Twelve Ways to Say “I Love You” Without Spending a Dime

Today is Valentine’s Day. That holiday that is grossly over-emphasized to the point it is hated by many. The most common Picture of a Love Poemcomplaint I hear about Valentine’s Day is that it encourages too much focus on materialistic displays of affection and not enough on practical expressions of love. Those of us who are older than dirt and happily married know healthy relationships require daily expressions of appreciation. We’ve left behind the juvenile fixation on shiny objects and know those tokens are meaningless in the grand scheme of things. (I have nothing against gifts of diamonds, jewels or motorcycles as long as they’re received as signs of appreciation and are not regarded as measuring sticks to gauge the size of someone’s true love.)

Here are a few simple ways to express your love on a daily basis:

  1. Thank Your Loved One for a Great [insert item of choice]:  While dating, most couples easily and frequently express appreciation for a fun day, meaningful conversation or special time spent together. Those expressions of gratitude often disappear after the “new relationship glow” wears off. Don’t give them up! Go out of your way to let your loved one know how much you enjoy spending time with him or her, even when you spend time doing chores or other normal things.
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  2. Take a Road Trip or Plan a Staycation:  Purposely plan time to have fun together. For a road trip, pick a location near or far, turn off the radio, and enjoy the time spent talking without interruptions. If you can, plan a special weekend at home where you act like you’re on vacation but have no travel stresses.
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  3. Invite your loved one to do something you hate but s/he loves:  Every couple has activities that one partner loves and the other hates. Pick an activity your loved one enjoys that isn’t high on your list of favorites and invite your honey to join you. Don’t make a big deal out of it. Trust that your loved one will recognize your desire to share special time together. One more thing … have fun!
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  4. Call or Send a Text for No Reason:  Take time out of your busy day to send a text saying you can’t wait to see your love, that you’re thinking of his or her smile, or other tidbit of mushiness. It only takes 30 seconds to share a surprise that will brighten your love’s day. If texting isn’t your thing, call to say, “I just wanted to hear your voice.
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  5. Leave a Surprise Note Expressing Your Affection:  Leave a note on the mirror, coffee pot, steering wheel, or inside a briefcase to surprise your love with a reminder of how special they are.
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  6. Ask How You Can Help:  Is your partner’s day loaded with responsibility? Ask how you can help. If your independent lover can’t think of any ways you can help, drop off lunch, stop by with a surprise cup of coffee, clean out their car while they work, or come up with another personalized way to help lighten their load.
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  7. Recognize Your Loved One’s Effect on Others:  Let your loved one know you recognize how much his kindness blessed someone. Chances are he or she isn’t aware of how they bless others. Let your recognition return the blessing!
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  8. Look Your Loved One in the Eye and Acknowledge Something Special:  Take time out of the blue to let your partner know why you love him or her. Look her in the eye and mention something special about her that makes you love her. You’ll be glad you did.
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  9. Serve Them:  We often get so caught up in the busyness of life that we stop serving our partner. Take time to do something special for your loved one. Wash her car, clean the bathroom, cook a favorite meal, do the laundry … find a practical way to express your love.
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  10. Write a Love Letter:  It’s not as hokey as it sounds. Put your heartfelt feelings on paper. Express why you love your special someone. Remind him or her of what first caught your attention. Share things about him that you love but no one else appreciates. Put your love into words and find a creative way of sharing it. The picture illustrating this post is how my husband once expressed his love. Find your own way to immortalize your classic love story..
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  11. Admit When You’re Wrong and Learn to Say “I’m Sorry” With Ease:  No need to explain these.
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    And …
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  12. PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN!

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Dr. Pamela Reilly is a Naturopathic Physician dedicated to helping people improve their health and eliminate symptoms using natural, integrative methods. She has over 25 years of experience and has helped men, women and children improve their health using a holistic, client-centered focus. She sees clients in Indianapolis, does house calls, and also conducts consultations via Skype or telephone. Please feel free to contact her or visit her Consultations page for more information. Dr. Pamela speaks nationwide on a wide variety of health topics and welcomes speaking invitations.

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