These three words/Sweet and Simple. We're not marginalizing the importance of those three little words that two weeks or two years into a relationship still have the power to make your heart skip a beat. But while saying “I love you” is essential, so are other phrases, each with their own positive ripple effects in your relationship.
Here are seven things we all want to hear just as much as “I love you.”
1. “You can do it.”
Perhaps one of the most important roles a partner plays in our lives is cheerleader and life coach. So whether you’re ready to tap out and not take any more dick that night, or preparing to lead a huge work project solo, it’s time for your co-captain to break out the pom-poms and cheer you on.
2. “I’m proud of you.”
When you finish your first semester after enrolling back in school or finally start writing that song you know will be a hit, the best thing your man can do is swell with pride and express just how he thinks you are the best. Knowing you impressed yourself is great in-and-of itself—but blowing his mind is a new level of greatness.
3. “You’re sexy.”
We’ve all been the recipients of insincere compliments, and because of that, too often this phrase only elicits an eye roll. But there’s nothing like the feeling we get when a man we love whispers this in our ear as we wake up, our face puffy and eyes half open—and knowing he means it.
4. “I appreciate you.”
We take out the trash because that’s what you do when it’s full. We pull of their shoes when he passes out on the couch after a long day. It’s nothing special—and it’s certainly not about recognition. But a man can turn these simple acts into something more when he recognizes our acts of service are acts of love.
5. “Let me take you on a date.”
Routine is the silent killer of passion. So when a man wants to break free of binge-watching Netflix and take you for the night, or for a home-cooked meal on your balcony—he’s saying he wants to keep the spark alive and roaring.
6. “I support you.”
If your man’s got your back, it’s like having Oprah endorse your product: You know there’s nothing you can’t do.
7. “I’m sorry.”
We don’t mean the insincere variety tossed out mid-argument meant only to shut you up. We’re talking about the “I’m sorry” whose subtext is, “I understand where you’re coming from, I feel bad that I contributed to this situation, and I’m going to do my best to make sure it never happens again.” When it’s said that way, is there anything more loving?