Merriam-Webster defines love as “strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties.”
What we feel for those we love, however, can be so hard to define, so overwhelming and so difficult to pin down. Love really means so much more than any dictionary can define.
Love can grab your heart when you least expect it, and it can deepen as you grow to love someone more and more. Love is a big word, but it’s made up of many small moments. Fleeting experiences that are stored in our memories for a long time.
How do we recognize and register the small things that make us feel love or the actions those who love us take to show they care?
At this special time of year, St. Valentine’s Day, why not do something extra special for the people in our lives that we love so much?
Write a letter to the person you love, and tell them why they are so special. Include specific memories the two of you share and the little things you love about them the most. Make your letter beautiful, with special paper, photographs, drawings or other trimmings. It’s not every day we get a real letter in the mail telling us how special we are. This will have a real impact.
Make a list of the things you love about someone you adore. It can be a short list of the top 10 things or an exhaustive list of every tiny thing you can think of. Whatever you choose, the recipient will love knowing that he/she is truly seen and loved by you.
Knowing what you know about the person you love, plan an outing or a day trip to a special place you know they will love. What are their interests they don’t often pursue? What do they not indulge in because they are too frugal to splurge on themselves? Think of something they will truly appreciate, and make it a special time together.
For anyone you love, it’s always a good time to leave a handwritten love note in their lunchbox, work bag or on the passenger’s seat of their car to remind them of how much they are cared for.
Sometimes, the best way to show someone how much you love them is by anticipating their needs. This is a guaranteed way to let them know how much you care as you are identifying something they need and taking care of it which will ultimately make their day easier. The key is to anticipate the need before your loved one does. They will be so surprised and feel so loved knowing you took care of this “to do” list item for them. Examples might be…filling their car with gas when you know they are running low, restocking the coffee supplies, so there will be plenty there in the morning, taking care of the kids and the pets and letting your loved one sleep when they are extra tired. You know what would make this act of loving kindness most special for the people in your life. This will be especially appreciated if the target of your affection’s love language is “acts of service.”
As you’re figuring out the best ways to show your special someone you care about them, don’t forget to say, “thank you” and “I appreciate you.” Expressing love isn’t just about saying I love you, it’s equally important to make sure they know you are grateful for them. When someone is always there for you, it can be easy to take for granted that they will be there no matter what. Remember that every day, every moment with the people you love is a gift to be thankful for. There are many ways to show you’re grateful, from buying a special gift to simply saying “thanks for spending time with me today.”