Want to Make Your Partner Feel Loved? Try These Gestures
Sometimes, it takes more than a spoken “I love you” to show your partner how much you care. There are times when you may find yourself in a situation where you need to show your partner how much you love them in a way that truly speaks to them. There are many ways to show you care, but before you go book a weekend getaway or splurge on those designer jeans they’ve been obsessing over, you’ll need to determine what will mean the most to them.
According to author Gary Chapman, developer of the idea of love languages and writer of The New York Times best-seller The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts, there are five basic ways to show your partner your love. One or two ways may speak more to your partner than the rest, and once you’ve determined what those modes of love are, you can show your partner you care in the most meaningful way possible.
1. Uninterrupted time
This love language is becoming harder and harder to do properly, with the distractions of TV, kids, friends, and possibly the biggest offender: your cellphone. Focused, uninterrupted time means spending time specifically focused on each other while banning the daily distractions that get in the way.
People who crave quality time will feel neglected if you’re half-listening to them as you think of weekend plans or ask them a question as you continue typing an email. Even though you may be sitting right next to them asking all the “right” questions, they may feel completely distant from you. This love language focuses on togetherness and quality conversations that let your partner know you truly care.
2. Give meaningful gifts
To your partner, a gift of any size or value may show them you thought of them and took the time to pick something out with them in mind. Don’t mistake this for being materialistic, as a gift could be as simple as surprising them with their favorite smoothie at work. This love language is all about your intention. A gift is a physical reminder that your partner is on your mind and worth the time it takes for you to think of, plan, and pick up a small gift.
People that feel loved through thoughtful gift giving will appreciate the way you deliver the gift. Did you deliver it yourself or find a creative way to get it to them? Leaving the gift with a little note may mean a lot. So will paying attention when your partner mentions they need or want something and you surprise them with it out of the blue.
3. Focus on physically connecting
If your partner craves physical touch, they’ll find meaning and love when you reach out to hold their hand, kiss them out of nowhere, and give them general physical interaction often. This love language isn’t sexual — it’s a way of physically showing your partner you’re there and are fully aware of them. Small physical interactions show them they’re on your mind as you chat with your neighbor or settle into the couch. If this is your partner’s love language, then they may literally need a physical connection to feel your love.
Make a point to rest your hand on their leg or guide them through the party holding hands. When you think of them, show them by physically reaching out for them.
4. Perform acts of service
This love language is all about showing your partner you love them by performing helpful acts that make their lives easier. By surprising your partner after work with a home-cooked dinner, taking out the garbage, fixing a clogged drain, or offering to do the week’s grocery shopping, you’re taking a chore off of their plate and expressing your love and devotion to them.
If this is your partner’s love language, you can ask what specific things he or she would like by asking upfront. It will mean a lot that you want to help and remove some of the burden from their shoulders. For extra love points, surprise them by taking care of things out of the blue.
5. Say loving words
Your partner may thrive on the things you say. When you support them with encouraging words, it may speak volumes of your love for them. Maybe you notice how your partner kept their cool in a stressful situation or were amazed by the meal they prepared. Tell them you noticed, and say it in a thoughtful way that shows you took the time to compliment them in a meaningful manner.
Those who thrive on encouraging, loving words may be easily hurt by things you say in an angry or sarcastic tone, so make sure to be aware of what you say and how you say it.
What if you don’t feel loved in your relationship?
If you don’t know what your own love language is (or perhaps your partner’s is a mystery as well), you might feel unloved in your relationship. For this reason, it’s important to know your specific needs so you can tell them to your partner. And when discussing love languages, stay positive — tell them what they’re doing right, and make suggestions on what you’d love to see more of in your relationship.
And if it’s a stagnant feeling in your love life that has you down, go on a date night. Using your newfound knowledge of love languages, you can pick a date that peaks both you and your partner’s interests for an amazing time.