38 Ways To Tell Someone You Love Them

Hannah Burton/Bustle

You've heard the old saying "Actions speak louder than words" more times than you can count, but the truth of it cannot be denied. If telling someone you love them out loud is a thesis statement, then your actions make up every other part of your argument. There are so many ways to show someone you love them that add up to mean so much more than the physical words, ways that add a permanence and a depth that simply saying it out loud never can.

These actions don't have to be grand, sweeping gestures. They don't have to cost a lot of money, or require a lot of work. Sometimes love is as simple as squeezing someone's hand when you think they're nervous, or remembering the little details, or simply just being there. But if you need a nudge in the right direction, there are plenty of ways to show someone you love them. Odds are you're doing most of them already, but it never hurts to scroll through a list like this — it is truly the littlest, most simple actions that can speak multitudes, and set the tone for your love in a way the words will never be able to on their own.

Text Them Something Encouraging During The Work Day

Nothing will perk someone up during the 3pm slump quite like a quick "I love you" text or something else to make them feel like an office rockstar.

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Pack Them A Lunch

Indisputably, the worst part of the morning (aside from, y'know, waking up) is planning ahead for lunch. Surprise them by making them a lunch along with your own, or adding a personal twist to theirs. One less thing they have to worry about!


Learn More About A Topic They Love

Maybe they are learning Italian, or they're a huge Star Wars enthusiast, or they're really, really into candle-making. Even if you can't walk the walk, learn enough to talk the talk, so you can have more enriching conversations about it together.


Remember The Names Of The People In Their Lives

When they tell stories about work or their childhoods or what's going on in their lives, remember the names of the people you can't put faces to — be it their coworker, their old babysitter, or a distant relative. When you ask about it again, they'll sense that you truly listened to their tales.

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Pick Up Their Favorite Treat From The Grocery Store

Next time you're out grabbing groceries and you see a little something you know they love, grab it to surprise them with later. Or better yet — if you know they're running low on something, grab it to make their life a little easier!


Get Something Fixed For Them While They're Out

Get that light on the dashboard of their car checked out, or take that stained shirt to the dry cleaner's, or replace the bulbs blown out in the bathroom. Even just noticing one little thing and taking care of it for them means the world.


Cook Their Favorite Meal

... And maybe have a backup plan if cooking isn't your forté. At the very least, even if it doesn't come out up to snuff, it means you can spend time together learning how to make it the next time.


Hide Sweet Notes For Them To Find

Put sweet or encouraging post-it notes in unexpected places, like the glove compartment, the bathroom drawer, or even in a shoe. It's those moments when we're most in a rush that it's always nice to take a beat and appreciate how much we're loved.


Share Their Horoscopes With Them

If there's supposedly something good on their horizon, let them know! Maybe it'll give them that extra boost of confidence they need at work, or put you both in the mood for whatever romance is written in the stars.


Make Them A Playlist

Maybe they have a big race coming up, and need a pump-up playlist, or they're studying for a test and need some smooth, relaxing tunes. Curate a playlist for them on Spotify and send them the link with an encouraging note, letting them know you're rooting them on.


Make Art From Their Favorite Quotes

Whether it's a funny quote from a movie or something profound from their favorite poet, break out the colored pencils or the calligraphy pen and design something they can hang on their wall or prop up on their desk in the office.


Read Their Favorite Book Or Watch Their Favorite TV Show

Surprise your partner by getting up to speed with the show they love to binge-watch, the franchise they can't live without, or the book they read over and over again. Who knows? Maybe by pushing your envelope a bit, you'll also find a new favorite.


Leave Funny Comments On Their Posts

No need to go ham on their social media, but leaving a "hey there hottie ;)))" or some funny inside joke on their latest Insta is guaranteed to make them do that doofy smile-in-public thing.


Invent A Drink And Name It After Them

Even if you're not the most skilled with a cocktail shaker, you can make this work. Put a twist on their go-to drink and rename it "The Ashley" or "The Taylor" in their honor, so they can feel like a true celeb every time you turn your kitchen into a would-be bar.


Make Them Breakfast In Bed

Or, if you lack the culinary prowess, grab some fun breakfast items the night before to pop into the oven or microwave. Nothing is quite as romantic as getting food delivered straight to your bedside in the morning. (Fight me.)


Learn Their Drink Orders

Remember how they take their coffee or their tea, whether they prefer red or white wine, what brands of beer are their fallbacks. In those moments they're running late and have a personalized drink waiting for them, they'll really appreciate it.


Include Them In Some Of Your Group Hangs

Every now and then when your gang is having a casual hang and other peoples' partners are invited, make an effort to introduce them to the pack. Nothing shows you care quite like sharing them the other people in your world.


Make An Effort With Their Friends, Too

In that same vein, when you meet their friends, make a conscious effort to relate to them and find common ground. They want you to be a part of their world every bit as much as you want them in yours.


Ask About Their Favorite Memories

We tend to tell each other the ins and outs of our daily lives and the same stories over and over — so get specific. Favorite snow day memories, favorite vacation memories, favorite memories of their pets. You don't have to dig that deep to find entire facets of them that you haven't explored, and they'll feel touched that you're curious.

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Remember Their Half-Birthday

There is no surprise quite as welcome as remembering someone's half-birthday, especially when we tend not to remember it ourselves! Mark the occasion with half a cupcake (the other half, of course, is for you).


Make A Place "Your" Place

Maybe you live in a huge bustling city, or a small, sleepy town. Either way, find some quiet spot — whether it's a coffee shop between your offices, or a park bench to picnic on, or a scenic spot on a hike — and start visiting often enough that it feels like yours, and you look forward to getting away from the rest of the world there.


Teach Them About Something That's Important To You

Let them into your world by trusting them with the things that matter to you most, whether it's a song or a book or a hobby that defines you in some way. Maybe it isn't for them, but they'll appreciate that you let them see this part of yourself anyway.


Respect Their Boundaries

Of course, this applies to just about anything on this list; if there is something they don't want to share, or something they don't want to do, respect their space. They will open up to you in their own time, and appreciate your patience and trust.


Add A Twist To Their Favorite Recipe

Maybe they have a tried-and-true mac and cheese recipe that they're especially proud of. Make the usual batch, then pull a portion aside and add your own twist for them to try — nothing shows you care quite like helping build up new traditions together.

Be Their Cheerleader

Whether this means actually, physically yelling for them on the sidelines of a race, or just remembering to say "good luck" about a presentation on the way out the door — supporting them through the hurdles, big and small, goes a long way.


Invite Them Somewhere Meaningful To You

Maybe there's a secret spot on a hiking trail, or a spot where you and your siblings used to hide, or just a place other than where you live where you feel at home. Invite them into your older worlds, so they feel more comfortable sharing theirs.


Put Pictures Of Your Adventures In Frames

Of course it's meaningful to share your photos with families and friends on social media. But there is something so much more intimate and special about displaying a picture of your adventures in your home, only meant for you and your guests to see; it tells someone that they're a fixture in your life.


Give Them Honest Feedback

When they ask for advice, anybody can build them up and encourage them. But you can show you care by not just encouraging them, but actively finding ways to help them foster their growth and see all of their potential. It's your way of saying you're in it for the long haul.


Give Them Their Space When They Need It

You spend a lot of time together because you care about each other – but it's every bit as legit to spend time apart because you care about each other, too. Once you're both uninhibited enough around each other to say when you need alone time without it rubbing the wrong way, you'll know that you can be that much more comfortable around each other.

Clear Them A Drawer

If you don't already live together but you spend a lot of time at each other's places, be the one who makes the gesture and clears the drawer for them.


Show Up To Meet Them On Time

You can't control the universe — every now and then you're going to be late, and there's nothing you can do about it. But most of the time, you can make a conscious effort to be somewhere on time, and your partner will appreciate it — especially if they know you're a person who tends to run late.


Bring Them Flowers

The truth is, everyone loves flowers. When did we start gendering bringing people beautiful things? Even if you don't think that your partner is a flower person, their reaction might surprise you.


Ask Them For Their Advice

In those moments when we're totally stumped, or a decision is weighing on us, it's the people we love and trust the most whose opinions we consider. By asking for their advice more often, you are letting them know that they are one of those people you love and trust.

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Bake Them Something

If your partner has a sweet tooth, there is indisputably no dessert in this world that can top dessert made from scratch — except maybe dessert made from scratch by someone who loves you.


Answer Their Texts In A Timely Manner

Yes, of course you're going to see each other later, and you know it's no big deal if one of you goes a few hours before responding to a text. But it's always nice to let your partner know they can depend on you to stay in touch all the same.

Try Not To Leave A Room Angry With Each Other

If you're in a fight and you have to go, at least make an effort to remind each other that you still love each other, even when that love doesn't look as picture perfect as you think it should.


Remember To Thank Each Other

When they go out of their way for you, even if it's something they've done a hundred times, remember to thank them for it. Keep gratitude a constant in your lives.


Actually, Physically Tell Them You Love Them

Yes, you should do everything you can to show it, day in and day out. But saying "I love you" doesn't lose its magic or its meaning, no matter how many times you say it to someone you truly love. Remind them of that whenever you can.

Hannah Burton/Bustle