I love you. Eight letters that make three small words, powerful enough to entice amazing emotional responses. As powerful as saying “I love you” may be, when it comes to relationships actions speak louder than words.
Showing your significant other that you love them through actions can be as easy as preparing their coffee while they rush around in the morning, or leaving lipstick love notes on the bathroom mirror.
Other times, “I love yous” are hidden in less obvious statements like “drive safe,” or “don’t forget your lunch.” It’s in these actions, gestures and words that our partners hear “I love you” in a way that touches them even more deeply than those three small words.
Practicing small acts of love can be highly rewarding, so if you’re looking for a new way to express your affection, here are 20 ideas to try.
1. Actively Listen
It’s one thing to listen to your partner when they’re giving you directions or letting you know their weekend plans, but when was the last time you gave them your undivided attention while they chatted about things you’re not interested in? When your partner opens up to you, show them you love them by turning off distractions and listening attentively.
When you sincerely listen to someone, you’re not only opening your ears, but you’re also opening your heart. By empathizing, you will strengthen your connection and deepen your love. Besides, you should be proud to be the one your partner shares their thoughts with, the big and the small.
2. Be Helpful
It’s natural to establish roles in your relationship. For instance, maybe one of you cooks and the other cleans, one takes out the trash and the other does laundry. Once we form these roles in our relationships we tend to stick to them, and these responsibilities eventually go without saying.
Doing an extra task that typically the other does is a great way to tell your partner you love them. For example, you could cook them a meal or do the laundry, even if it means stepping out of your role or duties.
3. Touch Each Other
Nothing spells out love like a generous massage, a foot rub, a hug or kiss. Holding your partner’s hand while walking down the street, or spooning them in bed are great ways to show your affection through touch.
When you and your partner touch it sends an electric feeling through both of you. This feeling sparks attraction and reminds you that they’re your’s, and you’re theirs.
Love is based on these founding feelings of companionship and affection.
4. Laugh Together
When you love someone, you love seeing them happy, and nothing exhibits happiness like genuine laughter. Being laid back, lighthearted, and playful with your partner says “I love you” on many different levels.
Laughing with your partner shows them that you’re comfortable and enjoy being around them. It can be a great way to shift a situation from dull or stressful, and it without doubt improves any day.
Being able to let your guard down around your partner to show them your playful side says I love you and I’m letting you see my vulnerabilities.
5. Be Open to Sexual Intimacy
In a relationship it’s common for one person to need or want sexual intimacy more than the other. Over time, this difference can cause arguments, so it’s important to compromise.
There’s a fine line when it comes to pushing sexual activity on your partner, and coming onto them. It’s important for you and your partner to have open communication when it comes to sex, and to be willing to fulfill each other’s needs, while also respecting each other’s boundaries.
Making an effort to work on your sex life and coming to a compromise with your partner will show them you love them, especially if it means stepping outside of your comfort zone.
6. Go To and Get Out of Bed at the Same Time
The moments before drifting off to sleep and rising for the day are magical. While the rest of your day may be spinning in chaos, these moments of peace are important to share with your loved one, even if it means going to bed an hour later or waking up earlier than you need to.
Spending these moments before and after sleep together make us feel connected with one another. It also gives you the opportunity to start day and end the day together, to disconnect from everything else and to simply be. Arranging your schedule in such a way that this is a possible is a great way to tell your partner you love them.
7. Keep Your Promises
It’s one thing to agree with what your partner is saying, but it’s another to keep your promises and meet their expectations. Agreeing to have your partner’s back will teach you to count on each other, build trust and deepen your bond.
Showing your partner that they can rely on you is a great way to say “I love you.” Sure, life gets in the way sometimes and things don’t always go to plan, but when you do need to go back on your word, communicate clearly with your partner and make a new agreement. This kind of dependability says “I love you” on many levels.
8. Check In
When you check in with your partner daily, notice their moods, highs, and lows it shows them that you love them and care about their well-being and emotions.
In today’s day and age, everyone is busy, but with your partner, you should always find the time to send them a sneaky text or call just to check in.
Wherever you are, whether at the dinner table seated opposite one another, or across the city in your offices, try to connect and send one another love.
9. Surprise Each Other
Who doesn’t love coming home to a warm bath or waking up to breakfast in bed? These little surprises you can do for your partner will show them you love them and make them feel special.
Doing these little gestures lets your partner know that you’re thinking about them when they’re not around, and that they’re worth a bit of planning to show that you care. When your happiness is their happiness, that’s love.
10. Take Initiative
There are things in every relationship that neither partner enjoys doing. Instead of putting these things off or waiting for your partner to give in and do it, be the one to step up and takes care of these less-than-pleasurable errands.
Taking initiative shows your partner that you love them and are willing to go out of your way to do what needs to be done.
11. Be Patient
Like it or not, sometimes you just have to wait. No matter how impatient you may feel, make an effort to skip the eye roll or foot tapping that says, what took you so long? Instead, take a few deep breaths, relax and lighten up.
When you’re feeling anxious or irritable because your partner has forgotten something important or dropped the ball, approach the situation with love. It’s important to cut your partner some slack, your willingness to forgive and be patient will be appreciated, and next time you mess up, they’ll be more likely to practice love and forgive you too.
12. Give Your Partner Space
Tell your partner that you love them by letting them be themselves. This sounds easy, but when you want to go on a Sunday hike and they’re glued to the football game, it speaks volumes if you respect their space and let them be.
Allowing your partner time to do their own thing is a great way to tell them that you love them. Since you’re keeping their interests in mind, you’re letting them know that their happiness is important to you.
13. Stay Committed
Showing your partner that you’re sticking by them through thick and thin says “I love you” like nothing else. Being committed to your partner and your relationship means that even when things get tough, you’re in it for the long run.
No relationship is perfect, and it’s normal for couples to feel annoyed or disappointed from time to time. Instead of hinting that you’ve had enough, or saying things like “I can’t do this anymore,” approach the situation with love and work on areas that need some extra TLC.
14. Appreciate Each Other
Receive and acknowledge your partner’s acts of love. The happiest couples are those who notice and respond when their partner reaches out. A simple “thank you” or a smile goes a long way.
When your partner goes out of their way to do something nice for you, don’t let it slide — they will notice. Whether they picked up the bill at a restaurant, held open a door or got you a glass of water before bed, acknowledging that your partner is showing you love sends those same feelings back to them. Remember, the best kinds of love are reciprocating.
15. Stop Arguments
One of the most loving things you can do is stay calm when your spouse gets worked up. Doing so will give them an outlet to blow off steam without turning the issue into a full blown fight. They may not admit it out loud, but they’ll appreciate your cool calmness and see it as love.
It takes courage and kindness to yield to your partner, but keep in mind that life is short and it’s not worth wasting time holding grudges or focusing on petty upsets. Instead of participating in arguments, bite your tongue, stay collected, and practice love. Even when things get heated, remember, this too shall pass.
16. Be Considerate
Being considerate of a loved one involves understanding their thoughts and feelings, and communicating with them in a way that respects their well-being. It means thinking about them before making a decision, and puts them first in your life.
Practicing consideration in your relationship can be as easy as putting the toilet seat down, replacing gas in the car or leaving enough milk for their coffee.
Showing your partner that you’re considering them in your everyday actions is a great way to say “I love you.”
17. Be Encouraging and Supportive
Relationships can be tricky when partners have different agendas, but a great way to let your partner know that you love them is by supporting their ventures and encouraging them to chase their dreams.
Whether your partner wants to go back to school, hit the gym more, or pursue a new career, let them know that you’re supporting them by being positive and interested in their goals. Even if this new direction means switching gears in your relationship or making little sacrifices, supporting your partner is one of the best ways to say “I love you.”
18. Be Active Together
Being physically active with your partner not only gives you a chance to learn, grow and be healthy together, but it also offers the opportunity to spend important quality time side by side.
Taking the time to find and agree on an activity that you both enjoy doing can be quite rewarding. Your willingness to try something new with your partner is a powerful way to show them that you love them, trust them, and are interested in creating more shared experiences together.
19. Make Your Relationship a Priority
Loving relationships can be tough work, and they require dedication from both partners. An important key to a lasting relationship, is keeping things new and exciting. Taking the time to organize a date night, or putting your relationship above a night out with your pals are great ways to say “I love you” without words.
When you and your partner are spending quality time together, turn off your phone and don’t bring up work issues. Instead simply focus on enjoying each other’s company. Showing your partner that your relationship is a priority to you speaks volumes when it comes to love.
20. Be Proud
One of the best feelings in the world is when you know the person you love is proud of you. Whether your partner nails a tricky dessert recipe, or manages to get the kids to soccer, swimming and ballet on time, praise them for a job well done.
If you want to make your partner feel extra special, tell a friend how terrific your partner is, and make sure that they overhear you.
The point of doing so isn’t to earn brownie points, but rather because you want them to know how proud they make you.