No matter how confidently we know how our partners feel about us, we still crave affection. Showing affection enhances your relationship and brings you and your partner closer together. Lack of affection can tear a relationship apart. Use these seven tips to show affection for your significant other:
1. Be receptive to affection
Even unaffectionate people need affection. When your partner is affectionate with you, it’s important to accept it graciously and reciprocate. (That probably sounds less natural than it is, but you understand.) For example, if your partner lays his or her hand on your knee, laying your hand on top of his/her will show him/her that you appreciate the interaction and want more in the future.
2. Give greetings and farewells
You can show someone how much you appreciate them by being deliberate with your “hellos” and “goodbyes.” Stop what you’re doing and take a moment to interact with your partner when he/she is arriving or leaving. This shows them that they have a place in your life.
3. Give frequent, gentle touches
Regular touching is something we only share with the people we’re close to. Remind your partner of this connection by touching often, even in nonromantic ways. Offer a quick back rub while he washes dishes or squeeze her shoulder as you walk by her desk.
4. Make their day a little easier
Make a small effort to make someone’s day a tiny bit easier. You could brew coffee before they wake up or start their car on a cold a day. It doesn’t have to be much; just enough to ease their load and remind them they matter to you.
5. Tell each other how you feel
It’s not enough that you spoke your feelings once. They have to be repeated over and over. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been with your partner for fifty years, say “I love you” or some variation of it every single day. Be direct and specific on why you love him or her.
6. Give a gift out of the blue
We expect to trade gifts on Valentine’s Day and birthdays, but a sudden “just because” gift is a sure-fire way to make someone feel special. They’ll know that you went out of your way to give a gift, even when you weren’t bound by expectation or a social custom.
7. Cook a meal for your partner
There is something very basic to our biology about sharing meals together. Host a party in your home and people will congregate in the kitchen. Every holiday we share together involves food somehow. By cooking a meal for your partner, you signify that you regard them highly.
What little things do you do to show your partner you care? Start a discussion by sharing with us on our Facebook page!
Sherry is a New Jersey Licensed Clinical Social Worker, a Board Certified Professional Counselor and a IABMCP Professional Coach. She volunteers as a mentor for Graduate Students pursuing positive psychology Master Degrees through the International Positive Psychology Association. She is an Advanced Trainer/Certified Nurtured Heart Specialist and has served on the Ethics & Global Summit 2011 Committees for Howard Glasser and The Nurtured Heart Approach, a transformational approach that changes lives.
Sherry Blair inspires and motivates others by applying and encouraging Positive Psychology. She uses her skills to teach others how to build effective teams, and use non-violent communication to achieve results and resolve conflict. Teaching others to speak from their hearts is a key constituent of the work she does.