7 Things You Can Say Instead of Saying I Love You

instead of saying I love you

By Jackie Pilossoph, Founder, Divorced Girl Smiling, the place to find trusted, vetted divorce professionals, a podcast, website and mobile app.

I am one of those people who believes that there is no such thing as saying I love you too much. It’s a wonderful thing to hear, and I wish people would say it more. But, I also think people say it in certain circumstances when they might be better served saying something else. In other words, there are things you can say instead of saying I love you that might mean more in certain instances.

Here are six things you can say instead of saying I love you that each deliver a heartfelt and meaningful message.



1. I respect you.

You can be madly in love with someone, but the relationship will fall short if one person doesn’t feel respected by the other. When someone says “I respect you,” they are saying they hold you in high regard, they admire you, they are proud of you. So, by saying “I respect you,” you are lifting the one you love high off the ground. You’re helping them fly.


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2. I appreciate you.

One of the biggest relationship issues couples face is one or both not feeling appreciated by their spouse for all they do to contribute. Most people I know who work and have children are constantly feeling overwhelmed with everything we have to do. So, wouldn’t it be nice if your spouse sat you down, handed you a glass of wine, looked into your eyes and instead of saying “I love you,” simply said, “I appreciate you?” Saying that validates all the time and effort a person puts into supporting and caring for others.


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3. I like you.

Doesn’t it feel great when you know someone likes you? So, don’t you want the person you are spending your life with to not only love you, but to actually like you? “I like you” means I enjoy spending time with you, I like the kind of person you are, you’re fun, you’re funny, you’re kind, you’re interesting. Friendship in marriage or a serious relationship really is the key to being happy and fulfilled. In fact, “like” in a marriage is probably just as important (if not more so) than love.

4. I’m committed to you.

What wonderful words to hear from a spouse. Everyone who has ever been in a long term relationship knows that things can get rocky. They aren’t always picture perfect. People love hearing that their spouse is in for the long haul. That he/she isn’t going to jump ship when things aren’t perfect. Saying I’m committed to you instead of saying I love you makes someone feel safe and warm, like they can trust you.


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5. I’m Sorry.

When couples fight and then they make up, they might say I love you, when in reality, it’s so much better to say I’m sorry. For many people, saying I’m sorry is a lot harder than saying I love you because you are being vulnerable. That can feel scary. It takes courage to apologize and admit fault. It takes self-awareness and introspection. Saying I’m sorry instead of saying I love you will make your spouse have a lot more respect for you.

6. I miss you.

I miss you can mean so many things. You can be on a business trip and call your husband and tell him you miss him. Or, you can see each other every night and feel like the person is being distant and say I miss you. I miss you is so lovely because it shows your spouse that you really want to be with him or her, that his/her presence in your life is meaningful.

7. You bring out the best in me.

This is my favorite. I’m not even going to explain it. Just say it to your spouse and see what happens!

Like this article? Check out, “9 Signs of a healthy romantic relationship”

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    Divorced Girl Smiling welcome video
    Jackie Pilossoph

    Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

    Jackie Pilossoph is the Founder of Divorced Girl Smiling, the media company that connects people facing with divorce to trusted, vetted divorce professionals. Pilossoph is a former NBC affiliate television journalist and Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press features reporter. Her syndicated column, Love Essentially was published in the Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press and Tribune owned publications for 7 1/2 years. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University. Learn more at: DivorcedGirlSmiling.com

    2 Responses to “7 Things You Can Say Instead of Saying I Love You”

    1. Dave

      I want to email Jackie but can’t find her address. Could someone email it to me? Thank you


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