Editor's Note: This is a special guest blog post from Austen Broome, a graduate of Asbury University and current blogger. Austen loves the mental challenge of writing and finds the process of typing to be relaxing--thus the makings of a freelance writer were born. He also loves soccer, guitar, his perfect, beautiful fiancé, and, above all, Jesus. You can learn more about Austen at his Lifehack page or his own personal blog.
“What is love? Baby, don’t hurt me; don’t hurt me no more” –lyrics by Junior Torello and made famous by Haddaway.
There is no shortage of books, videos, blogs, songs, speeches, lectures, or advice on what love is—so I’m not going to add yet another blog to the “What is love?” pile. Instead, I’m going to deal with the last part of that verse: “Baby, don’t hurt me…” We all have a good idea of what love is, but do we know how to love well? We’ve heard endless times, “Love is an action.” Well, cool, but how do we DO it? WHAT do we do? Here are some starting points for loving your significant other well.
I know this first point is more abstract, but it is the foundation of every act of love. You must CHOOSE to love your S.O. If you aren’t willing to try, it isn’t going to happen.
Although another abstract point, bear with me. This is also the other foundation for extraordinary love—you can’t love someone well if you are only thinking of yourself. Love is saying “I’m giving myself for you. And I don’t expect anything in return.” Love is a one-way street. Your goal is to give without expecting anything in return (but guess what, it comes back around!)
Do the little things
Find out your S.O.’s love languages (read The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman) and do little things for them. The little things make the biggest difference. Give her a flower. Buy him a watch. Write her a note. Fix his coffee the way he likes it. Here’s a quick-tip for giving gifts: for him, make it practical; for her, make it sentimental (the more impractical it is, the better!) Women appreciate the meaning behind the gift. Men appreciate the gift.
Life is a lot of busy-work. Relationships are also hard work. So having fun and playing with each other is essential to a happy, healthy relationship. Go mini-golfing. Play a board/card game. Have a tickle fight. Take dance lessons together. The goal is to not make the “responsible” choice (don’t be irresponsible!). Time spent doing something that isn’t “productive” isn’t wasted.
Make it regular
Unlike the feeling of romance, love should be consistent and unwavering. Romance comes and goes; love is always around. Don’t confuse “consistent” with “routine.” Love is very spontaneous. But plan to do something special for your S.O. at least once a week.
One of the easiest ways to deepen a relationship is to learn something new together—i.e. “grow” together. Pick up an instrument together. Learn a language together. Travel together. Swing-dancing lessons would be a great, fun, intimate way to build your relationship. Stagnant people are boring people, so learn and grow together.