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26 Effective & Creative Ways to Communicate with Your Significant Other

26 Effective & Creative Ways to Communicate with Your Significant Other

Love is all about communication. Whether you have been together for days, months or decades, your significant other is someone to whom you express all your warm fuzzy affection and who you can be as mushy with as you’d like. You don’t need to wait for a special occasion to remind that certain someone how much they are loved. Instead of the usual texting of “I love you”, add variety to your daily communication and try one of these creative ways to express yourself.

1. Write it on steamed mirrors

i-love-you-mirror

    It’s early morning and you’re taking turns to shower before running off to work. Knowing they’re next in line, surprise them with a message and it’d be a wonderful way to start their day!

    2. Write on a banana

    love-note-banana

      When you pack them lunch, add on a banana as a healthy mid-day snack that’s high in potassium. It’s a thoughtful gesture and they will be smiling and laughing at how silly you are if you use a marker to write directly on the peel.

      If you prefer to be sneaky, use your banana as a secret message! When you use a toothpick to scratch a message on the banana peel, it does not appear visible until an hour later.

      3. Place notes on the fridge

      nakedfridge

        There will be no excuse for not reading your message (Everybody walks to the fridge, right?) Use alphabet magnets to craft your message so you can reuse and rearrange them from time to time to add fun into your daily lives. If you do not have those, post-its will work just as well.

        4. Use a Pillow Talk

        pillowtalk

          Maybe you are in a long-distance relationship, or you don’t Iive together just yet. Launching soon, Pillow Talk is a wearable product that lets you send your heartbeat to your loved one, and by putting the speaker in the pillow you are able to hear theirs too – therefore providing the illusion of closeness no matter where you may be.

          5. Dedicate them a song

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          old-radio-set-igor-kislev

            Very old-school but nevertheless always a romantic thing to do. Is there a song that describes your relationship well? Dedicate that song with a heartfelt message on the radio and telling them when to listen. Make sure you know their schedule at that time so they don’t miss the perfect timing!

            6. Start a love diary

            love diary

              Make it a project to take turns to fill it up with pictures of the most memorable moments, write short letters for each other, share secrets so you have nothing to hide, create love lists of about you like about them and share everything that is on your mind. You can also keep a box of memorabilia of things that are special in your relationship, such as movie ticket stubs

              7. Install LoveByte – an app for couples

              readsecretmessage

                If writing in a physical diary is too troublesome, let technology make things easier for you. Search for couple apps and share with your significant other in a private space that you can call your own. It’s like a shared treasure chest of all your memories so revisiting the best times of your relationship is accessible and instantaneous.

                8. Read together Gary Chapman’s “Five Love Languages” book

                love-language-book

                  Find out what makes each other tick and how we express and receive love in different forms. It’s one of the best ways to build understanding between the two of you.

                  9. Invent your own secret code

                  kids-sharing-secret

                    Come up with some signs that only the two of you understand so you can slip it in your conversations without anyone knowing! Like in 50 Shades of Grey, there’s “red” and “yellow”. You can make it as sexy or ridiculous as you want, as long as you are having fun.

                    10. Buy a pair of tickets to their favourite show/concert

                    tumblr_n6sj239IE91sbafcao1_500

                      Is their favourite band coming to town? You know they want to see it but can’t bear to pay for the expensive tickets? Pamper them by getting them a ticket. If you can, accompany them to watch it (even if you don’t really want to!) to let them know you take interest in what they like and enjoy. Sometimes love is best communicated by your actions, not your words.

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                      11. Make your own scratchcards

                      scratchcardpack_lovebyte

                        Don’t worry about not having handcrafting skills. There are tutorials to follow to make your own scratchcards where you can write in your own message, cover it up with paint and let the recipient scratch to unveil the message. Try typing in Google keywords like “DIY scratchcards” and you’re good to go. All you need are some cards, dish soap, silver acrylic paint, clear tape and a small container.

                        12. Make a heart-shaped meal

                        heart-shapped-pizza

                          Prepare their favourite meal and display it a heart shape. (Whether or not the food tastes great, that’s a separate story!) You can prepare almost any food shaped into a heart: cut out toast, pizza, cookies; as long as you have a heart-shaped cutter. You can even use them on your fruits.

                          13. Slip a surprise note into their bag

                          love post it note

                            Write a sweet message on a post-it note. It can be something as simple as “Have a great day!” or an appreciation note to thank them of their presence in your life. Place more notes in random places where they will find it – in their dresser, fridge, in their car, bathroom mirror. It’d be something they come across later and you will keep them wondering when you managed to sneak it in without them knowing.

                            14. Embark on a ’30 Day Relationship Challenge’ together

                            couple-hand-love-nails-pinky-promise-Favim.com-412886_large

                              Is it true that it takes 21 days to form a habit? Spice up your everyday interaction by committing to doing an activity daily together. It can be as simple as doing house chores together, giving each other a massage, or looking at old pictures. To make the challenge even more meaningful, brainstorm together to make your own list or search the net for some ideas.

                              15. Scavenger Hunt

                              3_scavenger-hunt

                                On some coloured paper place clues and hints, and hide them all around the house. Ask your partner to solve the questions. You can ask some questions to remind them of special days in the relationship (e.g. when you had your first date). Get them thinking about the good times and how you both felt in the beginning.

                                16. Couple Quiz

                                couple

                                  Pick up a book of questions and fire them at each other. You can choose any topic or keep it to relationship questions. You will learn from the answers and discover each other’s preferences, attitudes, perspectives and desires – some of which you may not even have known about yourself! This is a fun way to get to know each other and bring you closer as a couple.

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                                  17. Make them a wallet card

                                  walletcard

                                    Write a heartwarming message that is loving and motivational to your partner so they can always see it whenever they open their wallet. It is something they carry along with them all the time so it serves as a great reminder.

                                    18. Surprise them with flowers

                                    lovenotes-flowers

                                      Perhaps your partner has been getting stressed at work, or you know they are going through a tough week. Have a lovely bouquet delivered to their workplace – even though there’s no special occasion or celebration – when they are least expecting it. Just because you want to see a smile on their face (Aww!) Plus it’s cheaper than getting them on peak periods like Valentine’s Day. Be sure to add a personal, encouraging message to add a special touch!

                                      19. Make short videos

                                      couple-taking-picture-and-smiling

                                        In case you were thinking dirty… No, that’s not what we meant. Make recordings of simple daily happenings, or talk about something you recall. Over time you will have built a record you can fondly look back at together and see how much you’ve both grown.

                                        20. Quiet places for heart-to-heart talk

                                        couple-lie-down-nature-sweet-Favim.com-440397

                                          Visit new, quiet places where you can be away from the crowd and just sit down, hold hands and have a good heart-to-heart talk. Sit on a park bench or lie down to watch the night sky. Make it a point to travel even if it’s a little out of the way. Soaking together in a bathtub is considered a pretty unconventional place for a good, relaxing chat.

                                          21. Make love vows

                                          lovebytereasons

                                            Spend a good evening and write down some promises of love to each other. Hang it up on the wall and be constantly reminded of the commitment you’ve promised each other – put down on pen and paper.

                                            22. Make a bookmark

                                            7_bookmark

                                              If your significant other is a bookworm, it would be nice to print out nice images and paste a love quote on top of it. Get it laminated and put it in to a book they are reading.

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                                              23. Mail them a handwritten letter

                                              loveletter-480x404

                                                Because nobody takes the time to write to each other any more. The love letter is a classic way to show them how you feel. Express your gratitude and thank them for the little things they do for you. It’s something that they can keep for a long time and they will always feel good reading it again and again. Sit down and take the time to put in your best effort to write something down on pen and paper.

                                                24. Lipstick on the mirror

                                                mirror7

                                                  Use lipstick to write a romantic message on the mirror. It’s a cheeky way to leave a short message (If you are worried about the stain, liquid dish soap and hot water will do the trick!)

                                                  25. Get your dog to fetch it

                                                    If you are lucky enough to have a dog who will learn special tricks, train your dog to bring a letter in its mouth to your partner.

                                                    25. Candy Hearts

                                                    candy-599884_1280

                                                      Printed with cute messages like “Kiss Me” and “XOXO”, these ‘conversation heart’ candies make great gifts to send a message. If you want your message to be more special you can even have them custom made, so that it will be one of a kind.

                                                      Featured photo credit: Wokanda via pixabay.com

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                                                      Last Updated on August 12, 2020

                                                      When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

                                                      When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

                                                      Learning how to trust your gut, otherwise known as your intuition, can keep you safe. Your gut can guide you and help you build your confidence and resilience. My own gut instinct has saved me on more than one occasion. It has also guided me into making sound career choices and other exciting, big decisions. I’m also aware of the times when I’ve gone against my instincts and really regretted it later, wondering why I didn’t tune in to that valuable internal voice that we all have within us.

                                                      In this article, we’re going to explore why and how you should listen to your gut, as well as some concrete tips on how to make sure you’re making the most out of your gut instincts.

                                                      How to Listen to Your Gut

                                                      The key when making any big decision is to always take a minute to listen well to yourself and your inner compass. If you hear your actual voice saying yes while inside you’re silently screaming no, my advice is to ask for some time to think, or simply take a breath and pause before the yes or no escapes your mouth.

                                                      Use that moment to breathe, check in with yourself, and give the answer that feels congruent with who you are and what you want, not the one that always involves following the herd. Trusting your gut means having the courage to not simply go with the majority. It can be about holding your own. Here’s how to hone that skill for yourself and reap the rewards.

                                                      1. Tune Into Your Body

                                                      Your body gives you clues when you’re faced with a big decision. There are many visible and obvious symptoms that we feel in uncomfortable situations. Our body’s reaction is often something that we might try to hide, for example, blushing, being lost for words, or shaking. There are things we might do to try and hide that physical reaction, whether it’s wearing makeup, having a glass of wine or coffee to perk us up a bit, or learning to control our nerves.

                                                      However, paying attention to your body when you experience these feelings of anxiety can teach you so much and help you to make sound choices. Some people will experience an actual “gut” feeling of stomach ache or indigestion in an uncomfortable situation.

                                                      Ask yourself what’s really going on here, and explore what is happening behind your body’s response to the situation. What can your reaction or instinct teach you? Understanding that can be a clue and can help you either learn something about yourself, the situation, or other people. The answers are often within us.

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                                                      Sometimes we’ll get this “something’s not right here” feeling and cannot quite put our finger on it or explain it. That can still be incredibly useful and really guide us away from danger, even if we don’t know the reason.

                                                      In his book, Blink, Malcolm Gladwell also argues this, making the point that sometimes our subconscious is better at processing the answer we need, and that we don’t necessarily need to take time to collect hours and hours of information to come to a reliable conclusion[1].

                                                      2. Ensure Your Head Is Clear Before Making a Decision

                                                      Energy, sleep, and good nutrition are so vital to nourishing our minds, as well as our bodies. There are times when your instinct could lead you astray, and one of these is when you are hungry, “hangry” (angry because you’re hungry!), tired, or anxious. If this is the case–and it may sound obvious–do consider sleeping or eating on it before making an important choice.

                                                      There is, in fact, a connection between our gut and our brain[2], which is where terms like “butterflies in the stomach” and “gut-wrenching” originate from. Stress and emotions can cause physical feelings, and ignoring them might do more harm than good.

                                                      3. Don’t Be Afraid to Say What You Think and Feel

                                                      Listening to your gut and really paying attention to it might involve standing up and being counted, calling something out, or taking a stand. As someone who works for myself, I’ve become used to following the less-travelled road, and that’s given me the chance to strike out on my own in other ways, too.

                                                      As they tell you in the planes, “put your own oxygen mask on first,” and part of that self-reliance is knowing what you really want and like and what is safe and good for you, including what resonates with your personal and business values. Making good decisions with this in mind means making choices that do not go against your own beliefs, even when it may mean taking a stand. This is part of trusting yourself and trusting your instincts.

                                                      This does not always mean taking the “safe” option, although keeping ourselves safe is an important part of the process. This is how we learn and grow, by following our own inner compass. When you do take risks, go outside of your comfort zone, or choose the less popular option, spending some time researching the facts can stand us in good stead, too.

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                                                      4. Do Your Research If Something Feels Off

                                                      As well as listening to our instincts, we can also back up the evidence for our chosen course of action before taking the leap. I had a gut feeling about the need for a learning and development network when I noticed my clients getting stuck with the same problems. I set up and now run such a network, but instead of simply going for it, without evidence, I followed up on my instinct with research.

                                                      Having confidence in your gut instinct through these kinds of tests can help to minimize your risks, as well as spur you on. It will encourage you to trust your gut again in the future and trust that you are an expert with foresight and experience. You are!

                                                      5. Challenge Your Assumptions

                                                      When you look at the assumptions your making, this could be the clue to mistakes you are making.

                                                      In order to check that our instincts are wise, we need to ask ourselves what blanks we might be filling in, either consciously or unconsciously. This is true not just when it comes to our own decision-making. It’s also true when we are listening to someone explain a problem or situation, and we’re about to jump in and give some advice. If we can learn to be aware of our own assumptions, we can become better listeners and better decision makers, too.

                                                      A useful tool to become more aware of your assumptions before making a final decision is simply to ask yourself, “What assumptions am I making about this situation or person?”

                                                      6. Educate Yourself on Unconscious Bias

                                                      Unconscious bias is something we all have, and it can trip us up big time!

                                                      There is a vital caveat to bear in mind when wondering about whether you can trust your gut and the feelings your body gives you, and that’s having an awareness of your unconscious bias. Understanding your own bias–which is hard to do because it literally does happen in our subconscious–can help you to make stronger, better, decisions instead of re-confirming your view of the world over and over again.

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                                                      Bias exists, and it’s part of the human condition. All of us have it, and it colors our decisions and can impact on our performance without us realizing.

                                                      Unconscious bias happens at a subconscious level in our brains. Our subconscious brain processes information so much faster than our conscious brain. Quick decisions we make in our subconscious are based on both our societal conditioning and how our families raised us.

                                                      Our brains process hundreds of thousands of pieces of information daily. We unconsciously categorize and format that information into patterns that feel familiar to us. Aspects such as gender, disability, class, sexuality, body shape and size, ethnicity, and what someone does for a job can all quickly influence decisions we make about people and the relationships we choose to form. Our unconscious bias can be very subtle and go unnoticed..

                                                      We naturally tend to gravitate towards people similar to ourselves, favoring people who we see as belonging to the same “group” as us. Being able to make a quick decision about whether someone is part of your group and distinguish friend from foe was what helped early humans to survive. Conversely, we don’t automatically favor people who we don’t immediately relate to or easily connect with.

                                                      The downside of that human instinct to seek out similar people is the potential for prejudice, which seems to be hard-wired into human cognition, no matter how open-minded we believe ourselves to be. And these stereotypes we create can be wrong. If we only spend our time with and employ people similar to ourselves, it can create prejudices, as well as stifle fresh thinking and innovation.

                                                      We may feel more natural or comfortable working with other people who share our own background and/or opinions than collaborating with people who don’t look, talk, or think like us. However, diversity is not just morally right; having a mix of different people and perspectives that can be genuinely heard is also a valuable way to counter groupthink. Diversity stretches us to think more critically and creatively.

                                                      7. Trust Yourself

                                                      It is possible to learn how to truly trust yourself[3]. Like any talent or skill, practicing trusting your gut is the best way to get really good at it. When people talk about having great intuition or being good decision-makers, it’s because they’ve worked at honing those skills, made mistakes, learned from them, and tried again.

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                                                      Looking back at decisions you’ve made, what you did, what the outcome was, and what you’ve learned can help you become a stronger decision maker and develop solid self-trust and resilience. Making a mistake does not mean you are not great at decision-making; it’s a chance to grow and learn, and the only mistake is to ignore the lesson in that experience.

                                                      If you are in the habit of asking others for their input, then the trick here is to choose your inner circle wisely. Having a sounding board of people who have your best interests at heart is a valuable asset, and, combined with your own excellent instincts, can make you a champion decision maker.

                                                      The Bottom Line

                                                      The above tips are all actionable and easy to start immediately. It’s simply about switching your thinking around, slowing down, and taking great care of this amazing machine that is your body and mind!

                                                      Learning how to trust your gut is one of the most fundamental ways to make decisions that will help you lead the life you want and need. Tune into what your body is telling you and start making good decisions today.

                                                      More Tips on How to Trust Your Gut

                                                      Featured photo credit: Acy Varlan via unsplash.com

                                                      Reference

                                                      [1] Science of People: Learn to Trust Your Gut Instincts: The Science Behind Thin-slicing
                                                      [2] Harvard Health Publishing: The gut-brain connection
                                                      [3] Psych Central: 3 Ways to Develop Self-Trust

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