Relationship Advice: 5 Things That Mean More Than I Love You

By Jackie Pilossoph, Creator and Editor-in-chief, Divorced Girl Smiling site, podcast and app, Love Essentially columnist and author

relationship advice

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.

Click here to read the rest of the article, published yesterday in Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press.


Buy novels by Jackie Pilossoph



Featured Expert Articles

Jackie Pilossoph Jackie Pilossoph
Creator, Editor-in-chief, Divorced Girl Smiling
20 Things I Wish I Could Have Told My Newly Separated Self

20 Things I Wish I Could Have Told My Newly Separated Self

Elaine Koby Mossr Elaine Koby Moss
Vice-president and Senior Advisor, Vestor Capital
Want Financial Security After Divorce? Here’s Your Checklist

Want Financial Security After Divorce? Here’s Your Checklist

Dan Stefani Dan Stefani
Divorce Attorney, Principal, Katz & Stefani
Thinking About Divorce? Here Is Your Legal Consultation

Thinking About Divorce? Here Is Your Legal Consultation

Leslie Glazier Leslie Glazier
Real Estate Agent, @properties, Certified Real Estate Divorce Specialist
Leslie Glazier, real estate agent

Leslie Glazier, Real Estate Agent: My Review

Don Gordon Don Gordon, Ph.D
Executive Director, The Center for Divorce Education

7 Things That Contribute To Negative Effects of Divorce on Children

Ellen Feldman Brian James Ellen Feldman and Brian James
Divorce Mediators, C.E.L. & Associates
Child on a swing

How Does Mediation Work? A Step-by-Step Process

Jackie Pilossoph

Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

Divorced Girl Smiling is here to empower, connect and inspire you. Jackie Pilossoph is the creator and Editor-In-Chief of Divorced Girl Smiling, the site, the podcast and the app. A former television journalist and newspaper features reporter, Pilossoph is also the author of four novels and the writer of her weekly relationship column, Love Essentially. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism and lives in Chicago with her two teenagers. The author of the novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase, Pilossoph also writes the weekly dating and relationships advice column, “Love Essentially”, published in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press and the Chicago Tribune online. Additionally, she is a Huffington Post contributor. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University.

2 Responses to “Relationship Advice: 5 Things That Mean More Than I Love You”

  1. Dave

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


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *