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11 Ways to Say “I Love You” Without Words

The three little words “I love you” can bring joy and happiness in an instant. But as the old adage goes, actions speak louder than words. Here are some ways to extend your love to family and friends.

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Compliment often

Everyone loves a genuine compliment. No matter how hard it may seem, looking for the best in someone or their efforts is a great habit to get into. Remember, compliments are not just about how someone looks, they can be about how someone handled a particular situation or just a compliment about the endearing nature of their personality.

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Offer a shoulder or foot massage

In a close relationship, a foot or back massage is a wonderful way to help your loved one unwind and relax. After a long day standing on their feet or sitting behind a desk, either of these terms of endearment will be a welcome pleasure and received as a genuine act of love. (Bonus: Massage has many surprising benefits.)

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Hang out with someone who is sick

When someone falls ill, they can easily become isolated and depressed. Let them know how much you care by bringing over a meal and a movie or just sitting and visiting a while. Companionship during times of difficulty is very comforting and a great way to express love. Here are 24 little ways to be a true friend.

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Take on household chores without being asked

If you know that someone you love is overwhelmed and very busy, step in to help with household chores. This may mean taking on chores that are not usually yours and doing them with a smile on your face. Things like dishwashing, laundry, or meal prep will take away a lot of pressure and wordlessly convey how much you care.

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Wait up for someone

If your spouse or older child is likely to get home very late from work, a game, or a trip out of town, wait up until they’re home. Even if they can let themselves in, it feels good to have someone open the door for you. It is a loving gesture that never goes unnoticed.

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Pick a bouquet

Flowers just have a way of saying "I care." If you have a garden full, pick some, put them in a jar and give them to someone special. Shop at your local farmer's market for plants and flowers that you know someone else would love. If nothing else, pick up flowers at your local grocer or deli and upgrade the bouquet.

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Be an airport greeter

When one of your family members or a visiting friend or relative is flying in, try to meet them at the airport. They can probably find their way home on their own, but there’s something special about having someone to greet you there. It may not always be practical, but make it a point to do it whenever possible.

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Bring an extra lunch to work

A great way to express your affection for your colleague is to bring her a packed lunch occasionally. If you’re normally ordering food, it will be a welcome change to have home cooked fare. If you know some of her favorite dishes, make it a point to cook them and bring in an extra fork.

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Give up your seat on the bus

While you may be busy tending to your own business, don’t pass up opportunities to spread some love around. You may occasionally come across an older person or an expectant mother who needs your seat on the bus more than you do. Gladly giving it up can actually benefit not only the recipient, but all the people around, including you. It restores our faith in humanity.

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Stand up for someone in trouble

Every now and then, love becomes synonymous with courage; courage to stand up for the person you love. When your friend is in trouble, stand by him, there’s no better way to show that you really care. This expression of love takes a lot of courage, and you may have to face the consequences, but it will earn you a true friend and lasting relationship. Get inspired by these extraordinary ways people said “I love you.”

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest