13 Ways Your Partner Says "I Love You" Without Really Saying It
Saying "I love you" comes easier to some people than others — and there's definitely more than one way to say it. Some people show they love you through words, while others do it through actions, but both expressions are incredibly important in relationships.
"Love, more than any other thing in the world, should be easy, obvious, and on display through your words and actions," relationship coach and founder of Maze of Love, Chris Armstrong, tells Bustle. "For when we love someone, we instinctually want to do and say things that show them that they matter and that we are thinking about them. The way to stay in love is to make the audio (I love you) match the video (your words and actions day-to-day)."
Sure, maybe your partner doesn't say "I love you" 20 times a day, but that doesn't mean they don't love you. There are lots of little ways people say "I love you" through their small gestures and attitudes on a daily basis. Here are some of the little ways your partner can say "I love you" without actually saying it, from physical touch to saying "thank you" to picking up your favorite snack at the store.
1. Through Physical Affection
Some people are naturally more tactile than others — but don't take that touching for granted. “Touching re-unites the emotional bond you share. It says: ‘I like the way you feel to me’ and ‘I’m at home when I'm with you,’” licensed marriage and family therapist, Cara Itule tells Bustle. For some people, physical touch is the best way to express their love.
2. By Being Appreciative
Saying "thank you" and showing you how much they appreciate and respect you is an important way of showing how much they care. "Respect is built by doing things like practicing gratitude, remembering that you're on the same team instead of tearing each other down with criticism and blame, and at times prioritizing your partner's needs and desires ahead of your own," marriage counselor and dating coach Samantha Burns tells Bustle. Not only does it show love, but it also helps your relationship run more smoothly.
3. By Taking Care Of You When You're Sick
When you're curled up in a snotty ball of sadness and they not only pick up a pile of used tissues, but still give you a kiss, that's something special.
"Being nurtured by your partner when you’re sick isn’t as classically romantic as a candlelit dinner overlooking the sunset, but it's a time when you can appreciate your partner’s thoughtful gestures the most," Burns says. "You’re in a vulnerable state, have lost some of your independence, and you must rely on your significant other for support. It’s times like these that show you that your partner is really there for you."
4. By Being Their Best Self For You
If someone really loves you, they may show you that by being the best that they can be for you. "It's not enough just to try and make someone else happy," author and life coach Jaya Jaya Myra tells Bustle. "Part of a fulfilling relationship is in doing things that make you a better or more successful person." It's a way of showing how much they care.
5. Sitting Through Your Favorite TV Show
It's not always easy but the ability to compromise is key for relationships. Watching my girlfriend sit through my favorite crime shows (hello, Hannibal!) while looking like she wants to vomit is definitely a sign of how much she loves me.
6. By Bringing You Little Gifts
Some people just pick up little things — flowers, nice wine, your favorite snack — to show that they not only that they love you, but know exactly what you'd like.
Nicole Prause, Ph.D., sexual psychophysiologist and founder of Liberos LLC, tells Bustle that couples need positive interactions to be satisfied in their relationships. Even if it's as simple as grabbing each other's favorite snack from the store, it's important to have positive interactions regularly.
7. By Surprising You
Whether it's planning a weekend trip or just having your favorite dinner on the table when you get home from work after a long day, surprising you and putting some joy into your life is a way some people show they care.
8. Through Doing Your Chores
When someone does the dishes even though it's your turn or takes care of all of the cleaning one week, it's easy to take it for granted. But often, it's a them trying to show their love through an act of service.
9. By Really Listening
Don't overlook how significant someone actually listening to you can be. "Communication is everything in relationships however, it's not just about communicating to speak but to listen as well," Lisa Concepcion, Life Coach, Relationship Expert, and Founder of LoveQuest Coaching, tells Bustle. If they really listen and make it clear that they hear you, it's a sign that they're really invested.
10. By Being Kind To People You Care About
Kindness is important in any relationship, but it's not just about how kind they are to you. "Couples research shows that kindness is an important trait for a partner if a relationship is going to last," David Bennett, relationship counselor, tells Bustle. "...The key to whether they are really kind is how they treat others, so observe how they treat their family, friends, and in particular servers, clerks, and other service employees." And if they're good to your friends and family, even when those people are being difficult, that's real love.
11. Through Making Time, No Matter How Busy They Are
Spending quality time together isn't always easy — especially if your partner is busy with work or other commitments. But when they making time in their schedule to devote to you, it can show how much they care.
12. Through Staying In Touch
Just saying "hi" or checking in on you once and a while throughout the day is a lovely way that some people show you're on their mind. "I love creative texting, and nothing makes me feel more loved than when I get texts that make me smile," Rob Alex, who created Sexy Challenges and Mission Date Night with his wife, tells Bustle.
13. By Being Silly Around You
When you really love someone, you're comfortable enough to let your guard down — and do or say anything. “Nothing is too silly, too outrageous, or too personal to talk about,” relationship coach and psychic medium Cindi Sansone-Braff, author of Why Good People Can't Leave Bad Relationships, tells Bustle. By being goofy and intimate, they're saying that they love and trust you.
Saying "I love you" looks differently to different people. So if your partner doesn't say it with their words, take a step back and look at their actions — those may speak much louder.