5 Simple Ways to Do It

How to show love: 5 simple ways to do it
Photo by Colleen Eversman @ 2ndtruth on Instagram

Editor’s note: We hope this article, originally published in January 2020, inspires you to spread a little love to your loved ones, today and forever.


Let’s talk about love. Not Kardashian-level Kenny G and rose petals love. (If you can call it the “l” word at all). Here we break down five ultra-simple ways to remind your best people that they are, well, the best. No big gestures, no big expenses are needed.

Be there in the bad times.

A simple “Hello, I know that today can be hard to send love” goes a long way. Morose, maybe, but I write notes in my calendar about my friends’ hard days: death days, weddings for divorced couples, aborted baby due dates. That way, I can make myself available for as much love and attention as they want and need that day, and at least I’m sure to send them a text message telling them I’re thinking of them.

Leaning into the hard times of your friends shows them that you are ubiquitous, in sickness and health, richer or poorer, not afraid to get your shoulder wet from their tears. You do not have to worry about getting worse. They have not forgotten it, but they are afraid that everyone else has it. No, their grief is not a burden. Yes, you are available to listen, give advice or distract. Unfortunately, grief does not disappear in a calendar yearso consider making a recurring calendar note.

Leaning into the hard times of your friends shows them that you are ubiquitous, in sickness and health, richer or poorer, not afraid to get your shoulder wet from their tears. You do not have to worry about getting worse. They have not forgotten it, but they are afraid that everyone else has it.

Be their biggest fan.

You may not be able to handle the divisions, but you can be your loved ones’ biggest cheerleader, and ruffle your proverbial pom-poms for them. It’s easy. Attend their events, share their work, buy their art, connect them with your beloved accountant. Send them virtual high-fives, “proud of you” lyrics, clapping hands emojis.

Enjoying their small victories is a win-win for everyone.

Meet up.

Last week, I handed over a stack of leaves to my newly pregnant girlfriend who was nauseous on the couch, and she lent me a roll of tape. The visit lasted thirty seconds. That’s all we need.

How can you show up? Can you schedule a weekly FaceTime session? Can you drive their child to a ballet class so they can have a class alone? How about bringing over a stack of cookbooks and help prepare for the week? Find out how your people need you to show up, whether it’s literally knocking on their door or being present in the virtual way.

Speak in their love language.

PSA for my inner circle: My love language is to cuddle on a sofa, talk, a little, but quiet is also nice, and ideally there is wine, snacks and / or Real Housewives involved. It is a tired Bull’s ideal combination of quality time and physical touch. I understand, however, that it is not everyone’s ideal pairing of love language.

What, you ask? That five love languages– how you experience, give and receive love. If you are not familiar, then get confidential and take the free quiz here. They are: quality time, service actions, affirmative words, physical touch and gifts.

While your language of love may be one thing, theirs may be another, and how you both tend to give love could be a whole other category. For example, while craving a one-on-one session (quality time), I am more likely to scrub someone’s footnotes (service actions) and bathe them in my god, you are so beautiful (affirmative word). It turns out that what they actually need is a good hug (physical touch) and a few hours in front of a puzzle (back to quality time). To separate your needs to recognize how they need to be loved is a selfless friend / partner / daughter / whatever.

What greater act of love is there than listening? To listen = to be heard = to be seen = to be understood.

Turn on your listening ears.

Ask questions. Deep, silly, hypothetical. Know the name of their first kiss, the story of how they got that scar on their chin that they are allergic to crabs, but not lobster, how they feel about their stepmother. Create a genuine interest in what makes them tick and tick. So the next time they need a pick-me-up, you can surprise him or her with a bouquet of yellow dahlias or a bottle of the bubbly Lambrusco they like so much, or a bag full of Arby’s roast beef sandwich – what than they have let slip in conversation is special to them.

What greater act of love is there than listening? To listen = to be heard = to be seen = to be understood.

Ready, set, go, love – the simple way.

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