The difficulty people have in expressing love is painted amusingly in “The Fiddler On the Roof,” the classic musical set in pre-World War I Russia. When Tevye whimsically asks his wife, “Do you love me?” Golde replies, exasperated, that she’s washed his clothes, cleaned up after him, cooked for him, lived with him and fought with him for 25 years–and if that isn’t love, what is? In the century since, relationships have changed substantially, but love is still about giving and taking and sharing. Here are 10 ways to show someone how much you love them.
Giving: Listen to Him
When you know him as well as you know the back of your hand, it’s easy to take his words for granted. Don’t let that happen. Stop and listen to what he’s saying, from the most trivial comment to the most meaningful confession. By listening, you show him you are interested in who he is.
Giving: Do Things for Her
When she’s sick, take care of her. When she’s having problems, help. Surprise her with gifts. By making life easier for her, you show her you care how she’s feeling.
Giving: Be Honest and Open With Him
Don’t keep important secrets from him. Tell him what you really feel. Being honest and open with him shows him you trust him with your true self.
Taking: Lean on Her
Strong people especially can have difficulty leaning on others, including those they love. Ask her for help. Letting her take the burden sometimes shows that you trust her to be there for you.
Taking: Show Appreciation for Him
Although a “thank you” is a form of giving, it’s also a form of taking. By thanking him, you acknowledge that he has given something to you and that you recognize the love and effort behind the gift.
Taking: Let Her Lift Your Spirits
When you’re down or depressed, sometimes nothing can help you. However, sometimes she can. Let her lift you out of your feelings of isolation and misery and show her that she’s a powerfully positive force in your life.
Taking: Accept Compliments
One of the hardest things to do is to accept the compliments of a loved one. When you hear, “You’re beautiful!” you respond, “You’re biased.” Or simply, we feel too insecure to believe a compliment can be true. Believe it, accept it and show him you trust and value his judgment.
Sharing: Enjoy Her
Spend time with her. Enjoy her company. If you’re in love, make love. Enjoying her shows her you’re glad you’re with her.
Sharing: Include Him
Whether or not you think he’d want to go someplace with you, whether or not you think he’d like one of your friends, ask him along. Include him and show him that he’s always foremost in your mind.
Sharing: Say the Words
In Fiddler on the Roof, Tevye asks Golde if she loves him, and in the end, reluctantly, she says that she supposes she does. That’s good enough for Tevye–he just needed to hear it. Say “I love you” and show that you never take your love for granted.