The month of love is over but that doesn’t mean you can’t still show your love and appreciation for your significant other! Whether it’s by surprising them with a romantic date or showering them with words of gratitude, nothing is too big or too small. If you're undecided as to how to show some affection, we’ve come up with a list of ways to let your sweetheart know they’re loved on every day of the year.
1. Be direct!
According to clinical psychologist Dr. Mark Sharp of the Aiki Relationship Institute, the best way to show your significant other that you love them is to literally tell them. However, the problem of feeling too vulnerable is often what keeps people from doing so. “Loving someone and expressing it is always making yourself vulnerable to some degree. Part of the process of becoming mature enough yourself to be in a relationship is becoming secure enough to handle the relationship,” he says. Another thing that turns people off from verbally professing their love is their fear of scaring away the other person. But the answer to that dilemma is within the problem itself according to Dr. Sharp. “As far as freaking your significant other out, if that is the outcome it means one of a couple of things—either they aren’t at the same place in the relationship or they have some maturing do before they are really ready to be in a relationship,” he says. So in short, his consensus? Take the risk! If your partner doesn’t respond the way you want them to, it’s better to know where you stand with them sooner than later.
2. Carry them with you
Not literally of course, but in the sense of carrying their presence with you. “When we love or deeply care about someone, we carry a sense of their presence with us and think about them often, even when they are not with us,” says Dr. Sharp. He states that even though our partners aren’t physically with us sometimes, it’s important to make them feel like they are. “When something happens that reminds you of your significant other, let them know; send them a text with a quick note about what happened or a picture of what you saw that reminded you of them,” he suggests. Letting your partner know that you’re thinking of them when they’re not around goes a long way in making the relationship last.
3. Understand that they may love differently than you do
If you’re familiar with The 5 Love Languages, then this tip should be a breeze for you. Not everyone experiences or expresses love in the same way. For instance, you may think that showering your loved one with gifts is the perfect way to show you love them while they are more comfortable with giving you random compliments throughout the day instead. “It is good to keep in mind that if your significant other seems to be totally unaffected by what you think are clear demonstrations of love, they might just experience it differently,” Dr. Sharp notes. Have some knowledge of how your partner likes to be loved so that way there isn’t any confusion down the road
4. Put them first
“A lot of relationships tend to be me-centered but if we really want to have a good relationship then we should always be thinking about how we can help our SO instead of making it all about us,” says Abigail Megginson, a junior at the University of West Florida. And she’s right. Although it is important to look out for yourself in a relationship, rejecting your partner’s needs isn’t fair to do. Abigail adds that a few things you could do to show your significant other how important they are to you includes buying them books or songs that they’ve been wanting or calling them randomly just to talk to them.
5. Show your partner that you trust them
The level of trust between you and your significant other can definitely impact how healthy your relationship is. Dr. Barton Goldsmith, nationally syndicated columnist and author of Emotional Fitness for Couples: 10 Minutes a Day to a Better Relationship stresses the importance of strong trust in a relationship. “Love can’t flourish in a world of distrust,” he says. Instilling trust in your partner can often be easier said than done, especially if you've been hurt in previous relationships. However, bringing those same trust issues into a new relationship will do more harm than good. For instance, if your significant other says they are going out with some friends that you haven't met before, don't immediately jump to conclusions. Get the full story before creating assumptions in your head that probably aren't even true!
6. Surprise them with gifts
Giving your significant other a token of appreciation from time to time can go a long way when trying to express how much you love them. Alaina Leary, a first year graduate student at Emerson College, says that whenever she has some extra cash to spend, she loves to buy her partner gifts just because. “I try to buy them unique things, to show them I really know them, like a bracelet with a custom quote on it,” she says. Buying or making your significant other something that has a significant meaning behind it can not only strengthen your connection with them, but it will also show them that you were thinking of them.