I love you

I think the word “love” gets thrown around in relationships far too quickly, far too often. I see these girls online all the time that have only known their partner a few weeks and they’re already “in love” and a few weeks later, their status changes back to single and all of a sudden they are “so over it…” and I just think: “really? Do you even know what love is?”

Saying “I love you” is a huge deal in any relationship. It’s a phrase that you should never say unless you truly mean it, and on the other hand, saying it too much can make it meaningless over time. So, I’ve brought together a list of what I think are romantic and fun ways to say those three magic words that really show that you mean it.

1. Create an intimate atmosphere

The night that my partner and I said “I love you” to each other for the first time, I invited him over for dinner and drinks. There were candles everywhere, rose petals on the floor in every room, (even the bathroom – lol!), and a playlist of romantic songs playing. It was literally the perfect night. We had a lovely meal, talked all night by candlelight and I started falling asleep. He brought a blanket and kissed me on the cheek. Half asleep, I said, “Thank you, I love you.” There was a couple of seconds of silence between us (probably him trying to work out if I was sleep talking or not…) then he said “I love you too.” Then we had some banter about how awkward that could have been if he didn’t say it back, we laughed a lot, talked some more and fell asleep on the sofa.

You don’t need to pull out all the stops each time you say it, but the first time should be special, and something you remember forever.

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2. Give presents

It’s very easy to go overboard with presents when you’re in love, as everyone wants their significant other to be happy, but I find that it’s the little things that mean the most. So when I’m thinking of a gift to show my partner how much I love him, I don’t choose anything ridiculously extravagant or too expensive. Although I’m sure it would be meant as a lovely gesture if you did, there’s no need for it. Personally, I appreciate a “saw this and thought of you” kinda gift. Perhaps a gift related to an inside joke that would only mean something to both of you.

3. Write love notes

There’s something timeless about love notes. I find that there’s never a wrong time for a little love note. My partner and I work opposite shifts. He works days and I work nights, so I like to leave him a little note for when he gets home sometimes. We keep them all in our memory box. It’s quite funny when you go through them. Some are really cute and sweet, others are literally like “Can you feed the dog when you get in, and just a heads up – there’s no loo roll. I love you!” The glamorous reality of living together.

4. Involve a favorite hobby

I’ll never forget our first Valentine’s Day we spent together. My partner is a huge Star Wars fan, and for our first Valentine’s Day, I thought it’d be a great idea to get him a 4ft Stormtrooper. Nothing says “I love you” better than a Stormtrooper, right? So I wake up in the middle of the night and creep around the house, dug the Stormtrooper out of the hiding place he had been hiding for a week, and try really hard not to set off his voice activator which would sure wake my partner up. Luckily it worked out well, and in the morning, when he opened his eyes, he saw a 4ft Stormtrooper at the bottom of the bed with red heart-shaped balloons tied around his gun.

When you really get to know someone, you’ll be able to identify the things they’ll appreciate, and what makes them happy. You can say “I love you” in a million ways. So go ahead – say it with stormtroopers!

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5. Make something creative

That same Valentine’s Day, I was adamant that I wanted to make him a present, because I’m quite a creative person and knowing my partner, I knew he’d really appreciate a present that I’ve taken time to put so much effort into. I took to Pinterest, which is the DIY capital of the Internet and found some lovely ideas of what to make him. There are some wonderful, creative ideas on there and in the end, I chose to make him his own deck of cards which had 52 reasons why I love him written on the cards. Brownie points for me! He actually appreciated the deck of cards more than the stormtrooper! If only I knew, huh?

6. Say it with flowers

A timeless way of saying “I love you” is by giving flowers. If you’re anything like me and you or your partner don’t like flowers because they die, there are ways around that. For Valentines Day this year, I walked into the house to see rose petals all over the floor and a trail of silk rainbow roses all the way up the stairs, leading to another bunch of them in a vase at the top. Silk flowers are perfect as they can be kept forever, and keeping it personal to someone’s favorite color or flower really shows the thought and sentiment behind it.

7. Sing a song

Music is an extremely powerful way to say “I love you”. Do you play an instrument? Can you sing? If so, write a song expressing your love for your partner. If you can’t play an instrument or sing, and the best you can do is a bad karaoke version of Wonderwall, then if your partner is right for you, they’ll love and appreciate that just as much as a perfectly tuned song. There’s nothing nicer than to hold hands in the car while driving, singing together to your favorite songs.

8. Come up with your own “I love you” code

Sometimes you don’t even need to say it. It’s lovely if it’s in code like you can say it without anyone else even knowing you’ve said it. For us, 3 hand squeezes means “I love you” and 4 hand squeezes back means “I love you too.”

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Other love-codes you could use are 1.4.3 (counting the letters in each word), using quotes or phrases from a movie or tv show to each other, giving each other a cute nickname, or using a word that only means something to the two of you.

9. Keep on surprising them

Turning up to see them on their lunch break, bringing them a treat while you’re passing, or literally “just calling to say I love you” are the nicest things. Don’t overuse them as you could come off kinda stalker-ish, y’know? But once in a while, it’s lovely to have a surprise call or text for no other reason than just to say “I love you.” I made my partner an apology cake once. We never argue, but I was being kinda moody (I guess I just needed chocolate or something…) so I made him a cake and iced it with the words “Sorry for being a moody moo”. He loved it and seemed to really appreciate it.

10. Know how your partner accepts love

In all honesty, each and every person is so different. The way one person accepts love is gonna be totally different from how another person accepts love. So, the key to it is to find out what would make your love happy, and how would they like to be told or shown that they are loved.

I know that if I bake my partner a cake, make him cute Valentine’s presents, write him love notes telling him we need to get more milk or hide giant toys around the house, he feels loved. And he knows with me, when he plans surprises, makes time to spend with me and holds my hand when we sleep makes me feel loved.

The key to it is just knowing your partner, and although that’s sometimes a very long journey, when you get there, saying “I love you” becomes the easiest, most amazing thing in the world.

Penny is a blogger, photographer, and creative geek who works hard, and plays even harder. Penny's life is full of fun and adventure, and she tries to make the most of each day as it comes.

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