Once you know whether or not you’re in love, the next step is figuring out how to tell someone you love them.
But how do you let this other person know how you feel without making them feel overwhelmed or scared?
Telling your person how you feel is important, but how do you show them that you love them?
Words can only go so far.
Luckily, you can tell someone you love them in just 5 simple steps.
1. Love them as they want to be loved.
One of the best tools in a successful relationship is Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages.
He has devoted his website and book to the theory that there are five love languages — five ways people express and receive love:
Words of Affirmation
Acts of Service
Giving of Gifts
For each person, one of those things is what makes them feel the most loved. When a partner tries to love them using a different love language, they don’t feel loved.
My love language is Quality Time — I feel loved when someone is truly present with me, listening to me, and focusing on me. My ex-husbands’ love language was Physical Touch — he felt love when I was holding his hand, hugging him or, yep, that too.
Unfortunately, the language that we spoke best with each other was Acts of Service. We did things for each other, like changing the oil in the car or going to the grocery store. Stuff got done, but neither of us felt loved.
2. Take care of them, but let them return the favor.
Everyone enjoys taking care of someone, but many people are really bad at letting others take care of them.
So, let your partner take care of you.
Think about how good it feels when you do something nice for someone, how it connects you to that person, and makes you feel good about yourself.
Imagine how good it would feel for your partner to do something for you, too. So, let them!
Even if you can do it yourself, let them do it. Let them feel good about helping you. It’s an excellent way to show someone you love them and for them to show you the same.
3. Hear them.
For women, an important part of being loved is feeling connected. Men often don’t understand what that means — to be connected — for a woman.
I have a client who wants his girlfriend to know that he loves her. He thinks that the best way to do that is by making sure they have good memories. So, he arranges trips, dinners, and other expensive things, hoping to create wonderful memories.
His girlfriend has expressed her dismay that he’s spending so much money on her and he brushed it off, telling her that she was worth it. She wasn’t happy.
I suggested that he tell her that he recognizes and respects her concerns. So, he arranged some free things that they can do together to build memories. She was happy.
For women, being seen, heard, understood, and acknowledged is an important part of feeling loved.
4. Share their passions.
I have a client whose boyfriend loves working on cars. He worked on cars with his father, and he does so now with his son. He would rather work on cars than just about anything.
This love was driving my client crazy because he wanted to spend time with her, but also wanted to work on his car. So, I suggested a compromise.
She has to try to get interested in some aspects of his car work and learn from him, so that she could spend time with him. In exchange, he would be willing to spend some time with her, doing things other than car work.
By supporting your partner’s passions, you’re letting them know that you respect and love who they are as a person.
Sulking in a corner because you don’t like what they are doing isn’t going to buy you any love at all.
5. Support them always.
It’s happened to everyone — your partner comes up with some pie-in-the sky idea that is the new driving force in their lives. It’s exciting, new, and all they want to talk about.
And you’ve probably thought your partner’s new idea is crazy.
I remember in college, my soccer-playing, skiing, manly-man of a boyfriend turned to me after a dance performance and announced that he wanted to be a dancer. I actually laughed in his face.
This was 30 years ago, and I still remember the hurt look in his eyes. He never became a dancer.
To this day, I wish I had supported him. That’s what people who love each other do for each other.
He might never have become a dancer, but having the person who loved him believe in him would have been such a gift.
So, support them. No matter
Being in love is an amazing thing, and because words only go so far, making your person feel loved is what will give your relationship legs.
Look out for the signs of whether or not you’re in love. If you are, do everything that you can to keep that love healthy and strong.
Love is essential for the survival of our species, and if you’re lucky enough to find someone who rocks your world, don’t let them go!