April 23


101 ways to say “I Love You”

By Jessica Allen

April 23, 2019

personal development

The best gifts really are free!  Well, almost free – they just take a little bit of time and effort.  The whole point is to make someone feel special, seen, and heard, right?  So why do we make it so hard sometimes?

Whether it’s your spouse, your children, your coworkers, or your friends, it feels good to know you’ve made someone feel good.  (Phoebe Buffay says this is a selfish good deed, but I don’t care.  The world doesn’t get worse when people feel good about themselves!)

Life is busy… complicated… and pulls us in a zillion different directions.  My biggest heartbreak in Marriage 1.0 was feeling like we were just roommates.  Decent teammates who checked off tasks for each other and for the children.  Except teammates actually have to communicate with each other, so I guess we weren’t even good teammates.

In between all the life, we had forgotten how to “see” each other.  Because that’s where the best life actually happens – in the in-between.

John Lennon said it well – “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.”

So I’ve thrown together a list of 101 easy – and mostly FREE – little ways to make your spouse feel seen and special.   I know they work because we’ve done all 101 of these ourselves.  They’ll spice up your marriage.  Seriously.  Because the first step to really rewarding intimacy is really rewarding connection.

Connection is so easy to create… yet even easier to neglect.

You’ll laugh when you read this list because almost every single idea takes less than 5 seconds to put into action.  You just have to pay attention.

Simply noticing the person you love is really important – no one else should ever do that better than you.

And because these are essentially just 101 ways to say “I Love You,” many of these ideas are also easily adaptable to your children.  Children are people too, and the power of connection can make a world of difference when it comes to discipline, communication, and general goodwill in your home.

Want to really spice up your marriage and build rapport with your children? Speak to your people in their love language.  There are fun ideas on the list that cover every category – words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. (if you don’t know what their love language is, reflect on how they try to make you feel special. Do they cook or clean for you, give you presents, compliment you, or like to snuggle or spend time together? Chances are the language they speak to you is the language they want to receive from you too.)

So without further ado, here are 101 easy ways to spice up your marriage by saying I love you!  Click here to get a PDF sent right to your inbox.  Hang it on the fridge or use it as a checklist challenge for each other!

101 Easy Ways to Spice Up Your Marriage and Say “I Love You”

  1. The next time they ask you a question, stop what you’re doing to look them in the eye
  2. Fluff their towel in the dryer while they’re in the shower
  3. Use their name or a pet name the next time you say “I love you, ______”
  4. Write a note on a post it and hide it in their purse or wallet to find later
  5. Send a funny GIF text just because
  6. Tell them “I am grateful for you”
  7. Play a card game together instead of turning on the TV
  8. Get their car washed, clean it out, or fill up the gas tank
  9. Rub their feet without expecting anything in return
  10. Write a note on their bathroom mirror in dry-erase marker
  11. Do a chore that’s typically “theirs” and don’t say a word
  12. Make their favorite meal
  13. Have a squirt gun fight
  14. Fix/change the light bulb that went out
  15. Buy their favorite ice cream next time you go to the store
  16. Ask them to go on a date that you plan
  17. When they leave the house, stop what you’re doing to hug/kiss and say goodbye
  18. Start a Coffee Club
  19. Tell them “I’m proud of you”
  20.  Print and frame a favorite picture of the two of you, wrap it up, and give as a gift (this is really fun for children too, they will beam to have this treasure!)
  21. Text them a knock-knock joke
  22. Send an email listing reasons you love them
  23. Send a one-liner email that says “I like your _____”
  24. High five them the next time they’re excited about something
  25. Say “you’re my favorite”
  26. Hold hands while you watch a show
  27. Change their pillowcase or even better, wash and change the sheets
  28. Make their favorite drink
  29. Send them a card in the mail, with a stamp and everything
  30. Ask for one hour of their time TONIGHT and do something fun after the house is quiet (use your imagination)
  31. Figure out what their favorite game was as a kid and then purchase and play it together
  32. Send them cookies at work
  33. Let them sleep in
  34. Tell them they’re smart
  35. Make them a bath
  36. Get them a fresh razor or a new bottle of shampoo, or set out a spare roll of toilet paper if it’s almost empty
  37. Tell them your favorite thing about them, no reason, just because
  38. Bring them coffee or breakfast in bed
  39. The next time they make you mad, forgive them and truly let it go
  40. Tell them what you see as their greatest strength
  41. Take their plate to the sink after dinner
  42. Invite them to join you at the kitchen table or out in the backyard to talk
  43. Invite them to run an errand with you so you can spend time together
  44. Go vote together
  45. Exercise together
  46. Cook a meal together
  47. Kitchen dance party
  48. Tell them to take a nap and make it easy for them
  49. Ask how you can help them get ready for their big day tomorrow
  50. Vacuum your bedroom floor or tidy their bedside table
  51. Tape a note to their shoe at night for them to find in the morning
  52. Ask them to teach you how to do something cool they know how to do (juggle, play guitar, whistle, etc.)
  53. Play a digital word game app together like Words with Friends, Scrabble, etc.
  54. Tell your inside jokes whenever you can
  55. Have a secret sign (tug on the ear means I love you)
  56. Tell them they look good/handsome/beautiful/sexy
  57. When you sit on the couch, sit close enough to touch
  58. Suck it up and go with them to something they love (a play, a game, a restaurant, etc.)
  59. When you’re together, don’t look at your phone when it bings
  60. Ask more questions and listen to the answers
  61. Tell them they’re sweet
  62. Ask if there’s anything you can do to help them – no task is too small
  63. Take a walk together
  64. The next time they repeat themselves, don’t tell them – just get excited like you’ve never heard it before
  65. Put down what you’re doing and really listen when they start talking
  66. Say “Thank you for choosing me”
  67. Make a mixtape playlist just for the two of you, just like in high school
  68. Play your playlist in the house
  69. Throw out the clothing item they hate that you wear
  70. Iron their shirt for them
  71. Tell them you admire them
  72. Set the table fancy and light a candle, even if it’s just over mac and cheese
  73. Invite them to do anything.  The invitation is just as meaningful as the activity.
  74. Hide something funny where you know they’ll find it (my parents have been doing this back and forth with the same item for literally years)
  75. Send a note to their parents thanking them for raising a person you love to be with
  76. Tell them what a great parent they are and why
  77. Help your children write love notes to them
  78. Ask what their dream is for their life, if money and time were no object
  79. Send them a picture of the last place you went/vacationed to together with a note that says “I love spending time with you”
  80. Ask for their advice and then take it
  81. Have a staring contest
  82. Tell them they’re creative
  83. Get them something they’d never splurge on for themselves
  84. Post something sweet about them on your social media
  85. Arrange a surprise night out for them with their friends
  86. Ask about their friends and learn about they like them
  87. Text them a link to a song you love
  88. Tell them what you like about their parents/siblings
  89. Watch your wedding video or look through your photo album together
  90. Play “remember when we….”
  91. When you crawl into bed, face each other and talk for a minute
  92. Draw a picture on their back with your finger and have them guess what it is
  93. Read a book or listen to a podcast together
  94. Send them on a scavenger hunt for a gift or surprise
  95. Study their face when they’re talking to you and really see them
  96. Write a meaningful card on important days (your own words in your own handwriting)
  97. Notice and compliment their haircut
  98. Open their car door or help them out of the house with their stuff
  99. Compliment them to another person
  100. Start a travel journal, or a book of dreams
  101. Thank them for how hard they work at whatever they do

Try them – you’ll like them. And the best part is the surprise and excitement you’ll find on their face. Have fun with some of the easiest ways to spice up your marriage!



Spice up your marriage with 101 ways to say I love you

Jessica Allen

About the author

Jessica is a writer, musician, entrepreneur, wife, and mom. Jessica's mission is to write "real" - shining light into the dark places of the tough stuff we all experience. She and her husband Jack live in Houston, Texas and have weathered the storms of grief, infant loss, adoption, and a marriage that almost fell apart. Jessica and Jack have four children: LJ in heaven, Grace, Jackson, and Elisha.

  1. These 101 ways to spice up a marriage are very interesting. And they work everywhere. I really appreciate you for sharing such golden statements.

    Brhane from Ethiopia, Africa

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