100 Simple, Nonverbal Ways to Say ‘I Love You”

I love you’ are some of the most special words in the English language. Saying them can feel intoxicating in the sense that the more you say it to your special someone the more you want to say it. And while saying ‘I love you’ to your partner never gets old, there are some cases when you might want to communicate that you love them without saying those three magic words. This is especially important for people who have love languages other than ‘words of affirmation.’ Love languages are the preferred ways in which we give and receive love. There are five different love languages, and every person typically has one way (or a couple ways) they prefer to give and receive love.

The five love languages are giving/receiving gifts, acts of service, quality time, physical touch and words of affirmation. If your partner’s love language is gifts, you can say that you love them a million and one times, but to really show that you love them, it’s important to give them presents large and small. The same goes for the other love languages. As important as it is to tell someone that you love them, you should also make sure that you are expressing this to them in a way that they understand. If your partner’s love language is quality time, then it’s important to make time in your schedule for them! Think of doing this as a way to show your love rather than say it.

Recognizing your partner’s preferred way to receive love will help you support them in the relationship. Not understanding or misunderstanding your partner’s love language can cause them to feel unseen in the relationship. And it can cause grief on your behalf too, because things you are doing to show that you love them are falling on deaf ears. If you are unsure of your partner’s love language, take Relish’s quiz to find out yours, your partner’s, and what that means for your relationship. Understanding love languages is a crucial way to support your partner and your relationship. While there are five distinct love languages, there is also a lot of crossover in the execution of these love languages. You’ll notice below that some things can double up as a gift or an act of service. And quality time has a lot of cross over with physical touch and acts of service. So while there are distinct languages, you can cover a lot of bases by being thoughtful.

Here are a few simple examples of ways that you can show your partner that you love them:

Gifts

If your partner’s love language is ‘receiving gifts’, then it’s important to find ways to give gifts in your relationship. Gift giving is not about buying expensive things or spending a lot of money on them, it’s more about showing your partner that they are on your mind. People whose love language is receiving gifts almost always prefer thoughtful, personal gifts to expensive ones that don’t have much rhyme or reason. Don’t get me wrong, a fancy gift every once in a while will definitely be appreciated, but you should focus on the quality and frequency of your gifts rather than how much you spend. The frequency of gifts is also important. You should definitely have birthdays and gift giving holidays covered, but also consider buying gifts for them out of the blue. Swinging by the flower store on your way home, or grabbing them a baked good when you are at the store will show your partner that they are on your mind. Here are a few simple but thoughtful gifts you can get your partner to show them you love them:

  1. Bring home their favorite dessert
  2. Get them a gift card to their favorite restaurant
  3. Share a funny meme
  4. Get them a souvenir while you are on a trip
  5. Pick some fresh flowers
  6. Send flowers to their office (or home office, these days!)
  7. Buy matching jewelry
  8. Buy a fun holiday card
  9. Gift them something they have been talking about wanting to buy
  10. Pay for a trip together
  11. Make them a playlist
  12. Create a collage for them with couple pics
  13. Write a cute post about them on social media
  14. Gift them an at home date night where you do all the cooking and cleaning up
  15. Venmo them money for a coffee out of the blue
  16. Offer to buy a round of drinks for them and their friends
  17. Get them your favorite book
  18. Buy tickets to see a movie together
  19. Buy tickets to go see a local sports team
  20. Pick up a treat for them while you are at the grocery store

Ready to discover your love language or your partner’s? Take our quiz on the Relish app for FREE during your free trial. Click here to get started!

Acts of Service

If your partner’s love language is ‘acts of service’, you should brainstorm different things that you can do for them to express your love. People that are not very well versed in love languages often don’t automatically think of acts of service as love, so this language can often be overlooked. But there is something super romantic about doing things in service of other people. Taking time out of your day to do a task they hate, to take something off of their plate, or to plan something fun in the future shows that you really see your partner and their needs. Acts of service are also a great gift to give to people, especially if you are worried about spending money. Here are a few things you can do for your partner to express your love for them:

  1. Make their favorite dinner
  2. Meal prep for them for the week
  3. Make the bed
  4. Bring them breakfast in bed
  5. Fold the laundry
  6. Research a solution to one of their problems, e.g. find the best place in town for a car repair
  7. Offer to take a big task off of their plate
  8. Drive them to an important appointment
  9. Ask them what you can do to make their life easier
  10. Let them vent to you when they have a bad day
  11. Do their least favorite chore for them
  12. Get up early and make them coffee before work
  13. Wash their car
  14. Plan a date
  15. Remember to do things that they ask you to do, and try to get ahead of these tasks if they often ask you to do the same thing e.g. do the yard work before the leaves pile up or take the trash cans to the curb before they remind you
  16. Make them a playlist
  17. Give them a podcast recommendation
  18. Do the grocery shopping for the week
  19. Organize the fridge
  20. Plan a trip and handle all of the logistics

Quality Time

A lot of people believe that quality time is the most important love language, and prioritize time with their special someone over everything else. For people with ‘quality time’ as their love language, just being in the presence of their partner is often enough to make them feel loved, but planned activities are often an even better way to show someone that you love them. In this day and age of work, commuting, chores and social obligations it can be hard to find time to spend with your partner, especially if you do not live together. It’s important to learn how to manage your schedule so that you can spend quality time together even if this isn’t your partner’s love language, but it’s ESPECIALLY important if it is. Sometimes canceling other plans to spend time with your partner is the most romantic thing that you can do. Here are some ideas for how to show your partner you love them if their love language is ‘quality time’:

Quality Time

  1. Schedule a night date
  2. Make a conscience effort to put your phone away
  3. Tackle chores like the grocery store as a team
  4. Grab a midday coffee for them
  5. Stay in bed together one morning
  6. Garden together
  7. Visit a museum together
  8. Go to the zoo
  9. Check out the aquarium
  10. Revisit the spot where you had your first date
  11. See a couples counselor to work on making your relationship stronger
  12. Use Relish, a relationship coaching app to improve your relationship
  13. Plan a technology free camping trip
  14. Go on a romantic couples vacation
  15. Clear your schedule so that you can spend time together
  16. Play hooky from work so that you can hang all day long
  17. Plan a couples night with a group of friends
  18. Reschedule something so that you can prioritize quality time with your partner
  19. Take a cooking class together
  20. Sign up for a couples art class

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Physical Touch

Physical touch is a super important part of any romantic relationship. When we say physical touch, sex is often the first thing to comes to mind, and while, yes, sex is important, there are many other forms of physical touch that show your partner that you love them. Hugging them from behind as they are making their coffee in the morning, or sitting close to them on the couch when you are watching a movie are small examples of how you can incorporate more physical touch into your relationship. In addition to focusing on sexual intimacy, it’s important to focus on physical intimacy. Doing activities that encourage you to touch one another like dancing or massage are a great way to connect with a partner who prefers ‘physical touch’ as their love language. Here are a few other examples of ways that you can should your partner that you love them through physical touch:

  1. Give a massage
  2. Snuggle on the couch
  3. Stretch together
  4. Hug more
  5. Sit on the same side of the table
  6. Hold hands
  7. Make up a secret handshake
  8. Kiss them when you leave the house
  9. Hold hands in public
  10. Walk with your arms around each other
  11. Take a dance class together
  12. Prioritize intimacy!
  13. Schedule sex if you need to
  14. Extend foreplay before you have sex
  15. Play footsie at the dinner table
  16. Rest your head on their shoulder
  17. Take a bath together
  18. Kiss them on the forehead
  19. Give them a back scratch
  20. Play with their hair

Words of Affirmation

Last but not least, it’s important to know how to show someone you love them when their love language is ‘words of affirmation’. Words of affirmation are technically not a form of nonverbal communication, but there are ways to show your partner that you love them without saying the words ‘I love you’ and that’s what we are getting at here. Like we said before, those words never get old, but when your partner prefers words of affirmation, you will need to get a little creative with your language. In addition to saying those three magic words, you can show your partner you support them by being verbally supportive of their goals, actively listening to them when they talk to you and by going out of your way to talk about the things that you love about them. Here are some examples of some things that you can say to show your partner that you love them:

  1. Tell them they’re doing a great job
  2. Say you are proud of them
  3. Tell them you are grateful that they are in your life
  4. List out all the things you love about them
  5. Give them a compliment
  6. Praise them in front of other people
  7. Tell them you love them as they are walking out of the door
  8. Work on saying something kind after having a fight or disagreement
  9. Write them a love letter
  10. Write a poem
  11. Write a song about them
  12. Leave sticky notes around the house with things you love about them
  13. Send a cute good morning text
  14. Send a sweet good night text
  15. Call them when you have a spare minute during the day, just to say you are thinking about them
  16. Leave them a voicemail that shares a memory you have with them
  17. Send a cute voice message over text
  18. Tell them about you a dream you had about them
  19. Share your favorite memory you have of them
  20. Call them to say you miss them when they’re away

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