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156 Ways to Say "I Love You" (Without Actually Saying I Love You)

There are so many different ways to express how your feel.

It never hurts to remind the ones you love just how much they mean to you, but spewing out an obligatory "I love you" can sometimes feel a little forced. Maybe your partner would appreciate something a little more original that they haven't heard a thousand times before. So, to help keep things fresh—if only in the way that you deliver those three little words—we're bringing you 156 unique ways to say "I love you." Read on for some affection inspiration.

RELATED: Love Letters for Her So Sweet, She Might Just Cry.

Why Using Different Ways to Say "I Love You" Is Important

mature man and woman hugging and smiling at the camera

Words of affirmation are a close second to quality time when it comes to the most popular love languages. In romantic relationships, this kind of support often presents itself in the form of encouragement and compliments, along with the occasional "I love you."

But sometimes, those three little words just don't seem like the most appropriate choice. Not everyone is comfortable using the phrase, for one. Also, in a culture that throws the expression around often and without a lot of forethought, it may not seem genuine enough for your purposes.

Coming up with a few thoughtful and creative alternatives to telling your partner "I love you" allows you to avoid those drawbacks. It also shows them that you're willing to put in the time and effort needed to let them know how much they're loved. And expressing affection in other ways is important both to your relationship and your individual health.

A 2005 study found that frequent hugs from a partner can lower blood pressure and heart rate in middle-aged women. Another study published three years later found that affection communication—both verbal and non-verbal—can help slash levels of cortisol, a.k.a. "the stress hormone." These gestures may not seem as impactful as an "I love you" in the moment, but they communicate the very same sentiment.

Of course, the way you choose to express your love is up to you and you alone. If "I love you" feels right in the moment, they by all means blurt it out. If, however, you're looking for other effective ways to communicate those those feelings, we encourage you to read on.

Romantic Ways to Say "I Love You"

man and woman embracing in a romantic moment – Yuri A/Shutterstock
  1. I never really knew how beautiful life could be until I met you.
  2. I feel so at peace with you.
  3. Your laughter is my favorite sound in the entire world.
  4. I am completely smitten with you.
  5. You always inspire those same three words out of me.
  6. One look from you and the whole world melts away.
  7. You make me a better person.
  8. I just want to thank you for choosing me.
  9. My heart calls out for you.
  10. You give me hope.
  11. You have my heart today, tomorrow, and always.
  12. I can't believe you're mine.
  13. You mean so much to me.
  14. I adore you.
  15. You're safe with me.
  16. I've got nothing without you.
  17. I would move mountains to put a smile on your face.
  18. I am head over heels for you.
  19. You drive me crazy in all the right ways.
  20. I never stop thinking about you.

RELATED: 170 Love Messages for Her to Show How Much You Care

Cute Ways to Say "I Love You"

man figuring out ways to say i love you to his girlfriend while at a bar
Jose Calsina/Shutterstock
  1. I'm the luckiest person in the world.
  2. You will forever be my favorite person.
  3. You make my heart warm and happy.
  4. You are a beautiful person inside and out.
  5. When you feel alone, just look at the spaces between your fingers, and remember that's where my fingers fit perfectly.
  6. You complete me.
  7. You are so amazing in so many different ways.
  8. You are my sunshine.
  9. I love your smell.
  10. You make my heart skip a beat.
  11. I still get nervous around you.
  12. You're stuck with me.
  13. They say relationships are hard, but you make this so easy.
  14. You are the light of my life.
  15. You have stolen my heart.
  16. You are the peanut butter to my jelly.
  17. You are the best thing that has ever happened to me.
  18. There's no one else in the world I'd rather steal blankets from.
  19. You are my other half, my special person, and my very best friend.
  20. We fit together better than puzzle pieces.

Creative Ways of Saying "I Love You" to a Friend

two women hugging each other in the park
  1. I truly love spending time with you.
  2. You always know how to turn my day around.
  3. You are my favorite human.
  4. I couldn't have asked for a better friend.
  5. You make me smile.
  6. I always look to you for advice.
  7. You're the only person I know I can trust.
  8. You are the number one person in my life.
  9. I don't laugh like this with anyone else.
  10. I really cherish our friendship.
  11. I am so, so happy we met.
  12. You're a once-in-a-lifetime kind of friend.
  13. You're my person.
  14. You're everything to me.
  15. I don't know what I'd do without you in my life.
  16. I can always count on you.
  17. You're family.
  18. Thanks for being my best friend.
  19. I really admire you.
  20. Thanks for always being there for me.

RELATED: 198 I Love You Quotes to Share With Someone Special.

Poetic Ways to Say "I Love You"

stack of books
Morakod1977 / Shutterstock
  1. "Just in case you ever foolishly forget, I'm never not thinking of you. "— Virginia Woolf, Selected Diaries
  2. "Some people are worth melting for." — Frozen
  3. "You are sunlight through a window, which I stand in, warmed. My darling."Jessie Burton, The Miniaturist
  4. "I do love nothing in the world so well as you: Is not that strange?" — Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing
  5. "If you are intolerable, let me be the one to tolerate you." — Taylor Jenkins Reid, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
  6. "If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you." A.A. Milne, Pooh's Little Instruction Book
  7. "We would be together and have our books and at night be warm in bed together with the windows open and the stars bright." ―Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
  8. "You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how." — Margaret Mitchell, Gone With The Wind
  9. "You are part of my existence, part of myself. You have been in every line I have ever read." — Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
  10. "He stepped down, trying not to look long at her, as if she were the sun, yet he saw her, like the sun, even without looking." Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
  11. There are darknesses in life, and there are lights, and you are one of the lights, the light of all lights." Bram Stoker, Dracula
  12. "I wish I knew how to quit you." — Annie Proulx, Brokeback Mountain
  13. "My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you." — Jane Austen, Pride And Prejudice
  14. "By my soul, I can neither eat, drink, nor sleep; nor, what's still worse, love any woman in the world but her." Samuel Richardson, Clarissa, or, the History of a Young Lady
  15. "It's like time has lost all continuity. Every second with you outweighs days of life before I met you." Stephenie Meyer, The Chemist
  16. "Soul meets soul on lovers' lips." Percy Bysshe Shelley, Prometheus Unbound
  17. "I've never had a moment's doubt. I love you. I believe in you completely. You are my dearest one. My reason for life." — Ian McEwan, Atonement
  18. "You are my heart, my life, my one and only thought." — Arthur Conan Doyle, The White Company
  19. "I cannot let you burn me up, nor can I resist you. No mere human can stand in a fire and not be consumed." A.S. Byatt, Possession
  20. "We've loved each other so long I've never been a man and not loved her." Sarah Perry, The Essex Serpent

Funny Ways to Say "I Love You"

two men laughing and embracing
SeventyFour / Shutterstock
  1. You are the crayons to my coloring book.
  2. You make me feel warm and funny.
  3. You're my favorite notification on a busy day.
  4. Whenever I see you, I think, "Good job, God!"
  5. Seriously, I've fallen for you… and I can't get up.
  6. You can bug me anytime you want.
  7. Similar to an asthma attack, you always take my breath away.
  8. I love you more than hipsters love long hots.
  9. Thanks for loving me, even when I'm hangry.
  10. If hugs were inches, I'd give you a mile.
  11. You're my favorite person to fight with.
  12. You're the only person I'd share my fries with.
  13. You know more about me than anyone else in the world, and that's kind of terrifying.
  14. Just look at this beautiful mess we've created together.
  15. Do you want the last bite?

RELATED: 11 Love Letters for Him (Anniversary Messages, Make-Up Notes, & More!).

Creative Ways to Say "I Love You" Over Text

woman smiling while braining storming ways to say i love you over text
  1. We may be doing this long-distance, but you're never far from top of mind.
  2. You're the reason why I'm always smiling at my phone like an idiot.
  3. My heart skips a beat every time I see your name pop up on screen.
  4. Every text from you feels like a miniature reunion.
  5. Your messages turn miles into moments.
  6. Make sure to text me when you get home.
  7. I'm still working on the time and the budget, but for now, think of each text I send a love letter and the sounds they make your serenade.
  8. Just wanted to let you know I'm thinking about you.
  9. I know you're busy, but I wanted to let you know how proud I am of you.
  10. I don't know how, but you've somehow turned me into a hopeless romantic.
  11. A little love note from you is enough to make my whole day.
  12. Actions speak louder than words, so here's a text to prove that you're always on my mind.
  13. Just checking in and sending hugs from afar.
  14. It's crazy how you can give me butterflies when we aren't even together.
  15. You being in my life has made everything so much better.

Fun Ways to Say "I Love You" in Different Languages

man and woman taking a selfie Duomo cathedral in Milan
  1. Ik hou van jou. (Dutch)
  2. Ich liebe dich. (German)
  3. Je t'aime. (French)
  4. Je te désire. (French)
  5. Saranghae. (Korean)
  6. Ég elska þig. (Icelandic)
  7. Ti amo. (Italian)
  8. Jeg elsker deg. (Norwegian)
  9. Eu te amo. (Portuguese)
  10. Te iubesc. (Romanian)
  11. Ya tebya lyublyu. (Russian)
  12. Te amo. (Spanish)
  13. Te adoro. (Spanish)
  14. Te quiero. (Spanish)
  15. Seni seviyorum. (Turkish)
  16. Ngiyakuthanda. (Xhosa)

RELATED: Good Night Messages to Make Her Feel Special.

Ways to Say "I Love You" With Physical Touch

Close up of young couple hold hands
  1. Hold them in your arms as you fall asleep.
  2. Spell out "I love you" using your fingers into their palm.
  3. Kiss them on the forehead (or cheek) in passing.
  4. Hold their hands the next time you're walking around.
  5. Offer to give them a massage.
  6. Ask them to put their feet on your lap when watching television or a movie.
  7. Sit on the same side of the table the next time you're at a restaurant.
  8. Rest your head on their shoulder.
  9. Give them a pat or a squeeze when they walk by.
  10. Brush their hair out of their face and tuck it behind their ear.

Ways to Say "I Love You" With Thoughtful Gestures

Love message written on glass shower screen
Daniel VG/Shutterstock
  1. Write "I love you" in the steam left on the bathroom mirror while they're showering.
  2. Prepare a candlelit dinner complete with some of their favorite foods.
  3. Write "I love you" in sidewalk chalk outside your house or apartment.
  4. Invite their friends or family over for a little quality time.
  5. Surprise them by getting their car washed (and make sure they have a full tank of gas).
  6. Schedule an appointment or repair that they keep putting off.
  7. Finish up any incomplete household chores, like folding laundry or washing dishes.
  8. Fill up the pantry or fridge with their favorite foods.
  9. Chill their beer or wine glasses.
  10. Call in and pick up their prescription when they're sick.

RELATED: 134 Good Morning Messages for Him to Start the Day

Ways to Say "I Love You" Using Gifts

woman wearing a gold necklace in the shape of a heart
  1. Give them a personalized gift that reflects something they're either very interested in or very passionate about.
  2. Write love notes and hide them for your partner to find randomly as a sweet surprise.
  3. Put a framed photo of the two of you next to your bedside.
  4. Invest in matching charm bracelets.
  5. Bring home a personalized dessert complete with a special or romantic message.
  6. Surprise them with a special excursion or weekend away.
  7. Reserve two spots in a custom candle-making class.
  8. Purchase a customized item for the household featuring a photo of your partner or both of you together.
  9. Put together a scrapbook or photo album featuring your favorite moments together.
  10. Pick out a piece of jewelry and have it engraved with your initials or your anniversary.

Wrapping Up

That's it for our list of creative ways to say "I love you," but be sure to check in with us again soon for more ways to express your love. You can also sign up for our newsletter so you don't miss out on what's coming next!

Carrie Weisman
Carrie Weisman oversees all SEO efforts at Best Life. She specializes in content optimization and editorial marketing. Read more
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