How to love 14 ways to be a more loving partner

I’m not a fan of the phrase “brutally honest.” It always sounds to me like someone is violently punching you with their thoughts. Really, you shouldn’t be brutal about anything in your relationship unless the act is consensual and involves a safe word.

If you love your partner and are looking for ways to make them fall more in love with you, then you should find a way to smack them over the head with the raw truth of your feelings. Pummel your lover’s chest with the soft, delicate fists of affection until you both melt in a puddle of tenderness and reciprocal care. Clap their ears with affirmations, words of support, and validation. Tell them all the ways you have fallen for them.

If you are looking for the words to make someone fall more in love with you, hereВ are some soft truths to get your love with your partner off to the right start:

1.В What Your Childhood Was Actually Like

Talking about one another’s pasts will bring you and your love interest closer.В Telling stories about yourself to one another is an opportunity to share some of your most tender memories, as well as talk about your insecurities or the vulnerabilities you faced when you were a child.

There’s no better way to start to feel like you have known someone forever than byВ hearing about the experiences they had as a kid. If your partner is already falling in love with you, then opening up to them about your past will make their feelings for you grow.

It takes courage to share your history with your partner, butВ if you are in a relationship that already hasВ the space for that level of intimacy and care, it’s the best way to bring your feelings for one another to the next level.

2.В The Reasons You Are Attracted ToВ Each Other

I don’t know whether it’s because of the current Netflix and chill epidemicВ orВ hookup culture or what, but for some reason, people are hesitant to verbally express their attraction to one another. Maybe they think that if theyВ compliment someone, they are legally bound to loving that personВ forever?

When someone I am seeingВ casually drops a compliment on me, I immediately feel weak at the knees. A simple “you’re really freaking cute” will have me blushing and shooting emoji hearts out of my eyes.В Even if our connection is only a passing one, for just that moment, they have managed to flatter me into loving them stupid.

A little flattery can go a long way in a relationship. Feeling desired and wanted is an emboldening feeling and will make your partner more comfortable in their love for you.

3. What Tenderness Means To You In A Relationship

What does true affection look like to you? Is it having a partner who rubs the tension out of your shoulders? Or coming home to someone who is eager to hear about your day? Is it important that your partner helps you work outВ your stresses or challenges? Or are you the one who can hold more stress?

Talking about your love languages early and often will ensure that you and your partner are speaking the same dialect of affection.В Love lacks confidence when it doesn’t feel like it’s getting returned. So knowing the gestures your partner uses to demonstrate their care and affection tells you about the ones they want to receive in return. Plus, it helps you identify love when your partner is demonstrating it to you.

Imagine being in a relationship with someone who has literally never said “I love you” because words of affirmation just isn’t one of their love languages. But if you have already talked about how your partnerВ prefers to demonstrate their feelings by setting aside a weekend of special quality time for you, for example,В then falling in love with them won’t be such a dilemma.

Knowing one another’s love language means you willВ be able to recognize when your partner is falling more deeply in love with you. For your relationship, that can only be a good thing.

4.В When Your Partner Does Something To Upset You

When your partner hurts your feelings — because, inevitably, they will — you need to be able to express that they have done you wrong. Bending over backward in the name of loveВ won’t convince someone to love you more. If someone is going to fall for you, they have to be able to hear you out when you are hurting, apologize, and readjust their actions.

If someone can’t hear you out, then they are not able to actually love you without walking all over you. You will not make them stay by falling for codependency, either. Be honest from the beginning about your feelings. If they run away because they have p*ssed you off, then that’s for the better. You didn’t want their stale affection anyway.

5. How Much Their Presence In Your Life Means To You

There is no way to say this about your partner gently: Their compassion has likely helped you through turbulent times. They’veВ been a consistent presence holding you, physically and mentally, since the day you met. Get brutally honest about how much this care and affection means to you.

Express what you feel for your partner, while also highlighting the differences their presence has made to your life. How have you grown since you have met them?В In what ways do you feel like your partner brings out the best in you? Acknowledge what your partner does for you on a regular basis. Make them feel loved, and the love will probably grow in return.

And although there is no way to forceВ someone to fall more in love with you, showing your truest self is the most secure path to falling deeply in love with someone who truly loves you for you.

So go on, then, and get real with each other. What do you have to lose?

Check out the “Best of Elite Daily” stream in the Bustle App for more stories just like this!

How to love 14 ways to be a more loving partner

How to love 14 ways to be a more loving partner

In This Article

We’ve all heard that a relationship “takes work,” but what does that mean exactly?

Frankly, it sounds like drudgery. Who wants to spend hours at an office only to come home to job number two? Wouldn’t it be more pleasant to think of your relationship as a source of comfort, fun, and pleasure?

Of course, it would. That said, here are some basic fixes if things feel stagnant if the good times are becoming few and far between, if arguing is your main form of communication, or if you just feel that you need a tune-up. And they might even be enjoyable.

How to maintain a healthy relationship doesn’t need to be a long winding, complex process.

Allow me to elaborate and as you read on, you may just find it pretty resourceful to keep a healthy relationship.

1. Don’t argue over money

It’s practically a guaranteed relationship killer. If you haven’t yet had a conversation about how money is earned, spent, saved, and shared, do it now. Try to get an understanding of how each of you sees your financial life, and where the differences are. Then address them.

2. Try not to focus on trifles

Is it worth fighting about? More to the point, is it really a trifle? Often a seemingly minor issue is a manifestation of a larger problem. Do you want to know how to make a relationship strong? Talk about what’s really bothering you, instead of how loud the TV is. It’s really that simple.

3. Share your thoughts

Your hopes. Your fears. Your passions. Let your partner know who you really are. Set aside some time each day just to talk about the things that are important to each of you, as individuals. This is one of the most crucial things to do to make your relationship stronger.

4. Be friendly

Treat your partner the way you’d treat a good and trusted friend: with respect, consideration, and kindness. It will go a long way in fostering a strong relationship.

5. Resolve arguments together

When couples fight, it’s all too easy to get locked into a win/lose dynamic. Think of your disagreement as a problem for you both to solve, not a fight for you to win. Think of saying “we” before giving in to the temptation of casting blame on the other person.

6. Show affection daily

Sex is one thing. Holding hands, a hug, a squeeze on the arm – all create connection and trust. If you’re not getting as much attention as you want, let it be known.

7. Focus on the positive

What do you appreciate about your partner? What first attracted you? What do you treasure about your life together? Focus on the positivity to make the relationship strong.

8. Be supportive

Nothing kills a buzz like a negative or absent response to something you’re enthusiastic about.

9. Words plus deeds

Saying “I love you” carries much more weight when you consistently do things that your partner values.

10. Recognize that all relationships have ups and downs

Think long-term. Your relationship is an investment, as the stock market. Ride out the downtimes. With the right kind of attention, they will be temporary.

11. Respect each other when arguing

It is all too tempting to use whatever ammunition you’ve got in the heat of battle. Ask yourself, where will it get you? A partner who is likely to come to your side, or one who will get even more defensive? Ask your partner how they see the problem.

12. Have each other’s back

And, let that be known, t hat’s how you keep a relationship strong.

13. Set goals as a couple

Talk about how you want your relationship to look in a year, five years, ten years. Then work toward that goal.

14. Make your partner a priority

That is why you’re in this relationship in the first place.

This is how to keep a relationship strong and happy. Following these tips will get you closer to your spouse and improve the quality of your relationship. Relationships, against what is commonly believed, are not as difficult to maintain as they are made out to be. Inculcating some habits and behaviors in your day to day life is sufficient to keep your relationship strong, healthy, and happy.

You’ve heard this many times before. But what does it mean to love yourself? And how do you actually love yourself?

For various reasons, many of us find it easier to love others than to love ourselves. Sometimes we’re truly quite awful to ourselves. We subjectourselves toa harsh inner critic, unhealthy relationships, toxic substances, and self-mutilation. I know how easy it is to dwell on your own perceived inadequacies.

But regardless of the reasons for your lack of self-love, it’s time to start caring for yourself and treating yourself with the love you deserve. Instead of being selfish, as many fear, this self-love is a blueprint that shows others how to love you.

I put together 22 ways to love yourself. Many are simple and straight-forward. Some are harder. You don’t have to use all of these ideas, but you’ll find many overlap and work nicely together.

1. Know yourself. It’s impossible to love yourself if you don’t even know who you are. Invest in discovering what you believe, value, and like.

2. Say “no” when you need to. Boundaries are an essential form of self-care because they let others know that you deserve and expect respect.

3. Don’t compare yourself to others. Others aren’t better or worse, more or less than you; They’re just different. You have value just as you are and accepting yourself means there’s no need for comparisons.

4. Be truly present. Our lives are full of distractions. Many of these things are fun and worthwhile, but they can be draining and keep us from truly knowing and being ourselves.

5. Know and use your strengths.We all have tremendous gifts, but many of them go unnoticed. When you’re busy and distracted it’s hard to access these great qualities. Focusing on your strengths will increase your positive feelings for yourself.

6. Give yourself plenty of healthy treats. A treat is something special that you just give yourself. Unlike a reward, it doesn’t have to be earned. Be good to yourself by giving yourself treats “just because”.

7. Be honest with yourself.This one can be harder than it seems. Some of us as so good at self-deception that we don’t even know we’re doing it. Honesty is key in all relationships and your relationship with yourself is no different. Clearly, you can’t love your entire messy self if you’re lying, minimizing, or making excuses.True self-love means taking responsibility and accountability.

8. Let yourself off the hook for your mistakes and imperfections. You’re hard on yourself. You’re probably harder on yourself than anybody else. Cut yourself some slack and embrace your humanness. Mistakes are normal. Imperfections are part of what makes you you.

9. Work on forgiving yourself for the bigger stuff. Sometimes we’re holding onto bigger regrets or transgressions. Self-forgiveness is a process of bit by bit believing you truly did the best you could. Today you could do better, of course. Hindsight really is 20/20, which is why it’s completely unfair to judge your past self with the knowledge you have now. Remember: “When we know better we do better.”

10. Accept that some people won’t like you.That’s right, some people don’t like you and that’s O.K. Don’t waste your time trying to please people who are impossible to please or people who just aren’t that important to you. Being yourself means you have to give up your people-pleasing ways and embrace your authentic self.

11. Make fun a priority.Put something fun on your agenda every week. Don’t neglect it or cancel because you have too much work to do or your kiddo needs help with his history report. Just like rest, we all need fun in order to feel good. Don’t skimp on this importantneed.

12. Practice gratitude. Gratitude is one of the simplest ways to focus on the good in yourself and in your life. Try identifying 3 things you’re grateful for when you wake up every morning.

13. Write down your successes.I love this self-love activity because it creates a record of your accomplishments (big and small) that you can re-read whenever you’re feeling low. Add to it and read your list on a daily basis for maximum benefit.

14. Feel your feelings.Our feelings are an integral part of who we are. You can’t be an authentic person without acknowledging and feeling all of your feelings. Don’t shy away from uncomfortable feelings like anger and sadness. If you deny them, you deny a part of yourself. Allow yourself to express them in a healthy, respectful way.

15. Take good care of your body.Good health is truly priceless. Give yourself the gift of feeling physically well – exercise regularly, eat healthfully, drink water, get 7-8 hours of sleep most nights, and limit alcohol or other drugs.

16. Pursue a hobby.Hobbies can be fun, relaxing, challenging, creative, athletic, social, or educational. As you can see, different hobbies meet different needs for us. Find something that meets your needs.

17.Stand up for yourself.Like boundaries, being assertive is a way of showing others that your opinions and needs matter. Loving yourself means you know your value and can communicate it to others.

18. Write yourself a love letter. I know this is a hard assignment, but it really challenges you to identify the things you like about yourself.

19. Ask for help when you need it.Another part of taking care of yourself is recognizing when you need help. Help isn’t weak. It’s human. We all need help at times.

20. Speak kindly to yourself.Talk to yourself like you’d talk to a loved one. Don’t cut yourself down, call yourself names, or criticize yourself.

21. Surround yourself with people who treat you with kindness and respect.Who you spend time with reflects how you feel about yourself. People who feel worthy surround themselves with positive people. Sometimes loving yourself means you have to end relationships with abusive or unkind people.

22.Allow yourself some downtime. Are you busy, busy, busy? It’s time to slow down and allow your body and mind to rest. You don’t have to do it all.Prioritize what matters most and let go of any guilt in saying no. Rest is rejuvenating and a basic form of self-care.

You are the one person that you’ll always be with; the person who will be there through thick and thin; the person who knows you best. Your relationship with yourself is the most important and longest relationship you’ll ever have. I hope you’ll spend some time learning to love yourself more.

Wishing you much self-love this Valentine’s Day and every day.

Sadie Holloway is a workshop facilitator who teaches interpersonal communication skills to help people strengthen their relationships.

If you are lucky enough to have found your true love, don’t take his or her love for granted! Find ways to express love and affection every day!

It’s often the little things that can make or break a marriage.

How to love 14 ways to be a more loving partner

How often do you tell your husband you love him?

Whether you’ve been married for decades, or you’re single and looking for true love, it’s never too late to learn new ways to express your feelings of love and affection for someone. Here are some simple tips for sharing more love and intimacy with your partner. True love isn’t just about what you say or think or feel. True love is about how you express your feelings in words and deeds. What you do is just as important as what you say when it comes to giving and receiving true love.

Express true love with kind words and positive affirmations. True love isn’t about just saying “I love you” all the time. Saying positive things to your partner to remind them of why they’re so worthy of your love is a wonderful way to boost the love vibes between the two of you. When you offer kind words of gratitude and appreciation for all the things your true love brings into your life, you invite those positive feelings to come back to you.

Give thanks. When was the last time you told your lover how much he or she means to you? When was the last time you told your partner about their strengths? Constantly criticizing your partner and making him or her feel unappreciated is the fastest way to push love away from you. Choose your words thoughtfully if you want to increase romance and intimacy in your marriage.

Listen to your lover’s dreams and desires with an open heart and an open mind. What does your lover want to achieve in life? Does your partner or spouse want to eat healthier foods and get more exercise? Does you partner dream about finding a new career or going back to school? Is there a special place your partner wants to travel to? One of the kindest ways to express true love is to listen to your partner’s goals and then ask how you can help in achieving that goal. Team work is a sign of true love and commitment! Supporting your partner to achieve a goal is one of the best ways to say “I love you!”

It’s the little things that make her swoon.

How to love 14 ways to be a more loving partner

How to love 14 ways to be a more loving partner

To be clear: Despite what rom-coms and the above headline might imply, romance isn’t simple. In fact, there’s no formula, fix, or surefire move that will automatically make you worthy of a Luther Vandross lyric. That’s because romance depends on so many factors—from your relationship status (are you courting or are you comfortable?) to all the other internal stuff that you bring to a relationship, a rendezvous, or any one moment in time. And that’s not even including the factors like self-esteem and trust that influence how we give and receive romantic gestures throughout our lives.

Despite romance’s complexities, that doesn’t mean you can’t improve your amorous arsenal with your partner. After all, isn’t the whole point to dance with your beloved through life in sync, close together, and maybe even a little sweaty, too? So read on, and learn how to raise your romance-level through the roof. And for more amazing tips, know what to avoid with the 40 Relationship Tips That Are Actually Terrible.

Hugs and kisses should have energy, says Dr. Jessica O’Reilly, host of the @SexWithDrJess Podcast. “Use your dog’s energy and enthusiasm as inspiration,” she says. “When a dog greets you with a wagging tail and affection, it calms your nerves and makes you feel loved.”

Shoot her the old “heart eyes” in the middle of the day.

How to love 14 ways to be a more loving partner

Relationship advice: 11 ways to be more loving towards your partner every day

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Are you not as expressive in your relationship as you should be? Expressing your love shouldn’t be saved for special occasions. And it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to keep telling your partner or spouse how much you love them. Don’t tell them, show them. People aren’t mind readers! No one can tell what’s going on in your head unless you tell them. But how do you do that? How can you be more loving in your relationship?

For starters, you need to understand what true love is all about. It’s more than just your physical feelings. It’s about commitment, your actions and decisions. True love begins after the excitement that we all feel at the beginning of the relationship wears off. But it isn’t over if your bond hits a rough patch. The good news: incorporating some simple things can make you become a more loving partner. Seems too good to be true? Try the following suggestions and you might see a difference.

How to love 14 ways to be a more loving partner

If you and your partner are not agreeing on things, or if you’ve been thinking about how you can be more affectionate to your partner, read on.

Invest time

One of the best ways to express your love for somebody is by giving them time. Saying that you love them but don’t have time for them is not love.

Be supportive

From the little thing to the difficult ones, be there through the highs and lows. It will encourage them to continue on their path to success.

Provide space

No matter how close you are with somebody, you can’t be with them all the time. You have to give them some space to help them enjoy some “me” time.

Share the responsibilities

Making your partner do all the work can make them feel used. To avoid this, share the work to make them comfortable and for your relationship to run smoothly.

Communicate your love

It is the essence of a relationship. Actions speak louder than words. Instead of telling them, show them through your actions how much you love them.

Spontaneity can help

Years of being together can sometimes dull the excitement. If you want to revive it, be spontaneous. It will add a thrill to your relationship.

Acknowledge the efforts

If they go out of their way to do something special for you, show some appreciation. Don’t take them for granted. Also, acknowledge the little things they do regularly that keeps a home going.

Learn to compromise

Life is not always a fairy tale and relationships aren’t perfect. It comes with unexpected challenges that put us in unimaginable situations. However, a willingness to compromise can take your relationship a long way.

Listen to your partner

You’re physically in the conversation but your mind is wandering in places undiscovered. That’s not how true listening works. It involves a great deal of effort and attentiveness. Listening carefully is not an obligation but a way to show your commitment and how much you care about what they think.

Apologise like you mean it!

Do you apologise just for the sake of it and don’t mean it? Guess what everybody can sense if the person apologising is sincere or not. Don’t make a fake apology, especially if you mend a broken relationship.

Let go of the past

Most relationships are transparent, meaning a couple pretty much knows everything about each other. But that doesn’t mean you should bring it up in an argument. You shouldn’t be using their past to put them down – it is something they can’t change. Concentrate on your present and let go of the old issues.

Finding true love is rare and if there is a chance that this is the one, then make it happen. Don’t allow misunderstandings and your lack of expression get in the way of something so beautiful. If your relationship is suffering, take cues from the above tips and try to mend it.

If you have reached this far in the article, that means you’re willing to try. So, don’t lose hope and keep it going!

How to love 14 ways to be a more loving partner

How to love 14 ways to be a more loving partner

In This Article

We’ve all heard that a relationship “takes work,” but what does that mean exactly?

Frankly, it sounds like drudgery. Who wants to spend hours at an office only to come home to job number two? Wouldn’t it be more pleasant to think of your relationship as a source of comfort, fun, and pleasure?

Of course, it would. That said, here are some basic fixes if things feel stagnant if the good times are becoming few and far between, if arguing is your main form of communication, or if you just feel that you need a tune-up. And they might even be enjoyable.

How to maintain a healthy relationship doesn’t need to be a long winding, complex process.

Allow me to elaborate and as you read on, you may just find it pretty resourceful to keep a healthy relationship.

1. Don’t argue over money

It’s practically a guaranteed relationship killer. If you haven’t yet had a conversation about how money is earned, spent, saved, and shared, do it now. Try to get an understanding of how each of you sees your financial life, and where the differences are. Then address them.

2. Try not to focus on trifles

Is it worth fighting about? More to the point, is it really a trifle? Often a seemingly minor issue is a manifestation of a larger problem. Do you want to know how to make a relationship strong? Talk about what’s really bothering you, instead of how loud the TV is. It’s really that simple.

3. Share your thoughts

Your hopes. Your fears. Your passions. Let your partner know who you really are. Set aside some time each day just to talk about the things that are important to each of you, as individuals. This is one of the most crucial things to do to make your relationship stronger.

4. Be friendly

Treat your partner the way you’d treat a good and trusted friend: with respect, consideration, and kindness. It will go a long way in fostering a strong relationship.

5. Resolve arguments together

When couples fight, it’s all too easy to get locked into a win/lose dynamic. Think of your disagreement as a problem for you both to solve, not a fight for you to win. Think of saying “we” before giving in to the temptation of casting blame on the other person.

6. Show affection daily

Sex is one thing. Holding hands, a hug, a squeeze on the arm – all create connection and trust. If you’re not getting as much attention as you want, let it be known.

7. Focus on the positive

What do you appreciate about your partner? What first attracted you? What do you treasure about your life together? Focus on the positivity to make the relationship strong.

8. Be supportive

Nothing kills a buzz like a negative or absent response to something you’re enthusiastic about.

9. Words plus deeds

Saying “I love you” carries much more weight when you consistently do things that your partner values.

10. Recognize that all relationships have ups and downs

Think long-term. Your relationship is an investment, as the stock market. Ride out the downtimes. With the right kind of attention, they will be temporary.

11. Respect each other when arguing

It is all too tempting to use whatever ammunition you’ve got in the heat of battle. Ask yourself, where will it get you? A partner who is likely to come to your side, or one who will get even more defensive? Ask your partner how they see the problem.

12. Have each other’s back

And, let that be known, t hat’s how you keep a relationship strong.

13. Set goals as a couple

Talk about how you want your relationship to look in a year, five years, ten years. Then work toward that goal.

14. Make your partner a priority

That is why you’re in this relationship in the first place.

This is how to keep a relationship strong and happy. Following these tips will get you closer to your spouse and improve the quality of your relationship. Relationships, against what is commonly believed, are not as difficult to maintain as they are made out to be. Inculcating some habits and behaviors in your day to day life is sufficient to keep your relationship strong, healthy, and happy.

It’s the little things that make her swoon.

How to love 14 ways to be a more loving partner

How to love 14 ways to be a more loving partner

To be clear: Despite what rom-coms and the above headline might imply, romance isn’t simple. In fact, there’s no formula, fix, or surefire move that will automatically make you worthy of a Luther Vandross lyric. That’s because romance depends on so many factors—from your relationship status (are you courting or are you comfortable?) to all the other internal stuff that you bring to a relationship, a rendezvous, or any one moment in time. And that’s not even including the factors like self-esteem and trust that influence how we give and receive romantic gestures throughout our lives.

Despite romance’s complexities, that doesn’t mean you can’t improve your amorous arsenal with your partner. After all, isn’t the whole point to dance with your beloved through life in sync, close together, and maybe even a little sweaty, too? So read on, and learn how to raise your romance-level through the roof. And for more amazing tips, know what to avoid with the 40 Relationship Tips That Are Actually Terrible.

Hugs and kisses should have energy, says Dr. Jessica O’Reilly, host of the @SexWithDrJess Podcast. “Use your dog’s energy and enthusiasm as inspiration,” she says. “When a dog greets you with a wagging tail and affection, it calms your nerves and makes you feel loved.”

Shoot her the old “heart eyes” in the middle of the day.

How to love 14 ways to be a more loving partner

You may have a ton of things in common with your partner — favorite foods, similar morals, a love for stupid movies. But even when most things feel so right, it’s not always common to see eye to eye when it comes to being more affectionate in your relationship.

That’s because everyone views and expresses love differently. Think of your current partner, or people you have dated in the past. You have probably had some partners who weren’t so much up for a hug, but were totally down to cook you food, or do you favors. And that’s fine, as it can be nice to show, and be shown, love in different ways. But if your partner’s version of affection doesn’t match up at all with yours, then some problems can start to bubble up.

So how do you define affection? Most of the time, it’s a physical thing. That’s because touch releases some pretty powerful hormones that we often connect to the feelings of love. As Kory Floyd, Ph.D., said on Psychology Today, “One of the reasons why hugging, holding hands, and touching feel good to us is that these behaviors elevate our level of oxytocin, a hormone that reduces pain and causes a calming sensation.” No wonder you want to cuddle up and kiss your SO.

If you and your partner aren’t agreeing on such things, of if you’ve been feeling a little neglected, then here are some ways to get your partner to be more affectionate, every day.

1. Identify Your Love Language

Like I said above, not every couple matches up perfectly when it comes to expressing love. You may be the super touchy-feely type, while your partner prefers to show love with gifts, or sweet words. It can work out fine, but it can also end up leaving one or both of you feeling rejected, or kind of confused. So take some time to figure out your love languages, as they can be pretty revealing. According to Dr. Gary Chapman, there are five ways people show love: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. Find out which styles float around in your relationship, and then make time to give each other what you need.

2. Share Those Feels

If you aren’t feeling the love, and it’s bothering you, then take some time to talk it out with your partner. “Be honest, and try not to criticize who [they are] or what [they do] — instead express to [them] what you need with genuineness and vulnerability,” suggested Christine Switzer on the health site Livestrong.com. Hopefully your partner will be willing to kick the affection up a notch, if they know it’ll make you happy.

3. Be More Affectionate Yourself

Perhaps your partner wants to be more affectionate, but doesn’t really know how to start. If you suspect that’s the case, start doing sweet things first, and see if it gets things going in the right direction, suggested relationship expert Elizabeth Stone on TinyBuddha.com. Leave loving notes, make him or her breakfast, or be the one to reach for their hand. It will let them know you’re keen on having more affectionate, while showing them exactly how to do it.

4. Reinforce Positive Behavior

OK, this one may sound a bit weird, but it works. All you have to do is “reward” your SO the next time they are just the right amount of sweet. “In psychology, reinforcement is a method that uses a ‘stimulus’ (e.g. gestures, words, rewards, food, etc.) to increases the probability of a behavior. Basically, it is giving another person something, after they perform a behavior, that makes them want to do it again,” said Jeremy Nicholson, M.S.W., Ph.D, on Psychology Today. It could be as simple as thanking your SO, or letting them know they’re appreciated.

5. Talk With Your Partner About Their Feelings

Sometimes people don’t want to be affectionate because of past relationships issues or mental health struggles, so it’s important to know what’s going on inside your SO’s head. As Switzer said, “The more you can learn about where [they are] coming from and what [they are] comfortable with in the area of physical affection, the better you will be able to work together toward a solution that meets both of your needs.” And what could be better than that?

6. Show All Your Appreciation

Another way to show your partner what you like is by showing appreciation for their efforts — maybe with a hug, or a kiss, or by straight up saying you appreciate them. As Stone said, “Appreciation is key to positively reinforcing someone’s attempts to get closer to us.”

7. Be Receptive To Their Affection

Of course affection isn’t all up to one person — it’s definitely a two way street, as they say. So be ready to accept any forms of love that are heading your way. As Stone said, “If we acknowledge and then open ourselves to connecting with others, it’s clearly going to foster more connection than if we are aware but not receptive.”

8. Set Aside Time For Lovin’

It may sound kind of cheesy at first, but you may want to think about scheduling in some love. I know, it sounds terribly unromantic to put this kind of thing on your calendar, but it can guarantee that everyone gets what they want and need. It can also help spark a tradition of ongoing date nights. Sounds pretty good, right?

9. Ask For A Back Rub

This is a sneaky way of fixing your messed up shoulders from sitting at your desk all day, while also upping your affection levels. According to Susan Krauss Whitborne, Ph.D., on Psychology Today, a 2003 study from Brigham Young University defined affection as “any touch intended to arouse feelings of love in the giver and/or recipient.” Back rubs and massage were on the list of affectionate gestures, as well as hugging and holding hands, among others. The study showed participants related massages strongly to the degree of satisfaction they felt with their partner, as this type of touch helped them feel more loved and understood. Why not give one a try?

10. Give Flirting A Try

Just because this person is already your partner doesn’t mean you guys can’t be all silly and flirty around each other. Not only is flirting fun, but it may even bring you both back to earlier times in your relationship when more affection likely existed. It’s definitely worth a try.

11. Cuddle Up For Some Netflix

Mundane tasks, such as watching a little TV, are a great excuse to show each other some love. Cuddling up under a blanket while watching a scary movie is pretty much the perfect recipe for some quality relationship time. Just remember not to push the subject if your partner isn’t comfortable. As always, talk with them about what makes them feel most comfortable, and go from there.

That’s the most important thing to keep in mind — this relationship is both yours and your partner’s. If there’s a major lack of affection going on, try to get to the bottom of the issue, while also being open about your expectations. Hopefully you can work it out, so that everyone is happy.

Images: Pexels (12); Isla Murray/Bustle