It was like the movies when you fell in love. All the songs suddenly make sense. You no longer feel the need to compulsively rewatch Gilmore Girls episodes to fill the gaping chasm in your heart. It's Springtime. Life is good, and you are in love.
It's not that life would be bad if you weren't in love, but let's face it, for those of us that seek emotional validation and support from others, it's the bee's knees. It's great to be able to give yourself to another person and be vulnerable, and of course, we still get that from friends and family, but there is something different. It changes how you perceive the world around you and impacts upon what you value. Everything is relative, but that's even more true when you're in love, committed to another person, and caring about their welfare above, well, most things.
As long as you don't cruelly abandon your friends in favour of your new significant other (seriously don't, it's the worst), it's generally a good thing to have new priorities and a refreshed outlook on life.
Step one: compliments
These are easily squeezed into conversations and can really make your partner's day! Remember to mix in the classics with the more rogue, intimate (even bizarre) compliments!
1. I love you, by the way – be careful not to blindside them too much, but a casual declaration of your affection cannot be overstated. It shows you're comfortable with your emotions and ready to commit and make the first move towards emotional symbiosis.
2. You look really great today
3. I love your hair/shoes/jacket – while we won't always compliment the physical attributes of our loved ones, we shouldn't shy away from them entirely. It's nice to look good and have people notice!
4. Your smile could probably light up a city block
5. I would do stupid things to hear you laugh
6. I love us/I love our dynamic – this one doesn't seem as important as the big ILY on its own, however, this pairing of unified language and the explicit appreciation of your relationship together is extremely important. Your loved one can then feel both comfortable and powerful and desirable in a relationship, and alone.
7. You remind me of Spring
Far be it for anyone else to tell us how to love each other.
So yes, maybe people will be bitter or think we're embarrassing or too stereotype. That's their prerogative. The long and short of it is that being in a relationship clears the emotional gutters and puts everything in perspective. With 'everything' being life, and indeed, love.
A little step up, keep up!
1. Tag them in a Facebook meme with thirty tiny Labrador puppies clambering over each other. Warning, they might die of cuteness.
2. Suggest cooking or baking a new recipe for the first time – bonus points if it's a family recipe or has traditional roots. You're destined for a very sweet time even if it tastes rubbish!
3. Buy plants! This is like buying flowers but better because while flowers only look pretty and last for a week, a new fern or laurel bush can be in it for the long haul. You can also research the symbolic meaning of the plant so that your expression of love can extend beyond the rather tired mode of 'Roses to say sorry'. Sorry guys, I know you mean well, but we're well past that!
Swap books that you love, or recommend or buy a new book that you think they will love. Leave it on their nightstand and don't make a huge deal out of it. This shows you are making an effort and want to share hobbies. You can tell so much about a person by their bookshelf – maybe even suggest going in together on a bookshelf.
1. Take them on a country walk to a fancy estate and have high tea – it's specific and probably relies on there being a manor house nearby, but this sophisticated excuse to get the fancy digs on and treat yourself is so important. It shows that you can be mature and prioritise fun and elevated activity just as much as less formal cinema or shopping trips.
2. Give them a drawer in your house – or the modern-day equivalent. Once it starts, you will not want to stop leaving your things in each other's houses. The toothbrush amplifies into shoes and coats, and soon enough you have a spare coffee press in their cabinet. There's no going back from moving your caffeine choice in. There just isn't.
Remember to use your instincts and read the signs that they're giving you!