Expressing love is hard— for some us. I get it, for some it just rolls off the tongue and that’s amazing, but not everyone is great at saying “I love you”. And I don’t think that it’s necessarily a bad thing. Maybe that’s just because I’m one of those people, who rattles it around to everyone I’m friends with but who has trouble saying it in actual relationships. It’s not that I’m confused about how to say I love you, or when to say it, it’s just that I get a little clammy and awkward at the idea of it. I know it can be difficult for the people I’m with— and that’s totally on me— which is why I try to make sure that I make them feel reassured and secure in other ways.
And yes, I know that a lot of these ways are food-based. I can’t help it. But they’re not all food based. Sometimes it’s through bigger gestures and sometimes it’s just about being more supportive and present in a constant, day-to-day way. But there are lots of ways to say I love you for those of who have a tendency to get a little tongue tied.
So here are seven ways your partner is letting you know they love you without saying so, because if they give you the last mozzarella stick it’s definitely for real:
1. Letting You Have The Last Spring Roll
I don’t know why any restaurant serves anything in odd number, I can only assume it’s because they want to watch couples burn. But too often you end up with an odd number of mozzarella sticks or samosas or some other deep fried happiness. You notice it right away, and then play a weird game of chicken where you both are pretending you wouldn’t gladly throw your loved one into traffic for just a little more deep fried cheese. If they let you have it, that means something.
2. Going To A Crippilingly Awkward Family Event
In my case, this is a big ask. Like a lot of people, my family time is stressful and intense— so asking someone to come along and join me for that, especially a holiday, can be a massive ask. And for a lot of us it’s more than just one family— in fact one of my best friends and her boyfriend went all out and did Christmas with all four of their combined parents (who are all divorced) in 36 hours. That’s four separate Christmases. Four separate, awkward Christmases dealing with drunken and maybe racist relatives who all sort of hate each other. If that’s not love, I don’t know what it is.
3. Letting You Control The Remote
It’s Friday night. You want to curl up and watch a romantic period drama, I want to watch a documentary about British brothels and eat donuts. Mine is clearly the better option, but if I let you have your way, it means I really care.
4. Taking Care Of You When You’re Ill
This may be the ultimate unspoken showing of love. Dirty tissues covering the house, raw noses, still having sex with you because you’re horny even though you have to stop and blow your nose right in the middle— being ill in a relationship is weird. There’s of that stuff that should gross your significant other out, but they’re still taking care of you and bringing you orange juice you’re just going to sneeze in anyway. That’s caring about someone.
5. Not Complaining When You Sing Show Tunes/Disney/’90s R&B And Sounding Like A Cat Who Is Having Sex But Also Dying
We all love to sing in the shower, but that doesn’t mean we call can sing in the shower. Some of us just make passionate, horrifying noises while in our heads we sound like Adele. But love means putting up with your partner’s screeching on an eight hour road trip and not saying a word while your ears bleed. Or in my case, having them listen to me whine the entire score of Cabaret while writhing around like a drunken seal. If they let it happen, it’s for real.
6. Breakfast In Bed
Food is the best. Bed is the other best. If your partner decides to combine the two, you’re a very lucky person. And for the record I would not limit this to breakfast, anyone is welcome to bring any food product to me at any time of a day.
7. Reminding You They’re Here
For those us who aren’t as articulate with the three little words, one of the ways we show people how much we care about them is just being there, and reminding them we’re available. I find it much easier to say “What can I do to help?” or “I’m here if you need me.”, and I hope that that translates how much I care about the person. Just because some of us aren’t as good at dramatic statements of love and affection, doesn’t mean it’s not there.
Originally posted on Bustle