by Jody DeSimone
Have you said 'I love you' lately?
When you realize you're in love with 'the one', it can be hard to stop saying 'I Love You' - those three words feel so good! But what else can you do? There are a million tiny ways to show your loved one that you love them, but I think these 10 extra expressions of love that will make your S.O. feel deeply special and adored.
Let's count them down - here are my ten favorite, unusual or overlooked gestures of love:
Learn Their Love Language
For anyone looking to show love in a relationship, step one is learning what love language each person speaks. Here'a quiz that you and your partner can take to understand what types of acts make you feel loved. Their language might be words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, or maybe it's quality time and physical touch. This is a fantastic way to learn how to communicate with your lover. Take the top two results on your partner's list and try to make them part of your everyday expressions of love.
Prioritize What They Love (But Make it a Surprise-ish)
Make a list of free or local events that you know your boyfriend or girlfriend would love. The list should include concerts, plays, musicals, restaurants, a spa day... things they might not make time for themselves. Put your ideas in a jar and have them randomly select an experience once a month. Then, without hesitation, plan the whole thing for them and make it happen.
This is even nicer if you plan a day for your S.O., followed immediately by them planning a day for you :)
Decide to Feel Good
Look around for local in-home couples' massage companies. The two I'm most familiar with are Soothe and Zeel. You can download their apps, schedule all types of massages, pick a male or female therapist, and have them visit you in the comfort of your home to tend to one or both of you. Working out knots and feeling physically wonderful is a great way to feel emotionally good too.
Is there a trip your partner would love, but you haven't managed to take yet? Look up ticket prices and make a budget, set a date, and start working towards the goal with one another. This creates excitement and a sense of adventure. I promise planning is half the fun!For instance, if you're planning a trip to Italy, open some Italian wine, make pasta al pomodoro and play some Pavarotti or Anna Tatangelo music as you plan.
It might be easier to take a big trip if you plan out a yearly budget and set that as your goal. Smaller trips are fun too - head out of town / to a different city to switch things up occasionally.
Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
Is there something your partner knows you don't like to do? Maybe you always say no or just grumble your way through it? Do it with a smile instead! Out of nowhere, get up one day and do it because it's something they love, like, or enjoy. As an example, I love exercising but prefer heading outside over going to a dingy gym. But if joining my partner for a session on the treadmill is their idea of fun - I can get behind that ... occasionally.
Selflessness goes a long way towards building trust and closeness.
Capture the Moment
Research local photographers and plan a photoshoot for the two of you. You'll be surprised how inexpensive this can be. You're sure to be thankful when you have these kinds of memories to look back on. Groupon often has excellent deals for outside photoshoots. I recommend making the shoot into an occasion; have fun, dress up - or go wild and book a themed session that will make you both laugh.
Go Old School: Show Your Love through Caring Actions
Have dinner ready and on the table when you know your partner needs extra love, had a tough week, or an exceptionally long day at work. Shop for the food, make the meal, and clean up afterward. Make sure to run a bath or set up a cozy spot for post-dinner relaxation - this is better than dessert!
Be Beyond Positive
Make today a 'Yes Day'. Rollover in the morning or start the day with a text that says his day is for you, it's your Yes Day. I will do anything you ask me to do today' and see how wonderful the day turns out.
Write a Love Letter
Love letters are one of the oldest romantic traditions. Mail one to your partner, leave one on the counter, or the driver's seat of their car. Whether you choose to go short with a post-it note and a hand-drawn heart-eyes emoji or go all out with a few pages of your thoughts - any effort counts.
The magic of a love note is showing you took time, shared a sincere gesture of love - and you've gone beyond a text message. As you get comfortable with retro love letters, pour your heart out, and tell them why you love them. Be cheesy, be romantic, be vulnerable - it will all show you're in love!
Take the Ultimate YES Test
Ask them to marry you . . . this usually says 'I Love You' more than any other gesture you could make.
Seeing your partner take time out of their day for you demonstrates incredible levels of love. That's what really counts. So, return the favor and try my ideas to express your love in ways that feel fun and sincere.
When you let your lover know you've been paying attention by being considerate, aware, caring, and giving - the results are unfathomable. A great relationship is all about making your special person feel seen, heard, understood, and loved.