Those three little words can pack a lot of punch. There are a lot of expectations that go along with them. There can be a lot of pressure too. How do you know when you truly love someone? How do you know when to tell them? Even bigger than all of that, what do the words, ‘I love you’ actually mean? To you? To me? To society?
Although there is nothing wrong with the words, ‘I love you’ and they can convey caring, nurturing kindness to someone we genuinely adore, saying ‘I love you’ can also create conflict between couples. If you have decided that if someone loves you they will act a certain way, do certain things, not do other things, and their actions don’t align with what you have predetermined, then you will start to question if their love for you is real. Same is true for your partner.
There are words more powerful than I love you. Words that convey kindness and care. Words that invite the relationship to grow. Words that empower each partner to be greater every single day as individuals which benefits the relationship dynamically. Here are three phrases more powerful than I love you:
1. I am grateful for you
When’s the last time you truly expressed gratitude to your partner? Do you daily take the time so say thank you for the gift they are to you? For the joy they bring to your world. It’s easy to start to take one another for granted but a simple thank you spoken from true gratitude goes a long way.
To rekindle a sense of gratitude, start a gratitude journal and every day write down at least one thing that you are grateful for about you and one thing you’re grateful for about your partner. As you build gratitude, gratitude will become one of the primary elements of your relationship.
2. I choose you
A relationship is created as we choose it. We choose a particular person as our partner. We choose what we would like our relationship to be like. But, after some time, that active choosing often goes away and we go on autopilot in the relationship. And, if we are not actively choosing our relationship, we are not creating it.
Want to change it? Daily choose and let your partner know. Tell them, “I choose you. How did I get so lucky to have you in my life?”
Daily choosing to be in your relationship stops the autopilot that often occurs in relationships and brings you back to the creativity, fun and excitement that was there in the beginning.
3. How does it get any better than this?
Whatever is occurring in your relationship, whether it is good or bad, ask this question. Questions open the doors to new possibilities. Questions allow you to see options and choices you never knew you had before. When you ask, how does it get any better than this? it’s like sending out an invitation for things to get better, and they do!
If your partner comes home from work and they’re grumpy, ask yourself, “How does it get any better than this?” Not from the place of frustration. Rather from the place of curiosity and wonder. If your partner comes home with flowers and showers you with gratitude, ask, with a sense of playfulness, “Hmmm. I wonder? How does it get any better than this?” Try it out and watch things change – for the greater!
The words ‘I love you’ have such different and varied meanings for individuals. If instead, you will express gratitude to your partner and remind them that not only did you choose them when the relationship first began, but you choose them now. Every day. And if you continue to ask for things to keep getting better, you can have what I like to call a “creationship,” which is a relationship in which every day is greater than the one before.