Throughout the ages, men and women alike have pondered what love is. It has been written about, spoken of, debated on, and argued by millions for thousands of years. If you were following Find Keep Love’s Twitter feed (@FindKeepLove) or Facebook page in January, I posted an A to Z of Love Quotes, covering musings on love by some of the greatest and most famous minds – philosophers, scientists, musicians, doctors, and businessmen.
Oxford Dictionaries defines love as “a strong feeling of affection,” “a great interest and pleasure in something,” “a person or thing that one loves,” or as a verb to “feel deep affection or sexual love for (someone).” From our own experience, we know that love is much more complex than these simple definitions suggest – the true meaning of love transcends any words we might use to attempt its definition. Love is defined, felt and experienced differently by different people, but however you try to define it, I strongly believe that love is largely defined by our actions, like the old cliché, “Actions speak louder than words.”
Love without action is not real love, and paraphrasing what Kim Casali once said, “Love is the little things you do for each other.” Something similar can be found in the Bible in 1 John 3:18: “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” So your love for someone will be demonstrated in the things you do for them. These are things that you do not because you have to, but because you want to, making their comfort, happiness and/or pleasure the sole aim of your actions, and not for your own personal interest, gratification or reward.
Here are ten ideas to get you started on how to surprise your loved one with random nice things. As I mentioned in my previous post on Relationship Maintenance & Avoiding Relationship Ruts, the monetary value of the gift/action is not what is important, but the thoughtfulness, imagination and love represented by it. You can never force or buy love, despite what some people may think.
- Buy a small treat when coming home from a trip away somewhere.
- Leave love notes in random locations around the house: on the pillow, on your partner’s desk, in your partner’s pocket, or on a Post-it note on today’s page in their diary.
- Cook their favourite meal or, better yet, prepare a meal together. If they cook, you clean the dishes.
- If your bath/shower is big enough, sneak in there with them every now and then.
- Plan a surprise date – tell them nothing of your plans, except the time, date and place to meet you. You could extend this to an overnight trip somewhere, or even something over a weekend, if you’re feeling particularly ambitious.
- If your partner is working on some project or hobby, offer to help them out.
- Instead of buying a card for your partner’s next birthday, Valentine’s Day or your anniversary, buy a blank card, get some coloured pens, get creative, and write your partner a special message from the heart.
- Write your partner a love letter and slip it somewhere they’re likely to find it during the day.
- Pamper your partner for a night – be at their service for a night. Cook them dinner, make them their favourite drink, run them a bath, give them a massage (or something more erotic), and let them fall asleep hearing how much you mean to them.
- Make a handmade coupon book – the coupons could be for anything: a massage, a home-cooked meal, a meal out, a night away. If you feel really generous (and courageous!), you could make one or more of them blank.
Not only can you show your love for your partner with these simple things and help maintain your relationship, but you will feel better about yourself. Like giving to charity or carrying out volunteer work, people are happier themselves when they are giving to or helping others. And if you’ve taken my advice from my previous post, Modern Day Dating & Scheduling Dates, and scheduled a date night, try taking it in turns each week at organising the night – a great opportunity to surprise your partner!
What is a random nice thing that you do (or could do) for your partner (or loved one) to show them that you love them?