As a man, you know that actions speak louder than words. But sometimes—especially when it comes to your partner—you’ll find that words will actually get the job done just fine. Whether you’re trying to cheer her up, make her feel loved, or up the romance factor in your relationship, there are certain words and phrases women just never tire of hearing. So read on, and keep this list handy for the next time you’re at a loss for words.
1. “I’m in Love With You”
“People affirm their ‘love’ all the time, whether it’s for their friends, family members, dogs, and even a pumpkin spice latte,” says Jonathan Bennett, a certified counselor and dating expert. “Given how the word ‘love’ is thrown around so casually, admitting how deeply you are ‘in love’ with her is even more special and meaningful.” It’s a subtle difference, but one that leaves a major impression.
2. “I Appreciate You”
This one is crucial, so if you haven’t said it lately, do so as soon as possible. “Many women feel unappreciated or underappreciated for all they do to keep things running, and hearing these three little words is often all they need,” explains Monique Honaman, author and relationship expert. “Simply knowing that her actions are observed and appreciated can have a tremendous impact.”
3. “I Made Breakfast”
This one will never stop scoring you points. “There’s no better way to start the day by getting the most important meal of the day without having to wait in line or pay an exorbitant amount of money for it because your honey has got you covered,” says Stacy Freedman, relationship expert and author. “Women always welcome thoughtful surprises, particularly ones that involve food and their partners slaving over the stove for them!”
4. “You’re So Smart”
“Women want to be valued for more than just how they look,” notes Stacy Karyn, an online dating consultant. While compliments on appearance are certainly a must, “complimenting her on her intelligence could be something that she holds onto, values, and remembers for a very long time.”
5. “I Booked A Babysitter”
It’s like music to her ears. “This can quickly dissolve the first worry that any mom (single or married) would have pop into her mind when you suggest a night out,” explains Kerby Bentley, founder of Datetivity. By saying this right after you propose a romantic activity, you show her you’re able to anticipate her (or your family’s) needs, and there’s nothing more attractive than being able to do that.
6. “Is There Anything I Can Do to Help?”
“The answer to this question may be: not really, nothing, a hug, or actually something that could solve the situation, but the fact that you offered to make things better is what counts,” explains Ana Aluisy, an author and couples therapist in Tampa, Florida. “This simple gesture is a demonstration of the love, caring, and protection. It also creates an opportunity for emotional connection and intimacy.”
7. “You Look Great”
Ideally, say this unprompted, regardless of whether she’s wearing her best date night outfit or her favorite pajamas. “When a woman is not feeling great, a partner who tells her she looks great will not only help her feel better, but will also make her appreciate her partner even more,” says Dr. Venessa Marie Perry, founder and Chief Relationship Strategist at The Love Write. And even if she is feeling confident, the compliment will still land.
8. “It Turns Me On When You…”
Sure, a staple like “you’re sexy” delivers a similar sentiment, but the thing that makes this so effective is the fact that it’s personal and specific. “Keeping the passion alive in any relationship is challenging, especially over time,” explains Rosalind Sedacca, a dating and relationship coach. “When a woman’s partner tells her she still excites him and is desirable to him, it’s a wonderful compliment that brings a couple closer to one another.”
9. “I’d Choose You All Over Again”
“Women want to hear you would choose them again if you had the chance, so tell her often,” says Dr. Wyatt Fisher, founder of a marriage retreat and a licensed psychologist. This one is most relevant if you’ve been together for a long time, but it’s still nice to hear in newer relationships.
10. “I’ve Got This”
“This can apply to any number of situations and essentially means, ‘I’ll take care of this.’ It could be emptying the dishwasher or picking up a tab,” says Honaman. Sometimes, it’s just nice to know you can sit back and relax without worrying if and how something will get done. “Even the most independent woman likes to have others take charge every now and then.”
11. “I Only Have Eyes For You”
So you’d never ever consider straying. That’s great, but it also helps to actually tell her that. Even if you are both super secure in your relationship, Dr. Fisher recommends saying this occasionally just to really hammer it home that you’re in it for the long haul and that you still find her attractive.
12. “I’ll Always Be Here”
“Everyone has insecurities in relationships and the biggest fear for many people is being abandoned,” Bennett says. “Assuring her you’ll be there for the long haul is very important.” Of course, you should only say this if you really mean it, but it’s a great way to make her feel confident in your relationship.
13. “You’re My Best Friend”
You can consider this the holy grail of compliments. “Telling a woman that she is your best friend comes with the potential of putting sparkles in her eyes,” Karyn says. “Falling in love with your best friend is a beautiful thing, and to hear these words coming from your partner is basically the dream.”
14. “Let’s Dance”
Even if neither of you is a great dancer, dancing “is often associated with great music and celebration,” says Bentley. “The thought of this dating activity immediately releases endorphins,” which means that even just talking about it will turn up the romance and make her feel great.
15. “Good Morning, Beautiful”
“Nowadays, most women awake from their slumber and to a man snoring or scrolling through their social media feeds,” Freedman says. “Being with a man who not only gets up before her, but is also thoughtful enough to try to uplift her—even when she has bed head and her retainer in—will always put a smile on a woman’s face.”