A Little Affection Goes a Long Way
Affection is all about showing you care. It’s a little touch, an affectionate hug, look or word that demonstrates caring not just in a love relationship but, in any interaction you have be it with friends, your children, your parents or work colleagues.
When we’re affectionate, we’re saying things like you’re important to me; I care about how you feel; I want to protect you; I hear you and I’m here for you.
There are three keys ways to show affection:
Verbally – with a thoughtful comment; a word of encouragement; a compliment; saying “I love you” or “are you okay?”; a phone call…
Giving – a bunch of flowers; a mug of tea or coffee; a note in a handbag or lunch box saying how you feel; a letter or greetings card; a thoughtful email or text message…
Physical – a pleasant smile, a thoughtful or loving glance; a pat on the shoulder; a “man” hug; an handshake; an affectionate hug or cuddle; an affectionate kiss; holding hands; back rubs; foot rubs… You kinda get the message I think.
Everyone needs affection to a greater or lesser degree. Although we are all capable of giving it, some have no idea how to express it. They may be plagued with doubts as to what to do and what might be appropriate. Here are a couple of steps that might make things easier.
Step 1 – Determine What’s Appropriate
How close are you? What environment are you in? What age is the person you want to show affection? Judging how close are you, your environment, e.g. work or home, and your ages can help you determine whether physical, giving or verbal affection is appropriate. Once you’ve assessed this, you can make a mental shortlist of how best to express affection.
Step 2 – Consider What Would Make THEM Happy
Based on the shortlist in Step 1, consider what you know of them and what would make them happy? It’s important here to base your decisions on what they like, not what you like because there’s a huge difference and everyone’s “care label” is unique. If it’s your teenage son, would he like a “man” hug or a few words of encouragement? Perhaps your work colleague would appreciate a pleasant smile and a mug of tea or coffee. If it’s your wife would she like breakfast in bed, an affectionate hug, words or a back rub? Keep it appropriate and keep the focus on their happiness.
It really pays to discuss these sorts of things honestly with your partner so that you both express affection in a way that has the desired effect. There’s no point giving her a foot massage if she’s got particularly ticklish feet. A mug of coffee won’t go down all that well with a tea- drinker, etc.
Step 3 – Take Action
Once you’re satisfied with what might be appropriate and appreciated, take action. Make small, but frequent, gestures in a way that will be appreciated. Over the top, sweeping gestures maybe just that – over the top. It really is the little things that make the difference – especially in lasting relationships.
As we’re dealing here more with you life skills for showing affection to improve your love life, here are a few ideas on what might be appreciated by your partner if affection is on his/her “care label”:
- Share a hug
- An affectionate kiss
- Hold hands
- Offer a back rub
- Rub your partner’s feet
- Give your man a pedicure or manicure
- Smile and hand them a mug of tea/coffee or a glass of wine
- Send a loving note or flowers
- Call them and let them know you’ll be late
- Say thank you for the little, everyday things they do, that you often don’t notice
An important note to note: In a relationship, affection is often confused with sex, especially by the lads – and a few ladettes too (you know who you are!) Expressing affection is something non-sexual and therefore appropriate to give to friends, parents, children, and even your work colleagues. If you give a kiss or a hug with the intention of having sex this is NOT, we repeat NOT, affection. It lays very firmly in the realms of sex.
As a man, whether you like it or not, you have to accept that your woman is likely to have a need for affection that figures pretty high up on her “care label”. It’s irrelevant if you don’t understand it. It’s irrelevant that you may not feel the same way. When it comes to affection it’s about what the recipient wants and needs.
Some level of affection is important to everyone – male or female. Without it, people can feel abandoned and alone. With it, they’ll feel a part of something and bonded with those around them.
How affection figures on your “care label” depends very much on the type of person you are. It’s likely to appear quite high up the list for women and children whereas men may not need it to have quite such a prominent place – although this doesn’t mean they don’t need it, ladies!
Kick-Ass CANDo Life Skills Call to Action: If you want a quick tip on how to improve your marriage or relationship, this Call to Action is for you. If you already know what makes your partner happy, make the effort to show them some affection at least three times a day over the next week or so.
If you’re unsure as to how your affection is being appreciated, discuss likes and dislikes with your partner and then express yourself. You’ll quickly notice the positive impact and how a little affection could be just what you need to bring love back into your relationship.
What’s the best way your partner shows you affection? The CANDo Community need your help so leave a comment or send us a CANDo email – you may just give an idea to someone searching for the best way to show their loved one that they care!