“More than words is all you have to do to make it real
Then you wouldn’t have to say that you love me
‘Cause I’d already know”
The song More than Words has been my anthem for years. Don’t get me wrong – I love to hear affirmations from those I care about. There’s nothing like a “You mean so much to me!” to get me through the day. On the other side of that very verbally-affirming spectrum is the idea that our actions should match what we say. We often throw around those infamous three little words and fail to follow through with what they mean. When our actions speak louder than words, we give a whole new meaning to the phrase “I love you.” So, what does this look like?
If we close our eyes and picture three people we love, we should first ask ourselves if we’ve told them lately. How much quality time we spend with them is also important to note. Understanding that quality time is giving the person we love our undivided attention is a step towards a stronger connection, which means leaving our electronic distractions behind and showing them we really care by making the time we spend together meaningful.
Getting to Know You
How well do we really know our loved ones? I thought about the last time I shopped for someone I cared about. It was hard trying to pick out something they’d like, and it occurred to me I’d made it easier on myself by just grabbing a gift card. I realized actions of love mean spending time engaging in conversation with someone, getting to know more about them. I began making it a point to stop focusing on anything other than them. This can mean the difference between a simple friendship and an unbreakable bond.
I’ll never forget the day a close friend of mine took the time to listen to one of my deepest heart’s desires. For a birthday gift, she hand-stained a piece of delicate decorative paper, printing and framing a long affirmation and promise declaration to me and my situation. It was the most thoughtful gift I’d ever received, and I display it in my home all year long. She frequently tells me she loves me, but this expression of love spoke louder than a marching band in Times Square.
Acts of Service
If you’re familiar with the idea that we all speak a different love language, then you may be aware that acts of service are a loud and clear way to convey “I love you.” I decided that since my love language comes in the form of touch and verbal affirmations, I would make it a point to share my love through acts of service as a way to physically show my affection. This may be something as simple as showing up with coffee, and it’s even taken the form of dropping off headache or cold medicine to someone who was under the weather. I’ve experienced this kind of love from two friends who came over to watch my children when I was in bed with the flu. The love I felt toward them for sacrificing their free time to care for my kids was indescribable.
Keeping Your Word
Our word is our bond and when we show integrity by following through, it not only builds trust, it lets the other person know we value them enough to make them a priority. Some of my closest friends are the ones who are the most dependable – the ones who say what they mean and mean what they say. One of my best friends offered to help me with a school assignment. As we sat there late at night drinking coffee and sharing a plate of nachos, I remember thinking to myself how much I loved and appreciated her. Her actions told me I was important to her and that she cared enough about my struggle in school to make it a priority to help. In return, she knows she can count on me to reciprocate and actively show her love the same way.
Saying “I love you” is meaningless if you don’t combine it with actions. Anyone can say those three words, but real love is shown through sacrifice. It means investing time and energy and developing emotional intimacy with someone. Real love is shown not only by what we say and how we say it, but by what we actively do to show it. Make this Valentine’s Day even more special and show someone how much you love them with More Than Words.