When we first fall in love, we generally spend a lot of time telling our partner how fantastic they are. We tell them how much we adore them, how generally fabulous they are. And of course, how much we love them. We hear it every day – that words matter.

As time passes, we tend to cool down. Perhaps we forget that the things we say to each other matter, and matter a great deal. Men, in particular, seem to think that there is a limit on the number of times they are required to say, “I love you” in any one relationship.

Saying, and meaning, “I love you” should be a regular part of our conversations with our loved one. But don’t just sing it out as you rush out the door. Say it with feeling, looking into your partner’s eyes. Or better still, say why you love him or her. “I love you because you never grumble when the house is a bit messy”. “I love you because you work so hard for the family, and I know you don’t like your job much.” Pinpointing reasons why you love a person, and expressing those maybe not so romantic things, is a great boost to the way a person feels about himself or herself, and your relationship. You noticed them!

Paying a sincere compliment is always a turn on. Maybe your partner is older, not the young girl you once knew. She’s checking her appearance in the mirror, or dancing around the room with the kids, or trying on a new dress. A quick, “Hey, you know you’ve still got it!” or, “That’s a great look on you” at an unexpected time will certainly put a spring in your partner’s step.

It’s very important to build your partner up. It’s so easy to get into a routine of nagging and criticizing. When you feel the words “If, I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times, I hate it when you….” springing to your lips, then just stop and ask, is there a better way of saying this?

Maybe your partner is untidy, and it drives you crazy. Instead of nagging when he or she leaves the place looking like a minor battle has just taken place in your living room, praise something positive. “Thanks so much for putting my keys back on the hook, I’d have been looking everywhere for them”. Accentuate the positive things that your partner does, rather than constantly criticize the negatives.

Words of appreciation go such a long way. Tell your partner the things you love about them. “I’m so happy that we are together”. “You are a great mother/father”. “I love how you are so kind to my family”. “I’m so proud that you chose me”. It may sound a bit corny, but telling the things that are actually in your heart is a wonderful, and easy, way to keep your relationship solid.

Perhaps things aren’t going so well for you right now. Even the best relationships do go through those rocky patches. Picking out positive things to say to your partner is one way to start getting your relationship back on the right road.

When you are giving out those words of love, don’t expect to get something right back straight away, especially if you’ve been fighting a lot recently. You might even get a nasty response – “Yeah, that’s what you say, but it’s not how you act.” Be patient; if you sincerely love your partner, and pick out those things that you really do love and appreciate about him or her, then the love messages will work.