I am not a very expressive person. At least, not vocally or even through actions. For me, knowing that I love you is enough - I need never say it. That's very silly isn't it? But that's how I tick. A friend of mine was very concerned about what she considered to be my callous attitude towards a family member who had suffered a loss. What she said was along the lines of showing love through actions. In my case, that meant saying "Sorry for your loss" or "How did it happen?" and other inanities.
It has often been said that there is love in giving. The saying is apt and easy to understand. Love essentially is expressed in giving. When we love people, we let them in and give them parts of ourselves. We give them our secrets, our feelings, our opinions because giving these things show our love for them.
Gary Chapman outlines five languages of love and they are gift giving, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service (devotion), and physical touch. These languages show that there is love in giving or rather giving in love whether what we give is tangible or not.
Now I am of the belief that giving is not only a way to show but rather that we show our love for people by receiving what they give us. I know this sounds strange but how can there be a successful giving without a receiving? Usually, when we have a friend who accepts money, food, clothing, honor, praise etc. we view them as being indiscriminate. Perhaps it's the fear that some harm will come to them. Who knows really?
I think many times it is harder to receive than to give. Receiving shows love and trust. It shows an absence of fear; a belief that the giver can do no harm.
Humans are generally selfish and ego driven, receiving from another therefore reflects a need. The fear of showing our need makes it hard to accept favours lest we be seen as needy or worse, weak.
It all boils down to this; what is love? Is it complete upon expression or is it complete when it has been received? What use is music if it can't be heard or food if it can't be tasted? What use is love if it can't be received?