Wondering how to say 'I love you' without saying 'I love you' quite yet?

Not Ready To Say ‘I Love You’? 36 Things To Tell Your Partner Instead

“There’s no one I’d rather be with.”

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New relationships are just so powerful and full of pleasurable emotion. Every glance, every smile, and every touch is imbued with new energy and infatuation. That being said, it's incredibly easy in those early days of infatuation to be anxious about when to say the L-word if you’re not actually, personally ready to say I love you. While there is no right or wrong time to say I love you (it all depends on what feels right for you), it’s easy to get caught up in wondering how and when to say those three words. A solution for dealing with the too-soon "I love you" is to have few go-to things to say instead of "I love you" that you can bust out when you feel like you're on the verge of letting those three little words spill out of your mouth before you’re ready.

But how do you know when you’re ready? As Trina Leckie, a relationship expert and host of the Breakup BOOST Podcast, previously explained to Elite Daily, the way to know if the time is right is to just trust your own instincts. "I think the best thing to do when it comes to this is not to overthink it," said Leckie. "If you feel like you want to scream it from the rooftops, that's a good indication of a good time to say it because it shows how excited you are to tell that person [and everyone else] how you feel about them."

Dr. Gary Brown, a prominent couple's therapist in Los Angeles, agreed that when you’re deciding whether or not the time is right, it's not about relationship milestones, it's about what your heart and mind are telling you. "The key milestone is when you genuinely realize you love the other person. That's the best milestone there is," Dr. Brown previously explained to Elite Daily.

What if you’re not quite there but you still want to let someone know how deeply you care about them? There are plenty of ways to express what’s in your heart without saying anything loaded. These sayings are also really handy to keep in your pocket even after you use the L-word for the first time to convey your love in new and creative ways. So, if you find yourself wondering how to say “I love you” without saying “I love you,” give these little sweet nothings a try instead.

Tell Them How You Feel About Them


1. "You mean more to me every single day."

2. "To me, you are perfect." — Love Actually

3. "I really care so much about you."

4. “It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you.” — The Fault In Our Stars

5. "I really love how you [insert a character trait or action]."

6. "I never get tired of looking at you."

7. “Is it too late to tell you that everything means nothing if I can’t have you?” — Shawn Mendes, “If I Can’t Have You”

8. "There is no one I would rather be with right now than you."

9. "I love your body."

10. "Nothing makes me happier than when you're happy."

11. "You complete me." — Jerry Maguire

12. “Can I go where you go? Can we always be this close?” — Taylor Swift, “Lover”

Tell Them How Being With Them Makes You Feel

13. "I can't get enough of you."

14. "I am so glad I met you."

15. "I love spending time with you."

16. "You are really special to me."

17. "You make me so happy."

18. "I’m scared of walking out of this room and never feeling the rest of my whole life the way I feel when I’m with you." — Dirty Dancing

19. "My life is so much better with you in it."

20. "Being with you just feels right to me."

21. “I’d walk through fire for you. Just let me adore you.” — Harry Styles, “Adore You”

22. "No one makes me feel the way you do."

23. "I feel the most like myself when we are together."

24. “Even electricity can’t compare to what I feel when I’m with you.” — Dua Lipa, “Electricity”

Say Something Sweet, Light, And Breezy


25. "I feel so lucky to have you in my life."

26. "You are my person."

27. "I know." — The Empire Strikes Back

28. "You know I like you a lot, right?"

29. "You are the bees knees and the cat's pajamas."

30. "I prefer you to pizza. Yeah… I said it."

31. "Maybe it is our imperfections which make us so perfect for one another." — Emma

32. "If you were a booger, I would pick you."

33. “I feel so safe with you.”

34. "You're my number one."

35. “I’m so happy I get to be alive at the same time as you.”

36. “If you’re a bird, I’m a bird.” — The Notebook

There is absolutely nothing wrong with telling someone you care about how you feel about them — in fact, you should! Just be sure to save the actual "I love you" for when you're really good and ready.


Trina Leckie, relationship expert and host of the Breakup BOOST Podcast

Dr. Gary Brown, couple's therapist

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