By Tabi Slick

Whether you’re celebrating good old Valentine’s day by writing your special someone a love note or taking them out for a romantic dinner, we all have our own ways that we show love.

To quote the Notebook, “the best love is the kind that awak
ens the soul”. Sounds about right, yeah? But how can we show someone we love them in this way?

There are many tips we can gain to show our love from looking at historical customs from around the world. One such strategy in parts of Europe during the 18th century would be for men to place the name of the special someone they loved on a piece of paper and pinning it to their sleeve. Thus, declaring to the whole world who their heart desired.

Tip #1: Wear your heart on your sleeve.

Not your style? Then try this next one on for size: Starting as early as the 19th century, Austrian women would attend dance parties with slices of apples under their armpits. At the end of the dance they would remove the apples and give them to the men they liked as a way to show their affection.

Tip #2: There’s nothing like a sweaty, possibly hairy, apple to show that you love someone.

Another proven tip to show how much you love someone is to create a secret language to communicate with them like the women of the Turkish Harem did in order to communicate in secret with their lovers. What was their language based on, you ask? Flowers. They would write sweet love letters using sayings that rhyme with the names of flowers to tell their heart’s desire. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely these messages were ever received by their lovers as life in the Harem was rather secluded from the outside world. But one can hope.

Tip #3: Create a secret love language to show how much you care.

There were many ways Turkish people would express their love and not all of them make sense. One such tradition is dated from the 17th century where Turks would slit their wrists in front of the person their heart longed for to show how great their love was for them. The suitor who slit their wrists the most was said to have a greater love for them. I think it goes unsaid, but DON’T DO THIS! It’s creepy and self harm has no charm.

Whatever you decide to do (or not do) this Valentine’s day, just remember that loving others (and yourself) shouldn’t be limited to just one holiday and that we should all show our appreciation every day.

Got any love tips? Leave them in the comments below!

TABI SLICK is an award-winning author of paranormal and historical fantasy. Her works include: “Tompkin’s School: For The Extraordinarily Talented“, “Tompkin’s School: For the Dearly Departed“, the novella “Unforgivables“, and “Timur’s Escape“. When she’s not writing, she’s often found either researching or with her nose stuck in a book. 


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[1] An Album of the Wardrobe of The Ottomans With Illustrations by The Tulip-Era Artist Van Mour / Lale Devri Ressami Van Mour’’un Cizimleriyle Osmanlilar Kiyafet Albumu. Istanbul: Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Kulur A.S., 1714 (2013).
[2] Gilbert & White Valentine’s Day., 2018.
[3] Seaton, Beverly. The Language of Flowers: A History. University of Virginia Press, 1995.
[4] Trex, Ethan. 9 Strange Courtship Rituals From Around the World., 2015.

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