9 Sweet, Old-Fashioned Ways To Say “I Love You”

Bonus: They cost (almost) no money!

We’ve all read about the grand gestures people make to say “I love you.”

Boyfriends propose on jumbotrons or hire planes to trail banners. Lovers plan exotic vacations or dinners in expensive restaurants.

So, what do you do if you don’t have the resources to wow your loved one with a headline-grabbing stunt? Why not try a sincere, old-fashioned approach?

Here are 9 ways on how to say “I love you” the old-fashioned but still effective ways:

1. Make a card.

Do you remember making a Valentines card for your mom in elementary school? She loved them, didn’t she? Maybe she still has them taped to her refrigerator.

And, here you are old enough to be reading Your Tango! Your sweetheart will treasure a handmade card. Craft stores have lots of supplies for making papercrafts. You can do a Google search for ideas. A trip to the craft store plus an hour or so of work and you have created a personalized token of your love.

2. Give her a locket.


Is the woman you love a Jane Austen fan or a hopeless romantic? Consider giving her a locket with your picture in it. Add a lock of your hair for extra effect.

Lockets don’t have to be expensive. They’re easy to find on Amazon, Etsy, or eBay. And, you’ll both feel good knowing she keeps you close to her heart!

3. Write a poem.

It can be free form, or you can write a sonnet or a haiku. There are plenty of online resources for writing poetry. Yes, it’s the thought that counts. If you love the idea but really don’t believe you have the talent, you can copy a poem.

Pablo Neruda and Rumi have some great poems about love. Or Google a topic like “romantic poems”. Find some pictures on Google images. Print it out on nice paper. Bonus if you frame it. Voila! You have created another memento to be treasured forever.

RELATED: 50 Love Quotes That Express Exactly What ‘I Love You’ Really Means

4. Bring her dandelions.


Technically, they’re weeds. But, for 6-year-old boys, they are an expression of love…or at least, like.

Do you have a crush? Give her a dandelion bouquet tied with a pretty ribbon. Wildflowers work, too, if they’re legal to pick. Don’t forget, some men like getting flowers too! It’s the gesture, not the gift.

5. If you’re musical, write a song.

You can write the music yourself if you have the ability. Or, take a tune you know and write your own lyrics. You can perform it live in a romantic setting or record it so your love interest can listen to it over and over.

When you love each other, being pitch perfect doesn’t matter.

RELATED: 20 Songs To Show Your Guy Just How Much You LOVE & ADORE Him

6. Read a book together.


Take turns to read chapters aloud. Pick something romantic like Captain Corelli’s Mandolin or a Jane Austin novel. Or pick a fiction bestseller like Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty or The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney.

The website, Goodreads, has great lists for every genre. Find a quiet, cozy place. Have some cocoa or a glass of wine. Snuggle up and enjoy.

7. Whip up something sweet.

Almost everyone likes a sweet treat. It’s even better when it’s made for you by the person who makes your life sweeter every day.

Cookies, brownies, chocolate-dipped strawberries — it’s all good. If you want to go “grand”, make a treat to be shared at the office. Let them share with the world that they are loved by you!

Check out this simple sugar cookie recipe to try out for your love.

8. Leave love notes.

Leave these in little places to be discovered spontaneously. Under a pillow. In a lunch bag. Tucked in a wallet or briefcase. Typed into a screensaver.

Remind them of how much they’re loved, in little ways. Or, write a love letter. Want to wow? Plan a special dinner and exchange love letters.

9. Take them out on romantic outings.

Picnics. Candlelit dinners. Walks in the woods or along the shore. A rowboat ride in Central Park. A bike ride along the canal. Dancing in the moonlight. A visit to a museum to see the Renoirs. Victorian novels are full of ideas for romantic outings.

Romantic outings pair well with other love gestures. Give her a locket with your picture in the middle of Central Park. Slip him a love letter while sitting on a log in the forest. Propose all over again. The effect is priceless!

These old-fashioned ideas are beautiful because of their simplicity. They are heartfelt and authentic. And, they are free or close to it.

Real love is not measured in dollars spent, but by the love and attention invested in doing something special for the one you love. The human species has been doing it for thousands of years.

As Emma, a Jane Austen character, said in a novel of the same name, “There is no charm equal to tenderness of the heart.”

Gretchen Martens is an author, speaker, coach, and happiness expert. Join her open Facebook community, The Happiness Society, to learn more (@ResilientHappiness).

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