When a relationship is new, both of you are seeing the world through rose-colored glasses. Everything is fresh and new. As you look at each other, you see someone who is exciting and perfect. Even the world around you seems brighter and happier than it did before you found each other. In that “new” stage of a relationship, it’s easy to say loving things to each other.
Those sweet words come naturally when you are together, and then via text or phone at all hours of the day and night when you are apart.
Over time, however, things start to change. Challenges occur, flaws emerge. The rose-colored glasses come off and reality sets in. This is when love begins to morph a bit.
In this more established stage of love (ideally, the longest part of your relationship), saying loving things toward each other takes a bit more effort. Love takes more effort, but practice makes perfect! As you weather storms together in life, you develop a deeper love and appreciation for each other than ever before.
If you’ve been out of that “new” stage for a while and want to support the development of a deeper, more mature love, look no further. One of the best things you can do for your marriage or relationship is to practice saying these little phrases as often as possible.
Here are 10 things to say to your partner to keep your love alive:
- You Look Great
As you both grow older, compliments can mean more than ever since wrinkles and extra pounds tend to increase with each passing year. If you can say, “You look great!” what you are actually saying is, “I'm still physically attracted to you.” So with each passing year, your spouse will know that you still enjoy their outer as well as their inner beauty.
- Thank You
After a couple has been together for awhile, it’s normal for them to take each other for granted. We come to expect the other person to fulfill his or her role without asking and without noticing when they’re done well. “Thank you” are the two simplest words to say, but also the most important. When you say this, what you are indeed saying is, “I appreciate everything you do for me.” Your partner will feel good that you noticed and took the time to say so.
- I Think You’re Amazing
When we choose to be with someone for years and years, sometimes we think that the other person must magically know what we think. After all, we would not spend so much time together if we didn’t think the world of the other person, right? It’s time to vocalize those thoughts. Tell your partner, “I think you’re amazing.” What you are really saying is, “I think you're a good person and I love being with you.”
- I Love You Anyway
When your spouse makes a mistake, it can be hard on both of you. But what you say in that moment will have a lasting impact on your relationship.
When you say, “I love you anyway,” what you are really saying is, “regardless of the mistake, I will still love you.” Even as adults, we need to hear that we are loved, despite the fact that we will sometimes make bad choices or do the wrong thing.
- We’ll Get Through It
Weathering the storm can mean a lot of things for couples: enduring a death, going through financial difficulties, losing a job, major health issues and so much more. The important thing is to make sure your partner feels your love through it all. When you say, “We’ll get through it,” you are really saying, “We are a team, and I’m on your side.”
- Yes, I’d Love To
Maybe going to the theatre isn’t your thing, or you aren’t particularly wild about going to sporting events. But if your significant other loves those things, then it’s time to show your support. Saying “Yes, I’d love to,” really says, “I support you and want to share what you like.” Your support shows you love them enough to set aside what you want to do to put your spouse first.
- I Understand
When love matures, spouses really get to know each other, inside and out. We watch each other and notice things over time. As we experience life together, we find out what makes each other tick. Perhaps your significant other tells you about a problem with work. Because of your history together, you know how this makes him or her feel. Saying “I understand,” really says, “I get you.” It’s a comfort to know that someone gets you without even really having to explain your feelings. Having this connection is fundamental to long-lasting love and marriage.
- What Can I Do for You?
One of the most basic definitions of love is putting another’s needs before our own. We may find this really easy to do for our children, but sometimes we forget to do it for our spouse. Try to remember to ask your spouse, “What can I do for you?” which says, “I want to support you and lessen your burden.” Sacrificing your time for something your spouse needs will strengthen your bond.
- I’m Here For You
One of the best parts of being a couple is always having someone to lean on. Remind your spouse that he or she can always count on you. Tell them, “I’m here for you,” which actually says, “I’m your partner in life.” Being partners mean you are equals and that you stick up for each other and always have each other’s backs.
- I Love You
So simple, but so often overlooked. These three words should be said to your partner every day. These words confirm your care and devotion. When you say “I love you,” what you are really saying is, “From now until eternity, you are my one and only and you’ll never be alone.”
Do not let one day pass without saying loving things like these to your partner. Always make sure your spouse feels appreciated, validated, safe and secure with you. Pick several of these short phrases to say every day, and soon you’ll both feel more loving towards each other.