Struggling to communicate to your significant other how important they are to you?
You know words aren’t enough.
You’ve met enough people who say one thing and act in a way that says the opposite.
Words are easy.
But you’re about to learn 13 ways in which actions speak louder than words in a relationship.
Ultimately, it’s your behavior that reveals who you are and what’s important to you.
And that can work to your benefit.
13 Ways Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Now that you know showing beats telling in a relationship (as in other things), let’s look at 13 common but powerful ways to show your partner you love them.
1. Pay Attention
When your partner talks, they should feel you’re listening. Make eye contact with them. Nod along with what they say, and add something if appropriate.
Learn how to practice active listening and let them get the words out before you suggest any solutions or ideas.
This is not the time to multitask. Stop what you’re doing and give your partner your full attention. They’ll notice.
2. Remember Things About Them
Nothing says “I love you,” like remembering how someone likes their coffee. When you care about someone, you tend to notice specific things about them.
You’ll find their quirks endearing, and you’ll think of them when you see something you know they like. It makes gift-giving easier, even when you’re opting for a gift card to one of their favorite stores.
3. Be Honest
Dishonesty is a red flag. Even if you think you have a good reason to lie, you’ll end up hurting your partner when they find out the truth. Don’t cover things up.
Trust cannot be so easily rebuilt, and you can irreparably harm your relationship.
When your partner asks about something, tell them the truth, even if it costs you. This truthfulness will demonstrate your trust in them and show that they can trust you.
4. Do Things Without Being Asked
Is your partner dreading doing the dishes when they get home? Or maybe that lawn is getting a little overgrown, and they just don’t have the time? Take care of it for them.
Cleaning dishes may not seem like the most romantic thing. But doing chores is an excellent way to show that you’re around for the less exciting parts of life, too. It can take your relationship to a whole new level.
5. Make Time For Them
Being in a relationship means spending quality time together. But, more often than not, other things can get in the way.
This means you have to make time for your partner. You can reschedule that meeting to take them out to dinner. You can swap shifts with a coworker, so you’re free for movie night.
Your partner will feel loved and appreciated when you make time specifically for them.
6. Give Gifts
Gifts aren’t everyone’s love language, but they certainly have a place. It’s more meaningful that the gifts be personal than expensive. They show you’ve been paying attention and want to put effort into giving your partner something special.
If your words upon presenting the gift are something like, “Happy now?” — or your behavior says the same — you’re missing the point.
Gifts are supposed to come from love and thoughtfulness, not a sense of obligation.
7. Treat Them
Take your partner out to dinner at their favorite place.d Surprise them with their favorite dessert. Offer a date idea you know they’ll love.
Put effort into making your partner feel taken care of and appreciated. Show them they’re worth the time and money you put into these things.
And don’t forget to show appreciation when they do the same for you.
8. Introduce Them to Family and Friends
If you’re in a serious relationship, your partner shouldn’t feel like a secret. Be open and affectionate with them, even in front of your family and friends. They’re an essential part of your life.
Introducing them to family and friends is a vital step in defining your relationship. It shows you’re committed to them and willing to show them other parts of your life.
9. Be There For Them
If your partner is struggling with something, it’s essential to show your support. Listen to their problems. Support them through any obstacles. Be there for them even when it’s inconvenient.
That said, acknowledge and respect their boundaries, too. Don’t push them to talk about something before they’re ready. Don’t force physical touch if they need space.
Be gentle, patient, and understanding.
10. Consider Their Feelings
When faced with a new opportunity or challenge, consider all possible outcomes and how they’ll affect your partner.
Just got offered a new job in New York? Wonderful! But make sure you talk to your partner and listen to their feelings on the situation. They shouldn’t govern your every choice, but it’s valuable to talk to them and listen to what they have to say.
This way, your partner feels heard and knows you aren’t making the decision lightly.
11. Be Reliable
Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Everyone runs late sometimes, but if you’re making a habit of turning up at the last minute, it makes it difficult for your partner to count on you.
If you say you’ll do something, follow through. Honor your commitments. Your partner will be more likely to trust you if your actions show you’re true to your word.
Even one instance where they don’t can be enough to destroy a relationship.
12. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
Sometimes, trying something new can be intimidating and overwhelming. But in the context of a relationship, it’s important not to let fear get in your way.
Is your partner interested in learning a specific skill? Suggest taking a class together. Do they want to try skydiving? Consider trying it with them.
Stepping outside your comfort zone is an excellent way to demonstrate your commitment to your partner. And who knows what new experiences it could lead to?
13. Plan For the Future
Do you see this relationship lasting? Could you imagine growing old with this person? Do you want them in your life long term?
These are essential questions to ask yourself when defining your relationship. While you may have trouble planning for the future, it’s crucial to think about where you’re going.
If your partner holds a special place in your life, let them know. Share your plans to show how important they are to your present and future, whatever the latter may bring.
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5 Examples of Actions Speaking Louder than Words
Now that you know several ways that actions speak louder than words, let’s look at a few examples of how these might show up in specific situations.
Example #1: You promise you’ll always be there for your partner, but when they need you most, you’re off doing your own thing and don’t respond to their calls or texts. When they call you out for it later, you defend your actions and tell them they’re overreacting.
Example #2: You tell your spouse you’ll always have their back, but when they come under fire for something you both did, you keep silent to avoid experiencing the same backlash. When they ask why you won’t admit your actions and take some of the arrows, you respond with, “Do you have any idea how they’d treat me if they knew?”
Example #3: You tell your partner they can trust you to tell them the truth. But as soon as they ask you about something you’d rather keep secret, you lie about it. And when they discover the lie and call you out, you defend your right to lie about things that, in your view, don’t concern them.
Example #4: You’re always complimenting your partner on their appearance. But when you’re out together, they can’t help noticing how your eyes wander to the bodies of people around you. And you give them a nudge every time you notice someone checking you out.
Example #5: You tell your partner nothing is more important to you than your relationship with them. Yet whenever they ask you to make time for something you can do together, you always have an excuse not to. And when you do spend time together, it’s always on your terms. You resist couples therapy, too, unless it’s your idea.
Do your actions speak louder than words?
Now that you know how actions speak louder than words, how will you use this knowledge to strengthen your relationship? What will you do differently today?
Did any of the examples strike a chord? If so, you’ve seen the difference between your partner’s words and actions. Or perhaps you’re cringing at the difference between your own. Either way, it’s disappointing.
But the good news is — you can learn from those experiences and do better.