With one of the most profitable manmade holidays lurking just around the corner, many of us are ready to dig a little deeper into our pockets to show our affection for our significant others. Restaurants are slammed with reservations, flower shops have order requests through the figurative roof, and jewelry shop employees are working overtime, all to meet the demands of Valentine's Day.
But rather than focusing on the gifted gestures, I'd instead like to focus on the phrase that is seemingly synonymous with February 14th worldwide. The phrase, of course, is "I love you" — three simple words that have the potential to carry immense meaning, and form the backbone of so much of our seeming happiness.
As much as I love the phrase, I personally feel that it is not the standout winner for the most important thing to be said to your significant other to really let them know they are loved. Here are 5 other phrases that might just be more important than "I love you."
1. "I Want You To Succeed."
This may seem simple enough, but the truth is, jealousy runs far more rampant in this world than many of us might like to admit. How many of us can truly say that we would like our significant other to achieve all of their goals in life if the cost of them doing so was them having less time to spend with us? What if you cast aside the personal benefits you might enjoy from your partner attaining those goals? Would you still want them to succeed as strongly? Genuinely wanting the best for another, even at the expense of yourself, can be difficult to achieve, but it could just be the needed foundation to a "power couple" relationship.
2. "The Past Is The Past."
We all make mistakes, say stupid things, and act out. In some cases these actions may justify eliminating someone from our life, but in the cases that they don't, leaving those things in the past can take a significant weight off of your relationship's shoulders. Choose to live in this moment with your partner and trust that your emotional intelligence will be able to respond if something isn't right, without the need to always have your past traumas lingering around.
3. "I Love Me."
In my opinion, the true secret to a great relationship lies in each person fully loving themselves for who they are. And I'm not referring to love as superficial confidence, but instead as a genuine acceptance for who they are physically, mentally, and spiritually. Work on your relationship with yourself and your relationship with others will transform, because you will no longer need them to justify your own acceptance of who you are.
4. "We Can Do This!"
There is great power to be had in collaboration, so it's exciting when couples come together to accomplish goals or conquer milestones. Whether it be saving up for a trip, starting a business, or getting through a tough situation, there are few things more uplifting than genuine belief.
5. "Thank You."
Given the frequency with which so many of us say "thank you" every day, even for something as simple as someone holding a door open for us, giving thanks to our partner may feel like an insignificant gesture. But I'd like to argue for the power this statement can hold when it is genuinely meant and felt, rather than just offered reflexively. I'm talking about a genuine thanks for the companionship and support that this person has offered you, and for the experiences and challenges you have shared together, all of which have ultimately helped (and continue to help) to make you into who you are today. That, to me, is what truly charges up "I LOVE YOU."