Looking for ways to make your partner feel loved? According to studies, the more a person expresses their feelings to their partner with their preferred love language (we’ll explain what that is further in this article), the happier they will be in the relationship. So, if your partner’s love language is words of affirmation, learning to use it right can work wonders for you and your relationship.
But what are words of affirmation? To answer this question and shed light on love language examples, we talked to psychotherapist Dr Aman Bhonsle (PhD, PGDTA), who specializes in relationship counseling and Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy.
What Are Words Of Affirmation — Know From The Expert
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In his best-selling book, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret To Love That Lasts, marriage counselor Dr. Gary Chapman has condensed his years of learning into different types of love languages:
- Words of affirmation
- Quality time
- Acts of service
- Physical touch
So, what are words of affirmation? They are written or spoken words to uplift, empathize and show support to your partner. It is one of the five love languages which specify a certain way of giving and receiving love in a relationship.
Among all the different love languages, Dr. Bhonsle believes that words of affirmation can be extremely helpful if the woman you’re with struggles with self-doubt or when you love a man with low self-esteem. “Quite like physical touch in the form of hugs, using positive affirmations relieves the nagging burden that human beings carry. From the time we are born until we are dead, we are constantly shaped and molded by society. Very often people don’t know who they actually are.
“Most people carry guilt and self-doubt because that’s how they have been made to feel. They believe themselves to be the problem. They believe they are not good enough for the people, society, or even the world. So when you speak words of affirmation to someone like that, it uplifts them and helps lighten this emotional baggage that they carry.”
Dr. Bhonsle further explains everyone is trying to make themselves more palatable. The desire to preserve themselves to outlast dubious circumstances is a primary instinct every human being has. By fortifying or adding, you are reminding them that they have been carrying this burden for too long now and that it is good to let it down sometimes.
Words Of Affirmation Examples
If you want to say something cheesy to express love to your partner and make them feel good, don’t worry, we’ve got your back! Below are a few words of affirmation examples. Fortunately in this case, one size fits all.
- I love you
- You are so special to me
- You inspire me to….
- I really appreciate you when you do….
- I feel so loved when you…
- I am proud of you for always trying…
- Thank you for being a wonderful listener
- I hope you know how much you mean to me
- I love that I can be myself with you
- You’re so kind
- I love how well you understand me
- Thank you for being in my life
- I’m sorry I hurt you
- You’re such a good lover
- We make a great team
- I’m so lucky to be with you
- You look amazing!
- You make my heart sing
- I couldn’t do this without you
- I trust you
- I believe in you
- I need you
- You’re just perfect for me
- I love our life together
- You are doing a great job
Benefits Of Words Of Affirmation
Life is a roller coaster with its ups and downs. The lows of life can get to us and alter the way we perceive things around us, including ourselves. These negative thoughts have a major impact on our life and health. This is where the words of affirmation love language becomes important. Here are some of its benefits:
- Helps battle negative thoughts and sheds light on your loved one’s positive traits, especially on a bad day
- Keeps the romantic spark alive and the relationship feels fresh/exciting even after years
- Kind words lead to a better connection and increased emotional intimacy
- Acts as one of the ways to express love clearly and show that you’re grateful/not taking them for granted
- Instills a greater sense of self-worth and acts as a motivating/encouraging agent
Signs Your Love Language Is Words Of Affirmation
If you or your partner value communication and words more than other gestures in your relationship, it is highly likely that your primary love language is words of affirmation. Here are some other signs:
- You are thrilled when you hear wonderful compliments and words of praise
- You love it when people say they value your existence in their lives and that they care about you
- You are a sucker for expressions of love and romance through words
- When your partner tells you they believe in you, it boosts your self-confidence and you’re able to perform better at work
- It means a lot to you when they acknowledge your gestures verbally
- Them hyping you in your new outfit makes your day
Related Reading: What Is Your Love Language Quiz
How To Ask For More Words of Affirmation
It is very rare for two people in a relationship to have the same love language. Once you have figured out your love languages, the next step is to make sure you receive or are shown love in your love language. If your love language is words of affirmation, then here are some ways you get your partner to use it to convey their love and affection to you:
1. Communicate your needs
No matter what kind of relationship you’re in, it cannot sustain without communication. The effects of a lack of communication in a relationship can be dire. So, the first step after figuring out your love language is to communicate your needs to your partner, clearly but in a calm and confident manner.
Be honest and open up about what you need in the relationship. Tell your partner that you would like them to use more words of love, kindness, appreciation and encouragement. Taking this first step will sort most of your problems.
2. Be grateful
When you receive compliments and appreciation from your partner, refrain from becoming cocky and saying things like “Tell me something I already don’t know” or “Obvious much!” While it is ok to joke around once in a while, showing conceit has a negative effect on people. It discourages them from using affirming words in the future.
Instead, when a person is using words of positive affirmations, acknowledge them and thank them for making you feel loved. Seeing your gratitude will encourage them to continue showering you with more words of affirmation in the future. How to respond to a compliment is also an art.
3. Talk about the love languages
Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who are unaware of the different love languages. Talk to your partner about the 5 love languages and help them figure out theirs. Knowing each other love languages helps build a stronger relationship. Return the favor by giving them what they exactly want. For instance, if your partner’s preferred love language is gift giving, you can get them thoughtful gifts like a “Book about us” journal or couple t-shirts.
Related Reading: How To Say “I Love You” In 15 Different Languages?
Tips On How To Speak This Love Language
“I go to work at around 11 am, while my husband goes to work at around 5 am. When I wake up, I find a sticky note next to my bedside which says, “You’re the best thing that has happened to me, I love you.” This happens every morning and it just makes me feel loved and makes my day,” says Ashley (32), a chartered accountant.
As the audience insights on verbal communication suggest, leaving cute notes for your partner by the bedside, on the kitchen counter, or in their office bag is one of the many ways affirmations can be expressed. In fact, it also works for people who have gift-giving or acts of service as their primary love language.
Dr. Bhonsle says, “Don’t hold back on the affirmation of love with the people you genuinely care about. Express it while everyone is still healthy and alive and coherent. Do it sooner rather than later, life is not endless, people die, fall ill, go to different countries, they go through a personal crisis. Like the Nike slogan says, “Just do it.” There is no “How?” when offering words of affirmation for him/her; it is only a matter of will you or won’t you. Verbal expression of love and appreciation is a psychological antiseptic to the pain and confusions of being human.”
But are you unable to find ways to communicate by using positive verbal expressions? Don’t worry, we bring you a few tips on how to speak words of affirmation love language for him/her:
1. Be your original self
When it comes to using words of affirmation for her/him, make sure your ways to shower appreciation are authentic. If your partner has a nose for false platitudes and they feel you are faking your emotions, then you will further dent their self-esteem. So, say whatever comes to you naturally. Don’t pressure yourself to become someone else.
June and Jessica have a ritual of kissing each other every morning as they leave for work. They kiss, look each other in the eye while embracing each other, and say, “I love you, babe!” It’s cheesy, but making eye contact while expressing love speaks volumes and fortifies the sincerity of the emotions. For those few moments, there is just love and them, and nothing else.
2. Be empathetic
More verbal communication is one of the ways to be more empathetic in a relationship. If your partner is feeling low, then give them a little pep talk and tell them you acknowledge their feelings and you’re there for them.
“I’m so sorry you are going through a difficult time at work. I love you and I am here for you” is one of the examples of pep talks that will become a source of their strength during a trying time. But also remember that quotes can’t always fix every difficult situation. If your partner needs some space in the form of silence, give it to them.
Related Reading: How To Write A Love Letter | Tips, Ideas, And Examples
3. Acknowledge their hard work
Beth and Randal were having a pretty nasty fight about how Randal was never home and how Beth had to single-handedly shoulder the responsibility of the kids. Shots were being fired from both sides and the situation was escalating rapidly until Randal blurted out something unusual. In the heat of the moment, he said, “Beth you are a superhero with the way you manage everything, I am working on being more like you, but it’ll take time.”
And just like that, he defused the highly sensitive situation with his positive words. His words were not premeditated, but he spoke in the love language she understood. That is the power of affirming words.
4. Say “I love you” frequently
“My boyfriend says “I love you” all the time. Initially, I used to find it tiring but now I have gotten used to it. It makes me feel loved now,” says Nichole (23) student. So make sure you keep dropping the three magical words every now and then. The more words of love (written words/spoken words) you use, the happier they will be. You can also add a personalized element by giving them a nickname like ‘sweet pea’ or ‘honey’.
5. Mail them a letter
This one is my personal favorite. I know, I know! Who wants to write a letter when we can just send a text or email? Right?! But trust me, nothing feels quite as special as a handwritten love letter from a significant other. The fact that you took out time to write a love letter speaks volumes and will take your partner by surprise. The good kind.
Harry was on a camping trip and was gonna be gone for a couple of weeks. Andy had been loathing this time as the absence of cell reception had made communication impossible. One morning he received a postcard from the mountains with the message, “I wish you were, sitting next to me, H”. Andy could only smile as it acted as a reassurance that his partner was thinking about him even when they were apart.
Related Reading: 10 Signs You’re In A Committed Relationship
6. Post-it notes
Sticky notes are one of the best inventions, I must say. When you have affirmations of love written on them, you never want to get rid of them. It always feels good to receive little love notes on post-its in your bedroom, kitchen, living room, study table, or even the bathroom mirror.
While leaving little love notes on the bathroom mirror is an adorable idea, you can resort to the eco-friendly way and send little words of affirmation through text messages in the middle of the day. No matter which one of the five love languages your partner has, they will appreciate it nonetheless.
7. Give them a shout-out
It is not necessary to always use grand/uncommon romantic gestures to let your partner know how much they mean to you. You don’t need to write best-selling books and dedicate them to your SO (though if you do that, more power to you). You can just commend them for their recent promotion in front of your friends. Or just compliment their amazing date night outfit, by showing them off on your Instagram. These are some easy/simple words of affirmation examples that you can effortlessly incorporate in your life.
- Expressing words of appreciation gratitude and encouragement is a love language
- Words of affirmation love language is for people who want their partner to explicitly spell out they love them
- It’s very important to know what love language your partner prefers – is it positive words, gift-giving, acts of service, physical touch, or quality time?
- If your partner thrives on affirmations, be careful with the negative comments as they may internalize those words
- You can impact other people’s lives by just being more articulate with what you say, so start now
Finally, it is your job to figure out how exactly your partner likes to be complimented. Do they love to be applauded for their achievements? Or are compliments about their appearance words of affirmation for him/her? Some people also like to be appreciated for the effort they put into the relationship, day in and day out. Only with a little bit of experimentation with different forms of words of affirmation can you figure out which love language example does the trick for your SO.
This article has been updated in February 2023.
The five different types of love languages to make your partner feel good are: quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch.
No, not at all! One must remember that a person whose love language is words of affirmation is very attentive and remembers even the smallest details about you. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t like attention coming from their partners?
It’s all about wordplay! Appreciate, compliment, show gratitude, be proud, and be vocal. Express as much as you can and be honest and genuine about it. You can refer to the examples of words of affirmation given above.