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Love and Affection

Affection As An Expression Of Love

We love and are loved by a lot of different people – family, friends, colleagues, even the cashier at the grocery store where we shop every Friday. We show our love in the warmth of our smiles, in the time we take to listen to the people in our lives, in our willingness to help another… in the ways that we are affectionate with the people we care for… There’s more than hugs and kisses and saying I love you to showing someone we care for them. Affection is the way we tell those we love that we are conscious of our attachment – and happy about it!
 
Being affectionate with the ones you love won’t guarantee that the relationships will last, but an absence of affection in a relationship usually means it won’t.
 
Although for some, affection must be learned, once learned, it needs to become a habit, a way we are with people naturally … loving gestures identify us as warm and caring people… being affectionate says that I’m the kind of person you can reach out to when you are hurting, or someone you want to celebrate with… affection deepens the bonds of friendship – it acknowledges and reaffirms our love….
 
Because affection suggests approval and support, it is as important to be affectionate with our children, friends and family, as it is to be affectionate with that special someone.

So what is a loving, affectionate gesture? Here are some examples:

  • Praise the person you care for….  acknowledge a job well done… Give someone a pat on the back, a compliment, a thumb's up!
  • Give a hug or a reassuring (gentle!) squeeze of a shoulder, an arm, a knee,…or a soft poke in the side…or blow them a kiss…
  • Drop a "love note" in their lunch box or briefcase…
  • Put up with the cold to watch him play hockey at 5 in the morning – or be first to the farmer’s market so you can choose the best plants for her garden…
  • Flick lint off his jacket, or brush a stray strand of hair from her face….
  • Help her into the car, or massage his stiff neck…
     
I could go on and on with a myriad of small gestures that express our affection, that show we care…. Affection won’t replace the kisses and I Love You’s, but it reinforces them. Loving gestures tell someone you’re thinking of them, even when you’re apart, and more importantly, they make the object of your affection feel valued, wanted, trusted, safe  – loved.
 
Express your love – reach out and touch someone…

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