This may be hard to believe, but even something that holds such significance as saying, "I love you," can lose its impact over time in a relationship. For instance, my husband and I say, "I love you," at the end of a phone call, when one of us leaves for work, and in texts. Although saying those three special words on such a regular basis might seem like a good thing, for many couples, it can begin to feel just as casual as saying "hello" to a friend. So what are some things should you always say to your partner every day?
Regardless of whether or not you and your significant other have children together, it can still be difficult to find the time to create a special moment in which you two can have a meaningful exchange of words. Let's be honest: being an adult is hard. In between jobs, errands, and bills, it can be easy for your cluttered mind to put the energy required to keep a relationship healthy on the back burner. But there are actually a number of simple things you can say to your partner that will truly make both of you feel reinvested, loved, and acknowledged in your relationship. Check out these things to say to your SO, besides "I love you," on a daily basis, and start implementing them into your daily conversations.
1. "You Matter To Me."
You might think that the fact you and your partner are still in a relationship means that they know how much they mean to you. But no one is a mind reader. It can be so meaningful to remind your SO what you think of them. Clinical psychologist Silvina Irwin told Psych Central that saying, "you matter to me," can have a huge impact on your relationship. She notes that it shows you aren’t taking your partner for granted and reminds them that they are making a difference in your life.
2. "Good Morning."
When you actually stop to think about it, how often do you say something to your partner when you first wake up? I know I'm guilty of just hitting the alarm and stumbling to the bathroom without so much as a mumbled greeting. It turns out that a simple, "good morning," can make a world of difference. According to a study in Women's Health Magazine, 94 percent of couples who say good morning rate their relationship as excellent. In contrast, couples who rarely hear the phrase describe their relationships as below average."
3. "Thank You."
Sure, if you were raised to be a decent human being, you probably already know that it's good manners to say "thank you" whenever someone does something nice for you. But just like "I love you" can lose its impact, so can saying "thanks." Elizabeth Lombardo, a psychologist and therapist, told Everyday Health that saying "thank you" keeps you feeling more positive toward your partner, which will benefit your relationship."
4. Ask Something New
This is one that you can get a little creative with on your own. After all, who knows your significant other better than you do? Sometimes the best thing you can say to your partner isn't a sweet sentiment, it's asking a question. Terri Orbuch, a marriage researcher and author, told Time that it's important to ask about things besides work, kids, or mundane things because, "everyone changes as relationships progress ... it’s likely your partner has different interests and passions from the early years of your relationship."
5. "You Make Me Laugh."
OK, that might sound like an insult at first, but it's not. A good sense of humor can be hard to come by, so if you've found someone who can tickle your funny bone, that's kind of a big deal. And it doesn't hurt to remind them of that either. "It's easy to forget how funny your partner is," sex advice experts, Emma Taylor and Lorelei Sharkey wrote on The Huffington Post. "Take the time to make each other laugh and appreciate it when it happens."
6. "I Had Hoped It Was You."
Maybe it's just me, but I definitely prefer texting over phone calls. Pretty much every time the phone rings, I try to justify not answering it. But the next time your significant other calls you, instead of getting annoyed, answer your phone with, "I had hoped it was you!"
7. "What Do You Need?"
Again, this can sound sassy in the wrong context. But sometimes your partner might be struggling in silence and a simple question could open up a health channel of communication. I can't tell you how many times my partner, who prefers not to discuss mushy things, has ended up sharing deeply emotional challenges when I casually asked what he needed from me because I could see he was stressed.
To be clear, this isn't in the context of consent, because you should never feel forced to say "yes." But in the framework of a relationship, compromise can be a beautiful thing. So every once in a while, say "yes" to something your partner feels passionately about. Jane Greer, a marriage and sex therapist told Women's Health magazine that in being willing to make compromises, your partner will reciprocate and meet your needs.
9. "How Are You?"
The key to taking this basic question to a more meaningful level in your relationship is to truly show your partner that you genuinely want to know how they are doing. You'd be surprised how a little, "How are you?" could change the mood of the day.
10. "I Get Amazing Sleep With You."
You'd probably substitute a different "s" word when you are talking about the amazing things that happen between you two in bed. But it can actually send a deeper message that you might not have even known they needed to hear. As noted in Oprah magazine, telling your partner you sleep better by their side is a way of saying, "you know that big, ugly problem that the rest of the world has? I don't have it. Because of you." How sweet is that
11. "I'm Listening."
There are few things in this world that make me more confident in my relationship than when I feel like I'm heard. Think about it: even with a friend, co-worker, or family member, don't you appreciate it when they make the effort to really listen?
Whether your partner is talking about their day, frustrations over small things, or worries about the future, it doesn't matter how insignificant the conversation may appear on a surface level. What matters is that your partner took the time to talk to you about something and you have also taken the time to listen.