Nonverbal Ways to Say I Love You: How Do I Say I Love You Without Actually Saying It?
My dominant love language is words of affirmation. If you are not familiar with love languages, consider reading Gary Chapman’s books on The 5 Love Languages. The author states the 5 different ways people express love or like to be shown love. (1) Words of affirmation; (2) Quality time; (3) Receiving gifts; (4) Acts of service; (5) Physical touch.
Again I have to repeat, my primary love language is words of love and affirmation. Take that away? I gulped. That seems like no love shown at all. But I am rolling up my sleeves and getting to work. You see a friend and a wise woman at that told me, “Having a partner who is different from you helps you learn to receive love in ways that you may not expect. And you also learn to express love the way they want affection to be shown.
Okay, I confess I had a hard time doing this. And I believe it goes for a lot of us. Mary Ann (not her real name) had a suitor who kept bringing her gifts. When asked if they were already a couple, she laughed and said, “I really don’t know because he never said a word! But he has been visiting me regularly and giving me gifts, maybe we are?” So you can imagine my dilemma when I had to omit saying I love without actually saying it!
Well anyway as I started remembering and reflecting, I realized there are indeed many ways to express love. I was just too stubborn and blind to see it!
The Love Languages by Gary Chapman
Love ageless and evergreen....
Look with Love
When was the last time you looked at your spouse? You know, really look? Not just the glance that says, “Oh yeah, it’s you!” But the one when you hold her/his face and pay attention to anything and everything there is to see. Maybe it’s the baby hair sprouting; or the way her eyes closes shyly when you look at her intently; or his nose or his greying hair. When was the last time you looked at his eyebrows and traced it with your fingers?
And then here’s the most important thing, look with love. Not with indifference but with love. Love the wrinkles. Love the greying hair. Love the smile that twinkles like a million stars in the night. What a gift to receive! To know somebody sees you, your imperfections or your beauty and chooses to love you anyway. You see it in their eyes and that makes you feel truly special and most of all, loved.
Hold her in your arms tenderly. Cuddling and hugging feels good. Do it even after intimacy. It makes you feel safe, secure and loved. It brings out the feel good hormones. Couples who do not hug miss out on the gift of touch.
Next to words of love, I go for hugs too! It feels good to be embraced when I am happy and most especially can be healing when I don’t feel well.
Hold Her Hand
A friend of mine was despondent because she lost her pet dog. She had grown so attached to her pet that she was inconsolable. She confessed that one day as she was seated in their garden with a faraway look, her husband sat beside her quietly, not saying anything. When he felt she was more open to him, he took her hand and held it gently. She told me, “I didn’t know how but with that little gesture, I was more comforted than any other words would have done.”
Go the Extra Mile
Women were expected to cook and take care of the house. But not Stephanie. She disliked household chores. Her husband ended up doing what needed to be done. After learning about the love languages, she decided to do something she never would have thought that she would do. She washed the dishes, ironed the clothes and set the table to the delight of her husband. “I did it this time knowing he felt loved when I did it. I felt good in the end.”
Prepare a Surprise
Surprises are like lovebursts into your ordinary day. Think of little inexpensive ways (and expensive ones if you can afford it) and do it. Candlelit dinner for two, breakfast in bed, compose a song, give her flowers or chocolates, watch your favourite shows, make her a video tribute and so on.
You can also play pretend like "I will be at your beck and call this day!" The intent – to surprise! Something that you don’t do on ordinary days.
We love giving surprises in our school. We know the teachers feel good when we plan something for them. They say that it makes them feel loved and important. When you plan, you are telling your loved one, I care enough for you to plan something beautiful. You are worth all the trouble!
Another wonderful way to show love is to show support. I remember when I had to give a talk and I was so nervous, I was stunned when my loved one offered to go and listen to me. Yes, this means a lot. If she is a writer, take time to read what she has written. If he loves sports, take time to watch a game with him. If she loves to cook, take time to savor the food she has prepared and compliment her. Support shows that you care and love her enough to give your undivided attention. And it is saying, I love what you do and I am here to cheer you in the sidelines.
Acceptance and Kindness is Love
There are many ways to say I love you nonverbally. Acceptance, kindness and respect rules the day. When you accept your spouse, when you are kind, when you show respect, it says more clearly than the words “I love you” ever could. And this is love in action.
If you have other ways to say I love you without actually saying it, do share it. I would be interested to hear your sharings.
To a life filled with love.
BY: Michelle Simtoco
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