12 Ways To Be Affectionate With Your Partner If You Hate PDA

As someone who’s strongly against PDA, I can confidently tell you that there are plenty of other ways to show how much you care. You can make your partner feel special without kissing them in public every five seconds and constantly holding their hand—here are 12 ways to do it.

  1. Show your appreciation privately. Publicizing your emotions doesn’t make them more real. If your partner treats you to dinner or goes out of their way to make you smile, go ahead and show your appreciation… in private. You can give all the kisses when you’re behind closed doors. What matters is your partner knows you care.
  2. Know what they need. Does your partner enjoy elaborate gestures or is their love language more low maintenance? The key to showing affection is knowing what your partner needs in order to feel loved. Learn your partner’s love language so you can communicate effectively and you’re halfway there.
  3. Make time even when you’re busy. It’s not always easy to spend time with your partner, especially with busy schedules. That doesn’t mean you should give up on trying. Instead of going out with your friends or meeting co-workers for happy hour, spend time with your partner. Don’t get me wrong, other relationships are important but the relationship with your significant other should come first (most of the time).
  4. Ask for their opinion. You should care what your partner thinks. Even if you don’t need their advice, you should still ask for their opinion. Talk to your partner about your life and the issues you’re struggling with. It’s common courtesy, sure, but also a way for your partner to feel in the loop. You don’t want he or she to think your friend’s know more than they do.
  5. Share responsibilities. Don’t expect your partner to do everything. For relationships to be successful, responsibilities need to be shared. Take out the garbage, do laundry, occasionally make dinner for your partner. Sharing the burdens, no matter how small, can go a long way in making your partner feel loved.
  6. Express your feelings. You don’t have to show PDA, but you do have to express your feelings. Make sure your friends and family know how much you care for your partner. You don’t want outsiders to wonder whether or not your relationship is serious. You also don’t want your partner to feel insecure. I’m not saying you should shout “I’m in love” from the rooftops, just make sure everyone’s on the same page.
  7. Be spontaneous. Being spontaneous doesn’t mean doing something reckless, it means putting your partner’s feelings and interests over your own. Surprise your partner with their favorite dessert, movie tickets, or a romantic dinner. They’ll love the gesture and how willing you are to make them smile.
  8. Celebrate their success. Is your partner interviewing for a new job? Are they working on a passion project? You should support their goals and encourage them to keep pushing forward. You might think your partner knows how proud you are of them, but they don’t unless you’re vocal. We all need to feel like we have someone on our side. Be that person for your partner.
  9. Be kind often. Don’t wait until date night to be nice to your partner. Be kind often. Even when you’re irritated, PMSing, and pissed at the world. Don’t let bad days distract you from your relationship. It’s not easy, it takes a lot of awareness to realize how you’re communicating with your partner. Put in the work so your relationship can thrive.
  10. Give them your full attention. Instead of texting and looking around the room, give your partner your undivided attention. You might not think it’s a big deal, but no one wants to feel ignored by the person they love. One of the most affectionate things you can do is listen when your partner is speaking to you. Actually, nod your head up and down and ask questions. Make them feel heard. It’ll go a long way.
  11. Smile. Do you smile at your partner? This might seem like a silly question, but do you? Sometimes, relationships fall into routines and people forget to express their love every single day. You don’t have to do something crazy to show affection, just smile. Smile when they get home from work, smile when you’re at dinner, and smile when you’re doing nothing at all.
  12. Plan it out. Some people aren’t naturally affectionate and there’s nothing wrong with that! All it means is you have to try a little harder. Create a plan to show affection. Pick a day once a week where you do something nice for your partner and make sure you follow through. Set a reminder on your phone if you have to. Your relationship is worth it.
Jordan White is a writer based in Scottsdale, Arizona with more than 8 years of experience. She graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in Rhetoric and Creative Writing in 2015 and while there, she wrote for The Daily Wildcat. She has since written for sites including FanBread, and, of course, Bolde. You can find about more her on Facebook. She has a passion for giving her audience something to laugh about and despises the heat more than anything.