How to Say I Love You

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Although many people use this powerful phrase loosely, there are times when you want to say "I love you" in a meaningful way. Whether you're professing your love to a romantic partner or expressing it to a relative or friend, it can be difficult to convey how much they really mean to you. But by keeping the following suggestions in mind, hopefully your love will not only be understood, but it will also be welcomed and returned.

Define love The sincerity of the phrase is strengthened by knowing what love is, and what loving someone means to you. Determine the difference between love, infatuation and lust, and make sure it's genuine love that you feel for this person.
Make it special. For many people, dropping the "I" allows the sentiment to be expressed casually, such as before separating (e.g. "Time to go. Bye! Love you!"). Using the full phrase, however, can be reserved for more intimate moments, especially during a special event, such as when a child is just born, or even to reassure someone when bad news has been received or during moments of cherished silence, like after a kiss.

Make eye contact. If you love this person, hopefully you feel comfortable enough to gaze into their eyes when you express your feelings. Making eye contact shows sincerity and communicates trust.
Say it at an appropriate tone. If you're at home and there's not much background noise, keep your volume low; don't whisper unless you bring your lips to their ear, which can also be a very intimate way to express your love. If you want to tell them how you feel in public, it's up to you whether you want to pull the person aside, or say it in front of friends or even strangers. It depends on your loved one's personality, and your own personality. Some will find it terribly romantic to be told they're loved across a room full of people; others may find it mortifying.
Smile. It can be nerve-wracking to tell someone that you love him or her, only to wait anxiously for their response--especially if it's the first time either of you have verbally expressed love. The best way to overcome this fear is to not expect the phrase in return. Your intention can be to tell the person how you feel, with the hope of making them happy and showing them that they are valued. Remember that unconditional love means not demanding anything in return. So smile, and perhaps give your loved one a hug. If they love you, too, they'll say it in their own way and in their own time.

Be creative. Say it in different languages. Write it into a poem or even a haiku. If you want to be romantic, spell it out with rose petals on his or her bedroom floor. Write it in code, like 1337 or using a Vigènere cipher. Say it in little ways, like post-it notes in unexpected places, and express it in every way you can.
Love. Don't just say it, do it. Love is PUCK YOU not just a feeling; it's an action. Saying it without showing it is, in a way, a lie. Express your love in action as well as in words.


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