12 phrases of affirmation your partner desperately wants to hear

When we’ve been together with our partners for a while, it’s easy to take them for granted. 

We assume that they know we love them and are grateful for the things they’ve done for us. 

But no matter how long you’ve been with your partner, it’s important to affirm them, especially as the relationship progresses into the longer term.

And a kind word goes a long way.

They may not explicitly ask to be affirmed, so it’s up to you to take the initiative to do so! And this goes for both men and women.

If you’re struggling to find the right things to say, here are 12 phrases you can start with. 

1) “I love the way you…”

It’s good to show appreciation for specific actions or behaviors that your partner exhibits. It tells them that their affection has not gone unnoticed and unappreciated. 

This may be something as simple as acknowledging how they made you feel, for example:

‘I love the way you know how to cheer me up’. This may be a simple statement, but it shows how much your partner knows and understands you. 

This can also extend to their physical appearance, for example: ‘I love the way you laugh.’ Continue complimenting your partner even as the relationship progresses – just as how you lavished them with praises when you guys were dating.

It’ll definitely put a smile on their face. 

2) “Thank you for…”

I don’t know about you, but I tend to express my gratitude a lot less with the people closest to me. I guess I always assume they know I’m grateful for whatever they’ve done for me.

The thing is, expressing your gratitude regularly does make a difference. Appreciating them for specific behaviors also encourages them to do these more often.

For example, my neighbours recently had a son and the load of parenting has started to take a toll on them. While both parents help ease the load off each other’s shoulders without complaint, it’s still very taxing mentally and physically.

What they do to be there for each other, is readily expressing their gratitude

Furthermore, they also do this among their friends. In addition to praising the other party for contributing to the family selflessly, it’s also a way of showcasing to others just how proud they are to have them by their side.

Which brings me to the next phrase.

3) “I’m proud of you.”

This sounds like something an older parent, guardian, or teacher may say to someone younger right? But it means a lot when it comes from someone you trust and love.

It shows that they recognize your successes and see the effort you’ve gone through to achieve them. Whether these achievements are big or small, this statement goes a long way in building a person’s self-esteem.

It helps them develop the confidence to try new things or venture out of their comfort zone. 

So if your partner has recently achieved something, why not let them know how proud you are of them?

4) “You mean the world to me.”

This goes without saying, right? But again, it’s different when you verbalize it.

Imagine your partner saying this to you. Wouldn’t you feel loved as well?

It shows the depth of your affection for them and how much they mean to you. It’ll make them feel extra appreciated and loved.

5) “I’m here for you.”

This is especially important when your partner is going through a challenging period. They may feel all alone in their struggles, so it’s important to remind them that you’re there to support them.

It may not solve their problems instantly, but it helps relieve some tension and stress knowing that they have someone to lean on. 

Having a strong support system is crucial when one is going through a difficult time. 

But this also extends to good times as well. Reminding your partner that they’re always supported in whatever they do can help strengthen the relationship.

They’ll also be more open and willing to share their struggles when the going gets tough.

6) “I believe in you.”

surprising behaviors that reveal true intimacy in a relationship 12 phrases of affirmation your partner desperately wants to hear

This is one of my favorite phrases. I love it when my partner says this because it really makes me feel like I can do anything.

Hearing this from someone you trust and love means the world. It encourages you to work towards your goals. You may or may not succeed, but their presence is more than enough to push you to try your best.

7) “You make me want to be a better person.”

I always believe that the right partner will make you want to become a better version of yourself. And this is not out of guilt or shame, but by your own decision to improve.

If you realize that there have been many positive changes to your character after getting together with your partner, and they were somewhat responsible for these, why not let them know? 

Affirm them that their presence has been invaluable to your personal growth and that you treasure the encouragement they’ve given throughout your time together. 

8) “I trust you.”

These three words sound simple but they hold so much meaning. Trust is an incredibly difficult thing to build and so easily broken. 

Telling someone that you trust them shows that you’re willing to be vulnerable. You’re willing to share your hurts, struggles, and past with them, and in a sense, give them a ‘hold’ over you. 

If you’re someone who rarely lowers their boundaries for people, telling your partner that you trust them enough to do so not only affirms how much they mean to you but is a clear indicator of a healthy relationship.

9) “Your happiness is important to me.”

In a relationship, it’s impossible for both parties to be happy with every single decision. Sometimes, one person has to compromise. 

Telling your partner this shows that you’re prioritizing their preferences above yours and that they mean a lot to you.

Now, this isn’t about keeping score or making the other person feel bad about your ‘sacrifice’. But you want them to feel seen. It shows that you also value the relationship.

10) “We’ll get through this together.”

When someone says this, we feel less alone. We don’t feel that we’ve to go through life by ourselves. We have someone that we can do life with, through the good times and the bad.

Your partner will definitely feel very comforted when you say this. It emphasizes unity and teamwork. It reminds them that they’re not alone. 

When the going gets tough, they know that there’s someone who has their backs and who will go through challenges with them.

The next time your partner faces a problem, tell them this.

You may not know how to solve the issue, but you’ll be by their side trying your best to help them find the answer.

11) “You make me very happy.”

I really adore the way my partner’s face lights up when I tell him this. Because it’s true! 

If your partner can make you laugh and smile in a way no one else can, or understand you in a way that others don’t, please tell them this. 

In fact, tell them this right now. If they’re not next to you, text them.

While it’s not entirely up to your partner to make you happy, their presence certainly helps. Let them know how much they can improve your mood just by talking to you. 

They’ll feel appreciated, and they’ll also keep in mind to talk to you more – thereby keeping you happy. A win-win! 

12) “I love you.”

You may say it as you drop them off at work, or when it’s the end of the day. It’s simple, but a powerful phrase of affirmation that I believe is fundamental in any relationship.

We may tend to go through the motions when we say it. So the next time you say this, mean it.

Some of us may not even say this regularly. And why not? 

Expressing your love for your partner doesn’t stop when you guys become official, or after marriage. This can be a daily thing. 

And why not keep it interesting? Write it on post-its and slip them into their bag, or lunchbox. Stick them to the inside of the fridge or next to their toothbrush. 

It will go a long way in making their day and they will feel truly loved. 

Picture of Elizabeth Koh

Elizabeth Koh

A freelance writer sharing her thoughts on this corner of the Internet hoping they inspire. Constantly seeking opportunities for creative expression and happiness in the little things.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.