Saying “I love you” to your partner for the first time is a milestone in a relationship.
But over time, even those three magic words can start to sound ordinary to the point of meaninglessness.
If you’re in this predicament, here are eleven other ways to say “I love you” when it sounds cliché.
1. YOU ARE MY FAVORITE PERSON
Sometimes simplicity is more powerful than even the most romantic Shakespearean sonnet. Telling someone that they are your favorite person is a simple statement of fact that will pull at their heartstrings and convey just how much they mean to you. You can love more than one person, but you can’t have more than one favorite.
2. THERE’S NO ONE I’D RATHER BE SHARING THIS MOMENT WITH
Shared experiences are the bedrock of a solid relationship. The joys and challenges of seeing the world together and going on adventures create an unshakable bond of memories and acquired knowledge. Expressing how glad you are to be sharing those moments with the person you love will leave them with no doubt as to your feelings.
3. I CAN’T BELIEVE HOW LUCKY I AM TO BE WITH YOU
Once you’ve been with someone for a while, it’s inevitable to start taking them for granted. You lose objectivity about why you fell for them in the first place, and even though you mean it when you say “I love you,” the feeling has become routine. Reminding yourself of how lucky you are to be with them and it communicating that feeling with your partner will bring the quality of your relationship back into focus.
4. THANK YOU
Appreciation is one of the most important things we can express in our relationships. In fact, researchers found that saying “thank you” could even save your marriage. According to data from the University of Georgia, feeling appreciated by your spouse influences how much you value your relationship and your commitment to it.
5. I CAN’T TAKE MY EYES OFF YOU
Genuine flattery will make your partner feel wanted in a whole other way. Everyone wants to be loved, but when you’ve been with someone for a while, your love may feel so cozy and comfortable that you forget the rush of adrenaline and lust you felt for each other in the beginning. Telling your partner that their appearance still makes you weak will remind them of the underlying desire you still have.
6. I LOVE SEEING YOU THIS HAPPY
One of the things you learn when you fall in love (or have children) is that you can feel happy just by witnessing someone else’s happiness. It is one of the purest and most selfless forms of love. If you can celebrate your partner’s successes and joys even when it has nothing to do with you, you are truly in love.
7. YOUR SMILE MAKES MY DAY
When seeing your partner’s face has the power to erase all the drudgery and frustration of your day, you know you have something special. Letting them know that their warmth and comfort can ease your mind is another way of communicating that you are in love with them.
8. YOU BRING SO MUCH JOY TO MY LIFE
There are reasons why going the full Jerry Maguire, “You complete me” route is problematic. However romantic the movie makes that statement sound, it promotes the idea that a person isn’t whole until they’ve found someone to love. It makes love seem like a necessity, not a bonus. Instead, tell your partner that they contribute to your life. You feel lucky to be with them because they add immeasurable value, not because they make you whole.
9. I’LL DO IT.
Sometimes the most romantic gestures are mundane. Picking up the slack when your partner is tired and run down is one of the best ways to show your love. Taking out the trash, making breakfast, and cleaning up after the kids have made a mess are acts of service that will fill your partner with gratitude and comfort. Being in love means that you take care of each other when one of you is struggling. “I’ll do it” is a deceptively simple expression of love and support.