Waiting for special occasions — such as Valentine’s Day, for example — shouldn’t be an excuse to show your loved ones some affection. Learning how to show someone you love them isn’t all black and white either, as there are many ways to not only give love, but receive it as well.
It’s important to understand that not everyone finds it easy to express their love and affection to other people. Saying the words “I love you” might not be a big feat for some, but others may struggle to express their sentiments beyond those three simple but meaningful words. People can learn to say “I love you” without actually saying it out loud so long as they understand that each individual expresses their feelings in different ways.
If you want to know how to tell someone you love them but still struggle with expressing yourself, then read on to understand how love can be communicated even without having to convey the usual “I love you” statement that many of us fall back on.
How To Show Someone You Love Them: The Five Love Languages
Ever heard of the Five Love Languages? As author Gary Chapman explains, you can learn how to show someone you love them by understanding what their love language is. Essentially, love languages are the different ways people express and receive love. By understanding your own love language and that of your significant other’s, you’re establishing a healthy habit of communication in your relationship. A lack of communication can be detrimental to healthy relationships, so it’s important that you understand what love languages work for you and your partner.
Words Of Affirmation
As a love language, affirmative words can help build up your partner by showing your appreciation for them more vocally. For example, saying “Thanks for taking the trash out” instead of “It’s about time you took it out” can make a world of a difference, as that small gesture of gratitude tells them that you truly value them.
Having a significant other who identifies with this love language means they are an auditory learner: they want to hear you say actual words of affection for them to be comfortable with it. You can’t leave their ears empty and their minds guessing. Be sure that you are genuine with your words as well, because you won’t be able to convey your feelings to them with statements that are said for the sake of it. Your partner will be able to tell when your words are only being said for no reason other than to appease them. When it comes to learning how to show someone you love them with words of affirmation, being genuine with your loving words will be crucial.
No matter how busy you are, always make sure to spend meaningful time with your loved one. When they ask you to join them on a movie marathon, stop fiddling with your work emails and make time for them. Give them your full attention when needed, even if they don’t say so outright.
Everyone loves feeling important to their loved ones. Thus, dedicating your time and undivided attention can be a great way of showing how much you love them. This is a universal relationship rule, be it romantic relationships or otherwise.
Acts Of Service
Not everyone is comfortable with saying “I love you” out loud. Another alternative to expressing these loving words would be doing something nice for your beloved instead. Acts of service need not be anything grand or outrageous. They can be simple things that you know your loved one will appreciate, like cooking for them or cleaning around the house. Do them a favor unprompted, even. In other words, be someone they can depend on when they need it.
Other people feel appreciated through physical intimacy. Show someone whose love language is physical contact by initiating physical closeness. Cuddle with them, hold their hand when they reach out, or smother them in kisses if you’re in a romantic relationship with them. These sort of people crave every single physical proof of your love, so don’t hold back with them when it comes to more physical acts of affection.
Everybody appreciates gifts. Even if your love language doesn’t manifest in the form of gifts, the act of receiving a thoughtful present can be enough to convey an appreciation for someone. For others, gifts can bear a hefty significance on feelings. Don’t mistake this for materialism though; someone whose love language is receiving gifts simply appreciates the thoughtfulness of what a gift represents. It makes them feel important to someone. It’s proof that the one they love knows them enough to give them something they need or want.
Gifts can be as simple as a wall clock, or even as extravagant as a car. With gifts, you can show your loved one that you keep them in your thoughts by giving them something that reminds you of them. That sentiment alone will be able to relay your feelings to them and will leave a lasting impression, no matter how simple the gift may be.
How To Show Someone You Love Them According To The Five Languages
Looking at these “languages,” it’s easy to see why they’re effective. Through love languages, you’re able to express love in the most effective way possible for a person. It’s as simple as that, but nevertheless, there are more detailed explanations as to why these languages work like a charm.
Affirmative Words: How Powerful Are The Things You Say?
Words hold an immense amount of power. What you say to a person has the ability to stay with them, whether it be longterm or temporarily. This has deep roots in modern psychology as well.
Scientists claim that words can literally change your brain. A single word can alter the expression of genes that control physical and emotional responses. A word like “love” can promote brain functions by strengthening the frontal lobe. As the brain receives the stimulus, it is called to action. As for negative words, they can weaken the brain’s defenses to stress. Since humans are natural worriers (as a defense mechanism), negative words reinforce that.
What’s the takeaway in this? If you want to know how to show someone you love them, take a look at yourself. Examine the common words that come out of you. Do you show gratitude? Do you say thank you when someone does something for you? This doesn’t only apply to your loved ones either. It starts with you as well. Show gratitude to yourself more often. Build yourself up. Start appreciating what you can do and be grateful that you can do it, because some people can only dream of doing the things you can do.
How To Say Effective Words Of Affirmation
- To make your words effective, start with your vocabulary. Determine the words you always use and analyze which ones show gratitude and which do not. Try being more conscious about using affirmative and positive words in your everyday life.
- Avoid self-criticism and name-calling. Steer away from calling yourself or other people bad names. Always remember that people are trying to make the best of what they’re doing in life. Be mindful of how your words may affect other people. They may be going through their own hardships even if it might not show, and the last thing you want to do is undermine their efforts.
- Stop self-deprecation. You have abilities and skills that are unique to you. Start looking at what you can do and what you have, and see them for the achievements that they are. Be kind to yourself and avoid making a joke about your accomplishments and appearance. You can’t expect to boost other people when you can’t do so for yourself first and foremost.
- Get rid of all negative energy. It’s okay to complain about things from time to time, but make it a habit to look at the positives of the situations you find yourself in as well. Say you had a subpar glass of wine, for example. Instead of badmouthing the drink, turn it around and think, “I’ve had better.” This can help you reminisce about a good memory instead of focusing on a bad experience. Lastly, cut off the toxic people in your life. They will only bring you unnecessary negativity, so make it a point to thoroughly weed out the people who do you more harm than good.
Turn these practices into habits. You don’t have to start big, either. Begin by appreciating the efforts of the people around you, whether it be a waiter or a person who helps you with an errand. Show your gratitude for favors, grand or small.
It’s the little things that will help you better understand the power of words and how to show someone you love them with with your affectionate remarks. Start with yourself, and you’ll find how easy it can be express your love to other people through words alone.
Quality Time With The Person: A Look At The Power Of Companionship
Researchers Baumeister and Leary (1955) theorize that humans have a need to form interpersonal attachments, as belongingness has effects on our cognitive processes and emotional patterns. Furthermore, our social nature as a species is innate and is believed to have origins in evolution. Our ancestors formed groups because there was safety in numbers during hunts. Additionally, forming social bonds was essential to survive and reproduce. As such, interpersonal bonds became crucial in the evolution of humans.
Simply put, the human desire for companionship is natural. We inherently seek companionship, be it for romantic reasons or not. Though there are people who may prefer to be by themselves due to their introverted nature, they’re still human. Someone being an introvert only means they’re more selective in the people they spend time with and prefer to create more substantial connections than relatively superficial ones.
How To Satisfy Your Loved One’s Need For Companionship
- Facilitate frequent and positive interactions with your loved one. Create a routine with them so that quality time together becomes a regular part of your schedules.
- Focus on quality, not quantity. It doesn’t matter if you only have 5 minutes together. Make those 5 minutes count. Your loved one will appreciate that you’ve taken the time to see them and be in their company.
- Practice active listening. When you’re with someone, be sure you’re actually in the moment and paying attention. Fully immerse yourself with what they’re saying and engage in the conversation.
Spending quality time with your loved one might take more time and effort, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. So long as you make your time together meaningful, the other person will be able to see the effort you put into spending time with them. Check in on your loved ones from time to time and make plans to catch up if you can. Meaningful interactions for the long-haul are exactly what people need when quality time is their love language. Knowing how to show someone you love them through quality time can fortify your bond with someone and ultimately bring you closer together.
Acts Of Service: The Difference Between Doers And Talkers
They say talk is cheap, and others say that actions speak louder than words. This is why for some people, acts of service are what they appreciate the most.
You can hand out as many loving words as you’d like, but if they’re not backed up by actions, then they lose their meaning and significance. It’s one thing to tell someone you love them. However, if your actions don’t reflect your words, then your words will come off as empty promises instead.
With acts of service as a love language, a person will appreciate actions over words. Your love for them will be better conveyed through helping hands than words of affection. Thus, if there’s someone you love who values acts of service as a love language, then it’s best that you follow up all your vocal expressions of love with actual actions as well. Do something nice for them and provide assistance when they need it the most.
Common Acts Of Service You Can Do
- Cooking their favorite dish
- Taking out the trash
- Helping manage their taxes
- Doing the groceries
- Walking and feeding the dog
- Washing the dishes
- Doing errands so they can focus on work
To reiterate, acts of service don’t need to be extravagant in order to be displayed as an expression of love. Even providing the littlest of aid to your loved one can properly communicate how much they mean to you.
Physical Contact: The Physical And Psychological Effects Of Skin-On-Skin
Physical contact builds trust and love between people by releasing the hormone oxytocin. Also known as the “cuddle hormone,” oxytocin works differently in men and women. For the former, it acts as a catalyst for childbirth and allows a mother to nurse and bond with her child. For the latter, oxytocin might not be as important, but it also facilitates bonding and has been shown to affect the production of testosterone in the testes.
A study from 2012 shows that an oxytocin dose can make men more physical affectionate. Since it’s a hormone that is naturally produced by your body, you might notice you or your partner being extra affectionate after physical acts of intimacy. Cuddling after sex, for example, can be a physiological response due to the cuddle hormone being in play.
There are other health benefits to physical intimacy as well, such as a boost in your immune system and keeping your defenses more alert. Prostate cancer and heart disease risk can also be lowered. Moreover, hugging people often has the benefit of lowering your blood pressure thanks to oxytocin being released into the blood stream.
But despite all the scientific explanations, it all comes back to human nature. Even the most introverted person will crave physical contact one way or another. Words won’t always suffice, so in some cases, physical intimacy can help strengthen the bonds you share with those you hold dear. With this love language, you’ll need to strike a balance between both emotional intimacy and physical intimacy to reinforce your love for a person.
Common Acts Of Physical Intimacy
- Holding hands
- Sexual activities
If public displays of affection are an issue for you, then talk it out with your partner. Come to an understanding that works for both of you. There are ways to show physical intimacy that won’t have to involve prying eyes, after all.
Gifts: The Deep Inner Workings Of Gift Giving
Long before good old St. Nick was handing bags of gold, gift-giving was already an age-old custom. Gift-giving as a form of showing love is as old as time itself. It has roots, again, in human psychology.
According to psychologist Karen Pine, gift-giving is more or less a part of what makes us human. It’s a social, economic, and cultural experience all in one. Its importance in maintaining relationships and expressing emotions is evident in society. Gift-giving is important enough that even age-old religions and social customs practice it. This is because giving gifts provides an individual with a sense of satisfaction. They feel generous and valuable to the person they’re giving a gift to.
How To Find The Perfect Gift
Psychology Today lays down three rules to finding the perfect gift.
- Experience tends to be better than material gifts. Gifts don’t always have to be material things. One study shows that experiential gifts can be even better at strengthening relationships. There’s a lot of intention in experiential gifts, so get creative and offer something out of the box. This kind of gift can be much more memorable and can leave a big impact on the recipient just as well as more “traditional” gifts can.
- Give something that represents who you are. One of the major points of gifts is being a representation of a person. A present that reminds them of who you are has the ability to bring you closer to your recipient. By growing closer to them, they can grow to value you more as an important person in their life.
- Appeal to emotions by giving something sentimental. Humans are emotional creatures by nature, so take this into account when considering what to give your loved one. It’s also worth noting, however, that research also claims sentimental presents can be one of the rarest gifts you can give someone. Tapping into someone’s sentimental side and leaving an emotional impact can be hit or miss, as gift givers may be unsure whether their recipients will appreciate such gifts. Nevertheless, it’s the thought that counts, so having good intentions to go with your sentimental present can be more than enough.
Figuring out how to show someone you love them with gifts can be a more a straightforward approach to communicating your feelings for them. In the end, giving gifts as a form of love doesn’t have to involve the flashiest of presents. While someone’s love language can manifest in the form of receiving gifts, be reminded that your love for them isn’t going to be measured by the price tag of your offerings.
Knowing how to show someone you love them by understanding how the love languages differ from one another can truly benefit the relationships you build with people. Showing your affection towards someone can be simple, but actually appealing to the human nature of love requires a deeper understanding of emotions — both your own, and that of the people around you.
You don’t need to be a master at practicing all the different love languages, but you can definitely benefit from at least having a better grasp of each one of them. People show and receive love differently based on the love language they identify with the most, so being familiar with different ones can help strengthen the different relationships you have in your life. Whether you want to deepen your connection to a lover or want to strengthen your friendship with a colleague, learning how to show someone you love them will be beneficial no matter where you are in your life.