10 ways to show someone you love them

Because actions speak louder than words

Marcus Webb – Virgin Money Living Mentor

by Marcus Webb | Independent Money Mentor

Editor of Delayed Gratification and independent journalist

Don’t let films fool you – true love isn’t about grand gestures, dashes through airports and getting amorous in the rain. Here are ten everyday ways to show someone you love them.

1. Learn something new together

When you're a kid, your brain is constantly lighting up with the sheer pleasure of novelty and discovery. Now you’re not a kid, and your brain has all the vim and sparkle of a brown sock in a puddle. Take your partner out and perk up your frontal lobes together by learning something new and challenging, e.g. fencing, Russian, advanced needlework, taxidermy, animation or chess. Your mutual interest will give new zip to your relationship and bring you closer together.

2. Buy them a book

The trick here is to buy not the sort of book you love (rookie error!) or the sort that sits on bestseller lists (bookie error!) but the sort your partner will love. This will require a combination of an intimate knowledge of the inner workings of their mind and several hours trawling bookclub sites and bookstore shelves. If you get it right, the payoff can be immense: as your significant other sobs uncontrollably on the sofa having had their heart broken and remade three times over by their new favourite author, you can bask in the warm glow of a job well done.

3. Leave them treats

You know how they say the way to someone's heart is through their stomach? That's not whimsy, that's stone-cold scientific fact. And the most direct way to someone’s heart is purchasing them their favourite treats and then leaving them in strategic places. A freshly-cooked muffin in their jacket pocket. Trail mix in their glove compartment. Miniature poppadoms in their rucksack. That sort of thing.

4. Make them a website

Like most humans, your partner has a long-cherished dream to make their living from doing something they love. But also like most humans, they’re not doing that. They’re working in a job they can barely tolerate because it pays the bills, and when they get home they’re so knackered that they binge-watch Netflix with you instead of launching a business empire. Why not kickstart their new life by designing them a beautiful website for their wares? Whether your sweetheart wants to teach children Mandarin, organise birdwatching tours of northern Kent, handcraft personalised rattan wall hangings or design and sell erotic sculpture, you should jump on Squarespace or Weebly and set them up the perfect shop front.

5. Walk the dog

Especially if it’s raining and it’s not your turn. If you don’t have a dog, buy one and then walk that.

6. Cook them better dinners

So you make a mean spag bol, do you? And a wicked Thai green curry? (Special recipe: add a jar of sauce to some vegetables, stir in coconut cream and then spend the rest of the evening acting like you’ve just won Masterchef or something). I have sad news for you – your partner is no longer giving you brownie points for banging out the same old dishes. You need to mix it up. Get yourselves some recipe books, sign up for a cookery course or two and then blow your better half’s mind with a series of ever-more-exotic, ever-more-delightful feasts.

7. Take them dancing

How long since you took your companion out to throw some shapes? If the answer is ‘last night’ or ‘we’re dancing right now, while reading this article together’ then well done, we have nothing left to teach you. If, however, the answer is ‘2003’, then we advise you to get down to your local discotheque and show your love by busting a move. Do not worry if you don’t know how to do all this new-fangled twerking, dabbing and the like: that syncopated flailing thing you developed as a teenager is a timeless classic.

8. Grow them something

We’re not saying your partner will definitely leave you at some point for someone who makes their own tomato chutney from a crop of sungolds they grew themselves. We’re just saying it’s a distinct possibility. Forestall this outcome by growing your own tomatoes and (if space allows) parsnips, marrows, courgettes and runner beans. Make raspberry jam from your own raspberries and piccalilli from your own cauliflower. Nurture some plants, nurture your partner and see the love between you flourish like a field of well-tended chard.

9. Switch off your smartphone

You spend a lot of time with your loved one in the evenings. But it doesn't always count for much because you’ve both surrendered control of your mental and emotional faculties to your telephones. Your partner, when they do occasionally glance in your direction, perceives you as little more than a swiping finger and a pair of glazed eyes, lit by the spectral glow of an LCD screen. Turn your phone off, not your other half.

10. Buy life insurance

Because at some point – hopefully after a great deal more in the way of dog walking, archery classes and miniature poppadum consumption – we’re all going to die. So making sure that your partner can make ends meet is a fairly fundamental token of your love. Even more so than switching your smartphone off.

Before making financial decisions always do research, or talk to a financial adviser. Views are those of our mentors and customers and do not constitute financial advice.