12 Ways to Love

by Janet Ong Zimmerman on 12/08/2015

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Saying “I love you” and showing your love are two very different things. Love is more than just words. And if you want to show your love, put these 12 ways into practice and you’ll enjoy a happy and healthier relationship.

1. Give the gift of experience

In this day and age, people have most everything they want or they can buy it themselves. Instead of spending a lot of money to buy your guy a gift, think of how you can give him the gift of experience. For instance, if he’s been under a lot of pressure at work, he may enjoy some peace. This may mean creating a calm space that helps him relax.

2. Be mindful of his preferences

If your guy has specific preferences, honor them. For instance, if he prefers to wind down after a day at work, be mindful. Don’t launch right into conversation when he gets home or ask him to take out the trash. Give him some time and when he’s had a chance to wind down, then initiate conversation or ask if he’s ready to talk.

3. Give him space

Most of us need alone time to recharge and refresh. If your guy seems distant, instead of pressing him for answers to why he’s withdrawn or demand that he be with you, give him space to do what he needs and wants. He’ll appreciate this thoughtful gesture.

4, Don’t take things personally

When your man says or does something that rubs you the wrong way, it’s understandable to get caught up in the wave of negative energy. The reality is, when he says or does those things, he’s not in a good place at that moment – it has to do with what’s going on within him or how he’s interpreted the situation. This means it’s not personal and there no need to be short with him. Choose to respond in a kind manner. He’ll appreciate the kindness you show when he’s having a hard time and that approach will turn things around.

5. Choose in favor of your relationship

When faced with a choice to make, always choose in favor of your relationship. This means being conscious and asking questions like, “Will what I’m about to do help or hurt my relationship? Also, if you see things differently, trying to convince him to see things your way means you’re choosing in favor of you. Instead, agree to disagree and respect that he happens to think differently. (The exception is if his thinking is immoral or unethical, that’s not a time to choose in favor of your relationship.)

6. Be present

If you’ve been feeling disconnected from your partner, chances are, your mind has been spending time in the past or future. The love you want is created from the present. Be present as much as possible and you’ll experience a deeper connection. When both of you feel connected, you’ll both feel loved.

7. Embrace his quirkiness

When your guy’s quirkiness starts to come out, that’s a good sign. It means he’s comfortable with you to show up as his true self. Unless his quirkiness is immoral or unethical, accept and embrace those aspects of himself. That’s what makes him unique and special.

8. Provide a safe place for him to open up

Guys aren’t used to opening up since that’s not how they’re used to relating. If your guy tends to have a hard time sharing his true thoughts and feelings, encourage him by listening without judging and without interrupting. The more he feels heard and accepted, the more he’ll be comfortable opening up.

9. Let him in

Don’t let your present be driven by your unhealed past. When doing so, you’ll build a wall instead of a connection. Heal heartache, disappointment and pain so you’ll be more open and able to share your true thoughts and feelings with him. In doing so, you let him in to experience the real you. The only way to be loved for yourself is by letting him in. And in return, he’ll open up and let you in.

10. Give him freedom

If you tend to complain about the time your guy spends with his friends or doing activities he enjoys, continuing down that path will make him feel restricted and cause friction. Instead, have a conversation about how much you value your time together, the importance of him (and you) feeling free to do the things he likes, and come up with solutions together for sharing time.

11. Trust until proven otherwise

If you find yourself having a hard time trusting your man, start recognizing the feelings that tend to come up when something doesn’t feel right and notice if you’re transferring feelings from your past into your present relationship. If so, remind yourself the man you’re with is not the men from your past. If the feelings are tied to something your man is doing that doesn’t feel right, listen to those feelings and have an honest conversation to learn what’s really going on.

12. Cultivate peace
Peace comes from a place of love, and the more you approach love from love (vs. fear), the more peace you and your partner will feel with each other. Your relationship should be a sanctuary for both individuals and when faced with a decision, choose the one that brings peace rather than turmoil.

Which of the 12 ways to love most resonates with you? And how will you put that into practice in your love life?

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