Those three little words are magic the first time you hear them from your significant other, but let's face it, as your relationship progresses, saying "I love you" doesn't quite hold the same impact. After a few years in a relationship, "I love you" is the thing you say as you're heading out the door, and while it would definitely bother you if your partner suddenly stopped saying it, you don't think about it much when they do.
Perhaps a more impactful way people in committed relationships express their love is through deeds. A recent AskReddit thread prompted folks to share the ways their significant others make them feel deeply loved without saying it. The results were incredibly sweet and total #relationshipgoals. Some of you may be asking your partner to step it up after reading these 15 ways people's spouses show their adoration.
Long distance relationships are tough, but people who were in committed relationships with somebody far away from them for the moment shared many sweet ways their partners bridge the distance between them. For example, FatalPenguins currently lives several states away from his girlfriend to be closer to his son, so she "refills my Alamo Drafthouse movie gift card when it runs out," he says. "Going to movies was our thing and it's her way of showing she misses me."
A user named yesterdaysfeelings_ says their spouse wakes up before them and makes coffee. "Then he goes back to sleep. He does this EVERY. DAY."
Color me impressed. I honestly can't live without coffee, and my husband, who usually gets up before me, always hears me stirring and makes sure a fresh cup waits for me on the counter as I pass the kitchen to the living room. But this guy is taking it to the next level, getting up even though he doesn't have to, just to make sure his honey is perfectly caffeinated.
Chimpanzees and gorillas do it, and so do some human couples, as evidenced by MossyMav88. His wife shaves his back for him when they shower together, then gives him a shoulder massage and "finally, she'll wrap her arms around me, lean into my back, and rest her head on my shoulder blades." He says this ritual shows that she knows he hates his hairy back, plus that he carries tension in his shoulders. "Combine that with her holding me and I'll stay there until the hot water runs out."
Most people listen to music or podcasts on their commute home, but not kebel23's husband, who still to this day calls every day at 4:30 p.m. when he leaves work and talks to her the entire 45-minute drive home.
"I hear him pull up outside the house and he’ll say ‘bye, see you in a minute’ then comes in and says Hi and kisses me as though we haven’t just spent the last 45 minutes talking," she says. Honestly, the fact that they have 45 minutes of stuff to talk about every day is remarkable enough for people in a long-term relationship. And for those concerned this romantic is endangering people on the road, he always uses the car audio system for his rush hour chats.
Fizzymilk89 says "everything she does" makes him feel loved, but the number one thing is how she accepts and accommodates his phobia: he's "terrified' of the garbage disposal. "I refuse to use it and don't want to be in the same room when it's on," he says. And the "one little thing" she does that makes him feel loved and respected is never making fun of him for this fear and also letting him know ahead of time when she's going to run it so he can go into another room and cover his ears first. This is really sweet.
Some people are morning people, but those of us who struggle with getting up in the morning can be a real chore first thing. Self-identifying as "the heaviest sleeper and incredibly grumpy in the morning," downstairs_annie says the big unspoken way her boyfriend shows his love is by helping her wake up every morning. He brings her tea, gently encourages her to get up, and even grabs her clothes to wear. "Without him I would probably not get up like ever, and fail all my uni courses," she says.
Most happily married couples will tell you that you don't just choose each other once; you choose each other every day. One way chaoticgoodsystem's husband does that is by proposing — even though they're already married. "He asks me to marry him and I'll roll my eyes and say we're already married and he'll say 'again,'" she writes.
It's his way of saying he would do it all over again, "no matter what we're going through as a couple or how disastrous my mental health may be."
We all like to be reminded we're physically attractive to our partner, even after years of seeing each other at our worst. CafeConeja's boyfriend gets it. The way he makes her feel loved is by trying to grab her attention when she's not looking at him so he can get a better look.
"He'll say 'hey' and when I turn around he'll go, 'Nothing, I just like your face.'" It's a sweet and unexpected boost and a super cute power move. I strongly suggest all people in relationships — especially men — try it on their partners.
Obviously physical contact is an important part of intimacy in long-term relationships, but it isn't just about sex. A lot of people pointed to the small (PG) expressions of physical affection that make them feel deeply loved. For example, strawberrypops's partner "never passes me without contact." And if they're passing him in a hallway or room, "he always reaches his hand out for me. It's incredible comforting and loving."
This one is weird but adorable, and I think anyone who is a pet owner will likely find it endearing as well. Someone with the highly appropriate username catzandcatsandcatz says their partner brings the cats to them when they're laying down. It's like the grownup equivalent of handing someone a stuffed animal to cuddle when they go down for a nap!
Another user, h8sand, says they have a thing called "cat of truce" where after settling an argument, one will bring the other the cat and say, "cat of truce," which signals the fight is over. "Tillie has no idea she's the best moderator."
God, how good does it feel when someone notices you need something and just gives it to you before you even have to ask? I think probably the number one way people can make others feel loved is by noticing little things, like KaideyCakes's partner.
"If he goes to the store to pick up something he needs, he will bring back something I am out of or almost out of without my asking him to," she writes. Most recently, he noticed she was nearly out of facial cleanser, so he picked some up — and he even remembered the particular brand and type.
SomeKindOfKong's partner makes sure he's safe when they're crossing the street together. "He grabs my hand, walks ahead and looks both ways to make sure I'm safe to enter the road," he says. "We are both grown men and it can seem a little silly but it makes me smile every time."
OK, I honestly gasped "Awww!" out loud when I read this one. Redditor moderatelycomposed and their partner have different work schedules and therefore different bedtimes. However, even though he goes to bed a few hours earlier, "when I crawl onto bed he'll roll over to face me and he'll reach around until he finds my hand and go right back to sleep," they write. Something about someone reaching out to you lovingly even when they're barely conscious is just so heartwarming. I love it.
Oh this one is huge: a few people pointed to chores they hate that their partner will do for them simply because they know it's the thing their partner hates the most. For me it's laundry. I don't harbor any illusions that my husband likes doing laundry, but he also knows I would rather do literally any other chore on earth, so I probably wouldn't even have to take off my shoes to count the number of times I've done laundry since we got together.
For 50thusernameidea, the dreaded task is dishes. "It's the chore I hate the most and he does them every day without complaint."
Gheto_rhino's partner makes them feel loved by making sure they're heard in situations where others might drown them out. "When I get interrupted she makes sure that I can continue what I was saying," they said adding that she's "the only person who listens to my bulls--t." It's so important to feel like your partner has your back and this is a small but significant way to do it.