Phrases That Mean More Than "I Love You"

Whether it’s to your significant other, your best friend, or your mother, we often say “I love you” as a sort of autopilot response. Don’t get me wrong here, saying “I love you” when you truly feel that way is extremely important. It really is a nice sentiment, but far too often the phrase becomes repetitive and is said almost out of habit, so let’s not forget about all of the meaningful phrases that we often tell our partners to show our love and affection. Conveying the idea that you love someone often comes through indirect messages, and these phrases can even be more powerful than “I love you” itself.

“I respect you.”

When you’re in love with someone, you don’t get to pick and choose what parts of them you like and what parts you dislike. You love and respect every piece of someone, and expressing the fact that you have respect for your partner is vital in keeping your relationship strong. Nothing says “I love you” more than respecting your partner physically, emotionally and spiritually. It’s hard to have love without respect; the two really go hand-in-hand.

“Can I help you?”

Whether it’s with unloading the dishwasher or something much more daunting, simply offering to help your partner when they feel overwhelmed can mean more than a physical gift. Though the flowers and chocolate are a nice gesture from time to time, sometimes when we’re extra stressed a helping-hand is the thing that can make us feel our best. Help is appreciated coming from anyone, but providing assistance to your partner makes the process that much more enjoyable and can even become a new way for you two to bond.

“I understand.”

A little communication can really go a long way. Having someone clearly explain that they’re willing to listen and empathize with your problems shows that they’re in it for the long haul. Sometimes you may need to offer advice or verbally motivate your partner, but often times all it takes is a bunch of sitting down and listening to let your significant other know that you understand where they’re coming from and what they’re going through. Love means a whole lot of patience and a whole lot of understanding.

“Thank you.”

Showing some sort of appreciation, even in small ways, helps you form relationships based on mutual respect. Expressing gratitude doesn’t have to occur after receiving a gift and it doesn’t have to be a sort of grand gesture. Though it’s such a simple statement, just purely saying “thank you” counts for more than just good manners - it shows that you value your partner and what they do for you.

“Let’s do (insert hobby) together.”

Sharing your deepest passions and favorite activities with your partner is a sure sign that you love them. Often times when in a relationship, we keep our hobbies and passions to ourselves. Why is this? Maybe we don’t want to feel like a burden or maybe we figure that our partner won’t have the same interest in whatever it may be. However, including your significant other in activities you normally wouldn’t shows that you want them to get to know every part of you and you want them to love what you do too. Who knows, maybe your partner’s love of badminton could one day become your favorite activity to do as a couple.

“I’ll support you.”

We’re all faced with hard times in our lives. Whether your partner is faced with a difficult decision or they’re trying something completely new for the first time, it’s important to be supportive of their choices. Being there to help your partner through their ups and downs and provide them with the balance they may need is a clear sign that you’re emotionally invested in them. We all want to be there to backup our partners, and to express this sense of support says “I love you” to the max.

“I love spending time with you.”

Expressing that you simply love being in your partner’s presence says that you truly adore them. Though it may already be clear that you love someone, it’s a whole different thing to let them know that you enjoy everything about them - especially spending time with them. Even if it’s lounging around the house in your sweats, actually cherishing every minute you get to spend with your S.O. is a special kind of feeling.

“How are you really feeling?"

It’s so important to check in often with your partner on how they’re truly feeling mentally and physically. Breaking through routine and going past typical small talk is one of the simplest ways to communicate to your partner that you love them and care about their overall well-being. It’s not even necessary to say the words “I love you” when you’re having these conversations, your thoughtfulness and general concern speaks for itself.

If you feel like your “I love yous” are losing their meaning, know that it’s okay to show affection in other ways too. Try communicating some of these indirect, but powerful, signs of love next time you feel that your expression of love is lacking.