      Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

      • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
      • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
      • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

      If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

      Advertising

      1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

      A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

      The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

      This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

      2. Relax Your Face

      New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

      The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

      To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

      Advertising

      3. Improve Your Eye Contact

      Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

      The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

      To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

      3. Smile More

      There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

      Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

      4. Hand Gestures

      Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

      Advertising

      It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

      5. Enhance Your Handshake

      In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

      “Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

      It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

      6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

      As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

      Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

      Advertising

      Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

      Final Takeaways

      Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

      If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

      More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

      Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

      Reference

      Read Next