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Telling someone you love them is easy but showing them is harder.
Sure, it’s easy to say “I love you” to someone you love. But, have you ever considered ways to tell someone you love them without using words?
Are you falling in love? Isn’t it wonderful? Every day you share with your person is a new and wonderful day. You hope that you feel like this forever.
When you love someone, it’s important to tell them. But, it’s also important to put actions behind your words so that your person not only hears that you love them but they also feel it!
You can learn how to tell someone you love them without saying the words “I love you” (but you still should, every now and then).
With that said, here are 8 beautiful ways to say “I love you” without saying a word.
One of the best tools in a successful relationship is Gary Chapman’s The 5 Love Languages. He has devoted his website and his book to his theory that there are 5 languages of love — 5 ways people can express and receive love: Quality Time, Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, and Giving of Gifts.
For each person, one of those things is the thing that makes them feel the most loved when they are done unto them. When a partner tries to love them using a different love language, they don’t feel loved.
My love language is Quality Time — I feel loved when someone is truly present with me, listening to me, focusing on me. My ex-husbands’ love language was Physical Touch — he felt love when I was holding his hand, hugging him or, yep, that too.
Unfortunately, the language that we spoke best with each other was Acts of Service. We did things for each other, like changing the oil in the car or going to the grocery store. Stuff got done but neither of us felt loved.
If you’re curious about your love language, you’ll find a short quiz on the website that you and your partner can both take so you can start loving each other in a way that will work.
Everyone enjoys taking care of someone but many of us are really bad at letting people take care of us.
One of the best answers to the question of how to tell someone that you love them without words is to let them take care of you.
Think about how good it feels when you do something nice for someone. How it connects you to that person and makes you feel good about yourself.
Imagine how good it would feel for your partner to do something for you. So, let him! Even if you can do it for yourself, let him do it. Let him feel good about helping you. It is an excellent way to show someone you love them — to let them show you the same.
For women, an important part of being loved is feeling connected. Men often don’t understand what that means, to be connected, for a woman.
I have a client who wants his girlfriend to know that he loves her. He thinks that the best way to do that is by making sure they have good memories. So, he arranges trips and dinners and other expensive things, hoping to create wonderful memories.
His girlfriend has expressed her dismay that he is spending so much money on her and he brushed it off, telling her that she was worth it. She wasn’t happy.
I suggested that he tell her that he recognizes and respects her concerns and that he has arranged some free things that they can do together to build memories. She was happy.
For women, being seen, heard, understood, and acknowledged is an important part of feeling loved.
I have a client whose boyfriend loves working on cars. Loves it. He worked on cars with his father and he does so now with his son and he would rather work on cars than just about anything.
This love was driving my client crazy because he wanted to spend time with her but also wanted to work on his car. So, I suggested a compromise.
I suggested that she try to get interested in some aspects of his car work and learn from him so that she could spend time with him. In exchange, he would be willing to spend some time with her, doing things other than car work.
By supporting your partner’s passions you are letting them know that you respect and love who they are as a person. And sulking in a corner because you don’t like what he is doing isn’t going to buy you any love at all.
Sometimes, our partner comes up with some pie-in-the-sky idea that is the new driving force in their lives. It’s exciting and new and all they want to talk about.
And you’ve probably thought your partner’s new idea is crazy.
I remember in college my soccer-playing, skiing, manly-man of a boyfriend turned to me after a dance performance and announced that he wanted to be a dancer. I actually laughed in his face. This was 30 years ago and I still remember the hurt look in his eyes. He never became a dancer.
To this day, I wish I had supported him. That’s what people who love each other do for each other. He might never have become a dancer but having the person who loved him believe in him would have been such a gift. Even better would have not being on the receiving end of my derision.
So, support them. No matter what.
You know how you feel when you go to visit your in-laws and your mother-in-law makes some passive aggressive, disparaging comment about something you did. You know how awful that makes you feel. And you don’t even really like your mother-in-law.
Imagine what your partner, who loves you, must feel like when you are critical of them.
I have a client whose wife gives him the once over every time they are headed out the door. She tells him if his hair is out of place or if his shirt is right or if he is carrying the right bag for the task ahead. And while she is quick to say, “Your pants have a hole in them”, she never says, “You are perfect today, honey. Thank you.”
My client at first tried to anticipate what his wife might want but as time went on, he only felt resentment towards her criticism. He actually started not only making choices that he knew would antagonize her but he ignored whatever she mentioned at the door.
So, be careful not to be critical. If you have something to say, say it with love. And if it doesn’t need to be said, don’t say it. Life will go on if his hair isn’t just right.
There is nothing more insidious in a relationship than not forgiving someone for a wrong. And, for some reason, couples who love each other are really, really good at not forgiving each other. If someone does something wrong nothing they can do will make up for that wrong. And that wrong will be played out verbally, over and over, forever.
People are only human. We do things that hurt people. Rarely do we do things to hurt someone on purpose. And yet, in relationships, we often take the thing that someone does to us so personally that we refuse to believe that they didn’t set out to hurt us. And that is unforgivable.
I have a client whose partner was so late getting home one night that he missed a date they had planned. He was delayed at work and then got stuck in traffic and it was a disaster. She took it personally.
“If you loved me”, she said. “You would have gotten home on time.” And she truly believed what she said.
The reality is that he does love her. He just didn’t allow enough time. And he blew it, but he does love her. And it’s important for her to understand that. And it makes it easier to forgive. He was late. He didn’t plan well. He blew it. And he does love her.
Of course, another piece of forgiveness is that the wrong-doer must apologize for the hurt caused, because therein lies the issue that will carry forth forever — the hurt. Not so much the actions but the resulting feelings.
So, don’t take things personally. And apologize for the hurt. Forgive and move on.
If there is one thing that kills love, it’s contempt. Do anything that you can to keep it out of your relationship.
Contempt seems to rear its ugly head when wrongs fester, when people don’t forgive, and when being critical is the norm and respect is lost. Contempt manifests itself with derisive comments about your partner, comments about who they are as a person.
My ex-husband had a really hard time getting things done around the house. I told him, over and over, that if he was my employee I would fire him. And I wouldn’t say it in a loving way. I would say it dismissively, almost with a wave of my hand. I can only imagine how it must have felt to be on the receiving end of my contempt.
Therapists say that when they see contempt in a relationship they know that it’s close to over. So, if you find yourself acting contemptuously STOP, assess and figure out what needs to be done.
Don’t let contempt kill love. Because it will.
Now that you know how to say “I love you” with actions rather than words, you can start showing your partner exactly how you feel about them.
Hug them and kiss them and have sex with them and tell them that they are wonderful and hang out with their friends and visit their mother. All of those things are an excellent way to show someone you love them.
But they will have a hard time accepting your love if you aren’t willing to forgive them, if you can’t support them, and are constantly critical of them. Back up your kisses with words and actions and they will know that you are the one for them.
Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.
this happened several years ago.
My friends had been trying to get me on Tinder for a while. I wasn’t really into it but because I wasn’t dating anyone at the time but I decided to download the app. Pretty quickly I matched with this girl that I thought was really cute and started chatting with her. Now there were some red flags I should have noticed such as that she was pretty immature for her age and one of the main people she hung out with was around 13 to 14.
But I thought oh well, it’s probably not a big deal and I made plans to meet up with her. This was pretty early in my dating experience so I didn’t really know much about making good plans, so I just asked her what there was to do in her town (it was about an hour away from the city where I live). She told me just to meet her on her college campus. Cool, I thought, we can walk around and go to a Starbucks.
I get there and I wondered if I was at the right place because it looked like a high school, turns out it was some sort of small town community college building. The building was standalone, there was no other buildings and the floor was black and white checkered tile so you get the idea it was basically a high school.
When I got there, I asked her about it, but she said let’s just sit and talk in this student lounge. She sat down, pulled out her laptop, and asked me to help her on her homework.
Background: I had told her that I was majoring AND a tutor in a certain field, which she also happened to be majoring in, and she told me she needed some help. I was pretty passionate about this field so I told her I could help her a little bit. We’d FaceTimed once and I gave her a couple minutes of help, but I was of the understanding that when we met up we were going to be getting to know each other and not doing any homework.
I tried to explain the concepts to her but she said forget it and opened up a timed test and asked me to help her with that. I tried to explain it, but the simplest concepts went over her head and I ended up slowly doing it for her, a fact that I was not happy about and I told her so. She’s like, yeah I know you’re doing it for me and that’s okay. I was like, no it’s not. Then she started stroking my legs and arms and I told her that I couldn’t focus on helping her when she was doing that. She stopped touching me for a couple minutes but was soon back to doing it again. At this point I’m just trying to finish the test and get out of there, and finally the time runs out and she got a 40% on the test largely because I’d been spending most of my time trying to explain concepts and I thought she’d be angry, but she was really happy. She told me wow, I usually only get half that score!
At this point I was ready to leave, but she followed me out to the car (her car was next to mine) and basically the first thing she told me was that she was not a virgin and she thought I wouldn’t want to date her and would think she was filthy because of that. I told her that it didn’t really matter to me at all whether she was a virgin or not and then I don’t remember how the conversation went but I left soon after that. I should have told her I wasn’t interested in going out again right there but I knew how virginity is something that is overly prized in some Christian circles (which she was obviously a part of) and I didn’t want to reinforce her thinking that people thought less of her because she wasn’t one so I didn’t say anything then. I also considered trying to go out again, at that time I thought that I was being overly picky with women and I just needed to give them more chances.
That night, she told me to let her know if I didn’t want to MARRY her right away and not to lead her on and that really tipped the scales that I needed to say something right away. I called her on the phone the next day and told her I didn’t want to go out again, and I told her it was because we didn’t share any interests. To which she replied that we absolutely didn’t need to share any, we could go out and do our own thing and then come home to each other every night. I told her that to me the most important thing in a relationship was being able to share conversations and experiences and she tried to convince me that it wasn’t.
I don’t know a good way to wrap up the story besides that she was angry and we didn’t really talk again. I could have definitely benefited by more experience in this situation, but still, it was the first and only time I’ve ever been asked to do homework on a date so it was pretty memorable.