If you’ve ever watched a romantic movie, you may fall into the trap of thinking that romantic gestures have to be incredibly elaborate. Who can forget Andrew Lincoln holding those cue cards up in Love Actually, or the Beast giving Belle his entire library because he knows her love of books?
But in real-life relationships, expressing your emotions and love to your significant other doesn’t have to be over the top, or a huge production. Showing someone you care can be shown in simple, daily gestures. Here are 11 simple ways to uniquely show your love in a relationship.
Help them grow closer to Christ
Faith is at the core of a relationship that is Christ-centered. Whether this manifests itself through a stop into the adoration chapel at the end of a date, or even something as simple as a rosary walk or quick prayer together before the night ends, you will not be disappointed when you let the divine author of Love itself into your relationship.
Pray for them
So often, the phrase “I’ll pray for you” is discounted. Never discount the incredible power of praying for someone. Through prayer, you are able to take concerns, struggles, successes and dreams and offer them up to Christ. This way of showing love could take various forms.
Perhaps it’s offering up a Hail Mary for your loved one when you wake up every morning. Or it could be remembering their intentions during your Mass. Whatever way this form of affection manifests itself, there is nothing more attractive than a lover who sees the significance of the eternal beauty of the other’s soul.
Remember the little things
You know that big promotion that he put in for at work? What about the new book that she’s anxiously waiting for the release of? Little details of someone’s life might seem insignificant, but remembering the small celebrations and struggles in the life of the one you love shows an ability to listen and care about them.
Compliment them on who they are (not just how they look!)
Words of affirmation are a unique way to show affection in a relationship. Don’t default just to complimenting someone on just their physical appearance—although these compliments are not without merit.
But you have a unique view into someone’s life when you are in a romantic relationship. The time spent together reveals things about the other person that most may not recognize or appreciate as you can. Maybe it’s the way she laughs or the way he says a certain phrase.
Don’t be afraid to bring attention to the characteristics that you love out and compliment him or her on them. Today’s culture puts an incredible amount of emphasis on how someone looks, but disregards their identity as a child of God.
Don’t be afraid to notice the things the world deems as unimportant—it’s okay to be counter-cultural.
Spend quality time together
This may seem like a very simple way to show your affection for someone, but the reason that today is called the ‘present’ is because your time is a gift. Anyone can give gifts, money, or conversations.
When you give someone the gift of your time, you give away something you will never get back. You cannot rewind the clock—once minutes have ticked by on the clock, they’re gone—so don’t be afraid to share those with your significant other.
Read a book together
There is something incredible about reading a book with someone. Edmund Wilson once wrote, “No two people ever read the same book.” The perspective that another fellow reader can bring to the reading process is eye-opening.
So whether that means opening up a book on a shared interest, or delving into fiction together, you can spark deeper conversations with each other by opening a book up together. With the winter months approaching, there’s nothing more romantic than snuggling up by a warm fireplace with a good book in your hands.
Will their good
So often “will the good of the other as other” is tossed around when the discussion of how to demonstrate love is brought up. Yet in practical terms, what does that phrase mean? It could be on a large scale, in terms of relationship details unique to each couple.
Or it could be in the simple things, like letting the other decide what to have for dinner, or which movie to go see. Will your lover’s good by putting their desires before your own. The result is a giving of yourself—which is undeniably an expression of love.
Write them an actual physical letter
Writing down your feelings for someone can be challenging in a world that is filled with instant-gratification communication. The time it takes to pull out paper and an envelope, put your emotions into words on a paper, and then send those words off in the hands of a postman seems to be a concept of those good old days we always hear about.
But writing an old-fashioned letter can communicate much more than just the words that you put on the paper. The time, thought and surprise of a envelope in the mail (that is not a bill to be paid) is a way to show your affection to your significant other.
Try something new together
It’s easy to stay in the comfort zone – in your personal life as well as in the life of your relationship. Try changing things up during the time that you spend together.
It could be a new activity (The last time you went bowling was sixth grade? Pull out those shoes and hit the lanes!) or a new restaurant, but change things up and enjoy the adventure together.
In the words of Saint Pope John Paul II, “Life with Christ is a wonderful adventure.”
Take interest in what interests them
Taking genuine interest in the hobbies or favorite things of your loved one is an incredible way to show them your love. You weren’t a superhero fan before you met him? Ask him to explain the latest plot of the comic he’s been reading.
Never tried her favorite drink? Ask her to teach you how to make it. Your significant other’s interests may not end up being mutual interests, but the thought behind trying something new for the sake of your loved one will make them feel valued and appreciated.
Put your phone—and all the other tech—away
Even though modern technology is amazing, daily devices like cell phones can create a barrier between you and the person you love. When you spend time with your significant other, turn your cell phone to silent and appreciate authentic face-to-face time (not FaceTime) with each other.