She says that she appreciates you, but you’re not totally sure what she means.
I mean, obviously, it means she appreciates you, but what message is she trying to convey to you through those choice of words in particular?
So what does it mean when a girl says she appreciates you? Here are 10 possible answers.
What does saying I appreciate you mean?
1) She notices what you do for her
On a very fundamental level, appreciation is recognition.
It means she sees you, she notices what you do for her and how you show up for her. And she wants to say thank you.
And not just thank you for one thing in particular that you may have done, but a more general thank you. A thank you for everything that you are and all that you do.
Maybe she thinks you are really thoughtful. Perhaps you always listen to her when she needs you most. Maybe you are always helping her out with little favors.
If she tells you she appreciates you then you can rest assured your efforts do not go unnoticed.
2) As an expression of love
I make a point of telling my boyfriend all the time that I appreciate him.
It can be when he has cooked for me at the end of a long day. It might be when he does something really considerate that makes my heart melt.
But often it’s just when we’re lying on the couch together and I look at him and think that I want to let him how much he means to me.
My boyfriend is Colombian and he will constantly tell me “Te quero”.
There’s not really an equivalent in English. Roughly translated it means “I want you” but that doesn’t convey its true meaning.
In Spanish, it is an expression of love that is not only used in romantic scenarios but with family and good friends too.
In a way, I think of it more as an expression of appreciation too. It’s like saying I want you around in my life because you mean a lot to me. It expresses someones value to you.
I like to think that “I appreciate you” can have that same quality to it in English.
Is appreciating someone the same as love?
No, not necessarily. It can certainly be platonic (which we’ll dive into a little bit further in the article). But I do think it can be an expression of love in some contexts.
Because appreciation doesn’t just mean “thanks”, it’s deeper than that. I tell him I appreciate him as a way of making it clear that he is really special to me.
3) She is grateful to have you in her life
One of the reasons I think appreciation in any relationship (whether it’s a friendship, family or romantic relationship is so important is that it’s about gratitude.
Telling you she appreciates you is her way of letting you know that she feels grateful to have you around.
She knows that you are there for her, even if sometimes things get tough.
She can tell that you are someone who cares about her. You are probably someone who listens to her problems and helps her work them out. Or takes time to help her out.
When she tells you she appreciates you, it’s a way of showing you that she is thankful for having you in her life.
4) She sees the real you
I think there’s so much more depth to saying that you appreciate someone than simply saying you like them.
It’s a sign that someone notices below the surface of who you seem to be and gets to the deeper heart of who you truly are.
We all want to be recognized for our true self.
And hearing that she appreciates you indicates that below your surface qualities, she likes the depths you offer her.
She sees who you really are, and she can appreciate you for it.
5) She likes you as a friend
Maybe you came in search of what it means when a girl tells you she appreciates you because deep down you have some doubts.
You could be worried that this is a backhanded compliment in some way. Almost like saying “I like you…but”.
And there is no denying that in some circumstances hearing “I appreciate you” from a woman you have a crush on can feel like you are being friend-zoned.
It might be a way of letting you down gently.
I do think “I appreciate you” can have a platonic tone to it that might be confusing.
For example, let’s say you tell a girl who is a friend that you really like her, she may say something like:
“You’re a sweet guy and I appreciate you.” It’s sort of a way of saying her feelings aren’t romantic.
But even if you feel like you might have just got stuck in the friend zone, don’t panic just yet. I’d like to offer some light at the end of the tunnel:
The reality is that appreciation, respect and affection can make good foundations for love to blossom.
The reason I know is that is what happened with my boyfriend and I.
In fact, I actually told him I just wanted to be friends when we first met. Fast forward one year and we’re now happily in love.
The truth is that not all love hits you in a rush of fireworks.
But I also know that nice guys can feel like they are getting it wrong. And you might wonder how to turn appreciation into passion.
It’s actually about shifting the way she sees you.
6) She respects you
Another very straightforward meaning when a girl says she appreciates you is showing you that she respects you.
This is a big deal.
It’s about admiration and acknowledgment.
If you’re lucky enough to receive these words from a girl, you should take notice. Respect is an important part of any healthy relationship.
It could be that she looks up to you in some way. You might even be her hero. Either way, there’s a good chance that she trusts you and holds you in high regard.
7) She wants to reassure you
Sometimes you might hear the words “I appreciate you” as a form of reassurance.
All too often we can forget to tell people how we feel. We even neglect to show them how we feel too sometimes.
If you’ve been going through a rough patch with this particular girl she might tell you how much she appreciates you as a form of reassurance.
Maybe she wants to make amends for something she has done or failed to do.
Or perhaps you’ve been a bit insecure about where you stand with her, and so she tells you that she appreciates you as a way of letting you know her feelings run deep.
8) She enjoys spending time with you
I’d say another one of the inferences from telling someone that you appreciate them is that you like them and enjoy being around them.
Oddly, we don’t always tell the people who are important to us that we like them. But we might try to do so by telling them that we appreciate them instead.
When you tell someone that you appreciate them, you’re basically also saying that you like them and want to spend more time with them.
Let’s put it this way, I’ve never told someone I appreciate them when I didn’t want them around. It’s always a form of encouragement.
9) She doesn’t take you for granted
There’s perhaps nothing more demoralizing than feeling like you are taken for granted.
Think about it:
Whether it’s the boss that never offers praise or recognition for your hard work, the friend who asks favor after favor without giving back anything in return, or the girlfriend who expects you to run around after her every whim.
We all want to feel appreciated.
In fact, several studies have highlighted the importance of appreciation in close relationships.
One study noted that appreciation actually increases our positive regard for others, and makes it easier to voice concerns about the relationship.
This suggests that appreciation genuinely helps to strengthen a bond between two people.
10) It depends on the context
I’m guessing that the reason you are reading this article in the first place comes down to one unfortunate sticking point:
The trouble with words is that they are very subjective.
There isn’t one clear-cut “truth” behind them. What we mean by what we say always depends on the context.
So in this instance, what she means when she says she appreciates you will heavily depend on:
- The circumstances she tells you “I appreciate you” (where you are, what you’ve been talking about).
- Your existing relationship to her (whether you are friends, lovers, partners, etc.).
- Any history you too may have (is she your ex or is there a history of romance there?).
What do you reply to I appreciate you?
What you say back when someone tells you that they appreciate you depends on what they mean by it. It also depends on how you feel about the person saying it to you.
So, she has told you that she appreciates you, what do you say back?
1) The casual response
The obvious casual, yet still grateful, response would be something along the lines of:
- Thanks so much.
- That’s really sweet/kind/nice of you.
- Thanks, that means a lot to me.
I’d say this is appropriate in pretty much any circumstance —whether your boss, friend or partner tells you they appreciate you or something you have done.
It’s a good reply when you are happy to just take the compliment and you aren’t reading too much into it. Or even when you don’t particularly want to return the compliment.
2) The loving response
If you have a close relationship with this person and you want to show your affection for someone, then “thanks” probably doesn’t quite cut it.
I mean, it’s almost like hearing “I love you” from someone, and all you say in response is, “thanks”.
It can feel like a bit of a slap in the face.
So you might not want to leave them in any doubt that the feeling is mutual.
- I really appreciate you too.
- I appreciate how you X, Y, Z (give examples).
- That’s nice to hear because you’re really special to me.
3) The clarifying response
If you are confused about what someone means, the best thing to do is to ask them.
So with your reply, you can pry a little deeper to try to tease out their true intentions.
If you aren’t sure whether her feelings are romantic towards you or not, then her saying she appreciates you gives you a good opportunity to clarify.
- Aw, thank you, but in what way?
- Well, that’s nice to hear, but what exactly do you mean?
- I’m not quite sure how to interpret that, could you explain a bit more about what you’re trying to say?