Giving someone you love chocolates and flowers is nice…but even better is finding more meaningful ways to say “I love you” to your boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse. Here are 15 ideas for expressing love — these tips are both romantic and practical!
Before the tips, a quip from Amy Tan:
“I am like a falling star who has finally found her place next to another in a lovely constellation, where we will sparkle in the heavens forever.” ~ Amy Tan.
Oh, what love! And, what a beautiful way to say “I love you” to your partner: putting a statement of love like that in his or her lunch or sock drawer. If you’re looking for more ways to be romantic, read 1001 Ways to Be Romantic: Now Completely Revised and More Romantic Than Ever. And here are my 15 tips for expressing love to your boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse…
15 Meaningful Ways to Say “I Love You”
You don’t need to go on a romantic honeymoon getaway to express your love — you just need to remember that your actions speak louder than words. Showing love regularly is a worthwhile habit; healthy relationships reduce stress, improve perspective, and boost the immune system.
1. Flow with the ups and downs of your relationship. Sometimes you’re in a lousy mood, hurt, stressed, or need to be alone; the same goes for your partner. Every relationship has ups and downs. Take care of unhealthy situations — but learn to ride the valley to the next peak. A great way to say “I love you” is to trust in your relationship and have faith that the rocky, frustrating, or boring times will pass.
2. Forgive. Forget. Don’t bring the past into your current discussions or problems. To create a loving, healthy relationship, say “I love you” to your partner indirectly — by letting go of past mistakes and disappointments.
3. Accept your partner’s beliefs about relationships. You may have a different or even conflicting view about the way relationships “should” work. To express your love and acceptance, talk about your different expectations and find common ground.
4. Speak up for your needs. Forget the “If you loved me, you’d know,” game or expect your partner to read your mind. If you don’t state your needs, you can’t get angry or frustrated at your partner for not meeting them. Instead, stay as open and honest as you can, no matter how vulnerable you feel.
5. Don’t be afraid to disagree. Having different perspectives won’t ruin your relationship, but name-calling and criticism will. Learn how to accept that you and your partner will disagree and still love each other.
6. Ask questions. Maybe you don’t understand why your partner usually forgets your birthday or leaves dirty socks everywhere but in the laundry hamper. Ask why. Getting to the root of the behavior provides more insight than complaining about it.
7. Face problems as they arise. Don’t ignore problems or let your resentment simmer. Be honest about how you feel, and try to understand your partner’s motivations.
8. Listen carefully. Saying “I love you” involves truly listening to your partner’s concerns – without judging them. Often we just need someone to hear us, and to try to see things from our perspective.
9. Have fun together! Figure out what makes you laugh and incorporate those movies, jokes, or activities into your life regularly. To achieve your marriage goals, respect that your sense of humor may be different than your partner’s.
10. Work hard to stay close. When you’re married or committed for the long term, you may drift apart especially when children, the mundane routine, or financial struggles arise. Learning how to say “I love you” to your partner no matter how difficult life is will keep your relationship strong.
11. Update your life goals and dreams regularly and keep your partner involved. When you include your partner in your goals, you’re saying “I love you” in a good way.
12. Be the first to apologize. The more you both try to smooth the bumps, the happier you’ll both be. Say I love you to your partner by being willing to make up, forgive, and forget.
13. Nurture your self-respect and self-esteem. Be someone you like and respect. Find meaningful work, get involved in the community or church, and pursue your professional and personal growth. To achieve your love goals, explore your interests and passions, and share your full life with your partner.
14. Cooperate with your partner. Don’t expect your partner to take the full load – whether it’s with the kids, housecleaning, relating to relatives, earning money, or investing. To express your love, get out of your comfort zone and surprise your boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse by doing things you never or rarely do.
15. Examine unhealthy, codependent, or addictive relationships. Why do you keep choosing the wrong partner or end up in addictive relationships? Do you make the same mistakes repeatedly? Knowing how to say “I love you” may not effective if you’re in a love relationship that you shouldn’t be in!
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