When it comes to love, falling into it is a lot easier than maintaining it. There’s a reason, after all, that it’s called “falling” in love, because it’s mostly out of your control — the heart just takes over.
Because those emotions come so easily and naturally at first, it may feel strange later on when it actually takes a little work to maintain and support those feelings. But here’s the deal: It really isn’t that complicated to keep those loving feelings alive so long as you do the small things to maintain it, like knowing what to say to your partner every day to create the emotional feedback loop that keeps your connection strong and passionate.
While showing your partner your love verbally is not that complicated, it does take some actual effort on your part — and even some uncomfortable emotional honesty sometimes. But hey, isn’t love worth the effort? Of course it is. There’s nothing better than loving someone and feeling that in return. But in order to receive it, you have to give it, too. It’s kind of amazing how powerful your words can be in your relationship, so use them to strengthen your bond by always making the effort to tell your partner these things every day.
1. “I LOVE YOU.”
OK, this one might seem pretty obvious, or maybe you think it’s enough to show it in your actions, but we all need to hear it sometimes, too. Just make sure that when you are expressing how you feel, it’s not just an empty call and response. Be present in the words and say it like you mean it. Because you do!
2. “I LIKE YOU.”
Love may be the big emotion, but “like,” in some ways, is even more gratifying. It means you dig them as a person, that they are special and fun, and you want to be around them. You’re not just lovers, you’re friends. In other words, to you, they are the whole package. Tell them that.
3. “THANK YOU.”
Always take the time to show your partner that you appreciate them. Nothing kills love faster than feeling taken for granted. Big gestures are wonderful and romantic, but love is really made of all the little things we do for another, simply because we love them. Don’t let those little moments get swept by. Acknowledge them.
4. “HOW ARE YOU?”
One of the most loving things you can do is to simply check in with your partner emotionally, making sure you know how they are feeling and offering support when they need it. We feel the most loved when someone takes an interest in our wellbeing, so make an effort to be that person for each other by simply asking how they are and giving them an invitation to share the highs and the lows of what’s going on in their life.
5. “YOU MAKE ME HAPPY.
It just feels good to know we’re making the people we love happy. It also reinforces all the good things they are doing for you. Knowing what they’re doing is working will encourage them to do it even more. A win-win for everyone.
6. “HERE’S WHAT I NEED.”
Now, I’m not talking about a laundry list of to-dos. No, this is all about having a straightforward conversation about your needs with your partner, rather than bottling up your feelings until you explode or start being passive aggressive. Sometimes, it can be hard to just come out about what we need in a relationship, because it feels very vulnerable. However, it’s the only way to make sure both of your needs are being addressed without resentment or frustration.
7. “I HEAR YOU.”
Sometimes, it feels like a real struggle to truly be “heard,” in the figurative sense, so when your partner makes an effort to hear you and acknowledge what you are saying, it is powerful.
8. “YOU ARE SO HOT.”
Feeling desired is a big plus for a lot of people, especially over time, when things in the bedroom inevitably slow down a bit. So reinforcing that you love, like, and want your partner, both emotionally and physically, is a great way to keep the love burning bright.
9. “I BELIEVE IN YOU.”
If your partner doesn’t believe in you, what is the point of even being together? If you are planning to be together long-term (or even short-term, really), you always want to encourage each other to reach for more and achieve more. One of the ways you do that is by simply letting them know that you believe they can achieve it.
10. “I’VE GOT YOUR BACK.”
Along with knowing your partner knowing you believe in them, it also helps them to know that, should they fail, you’ll be right there supporting them when they need it most and helping them to get back up if they fall.
See? It’s not too hard to show them the love in your words. While it may seem like a bit of work at first, over time, it becomes a habit — a heathy one that helps you both feel love, supported, and heard. And who couldn’t use more of that in their everyday lives?
Credit: RACHEL SHATTO