I have a good friend from work who is madly in love. He and his lady have been together about four years, and they are more into each other now than ever. He is crazy about her – a picture of her is his screensaver on his phone, he talks about her all the time, he moved heaven and earth to help her find a job this spring (that part actually made me feel a bit weird, tbh – she’s a competent woman, she could do that on her own…but I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t want someone to help me!)…he proposed in grand fashion last November (I wrote about it here), and they decided to have a legal common law marriage enacted while they were saving for their dream wedding, as it made things easier for combining finances etc, but mainly because he didn’t want to go another day without being able to call her his wife. It’s unbelievable how romantic these two are. And I can hardly get a man to acknowledge me in public and return my texts. Huh.
Some folks are really good at expressing love – others, well, not so much. Psychology Today offers this suggested list for those people:
10 Ways to Express Love
Keep love alive from wedding day to every day with spouse, family, and friends.
Love is a choice as much as it is a feeling or a decision. Those who give love receive love. Recently we have seen research talking about conflict resolution and conflict recovery in terms of lasting romantic relationships. Each of the studies had me rethinking the work of Elizabeth Schoenfeld, a researcher at the University of Texas, Austin, who revealed that men and woman show love through affection – but that each takes a different tact.
Wives did so “by enacting fewer negative or antagonistic behaviors, husbands showed love by initiating sex, sharing leisure activities, and doing household work together with their wives.” Love Knows No Gender Difference – Health Information – Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Ten Ways to Express Love
Here are 10 ways to express love to your special someone, your friends, family, children. By expressing love we bring ourselves joy knowing that love is not just a Valentine moment, but an ongoing, free flowing experience that enriches our lives.
Express gratitude. Tell someone how much you appreciate their presence in your life.
Send flowers for no reason other than to say “Thank you for being you.”
Set aside time to give the gift of listening. Make a date if you must, in your own home or at a quiet little neighborhood place, for coffee or a drink and just listen to each other’s thoughts.
Keep anger at bay. During stressful times think of this image. If an ember flies from a fireplace onto your rug, it will burn a hole. Flick it off immediately and the rug is safe.
Be thoughtfully generous with gifts. Remember what is special about a person in your life and buy gifts that are unique to them. I had to forgo a trip to Paris because it conflicted with a business meeting in San Diego. My sister purchased a designer umbrella picturing the Seine, the Pont Neuf, and the Eiffel Tower as a reminder that there will always be another time for Paris.
Order fortune cookies with love sayings or Italian Baci candies with love notes and keep a glass jar in your home filled with them. You might also intersperse with gratitude sayings.
Offer an act of kindness. Say to your love or someone you care about, “What can I do for you today that will make your life easier and less stressful?” Then do it.
Write a note and send it via the U.S. Mail. Here’s a simple start: “I am so grateful that you are in my life. I love you for a million reasons. Here are the top three.”
Make time to be together for events that bring you both pleasure.
Be forgiving. We all have quirks. When one surfaces that makes you want to scream, either gently say something or switch to the positive-quality channel.
In the book, “Around the Year with Emmet Fox: A Book of Daily Readings,” Fox challenges us to make this commitment by saying: “I have chosen the path of Love. My own heart is to be my workshop, my laboratory, my great enterprise, and love is to be my contribution to humanity.”
All of these are good ideas, most of them not exactly earth shattering…but I am pretty crazy about the idea of the “positive-quality channel” – I kind of love that, don’t you. It’s so easy (way too easy) to get sucked into the negativity drain that seems to be everywhere around us, instead of focusing on the things that are going right. This is something that I have been working so hard on – I don’t know if I’m making progress or not, but I am trying. I really took it to heart when I heard this gem: is it better to be right or to be happy? I’ve always HAD to be right (because I usually am 😜)…being right mattered so much. I wanted to be the smart one who does everything right – and I’ve no idea why I ever cared. Being right fills me with indignant satisfaction, which can feel nice in the moment – but happy makes me fuzzy and lasts a much longer time. I like happy.
This morning at a back-to-school event, I ran in to a woman I used to work for. She’s the devil incarnate, and I cringed inside as I saw her approaching me. The look on her face as she saw me, though, was pretty much the best thing ever: she looked like she was looking for a hole she could disappear in, as that option was preferable than having to face me. She looked so miserable – which kind of made me happy. I know that I should never take satisfaction in the misery of others, but I kind of did this morning. She looked like she felt something at the sight of me – I doubt it was remorse for all of the massively shitty things she did to make my life a living hell, but…it was something. Which is good enoug for me. 🙂
Wherever you go today, I hope that you are loving someone…and that they are loving you. Out loud. With a picture of you on their phone and everything. 🙂