Ways to say "I love you!" - without spending money.
"I love you!" is for life, not just for Valentine's Day.
The best ways to say it don't have to involve spending a penny.
Unfortunately, we live in a capitalist world, and it's all too easy to get caught up in buying bigger and more impressive gifts for your loved one. Have we lost touch with the other ways of expressing our love?
Rather than worrying about grand displays of affection, my belief is that we should spend more time on the little things. These are the things that really say, "I love you!"
Here's my advice, gained the hard way from ten years into a relationship:
All you need is love...
Here are my top tips for improving your love life - by saying, and showing, you love someone for FREE:
- Say it. By far the best way to say you love someone is to say, "I love you!" Whisper it in their ear, shout it from the rooftops, it doesn't matter - just make sure you say it.
- Be thoughtful. Show you love someone by showing that you think about them - do little things for them everyday, rather than worrying about big things every now and then.
- Be attentive. Spend time with them, listen to them, look at them. Let them know that they are important to you - this doesn't mean you have to wait on them hand and foot!
- Be intimate. This isn't only to do with sex! One of the things body-language experts look for are what they call tie signs - little things that show a connection. You don't have to smother your loved one in hugs, but try to touch them every day; a hand on the arm, an arm round the hips, a quick squeeze of a hand...
- Be honest. Honesty is always the best policy - and all relationships are built on trust.
- Be happy. Revel in the things that they do for you, and look for a few of these little things coming right back at you!
"Budget" romantic activities
OK. So you have to do something, but can't afford to go out for dinner and a movie..?
- Make them something - dinner usually works well, but this goes for pretty much anything you can turn your hand to. The fact that you've gone to an effort to make them happy counts for much more than how much you spent!
- Go for a walk - somewhere quiet, somewhere beautiful. Take a picnic if you want to combine this with the one above. By the sea, or under the stars, this is an opportunity to enjoy being together.
- Take up an activity together - are there free dancing lessons in your area? Painting? Music lessons? Karate? Dodgeball? Pick something you'd both like and do it together.
- Go out to free events - go and see a local band play a gig, or visit exhibitions at local art galleries, or see amateur dramatics, or head out to the park when the brass band's playing, or...
- Pamper them - run a nice hot bath, get some flowers and candles - these will probably work for men too - gentle massage, glass of wine...
You get the idea. The point is that by doing any of these things, you're making time to work your way through the original list. Spending money shows you care, but it's not the only way!
And a final thought: if your loved one's only concerned with the amount you spend on them, then maybe they're not loving you back anyway!