15 little ways to say ’I love you‘ that will make your partner smile
Of course, if you want your words to have the biggest impact, it’s equally important to make sure you speak your partner’s Love Language – that you show them how much you care in a way that they will deeply appreciate. That’s why we’ve come up with 15 sweet ways to say ‘I love you’ – three for every one of the Five Love Languages.
Not sure which one's for you? Learn more about the Five Love Languages here
If your partner’s language is quality time, the best way you can say 'I love you' is to simply spend time with them. Here’s three useful ways to take it up a notch:
- Always ask about their day
Even if their work stories are dull (Linda microwaved fish in the office AGAIN?), listening carefully is vital for healthy love. In fact, it's one of the clearest ways to say ‘I love you’.
- Have a ‘tech free’ evening
The best present you can get a quality time person is you. Set a night aside to ignore your phones and the TV and to focus on great conversation with great company: each other.
- Try a new hobby together
So neither of you has played squash before (or painted pottery, or made bread, etc). The fun bit is learning together. Yes, you’ll probably both be terrible, but that’s half the fun!
No, this does not (just) mean sex! There are all sorts of other little ways to say 'I love you' to someone whose language involves lots of physical affection:
- Wash their hair
A hair wash that's finished off with a head massage can feel incredibly good. Treat your partner to a home salon: it can be a dreamily tender way to say 'I love you'.
- Hold their hand while you watch TV
Physical touch doesn’t have to be erotic. It can be really simple, like taking their hand while you sit on the sofa together watching TV – a small act that builds a big bond.
Dance with them (music optional)
Don’t forget the fun ways to say 'I love you'. One night, take your partner in your arms and waltz them around your home: you’ll soon be laughing like a pair of goofy fools in love.
Words of Affirmation:
The partner who thrives on words of affection will always want to hear the ‘I love yous’ – they are word-focused after all! But here’s three more sweet ways to make them feel special:
- Whisper sweet nothings in another language
A novel way to say 'I love you' is to try using an international term of endearment, like France’s petit chou (little cabbage) or Thailand’s chang noi (little elephant). Very cute!
- Hide notes where you know they'll find them
Your partner loves hearing what they mean to you, so show them by leaving them notes: ‘I want you’ in steam on their mirror, ‘I adore you’ in their cereal – let your creativity shine!
- Revive the art of the love letter
Throughout history, a classic way to say 'I love you' has been with a heartfelt letter. Eschew email and go the traditional way: thick paper, a nice pen, and words that matter.
Acts of service:
For some people, simply having the dishes done for them can mean ’I love you.’ These are the Acts of Service people, who’ll love these ways to say ‘I love you’:
- Cook them dinner and create a restaurant ambience
Surprise your partner with a romantic dinner – and make it extra lovely with candles, a tablecloth, and a soundtrack that matches the meal (like Dean Martin and Italian food).
- Run them a bath (with all the trimmings)
Help your love de-stress by giving them the down time to take a long bubble bath. Better yet, set the bath up yourself, leaving them a glass of wine and a good book in easy reach.
- Make the tea or coffee – and remember how they take theirs
Sometimes it’s the little ways to say ‘I love you’ that mean the most – like remembering how your partner takes their tea or coffee. They’ll definitely notice you’ve noticed!
Having receiving gifts as a language doesn’t make your partner shallow: it just means they treasure small, tangible mementos of your love like the three below:
- Make them a thoughtful mix tape (ok, a playlist)
Mix tapes have been a way to say ‘I love you’ for decades. Don’t worry about choosing the best love songs – pick the music that reminds you of special moments you’ve shared.
- Set up a treasure hunt
The next time you get your partner a present, set up a surprise treasure hunt. They’ll get an extra memory to go with the gift – and thus an extra reason to prize it.
- Personalize a photo book
Social media pics are convenient, but they can also feel intangible. Remind your love that they’re loved by giving them a real photo album that charts your relationship so far.
There are hundreds of creative, silly and sweet ways to say 'I love you'. The most important thing, though, is to do it – don't worry about how to be romantic, just tell your partner that you love them, over and over again, so that they know for sure that they are truly adored.