“I love you.” It’s those three beautiful words that initiate and maintain a relationship. As time goes on, we start to feel ourselves repeating those three words so often that they might start to lose their meaning. What else can we say that’ll mean something to the person we love?
1. I support you.
In life, we’re constantly confronted with difficult choices. More often than not, we don’t know their outcomes. What does keep us going is the knowledge that the person we love is right there with us, by our side through it all.
2. I respect you.
The key to a long lasting relationship isn’t just love. It’s respect. It’s acknowledging the fact that you’re both individuals with boundaries who are choosing to live their lives together.
The small, simple promise of respecting those boundaries will go very far.
3. I'm thinking about you.
When life throws us unexpected hurdles, we can get in a bit too deep sometimes. We’ll try to internalize it and keep our loved ones from feeling our pain.
But when we hear this combination of four words, suddenly we feel a little less alone.
4. You're perfect because you're perfectly you.
People never see themselves the way others see them. We get lost in self-criticism, self-doubt, etc, etc. Everyone has their flaws and perfections.
It's up to us to can help someone get back in touch with the parts that make us love them.
5. Thank you for being strong for me.
It’s one thing to be strong for someone, and another to have someone be strong for you. When someone’s seen us through our grief and our darkness, it means they’ve felt our pain.
Hearing that we’re thankful for that will let them know that their efforts haven’t gone unrecognized.
6. I forgive you.
Not everyone’s perfect. Not everyone can be right all the time. But in love, there are always minor setbacks. The only way we can move on from them is by telling each other when we forgive them.
Letting past resentments go will make your relationship healthier in the long run.
7. I'm truly sorry, and I won't do it again.
When we f*ck up, we can’t pretend it didn’t happen. Putting a quick band-aid on it won’t make the scars go away.
But what can help is by downright apologizing for our mistakes and saying we’ve learned from them.
8. Even though I don't agree, I respect your opinion.
Healthy, happy relationships don’t happen when you constantly agree with each other. Disagreements are bound to occur if you’ve spent enough time with someone.
Sometimes the disagreements make for the most heated conversations, the spark that leads to the fire between the two of you. But we need to know that despite the differences, we’re still loved.
9. You don't always have to be strong.
Being strong all the time is hard. It can get exhausting because we constantly feel like we have to set an example to the people around us and to ourselves. Sometimes we’re afraid that we’re not worthy of love if we’re not always strong.
But real love is when we can be with someone who doesn’t make us feel this way; that they’ll accept us when we’re not always doing “the strong thing to do.”
10. It's going to be okay.
We’re irrational creatures. Our fears can get the best of us and we feel like we’ll never make it out of a situation feeling okay again.
The only thing that helps sometimes is crying on someone’s shoulder and having them repeat to us that it’s going to be okay until we start believing them.
11. What's really on your mind?
Not a day goes by that someone asks us “Hey, what’s up?” or “Hey, how’s it going?” But to have someone tell us they want to hear how we’re really doing? That’s rare.
12. Are you happy?
We know the feelings that creep up when we feel like we’re a little less satisfied with our lives than we should be. But we don’t actually want to confront those feelings.
Sometimes it takes someone else asking us this question to come to terms with things, and with the support of our love, we can begin to piece things together and make sense of them.
13. You're important to me.
It’s something as simple as this that can reaffirm our faith in ourselves. Because days can pass by, life will move quicker than we want it to, but grabbing the person by their arm and telling them what they mean to you will for one second make time stop.
14. I appreciate you.
We think that sometimes our appreciating someone alone is enough to make them know it. But more often than not, people aren’t actually aware that we appreciate them. Sometimes it’s vocalizing it that’ll help them remember where they stand.
Sometimes, all our S.O. needs from us is a little quiet time. Let your actions speak louder than words can, and just be there for your person when they need it.