How to say “I love you” without actually saying it

We all want to be loved. In fact, according to George Sand, there is only one happiness in this world — and that is to love and be loved.

When we are in love, our emotions bounce between exhilaration, euphoria, and anxiety. At times, it can even cause us to feel butterflies in our stomachs.

Ah, that wonderful feeling of being in love!

However, not all people can express their feelings in ways we want.

According to Dr. Gary Chapman, there are 5 love languages. So, if the person you love doesn’t say “I love you” too much, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are not loved. It could be that he or she has a different love language.

At Hack Spirit, we believe in the power of love and the importance of expressing it in different ways. Here are five ways that people say “I love you” without saying the words:

1. Words of affirmation

This is the most common way of expressing love. If this is your partner’s love language, even a little praise goes a long way in making them feel happy and secured in your relationship. They are verbal compliments or words of appreciation such as the following:

“You look sharp in that suit.”

“Do you ever look incredible in that dress! Wow!”

“I really like how you’re always on time to pick me up at work.”

“You can always make me laugh.”

“To me, you are perfect” — Love Actually

“You mean more to me every single day.”

“I never get tired of looking at you.”

“There is no one I would rather be with right now than you.”

“I love your body.”

“I feel so lucky to have you in my life.”

“You complete me.” — Jerry Maguire

The idea is to spill your guts and just tell them how you feel.

But, if you struggle with complimenting your partner, you can make a list of things you appreciate about your partner. From the list you have, try to think of positive comments you would like to give. Now, use your list as a guide to express your appreciation on a daily basis.

2. Quality time

This means giving someone your undivided attention and being present.

The love language of quality time is focused on sharing feelings and thoughts together. It is not defined by what you do and how long you do it. Instead, it is about being together while giving each other your full attention.

If this is one of your partner’s love language, do not just sit on the couch and watch television together. It is because when you spend time that way, you are focused on your tv show and not on your significant other.

What you can do is to schedule time for each other. It can be as short as 15 minutes before bed, meeting each other for lunch, or going for a walk together.

If quality time is your partner’s love language, make the most of those hours by committing some of them to your beloved. Because all you mate wants is you and being with you.

3. Receiving gifts

Don’t confuse this with being materialistic. People who have this love language see gifts as a symbol of love and thought. It doesn’t matter how cheap it costs, what is important is that you thought of him or her.

This love language is the most visual of all the 5 languages because it captures the thought of love in a gift to give to someone. It is something that you can hold in your hand and say, “Look, he was thinking of me all day,” or, “She remembered me while she was away.”

If this is your partner’s love language, start by remembering all the gifts they were excited to receive in the past. Create a list to get an idea of what kinds of gifts they like to receive in the future. Remember, the price of the gift doesn’t matter — it’s the thought that counts.

4. Acts of service

This love language refers to doing things you know your spouse would like you to do. You seek to please your beloved by serving her and requires time and effort.

Here are some ways you can show your love if your beloved identifies with this language:

1. Cook a meal

2. Set the table

3. Empty the dishwasher

4. Vacuum the floor

5. Change the baby’s diaper

6. Pick up a prescription

7. Keep the car in operating condition

All of those are acts of service because they require thought, planning, time, effort and energy. If you do it with a positive spirit, they are indeed expressions of love.

If this is your loved one’s language of love, get started by writing down things anything you did that made your partner feel loved. Then try doing it more and it will make the love of your life happy and contented.

5. Physical touch

According to Psychology Today, we all have the ability to send and receive emotional signals solely through touch. That being said, it is a powerful vehicle for communicating love.

If this is your loved one’s primary love language, they will feel unloved if you don’t touch them. For them, it can make or break a relationship.

So, it is important to communicate your love and care through touching such as kissing, hand holding, massages, and sex. Here are some ways you can convey your love through this language:

1. Sit close to each other as you watch your favorite television program.

2. Make it a habit to touch them whenever you are in the same room.

3. Give them a hug.

4. Kiss them when you arrive and leave the house.

5. Have sex

6. Cuddle when you have time

These actions only take a small effort but it will speak volumes to the person you love.

Indeed, love comes in many forms. We may have different ways of delivering the same message but it is the same message, nonetheless.

When you figure out which method your loved one uses to express him/herself, it will help you understand what makes them happy.

Additionally, there are many small ways we show our love for each other without actually saying “I love you.” Below are common ways to express your love, even when you aren’t actually saying the words:

1. Flirt with them

When you are in the “getting-to-know-each-other” phase, it’s fun. You flirted with each other and it made the relationship exciting.

No matter how long you’ve been in your relationship, healthy flirting will bring back the spark in your relationship. It just shows that you still find them as attractive and interesting as you did in the beginning.

If you’re interested in learning how to flirt, check out our article explaining how to flirt like a pro.

2. Give them space

Sometimes, your loved one will need some space to enjoy a much needed night out. Or, he may need space to watch the game in peace with his buddies.

Whatever it is, everyone needs a little alone time every now and again. Recognize this need rather than begrudging it. It’s healthy to give each other space and time for yourself because it means you care for each other’s well-being as an individual.

3. Compromise

Do you like the thermostat set to 72 degrees while he likes it set at 65? It doesn’t hurt to be a little colder, or warmer than you’d like if it contributes to your partner’s happiness.

If your partner is a better cook, then allow him or her to be in charge of your meals while you do other stuff that you’re better at like cleaning the house.

Compromise makes relationships go round. It’s easy to bend than to break, right?

4. Be positive

Negativity will bring your relationship down. So, don’t waste time on the negative aspects of your relationship.

Focus on the positive things about your partner and your relationship that make being with them worthwhile. Think about the things you love about him/her; how generous, thoughtful or helpful they are.

Indeed, life is too short to focus on the negative. So, be positive and work on making your relationship worth the investment.

5. Prioritize your relationship

Everyone is busy but a person who truly loves you will make a way to let you know you are on their mind. It can be through text, call or a simple 5-minute talk before bedtime.

It is because when you love, the little things matter as much as (if not more than) the big thing.

(To learn how to unleash your strength and beauty, check out our eBook on why men love strong women here).

When is the Right Time to Say I Love You?

Declaring your love is no small matter. It can be downright scary for some people, especially if you’ve been rejected by the one you loved in the past.

Some people never recover from that kind of rejection. So how can you know when it’s the right time to say I love you?

The hesitation most people have is around the fear of moving too fast, scaring someone off, or of course, being rejected. Here’s how to express your feelings without worry.

Understand that people move at different speeds.

Relationships mean different things to different people.

If you are someone who likes to move fast and your partner is a little more reserved, consider how that might play into your relationship.

If you know right away that you are in love, there’s no reason to rush into it, especially if your partner is not someone who tends to rush into things.

You can bide your time and wait for the perfect moment. The thing we need to remember about declaring our love for someone is that it’s not about them; it’s about us.

We feel the need to say those words out loud for our own gain. Telling someone you love them is not always about them.

Keep that in mind when you are trying to rush things along so you can say I love you.

Be respectful of the timing and consider how it will make the other person feel if you move too fast.

Should you do it spontaneously or plan to say I love you?

Some people fret for days over how to tell someone they love them.

It shouldn’t be that hard. Declaring your love should be a joyous occasion and if it’s not, you need to stop and ask yourself why?

Where does the stress come from when you consider saying it out loud? If you are not sure, you might just want to wait until the time feels right and go for a spontaneous declaration.

We’ve all seen those movies where “it just slipped out” and then the lives of the characters are changed forever.

Can that happen in real life? You bet it can.

You might find yourself feeling overwhelmed with joy and love and needing to say it.

If you prefer the more traditional route, you might decide to plan a romantic evening and let the cat out of the bag when the mood is right.

What happens if they don’t say it back?

A few things might happen when you finally say, I love you. First, the person might immediately say it back – congratulations!

Another outcome is that the person is taken off guard and needs a minute to collect their thoughts. Don’t be alarmed. It’s a big deal so treat it like the big deal it is.

Give them the time and space they need to process it. Alternatively, they might not say anything or they might say that they don’t love you.

It does happen from time to time that people experience unrequited love. It hurts, but at least you find out early on that the relationship isn’t going anywhere and you can move on.

Hopefully, the first outcome is the one you experience, but if it’s not, consider yourself lucky for having been in love at all and figure out where to go from there.

What if things change?

Every relationship has its ups and downs. Saying I love you for the first time is always magical, but over time it becomes part of the routine.

Couples kiss on the way to work and say I love you, without ever really thinking about how it felt to say it on that first occasion.

Taking time to really connect and communicate about love is important. It shouldn’t be taken for granted.

If feelings change over time, you can discuss that, but don’t put it off. Being honest, despite being hurt, is the best practice.

If you find that you are growing apart and that the love is gone, celebrate what you once had and don’t be bitter about it. It happens. People change. Love changes. Lives change.

So whether you say I love you once or a million times throughout your life, be grateful for having had the chance to be in love at all. It’s a really wonderful thing.

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Lachlan Brown

Written by Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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