Saying “I love you” comes with so much baggage. First, there’s the question of what you want it to mean. Is it a declaration of commitment? Is it a simple statement of appreciation? Do you even know why you want to say it?
Then there’s the question of when to say it. Do you plan a time, like a romantic dinner or a lazy Saturday morning in bed? Do you let it pop out unexpectedly? Or do you wait for him to say it first?
And finally, there’s the question of how it’s received. Will it freak him out? Will he understand what you mean? Will he say it back? And if he does say it back, does he mean it the same way you do?
No matter how you answer all these questions, telling someone you love them is a big deal. So what if you’re not quite ready to say it, but you want to show it? Or what if you’ve already said it, and you want something more than just words?
Here are 10 ways to say I love you without actually saying it.
1. Take a picture of yourself smiling while you’re on the phone with him so he can see how happy he makes you.
2. Grab him when you’re in front of a mirror or a reflective store window and say, “Look, it’s us!”
3. Do the dishes, even though it’s his turn.
4. Let him have the smushy pillow.
Read: How to Be Romantic
5. Pay for dinner.
6. Always answer his phone calls and respond right away to his texts and emails.
7. Make his bed after he’s left in the morning.
8. Kiss his eyelids.
9. Be the outside spoon.
10. Buy him toilet paper when you notice he’s almost out.