Today, I want to talk about sweet ways to say “I love you”, based on the five love languages.
Telling someone you care isn’t just about you stating your position or expressing your feelings. You want to make sure your intent comes across loud and clear. So the theory goes, your partner is more likely to get the message — like, really get it — if you translate your loving feelings into their love language.
Words of Affirmation
Talk is certainly not cheap here. If your partner prizes words of affirmation, the quality of your words will cut through the confusion and uncertainty of the unspoken.
How to literally say, “I love you”:
- Write a heartfelt note, card or letter
- Surprise them with lovely texts, even if just to say you’re thinking about them
- Genuinely listen, empathise and offer sincere verbal encouragement
When your partner lives for this non-verbal affection, going for too long without it can bring on feelings of anxiety, loneliness and isolation. Likewise, cold or insincere touch may trigger emotional pain — which is kind of ironic when you consider that every square centimetre of your skin contains 200 pain receptors 😬 Maybe lack of touch makes them unpleasantly sensitive 🤔
How to physically say, “I love you”:
- Hug, kiss and hold hands without reservation
- Prioritise physical intimacy whenever you can
- Consider gifts like massages, spa treatments, or other tactile treats
Sometimes the desire for gifts comes from a special kind of materialism — maybe your partner didn’t have much while growing up, and gifts are a symbol of security, stability and care. Other times, gifts are about thoughtfulness, a physical manifestation of how you see them and anticipate their needs.
Saying, “I love you,” with a gift:
- Give something you know they’ve wanted for a while, especially if they think you weren’t listening when they mentioned it
- Give something meaningful in your relationship, like a memento from a special day
- Surprise them with something small and thoughtful on an ordinary day
A focus on quality time is about experiencing moments and creating memories together, something special that’s just for the two (or more) of you.
What “I love you” looks like in time:
- Instead of buying a gift, buy an experience you can share — like a holiday or cooking class (co-op video games are my favourite)
- Go somewhere you haven’t been before, and enjoy experiencing something new together
- Set aside an afternoon to just hang out with each other with no responsibilities or rush
Acts of Service
Acts of service is ultimately about partnership, ie. feeling someone’s with you on the bumpy road of life. If your partner responds best to this love language, make the effort to both “do with” and “do for”.
Saying, “I love you,” when actions speak the loudest:
- Do things together, whether they be major projects or mundane tasks
- Do chores, favours and errands for your partner so they know someone’s got their back
- Make a verbal promise, then follow through with action that goes above and beyond