All of us use unique expressions of love. This doesn’t just apply to our romantic partners, but also to strangers, family members, friends, or pets. We all express love in small or big ways throughout the monotony of our everyday lives, in ways a lot of us may not even think about. Love is all around us if we just look a little closer.
Small gestures are often the ones that keep us going through our day-to-day lives. They are selfless expressions that can give us the motivation to keep going, even on our darkest days.
These small expressions of love can be seen in the face of the smiling barista who asks how your day is going, or in a “Good Morning” text from someone special. These expressions may be small, and sometimes seen as unremarkable, but they’re not. The people who show their love in small and simple ways understand that these things are crucial to a loving and healthy life. These small gestures can remind us of how grateful we can and must be to have love and empathy in an unpredictable and scary world.
Unspoken love can mean a variety of things – the laughter of a baby, the purring of a cat, a warm hug without words. Animals or small children are dependent on us. They need feeding, cleaning, changing, but can’t verbalise their love or appreciation for us; however every now and again they do, in their own way. Your dog may leap up and kiss you when you get home from work, or your child might giggle when you pull a certain face. These expressions give us an undeniable sense of warmth, without the need for verbal communication.
Unspoken love can also be sitting in silence with a friend after a breakup, or your partner giving you a knowing glance at shared humour. These expressions show an unspoken bond between you. A bond based on understanding – an understanding that we don’t always need words to express our love or support for one another.
Gift giving doesn’t always mean a material or expensive expression of love but can be the thought that goes into picking flowers for a partner or making someone their favourite meal. Some may communicate through music through exchanging songs or listening to each other’s favourite bands or singers. Most gifts shared don’t cost anything – it could be sharing a new Netflix show for a friend to try out or passing down a family heirloom. Gifts can be a personal and thoughtful way to show your understanding of one another – it shows they listen, observe and truly know you.
Gift-giving is based on a deep understanding of the other person. This conveys the thought, time and effort that has gone into the process of expressing love.
Self-love is one of the most important expressions since it relies on us feeling worthy enough to receive it.
This can mean anything from taking yourself for a walk by the sea, having a long bath, or buying new clothes. Often, these are things we ‘want’ to do, instead of things we ‘need’ to do. Self-love helps us add value to our life and wellbeing, allowing us to indulge in it, because we are worthy of compassion. Self-love can also include self-pleasure (masturbation, etc.) which can reduce stress and be a self-loving form of release for some people.
Self-love sustains us and is vital because we are not dependent on other people to receive love and care. If we can learn to be more self-loving, we are often in a better position to empathise and form important relationships with the people we care for. This is because we understand how beneficial being patient and compassionate with ourselves, and others, can be.
Like gift giving, romantic expressions of love don’t have to be expensive or material. It could be picking a book out of a library because it reminded you of someone or going on a late-night walk to gaze at the stars or watching a movie or TV show together.
These gestures show the true connection you and your partner/s share. Being intimate can also come under the ‘romantic gestures’ umbrella. Intimacy can mean different things to different people, whether it’s sex, handholding, lying on the sofa together, or just being with that special person. Intimacy, whether physical and/or emotional, is important to sustain romantic relationships.
Small or large gestures help keep a spark in relationships because one of the most romantic things is knowing your partner cares about what you want and need and knows you well enough to show you. Expressions of love can often sustain and guide us through the darkness. They can be found in small and big interactions and gestures, and give meaning to our lives in subtle yet powerful ways.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to build healthy relationships in your life, whether with your friends, family or intimate partners, sign up to the Lovedoc waitlist where you will receive the newest updates for the app’s launch.