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by Jennifer Brown Banks

Love is a Verb

One of my ex-boyfriends is a poet.

When we dated, he would personally pen words for me that would make the average woman melt!

I still blush at the thought.

He would often profess his love for me, yet, because of his behavior, I didn’t always feel secure, even amidst his eloquent expressions.


Conversely, one of my friends has been with her boyfriend for two years. By her own account, he treats her like a queen. Yet, she’s never heard those three magic words, “I love you.”

As a professional writer, words mean a lot to me. They have great gravity. But I also know that they can be used falsely, they can sometimes be misinterpreted, and they still have limitations.

So in matters of the heart, it’s important to use both methods when dealing with someone who has great significance in your life, if you want the relationship to go the distance. Few realize... love is a verb!

Think of it this way. Many of us have had jobs where the boss, from time to time, would compliment us on a “job well done.” Right? And though verbal “stroking” is nice, it would mean much more if he/she backed up those accolades with a raise! Would it not?

Here’s another good example. If as a child, your parents provided for all your basic needs, bought you designer clothes, showered you with gifts, but never told you that you were loved, how would you feel? Undoubtedly you would probably feel unloved. Would you not? To quote the lyrics of a song I recently heard, “show me while you tell me!”

Here are a few ways to make love an action word in your relationship! A few helpful hints for men…

Take an Active Interest in the Things that Matter to Her
Is she fond of yoga? Does she get into gardening? Involved in community activities? Whatever it is, tap in; even if it’s just through lending a supportive ear. A guy that I once dated, and whom I thought had promising potential, couldn’t even remember what I did for a living, when asked. Needless to say, he lost some major brownie points here.

Practice the Art of Compromise
When you demonstrate the desire to sometimes put her needs first, it speaks volumes about your emotional maturity and your feelings for your lady.

Introduce Her to the Important People in Your Life
She’ll know that she means something to you. And please don’t refer to her as your “friend” in doing so.

Spend a Little Less Time with the Fellas
Let’s face it. No matter how close we are with our girlfriends, when given the option, most times we’d like to be spending quality time with you. Reciprocate that. Nobody’s suggesting that you spend every waking hour together, but at least spend more time with your girl than with the homeboys—at least in the beginning.

Buy Her Chocolate
For no special occasion.

Call When You Say You Will
It shows respect for her time and her feelings. It doesn’t have to be a long, or laborious conversation either. Make the time.

Flatter Her
Whether it’s on the few pounds she’s lost, a new outfit, or a well-cooked meal; et her know that you notice!

Weather the Hard Times Together
Very few things are more endearing than a guy who is in a woman’s corner through job loss, illness, financial woes, or the death of a loved one. It’s a true way of separating the boys from the men!

Lighten Her Load
Whether it’s through helping her with chores, offering advice on a problem she’s expressed, or just being emotionally supportive. Be the “stronger vessel” that the “Good Book” speaks of.

Try to Get Along with Her Mom
My mom can be quite a pistol! She’s got a no-holds-barred personality that can sometimes be a bit intimidating. Still, she’s my mom, right? If a guy makes an effort to win her over, I know he really digs me. Or he likes a challenge. Either way, I’m impressed.

Pamper Her
We love it when you cook for us, massage our feet, hold us in your big, strong arms, hold our doors, or read us poetry.

Open Up
When it comes to matters of the heart, this is no time to be macho! Save the bravado for the boys. Tell her how you truly feel, when the situation merits. What have you got to lose?

Remember, actions speak louder than words!


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Jennifer's Gems is a weekly column written by award-winning poet and writer, Jennifer Brown Banks. It is published every Wednesday. Click here to read her welcome letter.

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