Telling someone you love them is easy but showing them is harder.
Sure, it’s easy to say “I love you” to someone you love. But, have you ever considered ways to tell someone you love them without using words?
Are you falling in love? Isn’t it wonderful? Every day you share with your person is a new and wonderful day. You hope that you feel like this forever.
When you love someone, it’s important to tell them. But, it’s also important to put actions behind your words so that your person not only hears that you love them but they also feel it!
You can learn how to tell someone you love them without saying the words “I love you” (but you still should, every now and then).
With that said, here are 8 beautiful ways to say “I love you” without saying a word.
1. Love them as they want to be loved
One of the best tools in a successful relationship is Gary Chapman’s The 5 Love Languages. He has devoted his website and his book to his theory that there are 5 languages of love — 5 ways people can express and receive love: Quality Time, Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, and Giving of Gifts.
For each person, one of those things is the thing that makes them feel the most loved when they are done unto them. When a partner tries to love them using a different love language, they don’t feel loved.
My love language is Quality Time — I feel loved when someone is truly present with me, listening to me, focusing on me. My ex-husbands’ love language was Physical Touch — he felt love when I was holding his hand, hugging him or, yep, that too.
Unfortunately, the language that we spoke best with each other was Acts of Service. We did things for each other, like changing the oil in the car or going to the grocery store. Stuff got done but neither of us felt loved.
If you’re curious about your love language, you’ll find a short quiz on the website that you and your partner can both take so you can start loving each other in a way that will work.
2. Take care of them but let them return the favor
Everyone enjoys taking care of someone but many of us are really bad at letting people take care of us.
One of the best answers to the question of how to tell someone that you love them without words is to let them take care of you.
Think about how good it feels when you do something nice for someone. How it connects you to that person and makes you feel good about yourself.
Imagine how good it would feel for your partner to do something for you. So, let him! Even if you can do it for yourself, let him do it. Let him feel good about helping you. It is an excellent way to show someone you love them — to let them show you the same.
3. Hear them
For women, an important part of being loved is feeling connected. Men often don’t understand what that means, to be connected, for a woman.
I have a client who wants his girlfriend to know that he loves her. He thinks that the best way to do that is by making sure they have good memories. So, he arranges trips and dinners and other expensive things, hoping to create wonderful memories.
His girlfriend has expressed her dismay that he is spending so much money on her and he brushed it off, telling her that she was worth it. She wasn’t happy.
I suggested that he tell her that he recognizes and respects her concerns and that he has arranged some free things that they can do together to build memories. She was happy.
For women, being seen, heard, understood, and acknowledged is an important part of feeling loved.
4. Share their passions
I have a client whose boyfriend loves working on cars. Loves it. He worked on cars with his father and he does so now with his son and he would rather work on cars than just about anything.
This love was driving my client crazy because he wanted to spend time with her but also wanted to work on his car. So, I suggested a compromise.
I suggested that she try to get interested in some aspects of his car work and learn from him so that she could spend time with him. In exchange, he would be willing to spend some time with her, doing things other than car work.
By supporting your partner’s passions you are letting them know that you respect and love who they are as a person. And sulking in a corner because you don’t like what he is doing isn’t going to buy you any love at all.
5. Support them always
Sometimes, our partner comes up with some pie-in-the-sky idea that is the new driving force in their lives. It’s exciting and new and all they want to talk about.
And you’ve probably thought your partner’s new idea is crazy.
I remember in college my soccer-playing, skiing, manly-man of a boyfriend turned to me after a dance performance and announced that he wanted to be a dancer. I actually laughed in his face. This was 30 years ago and I still remember the hurt look in his eyes. He never became a dancer.
To this day, I wish I had supported him. That’s what people who love each other do for each other. He might never have become a dancer but having the person who loved him believe in him would have been such a gift. Even better would have not being on the receiving end of my derision.
So, support them. No matter what.
6. Don’t be critical
You know how you feel when you go to visit your in-laws and your mother-in-law makes some passive aggressive, disparaging comment about something you did. You know how awful that makes you feel. And you don’t even really like your mother-in-law.
Imagine what your partner, who loves you, must feel like when you are critical of them.
I have a client whose wife gives him the once over every time they are headed out the door. She tells him if his hair is out of place or if his shirt is right or if he is carrying the right bag for the task ahead. And while she is quick to say, “Your pants have a hole in them”, she never says, “You are perfect today, honey. Thank you.”
My client at first tried to anticipate what his wife might want but as time went on, he only felt resentment towards her criticism. He actually started not only making choices that he knew would antagonize her but he ignored whatever she mentioned at the door.
So, be careful not to be critical. If you have something to say, say it with love. And if it doesn’t need to be said, don’t say it. Life will go on if his hair isn’t just right.
7. Don’t take things personally
There is nothing more insidious in a relationship than not forgiving someone for a wrong. And, for some reason, couples who love each other are really, really good at not forgiving each other. If someone does something wrong nothing they can do will make up for that wrong. And that wrong will be played out verbally, over and over, forever.
People are only human. We do things that hurt people. Rarely do we do things to hurt someone on purpose. And yet, in relationships, we often take the thing that someone does to us so personally that we refuse to believe that they didn’t set out to hurt us. And that is unforgivable.
I have a client whose partner was so late getting home one night that he missed a date they had planned. He was delayed at work and then got stuck in traffic and it was a disaster. She took it personally.
“If you loved me”, she said. “You would have gotten home on time.” And she truly believed what she said.
The reality is that he does love her. He just didn’t allow enough time. And he blew it, but he does love her. And it’s important for her to understand that. And it makes it easier to forgive. He was late. He didn’t plan well. He blew it. And he does love her.
Of course, another piece of forgiveness is that the wrong-doer must apologize for the hurt caused, because therein lies the issue that will carry forth forever — the hurt. Not so much the actions but the resulting feelings.
So, don’t take things personally. And apologize for the hurt. Forgive and move on.
8. Never show contempt
If there is one thing that kills love, it’s contempt. Do anything that you can to keep it out of your relationship.
Contempt seems to rear its ugly head when wrongs fester, when people don’t forgive, and when being critical is the norm and respect is lost. Contempt manifests itself with derisive comments about your partner, comments about who they are as a person.
My ex-husband had a really hard time getting things done around the house. I told him, over and over, that if he was my employee I would fire him. And I wouldn’t say it in a loving way. I would say it dismissively, almost with a wave of my hand. I can only imagine how it must have felt to be on the receiving end of my contempt.
Therapists say that when they see contempt in a relationship they know that it’s close to over. So, if you find yourself acting contemptuously STOP, assess and figure out what needs to be done.
Don’t let contempt kill love. Because it will.
Now that you know how to say “I love you” with actions rather than words, you can start showing your partner exactly how you feel about them.
Hug them and kiss them and have sex with them and tell them that they are wonderful and hang out with their friends and visit their mother. All of those things are an excellent way to show someone you love them.
But they will have a hard time accepting your love if you aren’t willing to forgive them, if you can’t support them, and are constantly critical of them. Back up your kisses with words and actions and they will know that you are the one for them.
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