How to Show Love with Words of Affirmation
Words of affirmation are one of five different ways that people receive love. Gary Chapman wrote a book called The 5 Love Languages, where he describes the need for couples to evaluate the way they both feel love and give love in their relationship. Words of affirmation is one of the five!
Understanding how your partner receives love allows you to show them love in the most meaningful way. Every relationship can benefit from being more intentional with their love. Focusing on a specific love language that your partner most prefers will be a guide on how to do just that.
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The five love languages are words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, acts of service, and receiving gifts. We have a whole post with resources and Ways to Show Love to Your Spouse that covers all five love languages.
While healthy relationships should incorporate all of these qualities, it’s important to identify your spouse’s love language so that you can show them love in the way that will mean the most to them.
Below you will find various ideas for showing love, specifically for the words of affirmation love language.
What are Affirmation Words?
Words of affirmation are any communication that supports, confirms, commends, applauds, empathizes, or uplifts. In basic terms, the words of affirmation love language helps your partner feel seen. It helps them feel recognized for their accomplishments and, more importantly, helps them feel noticed in the quiet, mundane moments of everyday life.
Affirmation words can be said face to face but can also be written or typed. Don’t let a day pass without verbalizing something you admire about your partner if their primary love language is words of affirmation. For someone who best feels love in this way, a text, letter, or card can be very meaningful as well.
Now that you know what this love language is all about, we will give you specific ideas of words of affirmation for men or women that you can use in your everyday life.
Tips for Using Words of Affirmation
Your words matter. You should think through what you want to say and how you want to say it. But it’s also vital to actually say the words out loud!
Often we think kind and generous things about our partner, but then the moment passes without those things being said out loud. So open your mouth and let the words come out! Never keep in a generous thought. Instead, train yourself to say the loving words that you think.
This takes practice. Constantly reminding yourself to verbalize the words and then consistently acting on those reminders will create a habit. Use your words to lift your partner up and elevate your relationship!
The most meaningful words of affirmation are the ones that feel genuine and unique to your partner. For example, “You look great!” is a kind and well-received phrase, but it could be made better.
First, think through precisely what makes your partner look great. Then, use your senses and try to describe how you really feel. For example, “It gives me butterflies to see you in those jeans with your hair up like that. I feel so lucky to be seen with you.”
A more specific compliment feels more authentic. If it’s something that only you could say to your partner at that moment, it will be far more meaningful. This applies equally to moments of vulnerability.
After a disagreement at work, rather than saying, “You are strong, you’ll get through this,” instead try, “I have been watching you stand up for yourself, and I admire the way you are able to word your responses in such a firm but measured way.”
Take the time to really listen to your partner and notice the efforts they are making. Your spouse will feel loved as you verbalize your observations because they will feel truly seen and supported.
Ideas for Showing Love through Words of Affirmation
Whether you are searching for words of affirmation for men specifically, or you are here because your wife has told you one too many times that she doesn’t feel loved, below you will find the ideas you need.
1. Use meaningful phrases to convey your love and admiration. Sincerity is the secret ingredient that gives words of affirmation their transformative power in a relationship. Use the following as inspiration:
- I can see why your friends like you.
- I believe in you because ______.
- You always make the people around you feel loved by _____.
- I’ve never met anyone as ______ as you.
- The reason you are so special to me is ______.
- When I was driving home, I was thinking about the way you ______.
- I am so lucky to have you because ______.
- I admired the way you _____ in that situation.
- You are a good _____.
- I am thinking about you today.
- You are so cute to me when you _____.
- That is a great idea, you always have good ideas.
2. Be specific with your compliments. Replace overused phrases with something more heartfelt. If you can say it to any other man or woman out there, dig a little deeper. Make your spouse feel especially seen through the specificity of your words. It takes more effort, but it also means so much more.
3. When you think of something good or positive, say it out loud. This is a skill, which means it takes practice. Train yourself to say kind thoughts out loud, and eventually, it will become a natural impulse.
4. Set an alarm that reminds you to use affirmation words. Life gets busy. In the chaos of everyday life, words of affirmation get lost in the wind. We recommend setting an alarm that goes off daily and nudges you to reflect and express love to your partner face-to-face.
5. Make a goal to give your spouse a very specific and unique compliment every day. Use your time to reflect on what you really love or find intriguing about your partner, and then express it to them. Challenge yourself to do this each day until it becomes a habit. It will have you constantly thinking about your spouse’s positive qualities, and it will have your spouse feeling more loved than ever.
6. Actively listen to the things your partner tells you. Properly affirming someone with your words takes a thorough understanding of what they are going through and what they truly need. Your words won’t be hollow if you are actively listening and trying to understand the thoughts and feelings of your partner.
7. Decide on a time every day that you will lift your spouse with words of affirmation. For example, you could choose right before bed. Then every night, before falling asleep, lean over and say something sweet to your partner. Similarly, you could choose every morning to use words of affirmation. Another idea would be once you arrive at work, text your spouse something special.
Routinely using affirmation words will make sure that no day slips by without you expressing your love.
Words of Affirmation for Her and for Him
Your spouse is the most important person in your life. If words of affirmation are their love language, then you need to be intentional with your words. Build your relationship by taking the time to create habits and skills to better express affirmation words.
If you want a head start on your new goal of showing love to your partner through your words, grab our Words of Affirmation Love Basket. It is full of printable cards, compliments, and even a date night activity! All work as great words of affirmation for men or women. Everything you need to start loving your spouse in the most meaningful way possible!
This is all SOO good!! I love your advice to be specific with our encouragement rather than giving blanket phrases of celebration. Also, the alarm tip is super helpful too!!