Expressing your love shouldn’t be reserved for special occasions like Valentine’s Day. It should be a constant in your relationship — and that means doing more than just repeating the “three little words.” Here are some tips to get you started.
1. Use terms of endearment. Coming up with and calling your partner by an affectionate pet name will elicit a positive response, no matter what you are going to talk about.
2. Be supportive in a crisis. When the chips are down, having your partner’s back is one of the most loving things you can do. When we are going through a hard time, hearing those words of encouragement from the one we love can make all the difference in the world.
3. Allow for private time. Giving your mate the space he or she needs to get ready for an evening out or to take care of some business is a loving gesture. Sometimes we all just need to be alone for a little while, which does not mean we are avoiding the relationship. We are just recharging.
4. Share the housework. If everything is on one person, it can make him or her feel like that’s all you want from the relationship. Sharing those tasks that make a life and home run smoothly will make both of you feel more comfortable.
5. Play with your partner more. Get out on the weekends and do things that are new. When couples engage in fun activities together, they can’t help but become closer.
6. Give your partner a foot massage or back rub. This loving and romantic gesture can make the one you love feel special and cared for. There is nothing better than the warm touch of your mate’s loving hands.
7. Go out for dessert. One night after dinner at home, surprise your partner by taking him or her out for dessert. It’s a sweet thing that doesn’t cost much, and it will make you feel like you had a nice date.
8. Watch an old black-and-white movie together. Things were so different back in the old days. The way men and women spoke to each other and the things they did together will give you some fresh ideas for how to make your lives a little more loving.
9. Snuggle by the fire. If you don’t have a fireplace, you can go somewhere that does and share a glass of wine. If you want to stay home, light some candles and put on some soft music, so you can enjoy a special evening.
10. Thank your in-laws. Let your mate’s family know how happy you are with your partner and that they did a great job of helping make him or her the wonderful person you are proud to be with.
Creating more love in your relationship is a matter of taking a little time to plan and then play. Enjoy your Valentine’s Day, but try to keep the spirit of love alive all year long.
Dr. Barton Goldsmith, a psychotherapist, is the author of “The Happy Couple — How to Make Happiness a Habit One Little Loving Thing at a Time.”