"This Is Why I Love You:" How To Express Love

By Corrina Horne |Updated August 10, 2022

Explore New Ways To Express Your Love

Is there anything more wonderful than to hear or say, "I love you?" Being able to tell someone you love them for the first time is a powerful, intimate moment, whether it is to a new friend you've welcomed into your life, a romantic partner, or a squirming bundle of joy. The most direct means of expressing love is to simply say the words: "I love you." There are countless other ways to express love aside from this phrase’s simplicity and straightforward nature, and many other means of expressing love can more effectively and creatively tell someone you love them.

Why Should You Express Love?

Expressing and demonstrating love are important aspects of any loving relationship. Even in a parent-child relationship, regular demonstrations and expressions of love are absolutely essential in maintaining a sense of stability and safety. In friendship, showing love is important, and in romance, being able to express your feelings for your partner (or prospective partner) is one of the most important things. Why? If you feel loved but do not express love, your partner, parent, or loved one is unlikely to realize or understand the depth of your feelings for them.

Although many people might feel safe and secure in relationships without regular praise and verbal expressions of commitment and adoration, most people do enjoy being consistently told that they are loved, valued, and seen. If you’re thankful for something about your loved ones, you should express that appreciation, not only for their well-being but also for your own. Expressing love may lead to improved mental health and a continuous bond of intimacy and trust for both you and your loved one.

Nonverbal Expressions Of Love

Sometimes, actions speak louder than words. Nonverbal expressions of love are most commonly relegated to physical expressions of affection. These might be subtle, such as giving your partner a back rub, or always trying to be physically close, or maybe overt, such as constantly holding hands with their partner or hugging and touching on a near-constant basis. Physical affection is often a key aspect of a loving romantic relationship and can help partners stay close by increasing intimacy.

One of the simplest nonverbal expressions of love is a simple smile; smiling at your partner is a gentle, quiet way of demonstrating love and care, as a smile can go a long way in expressing approval and affection. Parents are often caught smiling at their children's antics, friends are very often seen smiling and laughing together, and partners are often witnessed just smiling at one another. Smiling is an important part of nonverbally demonstrating love.


Verbal Expressions Of Love


The most obvious verbal expression of love is simply saying, "I love you." Far from the only means of verbally expressing love, though, "I love you" sometimes fails to encompass the breadth of your feelings for someone. To verbally express your love, you might include your partner in plans you are making for the future, demonstrating your hope that the two of you will be together long-term. You can welcome your partner into family conversations regarding preferred traditions and practices, too, suggesting that the two of you will be together for the long haul.

Telling your partner all of their positive attributes can also demonstrate your love, as it shows your partner exactly what it is that you love about them. You can mention your partner's skills and habits or focus entirely on matters of character; whatever you choose, be sure to highlight the traits, characteristics, and behaviors that bring a smile to your face and warmth to your chest.


Bragging about your loved one is another way to demonstrate love verbally. Talking about your loved one's accomplishments, goals, or abilities not only shows your partner how much you care for them, but it also indicates to others that you feel proud of your connection and that you are on the same side. You can do this directly when you introduce your partner to friends, family, coworkers, and other important people in your world; or you can do this over social media, drawing attention to your partner's accomplishments after a particularly difficult task is completed, or a milestone is achieved. And, of course, it’s always important that you don’t forget to truly listen to your partner when they talk to you, which is a great way of letting them know you care.

Creative Expressions Of Love

If simple acts and phrases aren't quite your style, there are numerous creative ways to express love for a person you care about. Creating a gift for a loved one can communicate love and devotion, particularly if the item in question is something special and unique between the two of you. Perhaps one of the most classic methods of expressing love creatively is through creating poetry for a loved one; poets have created ballads and simple verses for their loved ones for hundreds of years, and the practice is unlikely to go anywhere soon.

In a similar vein, you can use music and lyrics to express your love for someone. Creating a powerful melody to highlight your partner's beauty is one way to use music to express love. You can also create lyrics for your loved one or a combination of the two. Videos are another similar method of expressing love for someone, as you can create a visible representation that allows you to express your feelings for someone else.

Other creative ways to express love can include planting a tree or flowers; planting something in honor of the two of you can demonstrate your wish for your bond to stand the test of time, just as you hope your plant thrives and grows.

Exploring Love Languages

Exploring your Love Language and that of your partner is another way to demonstrate love in fresh, different ways. Love Language tests can help you determine what forms of expression you prefer and make you feel most loved. The five Love Languages include Physical Touch, Acts of Service, Words of Affirmation, Receiving Gifts, and Quality Time. Each of these represents a unique way to give love and receive love, and it is common for two people with very different preferences about how to give and receive love to enter into a relationship. This can initially cause some friction within the relationship, as one or both partners might not feel appropriately loved and seen.

Explore New Ways To Express Your Love

Discovering one another's Love Language can help you understand how to best express love for your partner and help you communicate how you will best feel loved. People who prefer Physical Touch may want a good back rub and intimacy from their partner. People for whom Acts of Service are the best way to feel and show love might hope their partner will gas up their car from time to time or take care of an important task without being asked. Individuals for whom Quality Time is important may want to spend hours just being together and giving each other their undivided attention, without a specific agenda or plan in mind. For someone whose Love Language is Receiving Gifts, receiving small tokens on a regular basis is ideal. And for someone who functions best with Words of Affirmation, taking time to write a sweet note or give a well-placed compliment each day will speak volumes.

Love Languages are not ways to determine who is low maintenance or who requires the most from the other in order to feel loved; instead, they are tools to help couples (and families) navigate the complexities of love while making sure everyone feels and experiences the type of love they flourish in.

When Expressing Of Love Is Undesirable

In some instances, expressions of love should be kept to a minimum. In the case of unrequited love, unending expressions of love are unlikely to be well-received and could even become grounds for deep discomfort or anxiety. If you express love, affection, or attraction for someone and they do not reciprocate, it may be time to retreat. Expressing love can also be undesirable in instances where one or both parties are unavailable. If someone is in a serious relationship or marriage, for instance, expressions of love toward them are best withheld. If someone is significantly younger or older, expressing love should also be regarded with extreme caution. Although love is a beautiful thing, certain circumstances require one or both parties to exercise caution or restraint.

How To Effectively Express Love

Expressing love is a multifaceted, varied thing, and each expression will depend on the relationship you have with your loved ones, the intimacy you share, and the depth of your love. Regular expressions of love encourage trust, intimacy, and security within relationships, and create a wonderful sense of bonding and community among friends and romantic partners alike.

Expressing love will look different for everyone based on what you like and hope for and what your partner or other loved one wants and hopes for in your relationship. There is no single way to correctly or effectively express love. Instead, expressing love is a constant ebb-and-flow, or give-and-take, wherein you and the person with whom you are communicating express your love, affection, and commitment, and wait for the return of a similar sentiment. Some periods might see fewer expressions of love, as in moments of great stress or transition, and others will see over-the-top expressions, as in the first few weeks after moving in together or the first few months of a new relationship. As you grow to learn more about your partner and yourself, your loving expressions will continue to grow and evolve.

Every relationship has its ups and downs. Therapy can be an effective way to learn ways to express love and strengthen your relationships, both romantic, professional, and among friends and family members. A recent study indicates that couples who work with an online counselor (as opposed to a therapist in a traditional brick and mortar office) find the format conducive to sharing their feelings in a way that left them feeling less judged. Participants went on to say that video-based therapy allowed them to focus more intently on the therapeutic process and offered a greater sense of control and comfort than traditional face-to-face therapy.

BetterHelp is committed to pairing individuals—and couples—with counselors they can trust in a convenient phone, email, text, or video format that makes it so easy to schedule a time to talk through relationship challenges. Counselors on BetterHelp are certified by their state's professional board and highly experienced: every therapist has at least three years and 1,000 hours of hands-on experience. Consider these recent reviews from people who have sought relationship advice from BetterHelp therapists.

“I'm only 2 sessions in; however, Josua Rine has exceeded my expectations of this process. He has offered sensible and sound advice, guiding me in pursuit of my mental health goals, helping me work through relationships, and sharing tools that are useful during times of difficulty.”

“Judi helped me make a lot of decisions and be more communicative in my interpersonal relationships. She is a great listener and gives fantastic advice.”


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