It’s Valentine’s Day! And sure, for some of you reading this, it’s just a regular old Monday. But, plenty of people love the holiday of love. So, in honor of those readers, I wanted to share 14 creative ways you can say I love you – without actually using that phrase.
Because, truth be told, sometimes words just aren’t enough. Sometimes they don’t do it justice. And, depending on your partners’ love language, they may not mean a whole lot.
So, keep reading and find all the (new) ways you can express your love today.
The Five Love Languages
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with saying “I love you” in words – but depending on your partner’s love language, there may be a better way to demonstrate your affection.
According to Dr. Gary Chapman and his best-selling book, there are five distinct love languages – or, ways that people receive and express love.
1. Quality Time
By far the most popular one is Quality Time, which is just fancy verbiage for spending time with your partner. This could be anything from going out and doing something you both enjoy to just being together. The point is that you’re fully present and engaged.
2. Physical Touch
Sex is important to a lot of people, but for those with a love language of Physical Touch, other forms of physical affection are equally important. Think holding hands, kissing, or even just sitting next to you.
3. Acts of Service
When I was younger, I didn’t understand this one. Now that I’m an adult, I totally get it. Acts of Service refers to when your partner does something for you – like stopping to pick up milk on the way home. Little things that make your day-to-day life easier can go a long way to making you feel loved.
4. Words of Affirmation
Hearing the words “I love you” is important for people whose language is Words of Affirmation. It’s all about communication – from sending text messages throughout the day to let them know you’re thinking of them to giving compliments.
5. Receiving Gifts
As straightforward as Receiving Gifts sounds, it’s not necessarily about material things. Rather, it’s about what the things represent – which is that the person has taken the time to think about what you want and gotten it for you.
Related Read: Valentine’s Day Gift Guide for Every Stage of a Relationship
So, go ahead, tell your partner how much you adore them today. Shower them with I love you’s – but, consider if there are other ways you can express your affection, too.
14 Ways You Can Say I Love You
1. Cook Dinner
I loathe cooking, so for me, this is one of the best ways you can show how much you care. You can cook them something special – like a favorite dish or a 5-course meal – or just make a simple dinner. Either way, it’s a perfect loving gesture.
2. Pick up Their Favorite Bottle of Wine (or Box of Candy)
Not all gifts have to be extravagant. In fact, some of the best gifts are of the spur-of-the-moment, I just saw this and thought of you, variety. So pick up something small, like a bottle their favorite wine, their favorite candy, or their favorite bag of chips. It’s the thought that counts.
3. Put Your Phone Away for the Night
Try this tonight one tonight. Eat dinner together, watch TV together, sit and read together. And while you do, make sure your phone is out of the way. Like, in the other room away. Just be present with your partner.
4. Snuggle up Together
Here’s another one you can do whilst you lounge in front of the television set. Because everyone loves a good cuddle-sesh.
5. Let Them Pick the Movie/TV Show
Yes, even if what they want to watch is The Bachelor (don’t hate!) Letting your partner choose what you do or watch is a great way to show that you care about their interests.
6. Say “I appreciate You”
You don’t have to say the l-word to let your partner know you love them. Tell them you appreciate them. Say thank you when they do something nice for you. Make sure they feel seen and heard and, above all, valued.
7. Give Them a Massage
And not the kind where you’re hoping it leads to a happy ending! There’s nothing wrong with having sex, but in the spirit of showing your genuine affection, give your partner a massage without expecting anything in return.
8. Bring Them Flowers
Just like picking up a bottle of wine or small treat, bringing your lover flowers is a great way to make them smile. (Bonus points if you do it on a day other than Valentine’s Day.)
Related Read: 20 Valentine’s Day Plans Regardless of Your Relationship Status
9. Do the Laundry/Dishes/Cleaning
Clean up after dinner – even if you did the cooking. Do the laundry. Mow the lawn. Vacuum the house. Honestly, any act of service will go a long way.
10. Compliment Something About Them
Saying “You’re beautiful” is a good start, but try giving your partner a compliment about something deeper than that. Compliment their patience, their intelligence, their hard work. Tell them what you love about them.
11. Ask How Their Day Was – And Listen
And again – make sure your phone is out of the way while you do. Further, don’t try to offer advice or input – just listen to their experience.
12. Offer to Run an Errand
Maybe it’s getting the groceries or taking their car in for an oil change. There are plenty of mundane tasks you can offer to take off their hands.
13. Stroke Their Hair
There’s something incredibly comforting about someone stroking your hair or softly rubbing your back. Let your partner lay their head on your lap and tell you about their day while you do this one – it’ll make them feel absolutely cherished.
14. Say, “I’m Proud of You”
Of all the words of affirmation you can tell someone saying “I’m proud of you” has to be one of the best.
No matter what you decide to do to celebrate St. Valentine, make sure your partner knows how much you care about them every day.
How do you show your love? Let me know in the comments below!
Happy Valentines Day!
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Great post. Love the suggestions on ways to say I Love You without saying ILU. Words of affirmations are pretty low on list and I much prefer quality time together and thoughtfulness. Learning new ways to express love is always helpful and can add some variety to a relationship. Thanks for sharing.
Such a lovely post! There’s so many ways show me a person that you love them without saying it. I love the idea of saying I’m proud of you. Far too often we think we’re doing something wrong, and hearing this can help change those thoughts.
It’s definitely an important thing to tell your partner. Being loved is great, but it’s also important to feel appreciated and acknowledged.
What a lovely post. My thinking is that love isn’t said, its shown. And your post just affirmed that for me. Anybody can say they love you, but do they show it in their actions?
Finding out somebodies love language is so important too. Whether its a friendship or relationship.
Such a lovely post. Thanks for sharing!
So true about showing affection in friendship, too!
Loved reading this, we don’t celebrate Valentines day because we know we love each other and don’t need a special to show it, we have so much quality time together and we always gift the smallest of thoughtful presents to each other. So this is correct for us this is bang on x
So glad to hear that! Thanks for commenting
Some great suggestions. These are important to consider not ONLY for “V” day. I encourage the five love languages too for sure. Thank you for sharing. 🤗
Pastor Natalie (ExamineThisMoment)
Absolutely – it’s important to remember to show how much you care all year round, not just on one day.
I’m such an act of service person so I love all the ways to say I love you that you’ve outlined! Being with my partner for quite a while now these little things like cuddling, or offering to run an errand really can be as powerful as saying I love you! Love this post and thanks for sharing these awesome ideas.
I’m the same way – I never appreciated acts of service until I was older, but it is so helpful now.
I agree, sometimes words aren’t enough. Especially if you’ve been in a relationship for a long time, it’s sometimes just turns into a routine, saying I love you, without actually feeling it. The extra acts of love and kindness really do speak louder than words sometimes xxx
Absolutely – that’s a good point that the words can become routine and mundane
These are some good ideas for you to be able to show your love for your partner. Small gestures go a long way! Thank you for sharing your ideas!
Lauren – bournemouthgirl
Totally agree – you don’t have to do anything big to show you care.
amazing list! i especially love putting our phone away for the night. i actually want to do this more often in the evenings when we are watching shows or having dinner. phones can be such distractions from quality time.
It definitely can be!
I’ve previously written about the different love languages on my blog and it was a real eye-opener when researching it and applying it to how best my husband and I give and receive love. We are very different so it’s great to find different ways to express love and appreciation. The tips and ideas you’ve shared are really useful — thanks for this!
I’m so glad you enjoyed! Thanks