“I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you,” says poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning. “I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me. I love you for the part of me that you bring out.”
1. E-mail your spouse photos of your last vacation together. Every month or so, my husband sends me a different photo of me and him on vacation, and I love it! The photos remind me of our travels – Italy, Israel, Turkey, Austria – and show me that he’s thinking of me when he’s at work. It’s easy and effective way to say “I love you”; just paste or upload a photo in the body of an e-mail, say a few words about the trip or what you love about your partner, and hit “send.” Voila! For more tips on being a great husband to your wife, read How to Be a Good Husband.
2. Remember Rumi’s “Let there be spaces in your togetherness.” It’s important and healthy to have your own life, separate from your boyfriend or girlfriend. Give your partner space to pursue his or her own interests, and take that time to do what you love. For instance, I volunteer at our local library every Saturday afternoon, in part to give my husband time to be home alone. That’s one way I show my love, by offering space and room to breathe.
3. Ask questions about the “little” things. The more connected women feel to their men, the more loving and intimate they’ll be. One simple way to be romantic is to ask about your girlfriend or wife’s day – but take it a step further! Follow up on something specific that’s been happening in her office or job, or with her health. Ask how her mom is doing, or how her new exercise routine is going. Be curious about the little things in her (or his) life.
4. Listen carefully to your sweetheart. An easy way to show your love is to listen when your partner talks. According to Gary Neuman, author of The Truth About Cheating, men cheat because of emotional disconnection from their partners. To stay connected, think about what your partner is saying, and respond with questions or observations. If your partner prefers you to just listen, then do that. Building a better marriage or love relationship is about giving your spouse what he or she needs.
5. Compliment your partner in front of others. When my husband says he’s proud of me or mentions my achievements to other people, I feel very loved and cherished. Don’t save your compliments for your private moments — show your love for your partner by expressing what you love about him or her in front of others.
6. Do the dishes or other household chores your spouse avoids. I love, love, love when my husband does the dishes or makes the bed – and he does both daily! It may not seem all that romantic, but trust me…it makes me all warm and squishy inside. A simple way to be romantic is do things that he doesn’t want or like to do: darn socks, clean out the fridge, organize the junk drawer, iron his shirts.
7. Ask your partner how she or he most feels loved. The traditional romance tips, such as giving flowers or chocolate or going out for an expensive meal, don’t work for everyone. To show your love, learn what makes your spouse happy. For instance, if she’s an introvert and you’re an extrovert, learn how relationships can work for introverts and extroverts in love. If your partner feels loved when you give a foot massage, then grab her feet more often!