Written by Writer’s Corps member Stephanie Perez
One Love recently launched #LoveBetter, a new campaign aimed at helping us learn more about healthy relationship behaviors and committing to being in healthier relationships with the people we love. So, how can you do your part to #LoveBetter? Saying the words “I Love You” is definitely important, but only if you’re ready to say them out loud. While it’s valuable to use your words to express your appreciation, there are plenty of ways to show your S.O. you care without ever saying a word. As the old cliche goes, actions speak louder than words. With this in mind, here are 19 ways to show your S.O. you love them without saying anything.
1. Be an Active Listener
There’s a big difference between hearing and actively listening. For most of us, hearing simply happens. Our ears automatically perceive sound. In contrast, listening is something you consciously choose to do. In other words, a good listener pays attention with the intention of understanding the other person. This involves not just passively absorbing what the other person is saying but actively participating in the conversation by asking thoughtful questions. Good listeners also pay attention to how their S.O. is telling them something. Body language may reveal more about how they are feeling then what they are saying. By being an active listener, you are showing your S.O. that you are really interested in how they feel. This moves us along to our next tip…
2. Ask Your S.O. How They Are Doing
Don’t just ask your S.O. how they are doing, be specific. Ask them about that project they’ve been working on since the start of the year. Ask them about their new boss. This sounds simple enough but we often get so caught up in the routine of a relationship that we forget to really connect with our partners. This will show that you care about what is going on in their life.
3. Don’t Scroll and Talk
We live in a highly connected world thanks to social media. While being tuned in is great for your social life online, it’s not always great for your relationship. How many times have you been caught scrolling Instagram instead of chatting up your S.O.? Or checking our email while simultaneously holding a conversation.Sometimes it’s good to disconnect and focus on being in the moment. Try setting aside regular time to focus on each other, like having dinner or tackling a project together. This will help your S.O. feel that you find them interesting and that you want to be around them.
4. Make Time for Them
You really wanted to go play ball with your friends or catch that new art exhibit, but you realize it’s been a couple of weeks since you and your S.O. have spent quality time together. You may feel like your missing out but compromising to make time for your S.O. shows them how much you care. Of course, you shouldn’t be expected to spend all of your time with your S.O. but making an effort to include them in your plans is totally worth it. A healthy relationship gives each person room to pursue their interests while also creating time for each other.
5. Hang Out with Their Friends
Your S.O.’s friendships most likely predates your own relationship, so make an effort to get to know them. Making an effort to get to know their friends will signal to your S.O. that you care about the people they care about and that you want to be a part of their world.
6. Send Them Random Cute Messages
Sending funny GIFs, cute emojis, or just random sweet messages such as “Thinking of you” or “Hey beautiful, hope you are having a great day” is a cute way to show your S.O. they are on your mind.
7. Leave a Love Note
It’s not common to receive handwritten notes since we can now easily and quickly communicate through other avenues. But there is something really romantic about finding a note on your pillow or getting a postcard in the mail. Small gestures like these show that you are thinking of your S.O. and appreciate them enough to write them a thoughtful note.
8. Show Affection in Public
We’re not talking about over-the-top displays of affection here, a nice little hand squeeze or a peck on the cheek is all you need to show your S.O. you care without making the people around you uncomfortable.
9. Be Your S.O.’s Loudest Supporter
Is your S.O. working hard for that promotion? Have they been working on a project that they are passionate about? Be supportive of their aspirations and encourage them with your words and actions. Do you have a particular skill that could help propel your S.O.’s project forward? Offer to help. Does your S.O. need a sounding board to bounce ideas off of? Well, this is a good time to put those active listening skills we talked about earlier to good use. By encouraging and supporting your S.O. in their goals you are showing them that you want to see them do well and care about their happiness.
10. Get Your S.O. Their Favorite Snack
Do you know what your S.O.’s favorite snack is? Pick it up on your way to see them. It is a simple and easy way to put a smile on their face. It will also show them you know them like the back of your hand.
11. Make Your S.O.’s Favorite Dinner (or Breakfast in Bed)
It’s easy to just go out to eat together and with so many dining choices it can become something you start doing mechanically. To change things up a bit and do something special for your partner, try preparing their favorite dinner, or making them breakfast in bed. Preparing a special meal for your S.O. will take some effort on your part but that’s ok because that is what makes it special.
If you’re not sure what to make or find the kitchen intimidating, check out these amazing date-night recipes here and breakfast in bed recipes here. Personally, I know my S.O. loves a good steak. When I want to make something extra special, I like to prepare a nice Filet Mignon with a mushroom sauce (check out the recipe here).
12. Support Your S.O. Through Tough Times
Follow up on things you know your S.O. is worried about. It can be hard to bring up something that might be weighing you down, so asking about specific situations that you are aware of will help your S.O. open up. And remember, you want to be supportive, not preachy. Simply giving your partner the space to vent without offering advice can go along way. Finding a healthy balance between letting your partner vent and helping them find solutions to what’s bothering them can be tricky but a good rule of thumb is to ask your partner if they’re open to hearing your advice before you give it.
13. Lighten Their Load
Does your S.O. hate to do the dishes? Or walk the dog? Surprise them by doing the task they dislike the most. As long as you don’t feel like you are expected to always do all of the housework, it’s a nice gesture and is sure to make them happy.
15. Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff
Nothing is more toxic to a healthy relationship than resentment. Relinquishing the need to have the last word and knowing how to let go of things will help you build a solid foundation for a healthy relationship.
16. Show Appreciation
Do you love how you can always count on your S.O. when you need them? Do you love how they make you laugh at the most inappropriate times? Tell them what you appreciate about them or tell others what you appreciate about your S.O. when you are together in a group. Also, saying thank you goes a long way. Be specific and show your S.O. what you are thankful for, this could even mean thanking them for just being them!
17. Celebrate What Makes Them Unique
All of us want to feel accepted and appreciated, especially by the people we love. Celebrate your S.O.’s little quirks and let them be themselves. By doing this, you create a safe space for your S.O. to let their guard down and be their true selves.
18. Be Spontaneous
Surprise your S.O. with tickets to a game, to see their favorite band, a special exhibit, or a mini-getaway to their favorite destination. Watching their face light up when you surprise them is probably the best gift you can receive and is a fun way to show them you love them.
19. Ask For Advice
Seeking your S.O.’s opinion isn’t really about needing help to make a decision, but more of a gesture to show that you value what they have to say and you want them to be a part of whatever you are doing.