Maybe Stevie Wonder knew the fastest way to a person's heart when he wrote the lyrics "I just called to say 'I love you.'" The most successful couples say "I love you" several times a day -- and mean it.
It's not easy to get those three little words out: Some people grew up in families where love wasn't expressed verbally, and our technology-driven world of e-mail, mobile phones and texting makes it difficult to look into your partner's eyes and tell them how you really feel. Plus, it's very emotionally risky to tell someone you love them when you're hoping they say it back. Yet, when you look into someone's eyes and say "I love you" the brain releases oxytocin, the bonding hormone, and helps strengthen your romantic relationship.
Still having trouble saying it? Show you care in some small way, everyday -- like making coffee in the morning, taking the dog out when it's freezing cold, or massaging your partner's shoulders after a tough day. Or find other words to express your feelings, like "I'm so happy you are part of my life."
Whatever you do, make sure your partner knows just how important he or she is to you.
- Bernstein, Elizabeth. "I Just Called to Say, Ahem, I Uhh, Love you." WSJ.com. (Accessed February 11, 2011)http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704422204576130154005774660.html?mod=WSJ_article_RecentColumns_Bonds#printMode.
- Bernstein, Elizabeth. "She Talks A Lot, He Listens A Little." WSJ.com. (Accessed February 11, 2011) http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704658204575610921238173714.html?KEYWORDS=talkers.
- Fisher, Helen. "How to Make Romance Last." Oprah.com. December 2009. (Accessed February 11, 2011)http://www.oprah.com/relationships/How-to-Make-Romance-Last-Helen-Fisher-Love-Column_1.
- Glamour.com. "The 5As of Relationship Success." Smitten. Daily Sex & Relationships Blog. (Accessed February 10, 2011)http://www.glamour.com/sex-love-life/blogs/smitten/2011/02/the-5-ax-of-relationship-succe.html.
- Kirshner, Diana. "Relationship Advice: The 411 to Creating True Love." Psychology Today. June 10, 2009. (Accessed February 11, 2011)http://www.psychologytoday.com/print/5211.
- Schmitz, Charles D. and Schmitz, Elizabeth A. "The 5 Things You Should Say to Your Spouse." Psychology Today. May 21, 2010. (Accessed February 11, 2011) http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/building-great-marriages/201005/the-5-things-you-should-say-your-spouse-0.
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