December 04, 2014

Non-Verbal Ways I Say "I Love You"

So far, my post "My Dad Didn't Want Me" is one of my most-viewed, most-popular posts to date. And I believe this is the case because I followed the number one rule of blog post promotion: I tricked people into clicking by using an extremely misleading title.

Okay, I'm kidding. Sorta.

But I do believe that a lot of people who read that post were expecting me to reveal some juicy yet horrific realization, like that somehow my dad's order at Dell got mixed up in the processing room and they sent him a baby girl instead of a laptop. Or, you know, that I was an "oops" baby.

Either way, I think people were hoping to read some old-fashioned drama about an unappreciated, unwanted child when really, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, I genuinely believe that out of all the people in the world, my dad may be the one who cares about me the most.

The thing is, my dad doesn't express his love the way people conventionally do.

You see, neither of us are of the mushy variety. Dropping me off at college was more of a "see ya later" than an emotional departure, and our hugs are generally as close to a high five as you can get while still technically being a hug.

But I have no doubt in my mind that my dad loves me more than anything. How can I be so sure? Because I speak the language of an unsentimental love.

In fact, most of the love I show is not sappy, weepy, or mushy; it's usually subtle, slight, and often hard to detect if you don't know what to look for.

Which is why I'm going to tell you what to look for: below are ten ways you can spot that a non-sentimental person loves you.

1. They remember a relatively insignificant detail about a story you told last month.

2. And they can do that because when you're talking, they're giving their full attention to you.

3. They tell you the hard truths that you don't want to hear, but need to.

4. They're the ones who actually show up when you need them, not the ones whose vet schedules an emergency appointment the day you need help moving... for a dog they don't have.

5. They remember things like your favorite candy or your favorite wine.

6. And sometimes they buy them for you, just because.

7. You sometimes avoid telling them about someone or something that hurt you because you know it'll make them inconsolably angry.

8. They do everyday things like change your oil or back-up your computer without a second thought, because taking care of you is an automatic response.

9. Your grief causes them grief.

10. Even more importantly, your joy causes them joy. They are never jealous or resentful of your success because as the wise Lana Del Rey once said, "When your happiness is someone else's happiness, that is love."