Easier Said Than Done: How to Tell Someone You Love Them

Feeling little Cupid’s big gay arrow but cat’s got your tongue? Here’s how to tell someone you love them, Grindr style.
Editorial team
February 1, 2024
February 29, 2024
min. read
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No matter how thicc Jason Mamoa’s thighs may be, love is actually the most powerful force on Earth. Whether it’s the catalyst for starting and ending epic historical battles or warming even the coldest of hearts, at the end of the day, love is just about two people sharing an incredible bond. It really is the most complex and the simplest thing on earth. 

Love comes in endless forms, and familial and platonic love truly make the world go ‘round. But the only one that leaves us shaking in our boots to admit for the first time is the one and only romantic love.

Ready to drop the big ILY on your special guy for the first time but feeling like you’re at a loss for words? Here’s how to tell someone you love them, Grindr style.

20 ways to say “I love you”

There’s nothing small about those three little words because there’s nothing small about love. Whether you’ve been dating a while or you accidentally fell in love with your FWB, expressing love for the first time is a milestone that will inevitably change the dynamic of your relationship, so finding the right way to say it can add that special something to the moment.

If you’re ready to say “I love you,” then we’ll assume you know your partner well enough to have a sense of what he is and isn’t comfortable with. Hopefully, that means we don’t have to tell you not to say it with a flash mob in a busy park if he’s an introvert, and if he’s a theater gay, then the flash mob might not be big enough.

All you have to do is follow your heart and stay true to yourself while you consider which options would feel most special for both of you — but we’ve got a few ideas to lend you a hand. 

1. K.I.S.S.

Keep it simple, stupid! Saying the three scariest and simplest words of all is a powerful and direct option that leaves no room for confusion. When the time is right (we’re looking at you, all you love bombers), you could simply say, “I love you.”

And if it goes well, seal it with a kiss!

2. “I’m falling in love with you”

Try dipping your toe first. If the direct route feels too risky but you still want to say the love word, this opens the door for you to gauge his reaction and find out if he reciprocates your feelings before diving into the deep end. 

3. “Your happiness makes me happy”

There are so many ways to express love without saying the word directly. Sharing in someone else’s joy is about as pure as love gets.

4. “I appreciate you”

Gratitude slips away sometimes when we get used to having someone around. Remind him often that you don’t take him for granted in your life while you work up the courage to say a different three-word sentence.

5. “I get excited thinking about a future with you”

Oh, we swoon! Maybe you haven’t said the “F” word to each other yet, but letting him know you imagine a future with him in it is a great way to hint at larger emotions and get a sense of his reaction. 

6. “I want to share more of my life with you”

Sometimes, the greatest romance lives in the smallest moments. Wanting to introduce him to your friends or family is one thing, but if you find yourself wanting to share household chores, run errands, and include him in all your important traditions, you’re falling much deeper than just a cute little crush. And why subject him to Aunt Trish’s infamous yuletide fruitcake before it’s absolutely necessary?

7. “My life is better with you in it”

And isn’t that the point? Tell him you love him by saying how he elevates your life.

If you fell in love with a friend, this could be a way to open the conversation around deeper feelings. If you decide you don’t want to confess your love after all, this is also a nice way to show your appreciation for your friendship.

8. “We make a great team”

This might not sound particularly romantic or vulnerable, but there’s so much more to a relationship than just the swirly feelings you get when he smiles. Being a team is about the intimacy of supporting each other toward common goals. 

Plus, you can pat him on the ass afterward. Go team!

9. Sing (or send) him a love song

This makes some people feel awkward, but other people lose their minds over stuff like this. So if he’s into it and you have the musical chops to pull it off, then have at it. Need a song recommendation? We’ve got plenty.

10. Read him a love poem

When your own words fail you, there are thousands of years worth of love poems in human history to lean on. Let historical gestures articulate the romance for you, or use them as inspiration to write your own. Here, we even started one for you: “Oh, how to say ‘I love you!’ Let me count the ways!”

11. Write him a love letter

If saying the words out loud sounds too scary, share your affection in a letter. Include a love quote for inspiration, or just let him know what your relationship means to you.

12. Scribble a little love note and slip it in his pocket

If you can handle the wait between when you hide it in his pocket and when he finally responds, this could be a fun way to share your feelings with this cute way to say “I love you.”

13. Text it to him while you’re alone together

Top it off by watching your partner read it from across the room and responding in real time.

How to show him you love him

If you aren’t quite ready to talk about it, showing your special someone how much you care is also a great option. Actions do speak louder than words, after all.

14. Love him up by leaning into his love language

Share your feelings in the way he’ll best receive them by spending quality time together, boosting him with words of affirmation and loving compliments, doing acts of service, giving him a special gift you bought or made for him, or getting cuddly with hugs and physical touch. There’s no need to pick only one, but it’s a nice place to start.

15. Give him a hug so warm and sweet that he absorbs the sentiment through his skin via love osmosis 

We were absent the day they taught science, but this could totally be a thing, right?

16. Lean into active listening

Show him you care about what he has to say. You probably aren’t the only one in the relationship with a fear of rejection, so put down your phone and really hear what he has to say.

17. Cook him his favorite meal

If the way to his heart is through his stomach, show him what’s in your heart by feeding him a comforting meal. Let your hearts burn wild, but just don’t burn down the kitchen.

18. Support his passions and interests

You don’t have to be into all the same things in order to appreciate each other’s enthusiasm. Love up your partner by supporting his quirks and hobbies because his passions are what make him special.

19. Stare into his soul and hope he reads your mind. 

No bad ideas in a brainstorm, right? If that doesn’t work, try the less unhinged approach of holding meaningful eye contact. We heard somewhere that the eyes are the windows to the soul. Or was it the nipples are the eyes of the face? Whatever, anyway …

20. Be there for him

Life gets rough sometimes, and supporting each other through the good and the bad is really what it’s all about. Beyond lust and sexual attraction lives the true depths of a loving connection. 

Tips for telling someone you love them

There’s no such thing as a perfect time to share something as big as your love, but some times are better than others. When exploring the vast sea of deep things to say to someone you love, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Say it when you’re sure

During the honeymoon phase at the beginning of a relationship, we’re flooded with intense, lovey hormones that make the line between infatuation and true, lasting love blurrier than the mimosa menu at the end of drag brunch. 

It’s entirely possible that you’re soulmates. Hell, maybe he reciprocates your feelings and then some! But give yourselves enough time to get out of the early dating best behavior stage before making any love declarations.

Say it for the right reasons

An expression of love should heighten connection and let the other person feel loved. It’s not about getting something in return, so don’t say it if you only want to hear him say it back, and definitely don’t say it just because you want sex or more commitment out of him. 

You might be afraid of what it means if he doesn’t say it back right away. But that’s the beauty of vulnerability, babe. The fear of rejection lives in all of us, but if you want to let him know, then let him know. Just remember that true love should be expressed truly, not under the pressure of expectation.

Say it sober

Don’t give him any reasons to wonder if you only blurted it out because you were drunk and you might regret it in the morning. On that note, you should probably avoid confessing your love while he’s inside you for the same reason.

Express yourself

With so many different ways to say “I love you,” feeling overwhelmed is only natural. But when it comes down to it, you’re the one who knows the best way to tell him. Remember, it doesn’t have to be a huge elaborate gesture that rivals your favorite gay movie. The only secret to knowing how to say “I love you” is knowing how to listen to your heart.

If you’re looking for someone to build new connections with, Grindr is the place to find love, lust, and a few emotions that haven’t even been named yet. 

Download the Grindr app now and get started!


Are You Afraid to Say "I Love You?" | Psychology Today

The Science Behind the Joy of Sharing Joy | Psychology Today.

I love the way you love me: Responding to partner’s love language preferences boosts satisfaction | National Library of Medicine

Oxytocin during the initial stages of romantic attachment | National Library of Medicine

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