9 phrases that are better than telling your partner ‘I love you’

Telling your partner “I love you” is always a great way to express your feelings. A universe of emotions is wrapped up in those three simple words – I love you, I cherish you, I’m grateful you’re here, I don’t know what I’d do without you.

But sometimes, the inner workings of your mind can be a bit too specific for a simple “I love you” to pass on the message.

In fact, there are plenty of phrases that are just as good as “I love you” – or even much better.

Let’s get a bit creative, shall we?

1) “I’m here for you – always”

There’s no better way to express commitment than to say it as it is.

When you remind your partner you’ll always be there for them, it shows your dedication, it clears up any doubts they might have had about your feelings, and it also provides emotional support.

That’s three amazing things in one go!

2) “I love it when you [insert a small thing they do]”

The key to love is in the details.

“I love how you scrunch up your nose when you’re grumpy.”

“I love it when you sing your favorite song each time you cook.”

“I love the silly memes you send me.”

Every time you notice something small and tell your partner about it, they feel seen. Heard. Known. And accepted.

3) “You’re just so beautiful, inside and out”

Beauty isn’t just about the physical things you can see and touch.

No, beauty goes so much deeper – it’s the way their face lights up when they see you, the sound of their voice, and the energy with which they move.

Beauty is in the soul.

Therefore, it’s far from superficial to appreciate your partner’s beauty out loud. On the contrary, it shows you’re attracted not just to their physical form but also to their personality.

4) “I really admire [insert a personality trait] about you”

Most of the compliments you give your partner should be about who they are as a person.

What is it about them that inspires you? Don’t be afraid to say it out loud. It’ll help them gain a bit more confidence, not to mention that they’ll feel incredibly loved.

My partner always tells me, “I admire how hard-working you are. It’s really impressive.”

And, well, you know – it feels great. It also motivates me to keep working toward my goals because I know my number one fan is rooting for me.

5) “You are my best friend”

Aah, this one just makes my heart melt.

A best friend?! What better way to describe the intellectual, spiritual, and emotional connection you two have? What better way to appreciate the non-romantic and non-sexual parts of your relationship?

When you tell your partner they’re your very best friend, it means you feel safe to open up to them. It means you trust them. It means you love spending time with them, not just because of the sexual parts, but because they’re fun to be around.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t have other best friends. Your partner is just one of many close friends that bring light into your life.

6) “My life is so much better with you in it”

Hear me out. This phrase doesn’t mean what you might think it means.

“My life is so much better with you in it” doesn’t mean your life was rubbish or incomplete before your partner walked in. It doesn’t mean you need them to survive.

What it does mean is that your significant other adds so much light into your world that you couldn’t count all the individual sun rays even if you tried. 

Sure, you might fight. Sure, it’s not always easy.

But at the end of the day, the positives always outweigh the negatives. And that’s how it should be.

7) “Nothing makes me happier than seeing you happy”

This one’s about prioritization. About sharing. And about the power of love.

Sounds dramatic? That’s because love is.

“Nothing makes me happier than seeing you happy” demonstrates just how much your partner’s well-being matters to you. You would do anything you could to protect them from harm; you would go the extra mile just to see them smile.

It also shows a willingness to sacrifice if your partner’s happiness is on the line. If it’s your three-year anniversary but your friends want to go to a football game, the choice is a no-brainer.

When your partner’s happy, their own happiness transfers onto you, fluttering in your chest like a butterfly.

8) “When I’m with you, I can be fully myself”

This, ladies and gentlemen, is one of the greatest expressions of love you could ever make.

Letting your partner know you feel safe with them to be authentically yourself, without any worry you’ll be judged for it?

That’s what I call love, and it’s the best compliment of all.

It says, “You’re so kind and amazing that I’m not afraid when I’m with you.”

It says, “You’re safe, you’re home, you’re where I want to be.”

It says, “I trust you with all I am.”

A phrase like this will make your partner feel honored and loved. Plus, it will encourage them to open up too, which only strengthens your bond.

9) “[Use a romantic quote from a book or a TV show they love]”

Want to add a bit more flair to your “I love you” alternative?

Read the books your partner reads. Watch the TV shows they watch. Pay attention to their reactions. And when the time comes, whip out a dramatic quote or write a heart-wrenching letter.

It’s like that TikTok: “When he says ‘I love you’ but Achilles once said, ‘I would recognize you in total darkness, were you mute and I deaf. I would recognize you in another lifetime entirely, in different bodies, different times. And I would love you in all of this, until the very last star in the sky burnt out into oblivion.’

Well, as far as love expressions go, this one’s pretty hard to top. But it doesn’t hurt to try!

Denisa Cerna

Hi! I’m a fiction author and a non-fiction freelance writer with a passion for personal development, mental health, and all things psychology. I have a graduate degree in Comparative Literature MA and I spend most of my time reading, travelling, and – shocker – writing. I’m always on a quest to better understand the inner workings of the human mind and I love sharing my insights with the world. If any of my articles change your life for the better… mission accomplished.
Get in touch at denisacerna.writing@gmail.com or find me on LinkedIn.

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