It’s always a good time to tell the people who you love most in the world how much you appreciate them. Every year the way we say I love you has changed – and if we look way back we can see just how much. Now saying I love and appreciate you is as simple and somewhat meaningless and an eye heart emoji. Gone are the days of handwritten notes, of buying padlocks to lock our love on the famous love lock bridge, handmade trinkets or fresh flowers. But are emojis enough to convey all the emotions that we feel? Can all the appreciation, all the compassion, all our detailed love be translated through a tiny cartoon picture. Have we lost the ability to really communicate with each other our feelings? Has technology and the digital age we live in robbed us of an ability to truly express our emotion? That’s not to say that we should fall into the consumer trap of love, the ‘ideal’ hallmark card of all our feelings and love. I’m not saying we need an exorbitant love filled with lavish gifts and gestures, that we should spend, that the day should oozes with cheesy ecards and a dozen red roses. I don’t want to be serenaded from a balcony or have Shakespeare recite poetry to me. I do, however, want to feel loved. To know that I am, by my significant other’s ability to communicate to me that I am – not just once a year and not just with the quick text of a WhatsApp emoji – but rather with depth, with meaning, with understanding and with purpose.
So, this year use some of your time to set a precedent for how you wish to show love throughout the year. How you wish to convey – without an emoji – how you feel. To help people find their ability to express their love we put together a few tips below.
Express your Feelings
A lot of the time we know we are loved but it’s important for us to hear it. As much as we like to think our partners know us inside and out, they can’t read our mind and can’t know when we find them attractive, when we appreciate what they have done for us, when we love them. Hearing this stuff never gets old and it’s important for us to express these feelings and thoughts to our significant other. If you find it hard to verbalize these thoughts, then write them down, leave post-it notes or even sing them – just say them.
Affection has the ability to communicate ‘I love you’ in a way words cannot. Physical touch or PDA is a way to create intimacy to your partner that you want to be close to them. Now, that’s not to say that you should go around groping and smooching each other everywhere you go but small touches of the hand, hair and chest are good ways of indicating your desire for intimacy and for affection.
Life is super busy, and we can often get caught up in the day-to-day stress of modern life. It’s important to set aside some time together for you guys as a couple, to reconnect. Use this time together to talk about each other and your feelings, your dreams, hopes and aspirations – opposed to your to-do list, the errands that you have to do – avoid complaints.
Listening to your partner is one of the easiest way to show them that you love them. Today we are constantly bombarded with information and content throughout the day – from all angles. We find it hard to really engage with something fully – especially if it doesn’t instantly grab our attention. Try and really focus on what your partner is saying, try to really hear them. When you are really attentive it indicates to them that you care just as much about the things that bother you as they do about the things that bother them.
Gratitude in the Small Things
Remember that life is about the small things – especially when it comes to love. Relationships take work every day. Love is not a wedding or a honeymoon – it is all the things that come in between them. The small things. Look at the way that you can show appreciation for the things your partner does, no matter how small or insignificant they might seem; like picking up the kids, doing a load of washing or helping to do the dishes. These little things show that love can edge its way into the lifestyle of the mundane if you let it. Be aware of the things your partner does – the small ones and show them how much you appreciate them and all that they do.
Remember that everybody loves differently, and that no two loves are ever the same – each one special and unique with its own brand and way of giving and receiving love. Treasure the person you choose to share your life with, for there is no greater gift in this world, than to love and be loved in return.