Valentine’s day – the day where your significant other showers you with gifts, flowers and the alike to prove his/her eternal love for you. Valentine’s day can be a romantic way for lovers to receive and give love, but more often than not the romantic holiday has evolved into a challenge as to who can give the most expensive and unique material gifts to prove their love in order to win their peers’ jealousy and awe. Sure, who doesn’t like fancy things once in a while? We all do. But what really matters in a relationship is so much more than a big bouquet of roses or a fancy Daniel Wellington watch. Love is so much more than the appearance, and it should be something that we should all be constantly reminded of.
Here are five authentic and genuine ways to express love:
- A home-cooked meal
“To win a man’s heart, you must first win his stomach.”. This doesn’t only apply to men but women all over the world as well. I’m sure everyone agrees that they’d prefer a warm, soothing home-cooked meal compared to Tabao-ing fried rice chock full of MSG. Something as simple as stir-fried vegetables or pan-seared chicken can be equally as fulfilling as dining at an expensive restaurant. I personally love home-cooked meals because (1) it’s cheaper, (2) you don’t have to queue up at a restaurant and (3) allows for the opportunities of creating romantic memories like chopping onions together and then wiping away each other’s tears or simply just hugging your significant other from behind while he/she does all the cooking. A lot of people might say that they simply don’t have the time and effort for this but I personally believe cooking with your significant other can be a great way to spend time together!
2. Doing the chores/errands
With the ever-busy lives we lead, its only natural that chores and errands end up on the weekends. We all dread having to load the big basket of dirty clothes into the washing machine, then hanging all of that to dry, then folding it and finally ironing. Ugh. Wouldn’t it be a dream come true if someone could magically do all that for you? Yup, you too can give your significant other a weekend of relaxation at home by helping with chores like laundry, cleaning and even grocery shopping! I know for one that most guys dread chores like these so if you want to steal your man’s heart – iron his clothes for him and he’s all wrapped around your finger.
We’re often always talking about our day, complaining about work, texting on the phone or even dozing off in the middle of a conversation that we often forget to really listen. Humans can be complex creatures but at the base of our core we all want to be loved and understood… and that starts from actually having someone else listen to our rambles, ideas and even rants. If you want to truly deepen your relationship with your significant other, take the time to truly listen when he/she speaks. Sure you have a lot of stories to share as well, but let there be balance. Let your significant other share his/her stories by asking simple questions like “How was your day?”, “What did you eat?”, “How was work?”. This is especially useful for introverted partners as they tend to be more shy and would need an extra push to share their own thoughts and opinions.
We all have bad days. Be it a tough day at work, being stuck in traffic, getting into a road accident or even having fights with friends and families. It happens to everyone… and we all would appreciate a little help from someone else in those times of need. Sometimes all you really need is a hug and a pat on the head from your significant other to truly feel understood. If your significant other is having a bad day, don’t be harsh and yell at him/her for making a big deal out of something small. We never really know what’s going on in a person’s head and it could be more serious than the situation seems. Instead, ask them gently what’s bothering them or lend them a shoulder to cry on. For Highly Sensitive People (HSPs) like me, we often feel too much and get overwhelmed constantly. When I start to feel too much of emotions like sadness and repress my feelings into a bottle; I start to shut people out of my life subconsciously. It has caused much miscommunication and misunderstandings with people and I try not to do it… but life has its own way. I am immensely lucky to have a boyfriend who lets me bury my face in his chest and cry all my pent-up emotions out instead of lashing at me for being ‘moody’. If you have a significant other who constantly have his own battles to face, be there for him/her by simply telling them you’re here to support them.
- Words of Affirmation
Sometimes all you really need is someone to say “I’m here for you” to feel truly loved. Not to be confused with No. 4 (which is more action oriented), words of affirmation is mostly hearing/telling your significant other genuine words of love. For most people dating introverted partners, it can be difficult to know if he/she truly loves you when they never say “I love you”. This has often caused a lot of disagreements with couples because well… everyone would like to hear “I love you” to be truly validated of their love. For the introverted boys/girls out there, don’t be afraid to tell someone what you really feel – if you love them, tell them. Sometimes simple words are truly what people really want to hear. It doesn’t always have to be the golden “I love you” to express your love. It can be something as simple as telling your partner that he/she did a good job at work, telling them you truly appreciate how they always listen to you, telling them that you are grateful for everything they do (even the chores) and the simplest of all, Thank You. Love doesn’t always have to be complex, saying “Thank You” whenever your partner does the dishes or even sends you back home is a way to truly express your love and gratitude.
As such, I hope you’ll be able to express your love to that special someone in these simple ways that we often neglect to do. Love is a never-ending journey of growth and reflection. If both parties put in enough effort and time to meet each other halfway, surely it can be a happy relationship. Instead of always comparing your partner to other people or complaining about what they don’t do enough; how about trying to express your love for them in ways that will allow them to love you back too?
This 2020, let’s all learn to love a bit more.