How often do you say “I love you?” In my Love Essentially column, published yesterday in Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press, I offer relationship advice that has to do with things that might mean a lot more to your spouse than “I love you.”
5 Great Alternatives to “I Love You” by Jackie Pilossoph
When it comes to saying “I love you,” I have always believed there are two kinds of people: Those who feel the need to shower their loved ones with the sentiment (that would be me), and those who seldom say it, choosing instead to show their love through actions, and savoring those three special words for meaningful occasions.
While “I love you” is a wonderfully kind thing to say, and almost always appreciated, there are other meaningful sentiments that everyone wants and needs to hear from their spouse, but for some reason, they’re said so much less often.
Here are five great alternatives to “I love you,” each that 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.
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 kids 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.
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.