There are lots of things we wish we could do. Fly, read peoples' minds, be the most successful person we know. But there's something that we desire even more than that. To be able to express our emotions.
How indeed can we let the person that we love know just how much we love them?
Affirmations of love are the best things since sliced bread, but the really surprising fact remains that they don't even need to cost a penny.
You don't even need to spend hours planning!
At its crux, the words 'I love you' serve to express and remind ourselves that we are both capable of loving another person and that we are ourselves loved. It's like killing two emotionally distressed birds with one cupid's arrow. Okay, the metaphor got a little tangled, but you get my drift. They're an easy mini-effort that shows you care about them! What do you have to lose?
1. Bring some chocolates or something sweet home from work, just for the hell of it.
2. Tag them in a Facebook meme with thirty tiny Labrador puppies clambering over each other. Warning, they might die of cuteness.
3. 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!
4. Buy plants! This is like buying flowers but better because while flowers last for a week and look pretty, a plant like a fern or a 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!
5. 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 making an effort and wanting to share hobbies. You can tell so much about a person by their bookshelf – maybe even suggest going in together on a bookshelf!
To be honest, these mini-efforts don't even need to be romantic
Often filial or platonic friendships are just as intimate and life-affirming. Don't be afraid to let your homies know how much they mean to you, too!
Some slightly more ambitious, easy to organise heartfelt gestures…
1. Surprise them with a trip to their hometown for Christmas when you're sensing they're homesick – you'll get bonus points with the parents and you will likely get taken on an invigorating walk after being fed to within an inch of your life. It's a win-win situation.
2. Buy them a new winter jacket or a beanbag for their living room. This means you're invested in the infrastructure of their home, that you want your worlds to overlap long-term, and finally that every time they collapse into the beanbag they will think of you.
3. Give them a drawer in your house – or the modern-day equivalent. Once it starts, you won't 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.
But above all else, the biggest and easiest mini-effort you can whip out to demonstrate your everyday love for your partner - put that phone away! (right after finishing this article, of course - wink)