This morning I woke up, rolled over, and saw my boyfriend peacefully sleeping next to me. The sun was peeking through the curtains and illuminated the room in a soft glow.
His eyes slowly blinked open. He looked at me and kissed me on my cheek. I kissed him back and said, “I love waking up to you every day, even with your morning breath.”
Ok, so it might not be the most romantic phrase, but it got the job done. We’re both a light-hearted couple with our teasing. And my boyfriend is aware of his unpleasant scent in the mornings.
I’m the type of girl that expresses her love verbally. I will scream it loud and proud that I fill cards for my boyfriend with romantic psychobabble.
But sometimes, “I love you” just doesn’t cut it. Maybe it’s because I say it every day, or that I’ve said it to too many boys in the past. Either way, as someone whose love language is words of affirmation, I try to find new ways to tell my partner how much I love them without using those three words.
If you or your partner have the love language of words of affirmation, then you might feel stuck in the same rut. I love you can only express so much for so long. Sometimes, you want to say more.
There are other ways to express your love, verbally, which say much more than “I love you.”
“I appreciate you.”
When was the last time you let your partner know how much you appreciate them? Don’t buy into the idea that they already know. I promise you; they also want to hear it.
Take it a step further and let them know you appreciate them for certain things. Maybe after they cleaned the dishes or put the kids to bed. They’re little parts of your everyday life but it’s a perfect chance to let your partner know you appreciate the things they do.
“I’m here for you.”
Part of being in a relationship is having a support system. You have someone who is choosing to be with you and will help you when life gets rough.
These three simple words might sound obvious, but they’re another thing we take for granted. Sure, your partner may already know this, but being reminded can feel even better than an “I love you.”
“Text me when you get home.”
Or if you live with your partner, when they get to [insert place they’re driving to]. I do this all the time with my boyfriend. It’s not so much that I care where he is, rather, I want to know he made it there safe.
Checking in on your partner is a loving gesture. It’s nice to know there’s someone in the world who is looking out for us.
“I like you.”
Hear me out.
“I love you” is said so often in relationships that it can feel watered-down. But when was the last time you told your partner you liked them? In the sense that you genuinely enjoy their company and who they are.
Love is long and messy. Sometimes people change. But hearing that your partner still likes the person you are today means a lot more than hearing “I love you” for the thousandth time.
“You feel like an adventure and a home, in one person.”
I like to think this is a simplified definition of love. My boyfriend and I laugh every day, and things never get boring. Yet, we feel safe and secure with each other.
If you feel the same about your partner, trying saying this phrase to them. It’s a reminder that, yes, you’re crazy about them, but like your safe haven from this crazy world.
“I want to understand you.”
Humans crave other human connections. But it’s not such much that we want to have friends and lovers, we also want to feel understood.
When your partner is talking to you about a concern or something stressful, do more than just listen. Ask them how it is you can better understand them. Chances are, they want you to know how they’re feeling and still be accepted by you.
“We’re a team.”
This phrase not only lets your partner know how you view the relationship, but it’s probably a little reminder you need as well. Arguments can get nasty, but the moment you acknowledge that you’re both on the same team and want the common goal of relationship happiness, the walls come down.
Use these three words to tell your partner you always have their back.