18 unconventional ways to say, ‘I love you!’

Written by Sara Garrison

Telling someone that you love them is an integral part of successful human relationships. Demonstrating your love for another is also extremely important to maintaining a healthy relationship, while helping your love life thrive.

“Intimacy with a loved one should not just take place on Valentine’s Day. It is important to show your loved one that you care throughout the year,” says Vickie Pennick, licensed marriage and family therapist with Pennick Family Therapy. “In a relationship, it is important to understand your partner’s love language and what makes them happy. It is also extremely important to be intentional in showing your love, while not doing the same thing every day or every holiday.”

As Valentine’s Day approaches, here are a few fun and fresh ways to say, “I love you.”

1. Love letters. Write a love note and send it in the mail. This unexpected note is a great way to show you care.

2. Balloon bonanza. Fill a room with balloons for a dramatic demonstration of your affection.

3. Surprise your spouse with a special dinner. Whether you cook a dish or visit your favorite restaurant, surprise meals are a great way to spark intimacy.

4. Bath bliss. Surprise your loved one with a special bath full of bubbles, candles and rose petals for a fantastic, relaxing demonstration.

5. Surprise sporting event. Buy tickets to watch your spouse’s favorite sports team. Whether your loved one likes the Shockers, Jayhawks, Wildcats or Chiefs, surprise them with a special date night.

6. Cooking class. Enjoy a romantic night out while learning how to prepare your favorite culinary creations.

7. Art appreciation. Surprise your spouse with tickets to hear their favorite singer, enjoy a theatre performance or tour an art gallery.

8. Post-it-note parade. Write compliments, poems and sweet messages on Post-it Notes and spread them around the house for your loved one to find.

9. Clean the house. Even the most basic of tasks are wonderful ways to show you care.

10. Take-out treat. Does your loved one have a favorite entrée or dessert from a special restaurant? Surprise them at lunch or after work with their favorite treat.

11. Call to say, “I love you.” The famous song says it all. Unexpected phone calls for the sole purpose of saying that you love a person are priceless.

12. Breakfast in bed. Who doesn’t like being catered to and adored? Breakfast in bed is rejuvenating, considerate and meaningful.

13. Power of touch. As life happens, touch is often forgotten, but touching your spouse is a huge part of intimacy. Don’t forget to hug, hold hands and cuddle your loved one.

14. Love language. Have an intimate conversation with your partner and truly listen. There is nothing sexier than having someone's full attention when you are talking. Put the phone down for an uninterrupted, intentional conversation.

15. Couples massage. Surprise your spouse with a couples massage at your favorite spa. If a spa date is out of your budget, grab your loved one’s favorite lotion and give them a massage at home.

16. Meaningful “me time.” For the stay-at-home spouse or the busy executive, it is important to offer your loved one time away to recharge. This caring act is an invaluable demonstration of caring and respect.

17. Thank and compliment your spouse. Everyone wants to feel valued and appreciated. The simple act of admiring your spouse and giving them a heartfelt “thank you” is important.

18. A picture gift. Create a picture book or poster of your favorite memories to give your partner. This gift idea is a tangible way to demonstrate what you admire about your loved one.

“Making a relationship last requires a partnership between two people that includes mutual commitment and respect,” says Pennick. “Intimacy is essential to successful relationships. It is important to go outside the routine and try something new to keep the relationship fresh and exciting.”

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