“There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved.” – George Sand
Loving your significant other is about more than just being physically intimate. “There are many definitions of love, but my favorite is to describe it as a deep and intense feeling of affection,” says clinical psychologist and author Barbara Greenberg, Ph.D.
While being intimate is a great way to express and show your love to your partner, there are hundreds of different ways to love (without making love!). Here are just some of the ways to show your partner you love them that have nothing to do with making love.
Here Are 10 Ways To Love (Without Making Love)
Talking with your partner is a great way to love them. “Communication in relationships, at its core, is about connecting and using your verbal, written and physical skills to fulfill your partner’s needs. If there’s miscommunication, you’ll miss the opportunity to build trust and intimacy, and you’ll both feel frustrated within the relationship,” says entrepreneur and author Tony Robbins.
Keeping the lines of communication open shows them that you trust them and that they can trust you. Every relationship, big or small, is built upon the ability to communicate with one another. That’s why it’s a great way to love.
2. Spend time together
Nothing shows someone you love them quite like quality time together. Spending time with your partner, even if it’s just hanging out at home for the evening, is one of the best ways to show them that you care. Loving someone means spending time with them, even if it’s nothing exciting.
3. Helping them
Lending a helping hand is a great way to show someone that you care. If your partner needs help, make sure you’re the first one to offer your services. Whether they need help going grocery shopping, picking out a new outfit, or cleaning the house – being helpful is one way to show you care. Being there for your partner and being supportive is a way to love them without making love.
4. Holding hands
Who doesn’t like the feeling of walking down the street holding their partner’s hands? Being intimate doesn’t always have to mean making love. Intimacy can come in all kinds of forms. Showing that you’re proud to be with your partner by holding their hand when you’re out together is one way to love them.
Being affectionate with your partner is a great way to show your love in a physical way without making love. Sharing kisses, hugs, cuddling, and light touches on their arms and shoulders can say all you need to say.
“Saying and doing small, simple expressions of gratitude every day yields big rewards. When people feel recognized as special and appreciated, they’re happier in that relationship and more motivated to make the relationship better and stronger,” says professor and author Terri Orbuch, Ph.D.
Don’t underestimate how much love and caring you can pack into some simple, chaste affection throughout the day.
6. Respect them
Your partner has moments where they need time and space to themselves. One of the best ways to show them that you love them is to respect that time they need to themselves. It doesn’t mean they don’t want to be with you – just that they need time to themselves! Giving them all the time they need to be alone means that your time together will be all that much sweeter. Plus, they’ll be able to tell how much you love them.
7. Be forgiving
We all make mistakes in life. Even our partners, who love us, make mistakes. Psychotherapist, counsellor and author Judy Ford says, “A relationship is working and playing together, it’s finding delight, joy and comfort in each other. It is about facing difficulties and eventually becoming wise.”
Learning to tap into that forgiving energy will show your partner that you love them unconditionally. When things get tough in a relationship, being forgiving is a skill. Forgiveness can be one of the ways to love your partner in a deep and meaningful way.
8. Date nights
Sometimes, you just have to get dressed up, go out and show each other off. Don’t underestimate how good a ‘date night’ can make your partner feel, and how much you can love them like this. Spending time together is nice but having a specified time where you enjoy the romance like you were dating again is amazing.
9. Surprise them
Unexpected, nice surprises to show your love will never go unappreciated. Sneak into your partner’s apartment and clean the kitchen or send flowers to their work. Surprise them with a drive to the countryside, or maybe just a bottle of wine after a long day at the office. Whatever you do, make sure it comes from the heart and they’ll be able to feel your love for days afterward. Surprises will show that you’re always thinking about them.
Everyone likes to be flirted with. “Keep your ‘sex esteem’ alive by keeping up certain practices on a regular basis. This allows you to remain vibrant, sexy, and engaged in your love life,” says licensed individual, couples, and sex therapist Sari Cooper, LCSW.