Making someone feel loved can be achieved by the simplest of methods, but they must come at precisely the right time.

Tell her you love her.

'OK,' you say to your self, 'that's sounds easy enough.' It is easy, really. But remember to tell her you love her not only while you are being happy together, but when you are being sad together too. Or best of all, when you aren't together, and you have no real reason to be thinking about her.

A phonecall or an SMS or an email out of the blue, saying "I just wanted to tell you that I love you" is one of the simplest ways of making someone feel loved.

Hold her hand in public.

Holding hands can be really important. Not holding hands can make her feel as though you are embarrassed to be seen "with" her, or just as if you don't want to touch her.

Be there for her when she needs you.

This is the big one for me.
Someone who can hold me while I cry, or listen to me when I need to talk about what is hurting me, or just... you know... be there, makes me feel more loved than anything else.

Show an interest in her interests.

Try reading a book she really likes. You might like it, too. Or ask her what her 'special place' is, and if she asks you, go there with her. Or ask to go along to her club or class some time. Or just listen to her talk about them.
But don't pretend to be interested when you are not. Dishonesty sucks.
Which brings me to:

Tell the Truth.

When she can trust you to tell her, when she asks, that you don't like her hair-cut, or you don't like her dress, or you didn't enjoy her book, or that yes, she looks tired, she will know she can trust you to be telling the truth when you tell her that when she smiles it makes your heart ache with happiness.

Tell her she's beautiful

Robert Heinlein said "Always tell her she's beautiful, especially when she isn't" and I agree, but would be glad if he's said "Tell her she's beautiful to you..." If she knows you see her as beautiful even when she's been digging in the garden, or changing a tyre, or crying her eyes out for an hour (when she knows in her own heart she isn't, in other words) she will feel loved.

I've used "she", "her" and "hers" throughout this, but nothing in this would not apply to a man as well as to a woman.

I read this small book, once, written by an american pastor, I think, about how to show your love for someone you cared about. The idea behind the book was that there were several different "languages" of love (seven, if my memory serves me right, but I can't seem to remember them all), and that most people only "spoke" one or two of them. As I thought about what made the people I cared for happy, I decided there might be some truth to it. While I think that most people speak all of the "languages", the different ways of showing appreciation is valued differently by different people. Seeing what, exactly, people value, can be a bit tricky, but awareness of what they do to you should work well.

The "languages" were all pretty broad. One, probably my favourite, was physical contact. Not sexual contact, though that is part of it if it's with a significant other, but things such as holding hands and hugging.

Research I've seen later on indicates that physical contact of this kind is quite important, not only for romantic relationships, but also for friendships. It is also important for emotional stability, with people who do not get as much physical contact with people they care for being generally less happy and emotionally stable. The fact that babies who do not get much physical care from their parents often develop severe problems should be a hint here. But I digress.

Another "language" was gifts. I know I don't care much for this, personally. I mean, sure, it's fun to get something I want, but for me, it's honestly the present, and not the thought, that generally counts. Some people, however, care greatly for this, and loves to get presents, even if it's just a cheap little thingy or a flower (roses, I've heard, is a favourite in romantic relationships).

It should probably not surprise anybody that compliments are one of the remaining "languages". Some people really crave compliments, sometimes to a level where it gets self-destructive. I must admit I like them myself, and as a result I do give them out to those I care for. See, proof right there that there's some truth to the point of the book.

Doing something to help the people you care for, favours and services, is the fourth "language". I am pretty certain this is my mothers language. She gets really happy if I do her a favour or help her out with something. The fact that I hate doing housework or gardening (hey, I'm a guy. We don't like that sort of stuff (not that most women like it either, I am sure). Well, except my cousin, who when he was around six or seven actually used to come and ask my mother if he could, say, help wash the dishes, after we had them for dinner) doesn't make that one too fun, but I try.

The last "language" I can remember for certain (it's been years since I read the book) is spending "quality time" with them. Ever had a girlfriend/boyfriend who wanted to spend all their waking time with you? They probably spoke this language. Or they were just clingy and paranoid. This means doing something with them not for doing whatever you're doing, but for being with them. It often means doing something you don't find very fun, but they do.

I also believe conversations were a language mentioned in the book. If it wasn't, it should be. Sitting down and talking with people you care about, whether just chit-chatting about what has happened lately, cute girls (if you're a guy talking to your guy-friends), or whatever, or a deeper conversation of some kind, it is important for many people. I've certainly bonded very well, to the extent that I'd actually call them friends, with a couple of people I've never met face-to-face, but have talked with extensively over the net.

I hope some people will find this valuable information. As I said in the beginning of the w/u, I disagree with the basic assumption of the book that I stole these ideas from that said that each of us only speak a couple of these "languages", but I still feel it's a good idea to be aware of the different ways different people show that they appreciate you, because this will tell you what will make them feel the most appreciated and loved as well.

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