Emotional Fitness

Harness the power of emotion to deepen your love with your partner, become more successful at work, and more

10 Ways to Say I Love You Without Saying I Love You

Most of us want to hear the words.

Some people are not able to say the three little words, "I love you." Although I think it's something that we should all strive for, for those who simply haven't gotten there yet, here are ten ways you can show it without uttering the phrase.

1.    Nothing says "I love you" more than laughing at your partner's bad jokes, especially if you've heard them a hundred times before. Making your loved one laugh is also a wonderful way of displaying your feelings.

2.    Find that special little something that your partner lost or said he or she wanted but could never find. Also, giving your partner a nicely framed photograph of the two of you is a very touching gesture.

3.    Do the manly-man or girly-girl thing. Many men say ILY by washing their mate's car and filling it with gas. Taking your man to a game, concert, car show or movie that he really likes is a great way to show that you want to be there for him.

4.    Help your partner heal a childhood hurt or loss. Perhaps the most powerful thing you can do is to just listen to his or her story about what happened and follow it up with a big hug.

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5.    Show up at a business event as the loving spouse. This is all about giving.  Staying in a supportive role and praising your mate's efforts to everyone you talk to will make your partner feel uplifted and loved.

6.    When you're watching TV, snuggle up close with the one you love. Sitting across the room from each other in separate chairs may feel comfortable to your body, but it isn't fulfilling to your heart.

7.    Bedtime cuddling helps sustain a long-term loving connection. If you both need your own space for sleeping, that's fine. Just touch each other for fifteen minutes before you go to your side of the bed. By the way, those who engage in this activity also have healthier sex lives.

8.    Go above and beyond. Making a grand gesture every now and then is a wonderful way to show your love. Doing the extraordinary as a couple will help you create cherished memories.

9.    Doing something for your mate that he or she hates to do speaks volumes. We all have things in our lives that we dislike doing and when your partner gets the spider out of the bathtub or makes a midnight run so the kids can have milk in the morning, it really says ILY.

10. Being extra considerate on a daily basis works wonders. Saying "please" and "thank you," opening doors, helping your partner put on a coat, or putting a little love note in his or her pocket are a few of the little things that make a big difference.

Perhaps after showing (or being shown) your love in these ways, you will find it easier to speak the words. Just keep in mind that most of us want to hear them.

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Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D., is a psychotherapist, columnist, and radio host. His latest book is The Happy Couple: How to Make Happiness a Habit One Little Loving Thing at a Time.

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