Relationships

12 Great Reader Comments on Love

L-O-V-E. Have four little letters ever meant so much? These comments — about dates, friends, and even dogs — made us laugh and cry…

On weird-but-sweet moments:

“One night, I was sitting on the couch, furiously typing away at thesis-draft-six on my laptop as my fiancé was next to me watching Seinfeld. At one point, he reached over and held onto my big toe. Like, just held the toe. After a while, I asked, ‘Ummm, what’s with the toe holding?’ And he said, ‘You tell me that you want more affection sometimes. But right now your hands are busy. So, I’m holding your toe. Keep typing.'” — Hannah

“When we were newly dating, I discovered a mouse in my apartment, and my now-husband volunteered to empty the trap (something I was terrified to do). I thanked him profusely, and he shrugged and said: ‘For you, I’d even lick the mouse.’ It was funny and tender and weird and perfect.” — Shawna

On expressing one’s feelings:

“When my husband and I were dating, we were both too uncomfortable to say, ‘I love you.’ I think it was a mix of being love cynics, our age gap (he is nine years older) and the intense feelings we had right away. About two months in, we were traipsing around a state park when a ranger ran up to us. He said, ‘Keep a look out for Purple Finches today, they are everywhere!’ in a SUPER excited voice, while pointing to a sign that read ‘Birds to watch: Purple Finch.’ It was hilarious, and the park ranger’s obvious love for the birds was really cute. It made an impression on us, and we ended up saying ‘Purple Finch’ in lieu of ‘I love you’ because it felt better to us. It has come full circle now, and our son sends me ‘PF’ texts while I’m at work. Say whatever you want!” — Meghan

“My father never said it, although I knew he felt it. In my thirties, I began — courageously, in my family — saying it at the end of phone calls, which led to a conversation:
Dad ‘Why do you SAY it?’
Me: ‘What are you SAVING it for??’
He says it all the time now.” — Mouse

“The other morning, I picked up my 22-month-old son from his crib. I love how he goes limp over my shoulder and rests his head as he wakes up. But that morning, he rubbed my back, mimicking the way I do it and just said, ‘Oh, Mama’ in a sort of relieved sigh. It was the most honest declaration of love I’ve ever experienced.” — Laura

On big questions:

“My wife and I picked out matching engagement bands for each other and knew we’d both find the right time to propose to each other. On Christmas morning in 2015, she popped the question with the ring under the tree. I said yes, and then asked my wife two days later. It’s funny, even though she had already asked me, I was still SO nervous to ask her! There is something terrifically bright about being desired, and something profoundly humbling about being the one on the other side. I can think of no better way to start a marriage.” — Allison

On finding comfort in the day-to-day:

“I feel very comfortable around my long-term boyfriend, and I think that’s key. When we’re debating what to do, we often joke ‘Let’s go to the DMV!’ or ‘Let’s go to the dentist!’ It’s our way of saying we’re comfortable, even in the boring couch-sitting parts of life.” — Joyce

“After two kids, years of sleepless nights, currently pregnant with number three, I don’t always feel attractive. But my husband always gropes me in the kitchen, grabs little make-out sessions behind the door while the kids are in the bath, wraps his arms around me while we’re in bed, and tells me every stinking day that he thinks I’m beautiful. That means so much to me right now in this time of life. P.S. I still think he’s handsome, too.” — Katie

On acts of kindness:

“The gentle care that is romance has also been shown to me by my dearest girlfriends. For instance, last year, when my beloved Nana passed away and we endured long days of funeral arrangements, Irish wakes and grief, I returned home to find that my best friend had come over and had framed some photos of my Nana and left a brilliantly colored tropical plant on our kitchen table. She knew just what to do to make me feel better, and that is surely romance.” — Maire

“A few months ago, I had a very early miscarriage — so early that if I hadn’t been paying very close attention, I probably wouldn’t even have known that I was pregnant. But, when it started and I didn’t know what was happening (the worst part!), my dog wouldn’t let me out of her sight. She slept by my chair, or on the couch with me — she was always nearby. I suppose that dogs always know when we need them, even if we don’t know ourselves.” — LKB

On feeling known:

“I’ve battled with depression for as long as I can remember. I was terrified to show that part of myself to my partner in fear of his leaving. One night, I couldn’t hold it in; everything was too much. My husband, then boyfriend, found me curled up in the bathtub sobbing, letting the shower water rain over me. Instead of running, he climbed in, clothes on, and held me tightly until I could breathe again. He then scooped me up, wrapped me up in my bathrobe, tucked me into bed and lay with me until I fell asleep. We’ve dated for 10 years, been married almost five and to this day that was the epitome of love and romance to me.” — Kelly

“’I want you to take a nap and not set an alarm.’ Thank you, spouse, thank you.” — Allie

What about you? What forms does love take in your life? We’d love to hear.

P.S. Great reader comments on dating and the best comments of all time.

(Photo of the Obamas by Pete Souza.)

  1. Emerging love is manifested by many signs that do not deceive, such as palpitations, the throat that is knotted, the hands that become moist, or an immense happiness that invades us to the thought or the sight of this being longed for. It is also in this that it is possible to distinguish between love and friendship.

  2. CL says...

    When I had my son, I was induced and the nurses had to insert a medicine inside my uterus and they HAD TO TUCK IT BEHIND MY BELLY BUTTON! It was so painful. And as it was happening, my sweet husband, who felt helpless, grabbed his iPad, held it up in front of my face, and played my favorite episode of The Office. It was as if he felt so helpless and he knew the only thing that would calm me down and make my laugh.

  3. I love Coke slushies. It is kind of a treat for me that I’ll get on occasion. One time my straw cracked…my partner (knowing the actual straws from the store with the spoon on the end are better than a regular straw) offered me his good straw and had to use a regular straw.

    It makes me laugh thinking about it, but it will forever be a moment that reminds me how much he loves me.

  4. sadie says...

    The shower story struck a memory… My dad passed away in 2012, I met my boyfriend in 2015. Alex moved in with me in June of 2017. Maybe a year ago we came home to find one of our cats had pushed a small, precious vase of mine onto the floor. It was a family heirloom, to me, and so very special. A small, amethyst glass vase with silver painted flowers.

    I was so upset I started picking up the pieces and I think vacuumed? I don’t recall, actually… I remember giving up and lying on our bed and just sobbing. I heard Alex picking up the glass, cleaning up the shards, vacuuming…

    And then… As I was lying on my belly, snot and tears covering my face, he came in and laid on me, half on and half off, arm slung over my back until I stopped. I hadn’t sobbed like that since my dad passed. Once I could speak, we talked about our lost parents and their favorite things and cried together.

    After I got up Alex handed me a bamboo food dish with a lid on it. He had saved all the shards and pieces in case I wanted to glue it together and put the pieces in a shadow box.

    I’ll never forget that. True love.

    • maria says...

      oh my, Sadie–what a beautiful and poignant story.

    • Sadie says...

      Maria, it was pretty incredible. :)

    • emily says...

      wow, this made me cry. what a beautiful story. I’m so sorry about your dad, and your boyfriend sounds like an incredible person.

    • sadie says...

      Thanks, Emily. :)

  5. rhay says...

    Throughout our relationship since the very early days, my boyfriend (now husband) and I would joke that “keeses” gave us life. While talking, or silence, or even arguing, he’d intermittently gasp for air indicating he needed a “kees.” It’s grown into an entirely different surprise where sometimes we’ll find “keeses” in strange places and it bounces around in our bodies until we let it out of our mouths. Ridiculously entertaining and it brings us back to our center. Great reminder that nothing petty matters more than what we have.

  6. Amy Haaz says...

    9:51 am at my desk and sobbing, but not in a bad way. I just LOVE the comments on this site. Like, they might be the best on the internet.

  7. Natalie says...

    I still remember the slight confusion the first time my boyfriend held his thumb and forefinger apart about an inch and said ‘I like you this much’. When I said that that didn’t seem like he liked me very much, he answered ‘the universe is in there’.

    He still says it from time to time and it always makes me smile, that he likes me as much as the universe is big!

    • Kristy says...

      hahaha my boyfriend and I do that to each other too! I love the universality of expressions of love sometimes that feel so specific but you realize there’s another bundle of beings out there doing the same thing to show their care.

      “how much do you like me”
      “this much”
      “and how big is the universe”
      “super super tiny”
      “thank you”

      It feels cheesy in the presence of others (reminds me of the Seinfeld pookie episode) but just right when it’s just the two of you in the middle of the hallway.

  8. Christine says...

    My husband does a lot of sweet things for me however one thing will always stand out. Last year I gave birth to our daughter 6 days before Fathers Day. I am a really sappy person who celebrates all the holidays and this was his first Father’s Day so I wanted to make it special. I went to a couple stores to print pictures and buy some “best dad ever” trinkets and about half way through the trip I got a stabbing pain in the middle of my back. Come to find out I had a UTI from the catheter given to me at the hospital during birth and the pain was unlike anything I’ve ever felt. I had given birth 6 days before with zero tears from the pain but this UTI brought me to my knees. Literally. I was on the shower floor, bent over crying, hemorrhoids and all and my husband came in and saw me. When I got out he gave me an antibiotic, glass of water, and sent me to bed while he took care of our 6 day old baby. It seems so small in comparison to all of the grand gestures of love that I’ve experienced from him but to me, it’s the most meaningful.

  9. txilibrin says...

    I think for me was the day before I had to fly back to my country as my father was about to pass away and I got my phone stolen on my way to my boyfriend’s. He found me by the T crying next to a policeman that couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me.
    I just remember he took me home and took care of everything, including my suitcase.

    If I have to think of something today, it’ll be when he lets me sleep on Saturday mornings and takes care of our son.

  10. MM says...

    I’ve been reading CoJ for years without commenting — can’t think why. These threads are treasure troves.

    As a kid and a teen, I was a real steamroller. I’ll never forget my best friend calling me out for my failures to listen. We took a long walk and she told me how much she relied upon me, how much it mattered to her to know that she could talk to me and I’d really listen, and she asked me to change. 10+ years later, I still think of that conversation as one of the most loving gestures anyone’s made to me (and I told her husband it’s the kind of love he could look forward to forever, in my toast on her wedding night). It’s a huge investment to ask someone you love to love you better, and then to stick around while they learn to do it. That lifelong friend has formed my world and continues to shape me daily. Because of her, I’m a better person, a better friend, and a better believer in the power of love — not to abandon us in our failings, but to go alongside us faithfully in spite of them.

    • Kayla platt says...

      Love this! I have a husband that gently and kindly calls me out, knowing that people can love you in your faults is the best!!

  11. Amy Walton says...

    Teared up reading this sweet sentiment – “…But that morning, he rubbed my back, mimicking the way I do it and just said, ‘Oh, Mama’ in a sort of relieved sigh….”

    Burst into tears reading this one. – “…Instead of running, he climbed in, clothes on, and held me tightly until I could breathe again…”

    I LOVE love!
    Just wow.

  12. natalia says...

    i have extremely painful periods marked by uncontrollable vomiting and diarrhea. about two months into our relationship, while at a holiday party my period took an immediate turn for the worst and my boyfriend and i had to rush back to my dorm room (we’re college students). i ran to bathroom and spent a good half an hour vomiting and came out to find my heating pad plugged in and waiting for me on my bed, the bed made up, my messy kitchen completely cleaned, all of my dishes washed (i had baked for the party), the floor mopped, and hot water boiling for tea. I felt so loved. Just two months in and he knew exactly what i needed in that painful, stressful moment.

    • maria says...

      MARRY HIM

    • Simone says...

      This brings tears to my eyes. I struggle with multiple chronic illnesses/conditions, and my husband always knows exactly what to do and how to best help when I feel so helpless. It’s the little things (like showing up with my favorite -and hard to find- flavor of gatorade after a bout of bad dehydration) that mean the most.

    • Claire says...

      Natalia,
      It’s so great from your boyfriend. Totally a keeper.
      But have you thought about endometriosis? You shouldn’t be suffering so much!

    • Natalia says...

      Claire, after years (years! and i am only 21!) of doctors discouraging me from exploring an endometriosis diagnosis i am finally having a laparoscopy done this summer to get an official diagnosis. I am so excited. My periods lately have been so bad.

  13. Laura says...

    I had a long delivery with my first born that ended in forceps and a very painful recovery postpartum. For a week or so after, my husband would be there when I needed help hobbling to the washroom or getting in the shower. He made sure I always had my pain medications nearby, that my water bottle was filled up and he brought my baby to me so I could breastfeed her. Postpartum is physically and emotionally tender, and I’m so grateful for my husband’s care during this time. That is romance to me.

  14. Cynthia says...

    It’s early December and our favorite Christmas music is blasting in the kitchen. My husband is working on his sixth double batch of cookies. This tradition began over 30 years ago when I, a mother of three young children, returned to college with final exams always scheduled in mid-December. I am finishing my Jenny Craig breakfast; struggling two pounds shy of my 35 pound weight loss goal. He offers me a tiny sample of a new recipe. I take it. Is it an act of sabotage? No; an act of love, on both our parts.

  15. Abby says...

    I feel almost hesitant to post my comment because it is so different in tone from the others, and I fear it exposes my brokenness or darkness in some way… I was a little startled that I didn’t not have as gushing a reaction to most of these comments as all the other commenters are having. On the one hand, I keep thinking, is that all there is? Are these little things the real signifiers of “great enduring solid love”? Is toe-touching the thing??? Especially because these are the kinds of things I do for / regularly receive from my friends and sisters and I never consider it even anything special in particular? I feel maybe the bar is embarrassingly low for what men can get away with as “romantic” and women will fall all over themselves?
    On another hand, a lot of these comments seem to be from people who are in relatively new relationships (<20 years), most still in the "honeymoon" (<7 years) phase where anything is considered romantic because they are in love still. Statistically, half of these couples will get divorced… I want to know what love looks like in the hard parts, what happens to the toe-touching then?
    Signed,
    Feeling horribly cynical and disconnected from this wholesomeness

    • Elizabeth says...

      Abby – I don’t take your questions as evidence of brokenness or darkness at all. I’ve been with my fella for 13 years now (married for almost 9, 2 little kids), and, tbh, the things that he does that feel the most romantic to me *are* the little everyday things. In my mind, love isn’t the sex and roses and Grand Gestures, it’s getting up to change our preschooler’s sheets when he wets the bed so I don’t have to get up this time, or cleaning up the kitchen after I made dinner. I think you were right on the mark when you said you do the same things for your friends and sisters – I do for mine, too, when I get a chance, because I love them. It’s not that my husband is getting away with stupid little things being “romantic” and I just fall for it- the silly little things are ways he’s showing love for me and I show my love in silly little ways, too. The little gestures don’t have to go away when things get hard and messy – for us, at least, that’s been when it means the most. So take heart – I don’t think you’re dark and twisty, you’re just already a pro at showing love and it feels normal to you. 💜

    • Capucine says...

      Bah, wholesome. I’ve been with my man twenty years. No churches in our background, so wholesome is not an aim. Look:

      Love is invisible. Surrendering to it is anguish. When you are desperately unsure if you are doing the right thing, the universe sends you ‘toe holding’ as a whisper of rightness so you can survive another day of surrendering to love.

      Like, the way he always stands behind your shoulder at social gatherings, suddenly that knot in your stomach over ancient fears your man would be off flirting with other girls dissolves for once and forever. Me, I would hate shoulder hovering, but you, you needed that more than you ever knew.

      That is how you get that sense of ‘knowing he is the one’. The universe whispers in his ear to hold your toe, and that one random thing is so right for the submerged iceberg part of yourself you don’t even know, your breath stops and for that moment you get to feel right and sure of yourself. So she’s gushing over that feeling of sureness, not toe holding itself.

      In the hard parts over the last twenty years, my husband stayed. Steady, loving, accepting. I would have left me if I could in the undersexed baby years, the dark midlife depression, but he curled around me just the same. I no longer needed whispers from the universe that he was right. I had his love, toe holding no longer registers. It is no longer needed. Like my hand for my toddler. We are not toddlers now. If anything, the thing that is tenderness now is curling up in a ball after the death of a beloved, us two against the world, heartbroken over the shortness of the years we have left together.

      Love is real, as are many other ugly things, and someone reaching out to hold your toe is how you know that in the beginning. Later, you’ll be good at being open, and love will require no cracks to get in. Even in the dark times.

    • Dana says...

      <7 years is honeymoon? I'd say <2 , maybe <6 mo Haha but I'm not much of a romantic either. Everyone receives love differently but I'd rather my husband change the poopy diaper or do the dishes than get me flowers. Doing the dirty/hard work in a relationship is the stuff that makes it sustainable, not the crazy romcom romantic gestures. In my opinion :)

    • Rue says...

      I think it can be really hard to see love. Sort of like the David Foster Wallace quote, “this is water,” as said by a fish. Or, as DFW put it:

      “The point of the fish story is merely that the most obvious, important realities are often the ones that are hardest to see and talk about. Stated as an English sentence, of course, this is just a banal platitude, but the fact is that in the day to day trenches of adult existence, banal platitudes can have a life or death importance.”

  16. Christina Copp says...

    My husband and I have had a wonderful 5 1/2 years together – most of them we lived in London and travelled all over. It was magical and we always had the best time when we were travelling. However, we settled in Australia and I got pregnant soon after. When I gave birth to our tiny but perfect little boy at 22 weeks last September, that’s when I felt the most love for my husband. Our baby made us three for only one hour, and I only thought of his grief in those days following. I would’ve done anything to take it away from him. He was there through so many tears, aimless walks in a haze, cuddles in a hammock, a weird guilty beer together in which we laughed for the first time in a few days – we cocooned ourselves from the world in those five days after, and though it was terribly sad, I had never felt so connected to him. We’re stronger for it. Though I wish that it had never happened, there’s something about that time with him that I would never wish away.

    • Jing says...

      I’m so sorry for your loss.

  17. Whitney O says...

    My now husband (I think we were already engaged at the time) asked me to text him when I was on my way home from work. I assumed it was so he could warm up dinner or we could switch cars around in our single car driveway. When I got home he had The Troggs-With a Girl cued up on the record player. He took all my things out of my hand and danced with me in the living room. Sometimes he goes ages without doing these little romantic gestures but when he does, oh man are they breath takingly sweet!

  18. Kristy Lin says...

    i’m a fidgety sleeper, and I love how I realized my bf follows me any direction I decide to lay my head on the bed for the night. Sometimes I sleep at the foot of the bed, sometimes sideways. Sometimes I’m just in a wonky lazy position at the corner of the bed procrastinating sleep scrolling through my phone, but before I know it he’s brought his pillow over to lay down next to me, wherever I am. I’ve had this weird habit ever since I can remember, but for the first time in my life someone is following me wherever I decide to go instead of raising their eyebrows or rolling their eyes. It’s a pretty cool metaphor (or whatever you call it) for feeling accepted in all the ways asleep or awake!

  19. Anna says...

    I held it together until Kelly’s comment. What a beautiful expression of love.

    • Christina Copp says...

      Same. What a special man. And clearly a special lady to have someone love her that much.

  20. Maire says...

    I couldn’t believe my eyes to see my comment about my wonderful best friend featured on this post! I sent her the link so she knows she is famous now.

  21. E says...

    I think I cried all of tears I’ve been keeping instead for some time. Thank you all for you comments, I needed this <3

  22. JennP says...

    To Kelly, the one who shared her story:
    I teared when reading about your now-husband. Love, indeed, is a verb. Thank you for sharing.

  23. Geez, Joanna, how are we supposed to read these comments when the type keeps getting blurry?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      <3 <3 <3

  24. A dear friend is trudging through the perilous minefield that this dating and spills over with emotion every time we meet. The tears, laughter and longing are always followed by a smile and the phrase, “You and R give me hope.” After six years together, my boyfriend and I are the best of friends, sharing equal parts tenderness and playful teasing. We deeply cherish all the little idiosyncrasies of our love. Yet, to have someone else not only recognize, but aspire to what we have feels like the biggest and most sincere compliment in the world.

  25. Emily says...

    I travel a bit for work and I miss my 11-year-old son so much when I do–it’s this yearning from a distance that can be hard to bear. Recently on a trip I opened my suitcase when I got to my hotel and found a post-it…

    Mom, I love you so much.
    Love,
    Sam

    • Junny says...

      This brought tears to my eyes. I recently returned back to work, with my 9-month old in daycare, and not a day goes by without that yearning.

    • Carol Barclay says...

      My daughter is now in her early 40’s and I swear that I still have a thread that connects my heart to hers.

  26. L says...

    my lovely husband takes me to see the same musical artist everytime he is near- this time he took me to vegas and got us front row seats- why is this the most romantic thing? when we first met- I had tickets to see a show and I invited him but requested that he not break up with me just before or just after cause it might taint the music… he said he wouldn’t and he keeps promising every year- for the last 18 years…. he is so dear to me.

    • Amy Walton says...

      That is so cute. …and a great idea on your part for that first concert ;)
      xo

  27. Annie says...

    My husband and I were deep asleep late one recent night when it started to rain heavily. The sound of the loud rain woke us up just a tiny bit. It was dark and we were quiet, and suddenly the light of lightning faintly brightened our room for a second. Knowing that loud thunder will follow, without thinking and still barely awake, my husband put his hand over my ears so I wouldn’t get startled by the loud sound. I was too sleepy, and so was he to be honest, to react or say anything in that moment. But the next morning as soon as we woke up I gave him the biggest hug and kiss.

    That tiny little gesture late one rainy night made me feel so, so loved by him, as he has often showed me in our almost one year of marriage:)

  28. Cyd says...

    As a physician who works in critical care, often for 30+ hour shifts/ children dying: He always prepares our home for my post-call shifts. The shades are drawn, there is breakfast waiting, and the animals are fed/ taken to doggie daycare. It makes me feel loved beyond belief that after being exhausted taking care of other people, he is ready to catch me.

    • Joy says...

      This is so beautiful. Thank you for everything you do for those children when things are at their worst.

    • Min says...

      That is so touching!

  29. Toni says...

    My husband told me he loved me for the very first time in the back of a taxi on the way home from a holiday party where we’d had a few cocktails. I’ll never forget when he said: “We should get burgers. I love you. I think I’m going to be sick”. We didn’t get burgers, he did get sick, and 8 years later, we’re still in love.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      all the heart eyes xoxoxoxo

  30. Kat says...

    Oh Kelly, just reading that made me tear up. What a beautiful act of kindness. Thank you for sharing <3

  31. Lisa says...

    One night when my baby (16 months) woke up crying, I went to pick her up and she threw her arms around my neck and gave me a kiss. Her big bro (3 years) will frequently lie down next to me and go “mama, you ok?”
    For my husband, any time he doesn’t laugh when I say I’m going to lie down for “half an hour” and pass out for 2

  32. Hannah says...

    long-time reader, first time commenter!

    My boyfriend and I are currently doing long distance. A couple months ago, I was visiting him for the weekend and came down with a strong bout of nausea + dizziness + shakes. I wanted nothing more than to relax in a hot bath on this cold winter day, but my boyfriend shares a bathroom with 3 other boys in their early twenties —so i’m sure you can imagine what the state of that bathroom looks like on a normal day. Knowing I wanted to take a bath, my boyfriend vigorously scrubbed the bathroom and tub. When it was finally ready for use, there was no hot water. I told him not to worry about it– “I’ll just take a bath when I land home later in the day!” I crawled back into his bed to rest and watch TV. He disappeared for about 30 mins, and then peaked his head around his bedroom door to let me know my bath was ready. Turns out, he had boiled large pots of water for me on the stove one at a time to fill the bathtub with hot water. When I ever get discouraged with the distance, I remember this moment. It was an act of kindness that nearly made me cry—emblematic of why I fell in love with his thoughtful soul.

    • Jane says...

      My man did this when we brought our second child home from the hospital and our oil heating broke and there was no one available to fix it at short notice (it was November, normally not THAT cold where we live, but that year it had already snowed for a few days).

  33. Rezia says...

    I keep two notes in my wallet that have helped me survive through a dark time.
    one from my husband that says: “I love you, call me.”
    and the other from my best friend that says: “being alive is enough.”

  34. Tracie says...

    Those made my day! I am almost 60 (yikes) single woman with 2 grown sons – my younger son, 25, still lives with me – he’s not hugely affectionate, though he has started presenting his cheek to me for goodnight kisses, hahaha, but how I really know he loves me is when we are sitting watching TV and he throws his leg over my lap. Now that’s warm and fuzzy. :D

  35. Angy says...

    My husband and I became engaged after only six days.
    Six days of mostly chatting (and of course some kissing)
    He said “We should get married!” and I said “Yes we should!”
    After 20 years we are closer now than we’ve ever been and when I’m asked what the secret to making it work is – my answer is always the same. . .
    “Talk to each other”

  36. Colleen says...

    my daughter and I say “I love you” at the end of our phone conversations, when one of us is leaving, etc. We came up with a code word to say to each other that still means “I love you” if we are upset with each other. We have used that word a few times, but we still do not hang up or walk away without letting the other person know they are loved.

  37. Kelley says...

    My dad also never said ‘I love you’ though I never doubted he did. One day before I was boarding a plane back to California I just gave him a big hug and said it. Six days later he died of a heart attack and I’m so glad I didn’t save it because it was the last thing I ever said to him.

  38. MarieP says...

    Me: “Hey, the diamond on my engagement ring is loose; we’ll need to get it fixed.”
    Him: “Why don’t we get it redone; I think it’s time.”
    It’s been 23 years and I admit I didn’t loooove my original engagement ring but the one I have on my finger now, made with my original diamond plus two more representing “past” and “future” and cast with the gold from my original, makes me smile every time. I never would’ve suggested getting my ring redone. I’m so grateful that he did.

  39. Olivia says...

    My 5-year-old son has autism. It’s been a big struggle to get him to understand the back and forth of conversations, and he still doesn’t quite get it. A few months ago, I was tucking him into bed and I said “I love you, buddy” like I do every night. He has never responded to it, and it’s never really bothered me. That night, he turned to me, brought his hand delicately up to his chest, looked me in the eye (!) and said, “THANK you!” in this genuinely shocked and delighted tone of voice, like he’d never heard me say it before. It was the best and truest response I could’ve hoped for. That’s still how he answers and it’s FANTASTIC. When I say “I love you” to my kids, my hope isn’t that they just learn to say it back (I know they love me), but that they take it in and really feel it. From that perspective, I’m totally good with a heartfelt “thank you” as a response.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, olivia, i’m in tears! what a sweet son you have, and what a beautiful mother you are.

    • Geraldine Conway says...

      That is so very sweet. My 14 year old girl has special needs and has very limited speech. But she will always tell me she loves me. The funny thing is she always says “I love you too Mama” so she uses the response as the opener and I love that little quirk about her. She will also say “Fuck off Mama” most days too, but perhaps that’s not Cup of Jo material! Lol

  40. Mame says...

    Me too — I’m struggling, so so much in the aftermath of my partner of 25 years deciding to walk out on us … on me. “I’m done” he said, and that was it — no explanation, no sorrow, no regrets expressed — just gone. Now, not even a year after the divorce I never wanted, come to find out he’s moved on — and moved in — with someone else … and had done so mere weeks after our day in court. I’m so lonely, even with friends and family in town … the nights are long, winter was brutal … and a big milestone birthday looms. It feels too late to have this kind of love ever again, and reading these comments reminds me of what I had, and what I lost — and I’ll never know why. My vows meant something to me and I thought I meant something to him … for me love is just a broken promise.

    • Lauren says...

      Sending comfort and care to you, Mame.

    • gfy says...

      Wow, so cruel. Consider asking him politely for just one closure conversation. If he denies you then get therapy to help you let go, take it from someone who’s been through this, it is too difficult to do on your own and shucking off this kind of unconsciously abusive behavior is where a therapist can really help you let it go or else address it by standing up for yourself as the case may be but if you’re already divorced then it’s time to let go and move on. There are many men who know how to communicate – look for them and allow yourself to be respected and loved. Sending you lots of love.

    • Jenny says...

      Those days you are in, those days where everything in your mouth turns to ash, those days will turn you into the best woman you can imagine. I’m so sorry for your heartbreak. I’m a divorced lady too. But I’m so excited for the fires you’re stoking and the woman you are becoming right now.

    • Meghan says...

      This comment and these responses are why I love and keep reading Cup of Jo. Mame – we are here WITH you. We see you and we love you.

    • Larissa says...

      Sending you a warm hug, Mame. I hope the struggle won’t last long. xoxo

    • Jess says...

      I’m sorry. :(

      I’ve never had it and am resigned to the fact that I never will. Life is so lonely all the time, sometimes unbearably so. These stories are beautiful and sweet but they only break my heart.

  41. Tania says...

    Thank you for including some non-romantic examples — especially about friends! I think love can be found in so many different relationships and we tend to overly-focus on the romantic kind. It’s nice to see those other ways we can love acknowledged.

  42. Heather says...

    When my husband and I were newly married (30 years ago) we had an earnest talk about the love between elderly people. We decided that it is a beautiful thing when two old wrinkled white-haired folks show a deep, long-lasting love, and we set that as our goal: to be forever and constantly in love, smiling at each other with our toothless gums when we are 120 years old. What we did not realize was how hard would be the transition from young, firm, strong bodies to the venerable you’ve-earned-it sagging frail bodies. It is in this middle age, when the youthful skin is beginning to wrinkle but has not yet achieved the hallmarks of a life-survivor, here, now, when we are obviously in our decline but yet nowhere near the end, that true love shows. To be desired when skinny breasts droop and upper arms jiggle – that’s love. Here’s to the next 30 years.

    • gfy says...

      Yikes I call this the “Second Adolescence” that no one warns you about. Consider yourselves warned! haha. . . Body changing, people of both genders responding to you differently and yet we must process without any positive public support or recognition of the transition.

      As a woman in the idealist US this is super tough but I suspect it’s rough for men too, they just give up more easily and are rarely judged, in any case, (or have their careers crippled), for aging.

  43. Jennifer says...

    15 years ago, I went through a really rough breakup to a 3-year relationship that had effectively destroyed my sense of self. I lived far from home and I was really struggling. My best friend since 2nd grade was in vet school at the time, and I think she just wanted to do something to help heal my pain. She suggested I get a dog, and I said, “Yes, I think you’re right, that’s a good idea,” but I didn’t have the energy to do anything about it. So she went a step further and combed through petfinder.com to find a two dogs that she thought would be a good fit for me, and she sent me their profiles. I vividly remember opening the second one, and finding a comment she had added: “I thought of you as soon as I saw her sweet face.” When I looked at the photos and read the profile, I thought to myself, “I think that is going to be my dog.” I sent an inquiry, and a few weeks later the dog was mine. It was the start to a beautiful friendship with a sweet, loyal, funny, intelligent, adorable Australian Shepherd named Maddie who raised me from the depths of my sadness, helped me to remember who I was and what was important to me, and brought incredible joy to my life every day. She was my companion through some major life transitions: the two-year aftermath and healing from that bad breakup; dating for two years; meeting and dating my husband; getting married; moving in together; buying our first home; new jobs; etc. Every year on Maddie’s Gotcha Day, I would text my dear friend to thank her for making the “love connection” between us. Maddie passed away a month ago today, and I miss her terribly, but I am enormously grateful for the 15 wonderful years we shared. The time and effort my friend invested to find the perfect companion for me during a difficult time in my life is still one of the most loving and generous gestures I have experienced.

    • gfy says...

      I loved your story, thank you! I would love to what you did with her while you were at work everyday – did she stay inside your home or ? I would love to get a dog but I don’t know what to do about being at work and I feel unsure about hiring a dog walker during the day or other options I’ve heard, plus the expense. I don’t have a backyard so I wonder if I can even get a dog? Did you just leave her inside then walk when you got home?

    • S says...

      I teared up reading this. My dog passed away recently and it’s incredible to think about how much I grew from having him in my life. Dogs are the best and you have such a wonderful friend.

    • gfy says...

      … love to ‘know’ what you did with her I meant, haha

    • Jennifer says...

      GFY – Thank you! I kept her inside the house during the day. We walked her in the morning and at night religiously, and I work less than a mile away from home so I would walk home to let her out over lunch. A lot of people use crate training and keep their dogs in crates while they are away from home. We didn’t need to do that because our dog didn’t ever really need it. She was well-behaved and had free reign of our house.
      S – Thanks for your kind words. You are right, dogs are the best, and my friend is, too! I am really sorry for your recent loss. It leaves quite a large hole, doesn’t it?

    • liz says...

      GFY – I work full time and have a chocolate lab. I have a dog walker and he’s great! Gives me piece of mind, definitely worth the expense if you’re comfortable with it.

    • Tara says...

      Jennifer, I loved your story. Dogs are so very wonderful and how perfect that your dear friend helped you find each other! We had to put down our beloved Doris (a black pug) almost three years ago and I used to say I have a pug-shaped hole in my heart. Some very dear friends had to put down their beautiful girl yesterday, and he suggested a different way of putting it–his heart is now where his dog lives, happy, healthy and whole. He says he knows they will have a lot of laughs together and was so grateful for all the joy she had brought their family. I am not doing justice to the way he put it, but it gave me a new perspective. Maddie is still with you in your heart! Much love to you!

  44. Sasha L says...

    The last few months have been hard for everyone in my little family (3 separate difficult frightening issues all at once). I feel like we are fighting fires and everytime we put one out, another sparks up, each of us has burns that don’t want to heal. And with every new fire, it’s exhausting and stressful and painful and scary. But in all of this, my husband and two adult daughters and me too, have been able to comfort one another, to say just the right thing at the right time, to keep hope alive. This is the family I always wanted, so full of unwavering and unconditional and brave love, in it together, and even though it’s hard, and may get worse, I’m so grateful to be seeing each of them with such clarity.

    Also, it’s really hard to type when one is crying. Hugs to everyone out there that needs this kind of love.

    • Libbynan says...

      Sasha, thanks for reminding everyone that the struggles go on all of your life. My adult daughter is raising her grandchildren, which affects the whole family….including my 90-year-old mother. When your son-in-law comes down with shingles or your daughter-in-law’s dog dies, everyone needs a hug and a “love you.” These moments are when we really find out who loves us and how much. Unconditional and unwavering love I already understand; but thanks for pointing out BRAVE love. I needed that!

    • Carol Barclay says...

      Your story and your family are beautiful. May the way ease and you find that this sorrow has healed a little.

  45. aj says...

    I’m a medical student and days away from taking a big exam (the first part of our medical licensing exam). We’ve all been studying for months and are all super stressed out and nervous for it, not to mention feeling all sorts of inadequate and insecure (hello, imposter syndrome!). One of my friends came to the library and told me the previous night her boyfriend (after driving the 45 min to see her) had given her a little gift “just because he was proud of her” and how hard she had been working. PROUD OF HER. I think that is one of the most romantic things you can say to someone!

    • S K says...

      AJ! I’m studying for Step right now too!

      We GOT THIS. can’t wait to be your colleague :), best of luck <3

      Sending you good vibes from San Diego

    • Jenny says...

      Woohoo! CoJ Med School ladies!!! We can do this!

    • AJ says...

      omg SK & Jenny you just made my day :) :) :) yes we CAN do this!!! sending love and luck from NJ <3

    • Kim says...

      I’m also studying for step now! this is such a sweet story. good luck from st louis, ladies!!

    • Katie says...

      sending you all best wishes on step! you’ll be in residency before you know it, and the things you and your coresidents will do for each other to thrive during residency are beautiful daily gestures of love <3

  46. I’m a teacher at an independent K-12 school and for all of his schooling, my son was a student at the school. In the early years, I would walk him to class and he would say “I love you, Mama” as I left him at the door of his classroom. It was sweet and sincere. Fast forward to Middle School and High School and we would walk into the building together to go our separate ways. But my boy, now an athletic wrestler who towered over me, would still stop and say, “I love you, Mama,” before he headed his own way. He’d say it in front of anyone — never embarrassed, never missing the opportunity to make the declaration. I came from a more reserved family and this daily moment, so honest and so matter-of-fact, was always so powerful for me. I am glad that I raised a man who is not afraid to express his feelings.

    These days, my son is away at college and “I love you Mama” comes most often via text message. It’s still sweet.

    • kaela d. says...

      This one made me tear up. Looking forward to a future filled with more expressive and loving men. Good job, mama. xo

    • Carol Barclay says...

      Wonderful son, lucky Mama!

  47. Jill says...

    My very book smart and unambiguous oldest son wrote me a poem for my birthday…. the last refrain says:
    “Well, that’s all I have,
    Just enjoy it all you can.
    I just hope you know,
    I’m your biggest fan”

    Coming from my sweet 17-year-old…. I was floored when I read it. We just smiled at each other. It was one of my most cherished moments as a mom. This single piece of paper has become my most prized possession.

    • Sons can be so darn charming!

  48. Bren says...

    Oh my gosh I cried real tears when her boyfriend/later husband got in the shower – a true act of love!!! To add more weird/sweet acts of love…when my husband and I were first dating, I was working a corporate job and he was your typical musician, staying up super late and sleeping in late…and while he of course worked so hard at his job, he knew I thought he might appear lazy if he slept in crazy late when I had to get up at 6 every day. So one Saturday I got over to his house and I see multiple alarms plugged in on the floor and several post it notes all over his room and bathroom, and all they said were “BREN! SATURDAY!!!!!” hahahaha. I couldn’t stop laughing. I said “You need a post it note to remind you who I am and that it’s Saturday!?” And he said “I know you work hard all week and this is the ONE day you don’t have any work and I just didn’t want to sleep through the most important day we could be spending time together!” Seriously there were so many post it note moments that let me know he was the one. I have hundreds of post it notes that he’s written me to this day (9 years later)

  49. Rachel says...

    Omg. Kelly’s comment about her husband getting in the shower to hold her… instant tears. So kind.

    • Danielle says...

      Gosh, me too. Such a touching moment.

    • L says...

      Agree. I am trying, and hope that I can offer that degree of caring and solace to my spouse, who is currently dealing with fierce depression.

    • Stef says...

      L – My partner is dealing with deep depression now as well. I hope to give him the support and love that Kelly’s husband gave her. I’m so glad I read that today and read your comment. You’re not alone and neither is your husband.

  50. Beverly Something says...

    We lost my dad almost six years ago to a very lengthy battle with liver disease. There’s so much uncertainty and so many ups and downs when waiting for a transplant that we were all just mentally, physically, and emotionally drained by the time the end came.

    On the morning he died, we each took a moment to privately say our goodbyes and then gathered around his bed to share our favorite memories. He was intubated and couldn’t respond (which had to have been a personal hell for my story telling father) and we don’t know how much he understood, but it made such an incredible impact on me. Nurses and doctors kept stopping by his room to express sympathy and share with my grandparents how much they enjoyed caring for their son and how special our family was. Throughout it all, my mom was a rock and spent the entire morning explaining to my dad exactly what was happening between quick shoulder rubs, forehead caresses, bald spot kisses, and conversations with medical professionals. When the time came and she finally got a chance to sit down, she let out a deep breath and said to my dad, “Can you believe it, dear? Can you believe we built this life? Could you have ever imagined when you bought me a package of Sweet-tarts and walked me home from that movie that one day we’d be here, surrounded by our beautiful family sharing all these memories of our extraordinary life?” She went on to share the highlight reel from their 45ish years together, including some on-and-off middle/high school dating. They went on their first date in 7th grade, were married at 20, and went above and beyond when it came to living out their wedding vows – specifically all that richer/poorer and sickness/health stuff. Obviously I KNEW my parents had a life together beyond raising kids (They were one of those embarrassing married couples who would turn on the radio and dance cheek-to-cheek on the deck as the sun went down, let us watch an obscene amount of cartoons on Saturday mornings so they could “sleep in”, and were still truly enjoying each other’s company until the end. ), it was just the first time I’d considered the scope of my parents as a love story, and not just as the people who had been the primary source for all my basic needs for the first eighteen years of my life.

    I was not prepared for the intense physical pain i felt the moment my dad died, in fact part of me was worried that when the time came I wouldn’t feel anything, but after years of being somewhat resentful and jaded in the interest of self preservation, I was also not prepared to be completely overwhelmed by the massive amount of love in the minutes/hours/days leading up to his death. In that room there were sisters saying good bye to their only brother, parents holding it together while letting go of their child, kids losing their hero, and a woman bidding farewell to the love of her life. My mom was still teaching at that time and had to miss a big chunk of the end of school year, but she wrote letters to each of her third graders while we were in the ICU and my grandpa insisted on delivering them. My paternal grandparents aren’t very sentimental and don’t express love in the most obvious ways, but when I think of my grandpa dropping those letters off at school before making a two hour trip to say goodbye to his son, I get all sorts of choked up. It seemed like such a small gesture to him, but had an incredible impact and meant the world to my mom and her students. During our time in the hospital, I was also in awe of the physicians, nurses, CNAs, etc. working in the ICU who frequently experience loss and witness grief but still come back to work to do it all again.

    Okay, I ended up going on for WAY longer than expected, but now here are a couple of my favorite expressions of love that are rooted more in happiness:
    – My best friend’s name is Emily and her maiden name started with an M, so I would sign off every text/letter/email with “E.M.I.L.Y.” for “Emily M. I love you!” (In fact, there’s a good chance she’s reading this, and if she is: E.M.I.L.Y.!)
    – My eight year old niece is incredibly gifted in school and sports, but HATES to be fussed over and tends to downplay her achievements to family or close friends. However, whenever I come over she pulls me into her room and excitedly shows me her latest test scores and swimming medals then proceeds to spend hours talking about pro wrestling. I hope one day she’ll learn to be openly proud of her achievements, but for the time being it warms my heart and feels like the biggest honor in the world that she feels comfortable enough to let that guard down with me.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      This comment made me weep. Thank you so much for sharing part of your beautiful family and parents with us.

    • Aileen says...

      Ok this comment should have come with a mascara warning especially since I am reading it at work. Thank you so much for sharing such an important part of your life with us, it was beautiful xx

    • Alex says...

      I want a love story with my husband where someone uses the word “scope” – thanks for the salty coffee this morning. My dad died this year- it’s so hard but so okay too because like yours he was so great and is so still here….

    • Mel says...

      Bawling at 8am. Just bawling. Thank God I don’t work in an office anymore. A legacy left behind that is built of love is one of the most beautiful things in the world. Thank you for sharing

    • Beverly, I absolutely loved reading this story. Thank you for sharing such an intimate part of your life — you blessed others with your words.

    • Sasha L says...

      Such a beautiful story about your family Beverly. And your sweet friend and niece too. This made my day.

    • I also could not get through your story without getting up to find a tissue. Thank you for sharing your beautiful family with us.

    • AC says...

      Oh my. Wow. Thank you for sharing this with us. A beautiful picture of joy and sorrow existing together. I hope to be half the wife and mom your mom is. Love to you.

    • Leigh says...

      Sobbing at your mother’s words to your father. How beautiful.

    • Kari says...

      Wonderful and so touching – sobbing reading this beautiful comment.

    • so incredibly moving. all of it. thank you for this gorgeous glimpse into your beautiful, wonder-filled life.

    • Jenny says...

      Wow! Thank you for sharing this incredible story. It reminds me to take notice of the mundane and special moments with my husband and to honor my parents 40 year marriage.

    • Jody says...

      Your writing and this story are just so beautiful. It should be a Modern Love essay. I’m also crying at work, thank you so much for sharing.

    • S says...

      This is my favorite CoJ comment. You’re an incredible storyteller and you have such a wonderful family. Also fully crying at work nbd.

    • Annie says...

      Wasn’t expecting to be weeping today. I’ve never read anything as beautiful as what your Mom said to your Dad. Literally still crying. Thank you!

    • Dee says...

      Reading this at work. CRYING! What a beautiful comment. What a picture you paint of your parents’ love story. Please write a novel and come back and let us know. Thank you for sharing!

    • It is always a gift to read Cup of Jo and the comments but yours was a little miracle in my life. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. You are so loved.

  51. Sally says...

    Firstly, my hubby and I met at work.
    I knew I’d found the man I was ultimately going to marry when I returned to work 5 days after my dad had suddenly died, to find him waiting on the front steps of our office, holding a cup of coffee he’d made for me.
    He’d got into work extra early, to make sure he’d beat me in, and just that tiny little thoughtful act both broke AND fixed my heart, all in the same moment.

    • Abigail says...

      Broke and fixed my heart, all in the same moment. I love this line.

      I’m sorry you lost your dad.

  52. Katie says...

    I have a note saved on my phone called “my person ❤️“ that I update frequently and comes in handy after an argument. It never fails to bring me back to the many reasons why I love my partner desperately. Some highlights:

    – Watched the livestream of my keynote presentation and proudly shared it on Facebook
    – Makes up lyrics about me to the tune of songs he likes and sings them even when he thinks I’m not listening
    – Helped my aunt with her job search

    These are the small things that make life and love so sweet.

    • Elizabeth says...

      What a wonderful idea Katie! I will be putting this into practice!

    • Dana says...

      I love this! Starting mine right now. My husband and I have always been extremely expressive and affectionate, but with a teenager, a toddler, and at 30 weeks pregnant, I’ve been a bit more short than I’d like to be. But he’s changed my life in all the best ways – mostly through tiny beautiful actions, and I need to remind myself of that so I don’t take him for granted.

  53. J. says...

    Reading these has made my whole day! Will shout joyfully from the mountaintops any day that if you ever need to feel and see some magic and love hard at work, the COJ comment sections is a good place to start! It’s lovely to see love from YOU, Joanna, always.

    I particularly loved the part about romance and love from friends. I am a person who says “I love you” effusively, to everyone, but each of my best friends and I say a little something different or special to the other– in person, via texts, in cards–that always makes me feel so loved. With one, it’s “we were put on this earth to be each other’s each other;” with another, it’s “I’m with you & I’m in your pocket.” My sister and I always say “I don’t know what we did right but I’m so happy we get to do today and our whole lives together,” and each of these mantras always makes me blown away by how feeling understood and loved is the greatest treasure of all.

  54. Kirsty says...

    In our early months of dating, I traveled with my boyfriend (now husband) to San Francisco. He suggested we take the 49-mile scenic drive and towards the end of the drive I needed a bathroom and realized the only option anywhere convenient was a porta-potty. He already knew me so well and sensed my trepidation, so ran ahead to the porta-potty only to emerge a few minutes later to declare, “It’s ready for you!”

    I stepped in to find he had covered every available (icky) surface with toilet paper-so funny and yet I was charmed by this quirky moment of thoughtfulness! He turned out to be a keeper. :)

  55. Katie Larissa says...

    I’m Katie. And I am reading this post late at night in my hospital bed, bleeding and exhausted and happy, new baby in my arms and husband in the recliner beside us sleeping. I couldn’t have made it through today without him. He massaged my back, sat behind me to put pressure on my lower back while I contracted, and a while ago I caught him flinching when he rubbed his hands with purell because of the fingernail gouges I left in his hands while I pushed our daughter into the world.

    • Nina says...

      Congrats! Glad all are well. Enjoy your beautiful daughter!

    • Catie says...

      Ahh! Congrats! My son is 20mo and my husband was my biggest cheerleader in the hospital. When things were looking bad he kicked all the doctors and nurses out of the room and we just breathed together for a while. They feel like they have to be so strong but they’re in awe of us, you know? Good luck :)

  56. K says...

    My husband and I were talking about how someone had called me rude. Out of the blue, my three year old said, very indignantly, “Mama is not rude. She is a very, very nice person!” My heart melted.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Awww that is so so sweet. What a love. It reminds me of how Anton will always laugh a ton at Alex’s jokes, even “dad jokes” or jokes he doesn’t understand. Alex is always like, Anton you always have my back! So so sweet.

  57. Katherine says...

    I remember waking up one Sunday morning, sniffling with spring allergies, and joining my now-husband to sip coffee on the couch. Before I could even say good morning, he glanced at me and said “you’re really congested,” and when I laughed and said yes and asked how he could tell when I hadn’t even said a word, he said “I know your face that well, that I could tell from looking.” How lovely it is, to rest your eyes on the face of a loved one and know it better than your own.

  58. MD says...

    My son turned two a few days ago. He’s taken to saying ‘I love you too’, often in the most chore like moments. I FINALLY finish changing his diaper, he throws his arms around my neck and sighs ‘I love you too’. I pick him up to cross the street after a 25 minute walk home, he rests his head on my shoulder and says ‘I love you too’. I like to think its because he knows all those little things are ways I say I love you.

    • Kristy Lin says...

      that is so so sweet.

  59. Brittany says...

    When I was in my last trimester of twin pregnancy and was so puffy I could hardly stand straight, I had to pee in a cup for suspected preeclampsia. I remember taking the little cup, heading into the single-stall bathroom at the doctor’s office and taking a deep breath as I tried, unsuccessfully, to hold the tiny cup between my swollen legs and more swollen belly. I had no idea how to make this happen. I, quite literally, could not see my feet at that point. After about a minute or so of trying to find the right position, I lowered my dress, opened the door, caught my husband’s eyes from across the waiting room, and did the come-here-finger-motion. He immediately knew what I needed and, with a look of complete till-death-do-us-part-for-better-or-worse love, held that tiny cup between my legs as I peed (succesfully!) into it.

    • Geri says...

      Keep your flowers, chocolates and romantic getaways. A man who will catch your pee is the epitome of love in my opinion.

  60. Vicki says...

    My love asked me to marry him within months of being together. We have been together 2 years. With a few tough moments.
    But every night we hug body to body for awhile then kiss each other goodnight. I roll over and he hugs me ever so tightly until he’s ready to roll over. Saying sleep well, as we both do.
    Then we fall asleep. Touching each other with our legs, back. Anything as long as we are still
    Touching to fall asleep. I live if he wakes up during the night and he snuggles in juggling and holding me tight. ❤️

  61. Sarah says...

    During our second pregnancy two years ago, my husband and I lost our identical twin girls at 21 weeks when I went into premature labor. The grief after coming home from the hospital was all- encompassing. In those first few weeks, I would lie on the couch and weep often. My husband had to go back to work and life went on. Family and friends stayed with me and our two year old son. But as soon as my husband would get home from work, he would curl up next to me on the couch and hold me; letting me cry and wiping my tears. It was raw and tender. His arms were the only place I felt safe and gave me comfort. He was grieving just as much as I was but in those moments he was so strong for me. In the midst of such immense heartbreak and grief, it was the purest form of love.

    • Brittany says...

      I’m so sorry for your immense loss, Sarah. My heart breaks for you and your husband.

    • Geri says...

      Oh Sarah, ‘I’m sorry’ are such useless words and yet I can’t think of anything else to say. I really am truly sorry and saddened reading your comment. I’m happy that you have such a good husband and that he has you too. Go gently.

  62. Such a creative blog post! I love it. The comments were amazing. I went through so many different emojis reading this.

  63. Tiffany says...

    I’m a first time mama of a beautiful 3 month old baby girl. I remember 1week post partum and I was feeding our baby and sobbing (because of my sore nipples/crotch, swollen feet, anxiety,sleep deprivation and hello hormones). My husband took our baby, ran me a bath and literally undressed me and put me in the water. I cry just thinking about it (because hello hormones ha ha).

  64. Jess says...

    After watching me struggle to get our two you kids into car seats in my little car, my husband traded in his beloved (pretty new) pickup truck. He got me a minivan, and now drives my tiny car to work every day. That is the most sacrificial, romantic gesture I’ve ever experienced.

    • Leah says...

      Now that’s love.

  65. Robber Soup says...

    When my now husband and I were both in graduate school I had a terrible disappointment, I didn’t get to join the lab I wanted to join, I was just distraught (it seemed so important at the time!) and I drove to his house in the middle of the week, three hours away (we were long distance back then). He met me at the door with a HUGE Hershey bar and a pitcher of margaritas. That, to me, is true love. I’ll always remember that!

  66. Hollis says...

    When my now husband and I were dating, shortly after we’d said I love you, I tried to do the coy, “I love you more” thing. He was NOT HAVING IT. He said, “No. My ex used to play that game all the time. We aren’t going to be like that, always convinced one of us loves the other less. We love each other the same. And it’s a lot.” It was so straightforward and simple and trusting. I couldn’t ask for anything more in the early stages of my forever relationship. Twelve years later we still say, “I love you the same. And it’s a lot.”

    • Rose says...

      In my current relationship I can’t tell who “loves more.” It is the greatest sign!

  67. KL says...

    Most nights, my husband and I cuddle in bed for a little while. When we move apart to our own sides of the bed, we each put out a foot to touch the other’s foot until we fall asleep. Been that way for 10 years, and I’m thinking it’ll be that way for 100.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i love that so much, KL.

    • Jessica says...

      We do that too! We call it ‘point of contact’

    • txilibrin says...

      We do that too!!!!!!!

  68. Jessica S. says...

    I’m a lifelong, enthusiastic book lover while my boyfriend of 8 years rolls his eyes at fiction and (although he reads plenty of news articles) wouldn’t sit down to read a novel for anything.

    One day in a bookstore I looked up at him (with a copy of Little Women in my hands no less), and half-jokingly said “What if I die before I get to finish all the books I want to read?!” to which he sincerely replied “I’ll get a copy of everything on your list and read aloud in case you can still hear me”.

    The thought of him reading Louisa May Alcott to my ghost is true love.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      omg! THE ROMANCE!

    • Blair says...

      SWOON!

    • Katie says...

      Love this. That is very sweet!

    • kaela d. says...

      Oh geez. Teary-eyed librarian here. Good guy. Very good guy.

  69. Claire says...

    When my son was five, and a year into a fourteen month battle with brain cancer, I was helping him down the stairs at my parents house when he paused, braced himself with one hand, looked at me and said “mom, what would I *ever* do without you…”

    Heart shattering and sacred.

    Three years (and a few off months) without him and those words… everything <3

    • Vicki says...

      How special. So lovely 😊 🤗

    • Omg. Hugs to you. So sweet

    • Stephanie says...

      Oh Claire – that is one of the most beautiful and heart-wrenching things I’ve ever read. I’m so sorry for your loss. And – and I hope this comes across the way I intend – I’m so glad you experienced that kind of love between you and your son. May his memory be a blessing and a comfort to you.

    • Amy Lynn says...

      Oh Claire, that brought me to tears. Sending my love to you…

    • Emily V says...

      Claire, I don’t know you but I’m sending you my thoughts and love. What a powerful moment, what a wonderful boy. I don’t know what to say, but I wanted to tell you that this has touched me.

    • Rachel says...

      This is tragic and so beautiful. Sending my love and sympathy.

    • Sarah says...

      Claire – my word. What love. Thank you for sharing that with us. Much love to you.

    • Jess says...

      Oh Claire, this is so, so powerful. Thinking of you, and your sweet son xx

    • Tori says...

      Claire- you sound like an amazing mom, and what an amazing son to recognize and appreciate your love. So sorry for your loss.

    • DC says...

      A lot of these comments are sweet but this one brought me to tears. What a wonderful memory to have of your son – to know how loved and appreciated you were by him, I’m sure is everything to you. You sound like a fantastic mom to a really sweet boy ❤️

  70. Ann says...

    Every time I change around my boyfriend, whether it’s getting into a t-shirt to sleep or if he’s only half awake in bed while I get dressed in the morning, he always comments or whistles or makes a noise at me like he’s never seen me before and thinks it’s so amazing.. it’s a constant, sweet reminder that he loves me in all my looks and forms and sleepiness

    • Vicki says...

      How lovely. ❤️

    • Daniela says...

      My man does this too. Every single time I change around him he gives me an appreciative glance or makes a comment. The best!

  71. Jenn says...

    Just yesterday as my sweet boyfriend was walking out the door after kissing me goodbye, he looked up at the sky, then turned around and said “It’s supposed to rain today, don’t forget your umbrella!” I thought about it all day.

  72. Vicki says...

    My daughters shared these words with me a few months back.
    ‘I’ve grown up in a household where we say ‘I love you’ after a phone call, every time I walk out the door of the house, before I go to sleep at night.
    No matter what it is always said. I seriously cherish that I have been raised this way. ‘

    This means the world to me as I feel it is so important to say ‘I love you’.

  73. Phoebe says...

    My husband and I have been married for 5 years. Almost every single night I come up to bed to find the extra blanket spread out on my side of the bed just the way I like it, and my water bottle filled and on my nightstand. He’s just so wonderful and I feel so lucky to have such a kind, attentive, best friend as my spouse.

  74. E says...

    OMG!! Pregnant lady ugly crying over here – congratulations!! <3 May you both have all the wonderful things marriage has to offer (and the patience to get through the less than wonderful things). Being married is great.

  75. Sarah Jane says...

    This article reminds me of and pairs nicely with Caroline’s article about saying “i love you”. Because there are so many actions and other ways we communicate love to each other (in romantic, family, and friendship loves in our lives).

    My boyfriend and I have so many funny ways we communicate our love. Often one of us will press a cold hand or a cold nose against the other person, and when the other says “yikes! you’re so cold!!”, the owner of the cold appendage will somberly say “neglect!”
    and it’s our little way of asking each other for affection and touch. We both do it all the time!

  76. Chrissie says...

    Oh my god, these comments are making me cry!

    I love seeing my three kids loving each other. I have three kids and my two oldest (12 and 10 years old) don’t get along very well and definitely don’t show that they love each other very often. When my daughter was five and starting kindergarten, though, my older son showed some love and it still makes me cry. My daughter was talking about being nervous about going to school and was worrying she’d have no one to play with. My son (who was seven and normally teased her relentlessly) quietly said to her “when you’re at recess, I’ll look for you. I won’t let you be alone”.

    I’LL LOOK FOR YOU.

    See kids, I told you loved each other!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Omg I’m crying Chrissie!!

    • Becky says...

      This made me cry! I love this story.

    • aubry says...

      Very, very sweet !

      Also reminds us just how serious school culture can be for kids – in fact I’d love to see a post on how to know when to move your child from a toxic school culture because it really seems like that’s a thing now. Yet parents just seem to leave their children in place to suffer through it and ‘toughen up’. Minor arguments yes, they need to learn to fight their own battles but bullying or ostracization that is not nipped immediately in the bud by admin, at a certain point that is just appalling neglect, bound to create serious socialization issues.

    • Kristy Lin says...

      my goodness, too sweet.

    • Lindsey says...

      Of all the stories, this one got me. The sweetest thing I’ve ever heard.

  77. Krystal says...

    These make my heart ache with joy. May all of you continue to feel the love you celebrated and shared here, and/or find the kind of love you seek. And may we all be the reason someone else feels loved, seen, heard, held all the more often!

  78. Erica Bishop says...

    I love the toe thing. I don’t know when it started, but my husband and I will randomly reach over and give a little tug on the other person’s earlobe (esp when we’re in the car) or draw a heart on their arm or leg with our finger. No idea when any of that started.

    Early in our marriage my husband had a weird existential moment of “What if the internet just disappeared? We’d have no proof of anything we’ve done!” meaning all our photos are online. Now, every year on our anniversary, he goes through all our social media/photo drives and prints out a years worth of highlights. After I go to bed, he tapes them in the shape of whatever year it is to all the doors in our apartment by theme: the pantry is family, the bathroom is friends, the linen closet is events/concerts, the front door is us, etc. Last week was our 5th anniversary, I’m 22 weeks pregnant with our first child, and I started my day sobbing my face off at all the giant “5”s of photos around our apartment.

    • Priya says...

      Oh my god this is so sweet and romantic Erica!

  79. Haha! I’m the Joyce mentioned above. I married my long term boyfriend in May of 2016 (about a year after I left that comment, I believe) and would happily go to the DMV or the dentist with him any day. (:

    Also, I’ve been reading this blog for a LONG time! Thank you for writing it. xo.

  80. Jen says...

    I had a very difficult recovery from my c-section when our son was born. My husband held me up while I showered and washed my hair, helped me get dressed, walked me to the bathroom and even pulled down my pants for me. He brought me food, took care of our son, and encouraged me to move around even when the pain was too much. And he did all of it without hesitation or comments other than “what do you need me to do?” If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.

    • Airlie says...

      Help during c-section recovery is a special kind of love. There’s so much the other person can’t un-see. My husband was also amazing through it all and never flinched.

    • This! My husband created a makeshift kitchen and entertainment area in our upstairs bedroom when I could barely walk down the stairs after my C-section. He even offered to put the Christmas tree in the hallway so I wouldn’t have to make the trip! I always think back lovingly on those early, crazy times with our daughter.

  81. Meghan says...

    On our wedding day, I ended up feeling really sick right before our first dance, with the combo of nerves, heat exhaustion, and not much to eat since the bagel at breakfast. The last thing I felt up to was dancing in front of a room full of people, where all eyes in were on just us two. Our wonderful DJ had the idea to introduce us as husband and wife, let us dance for a mere 10 seconds solo, and then invited all other couples to join us in or first dance of LOVE. I remember this being one of the sweetest sights at my wedding. My husband was literally holding me up, my parents were dancing next to me, and my widowed aunt had grabbed my brother for a slow dance. The pictures from this moment are spectacular and it was such a rare, unscripted, terrible moment for me at the time, that ended up engraved in my mind. No longer was the focus on me and how sick I felt, it suddenly became about all of this love that everyone shared in the ballroom that night for us. Turns out, everyone came together, “in sickness and in health.”

  82. Josie says...

    When I would get up to nurse our daughter in the middle of the night during Minnesota winter, I would return to my husband sleeping on my side to keep my spot warm for me. Every single time.

    • aubry says...

      :’}

  83. Christy says...

    “Oh, mama.” 😩💔 That reminds me of something I read on this blog a long time ago, when a mom said her toddler son sat next to her and absentmindedly patted her belly and said “You’re just a big ol’ mama. A biiiiiiig ollllllll’ mama.” That mom felt loved too ☺️

    • NicC says...

      I always remembered that comment too! So gorgeous ♡

  84. I keep a list of special little moments between me and my boyfriend in my notes app on my phone. I like to look back over them when I’m feeling sappy or lonely or just want to remember why I love him. There are perhaps too many to pick, but here’s one of my favorites:
    Recently, we’ve had a lot of overlapping work trips where I return home from being gone only for him to leave the next day. On one such trip, he picked me up from the airport and when we got home he had bought flowers (which was wonderful), but in an even more impressive move, he had filled the fridge with my favorite things (fresh pasta and ice cream, namely) so that way I didn’t have to go to the store right away after getting home. It made his absence sting a little less and it made me feel so incredibly loved.

  85. kiki says...

    my boyfriend and I were about to do a month of long distance and he decided the week before that he wanted to get to know my body so well that he knew it like the back of his hand. He spent every day of the next week getting to know a body part. “Today is leg day. So, tell me about your leg? Any history here?”

    We laughed about birth marks and random scars, and felt so much more connected when he left. So strange and yet I love him so much for it.

    • Christina Copp says...

      That’s really cute :)

  86. Jamie says...

    I’ve had a long habit of taking songs and replacing the words to fit; first my pets and husband, and now my kid. When he was a little guy, I’d sing the Isley Brothers “This Old Heart of Mine” and replace the words to sing “I love you. Tiny Pickle, yes it’s true.” to my son. Now he’s turning nine (!) this month and every now and again he’ll yell/sing from the other room “Hey mom! I love you-ooo-ooo!” It’s a punch in the gut every time.

  87. Christina says...

    All of these are monumentally wonderful but the one from Kelly made me cry while waiting under the dryer in the beauty salon.

  88. Sarah says...

    OMG the shower comment! I’m in tears!

    This morning, I had one of those knock down, drag out battle-of-the-wills with my two year old. Getting out of the house was rough–he was crying, I was crying–and the walk to daycare was both of us very quiet and processing. When we got there, I sat in front of his stroller and said, “I am sorry for yelling earlier. Mommy felt frustrated and angry, but she didn’t express it well. I’m sorry and I love you.” And my kid held out his arms and said, “Mommy sorry, I sorry, hugs Mommy! Love you!”

    Talk about all the feels.

  89. Colleen says...

    Oh Kelly, what a moment. What a lovely person he is.

  90. Moriah says...

    A few years ago right before Christmas, I received an letter in the mail from a high school friend I hadn’t spoken to in ages. Inside were notes from all of my close high school friends with letters of love and encouragement. They had heard that my parents were getting divorced and wanted to send love my way during my first Christmas with separated parents. Their act of kindness meant the world to me. Romantic love is amazing, but we shouldn’t forget how powerful the love between friends is.

    • Rezia says...

      So sweet.

    • aubry says...

      Wow that is an amazingly kind and thoughtful group. You’re so fortunate!

  91. SSN says...

    My husband and I have been in the process of trying to adopt for four years now. Last September we got a placement of two newborn twins (one boy, one girl)! Totally unexpected cause we were looking for older sibling groups.

    As they’ve grown, we are realizing one of the twins will most likely have some cognitive difficulties and impairments. Education and learning have always been important in our family– my husband has a PhD and I have an MEd. As we discussed this potential curveball, I began to ask my husband “What are we going to do if he has________? What are we going to do if he can’t _____. What are we going to do if he needs _____?” So many what are we going to do’s?

    My husband stopped what he was doing, looked at me and said, “I don’t care what he can and can’t do in life. All I care about is that he becomes a kind person. That’s all that really matters.”

    I had no more questions and that moment will be the one I remember when I think of how much I love my husband and now, my new family.

    • Nadine says...

      This is so beautiful ssn! Thank you for sharing, you both sound like wonderful parents.
      Since I was young I imagined my adult self as an adoptee parents and now in my 30s i’m kind of starting to think about it seriously. I’m not sure if it’s possible for me, my work makes me move countries every few years and I don’t know what my boyfriend thinks of the matter. But I would love to read a post about different experiences. Or does anyone has links or resources to share?

    • SSN says...

      Nadine,

      I blog about our experience here:

      ssnovlan.com

      We started with international adoption, then private, and finally foster to adopt. We’ve taken many side roads. My husband travels a lot for work, we take a lot of international trips, and both have very busy jobs. But our kids were always meant to be our kids and they fit right in. To us, our family will be one that explores the world, goes with the flow, works hard, and respects others. We can do that from anywhere in the world.

  92. AH says...

    When my (now) husband and I were first dating he would text, “still like me?” every now and again, just to make sure (and of course my reply would always be “yes!!!”). I thought it was so cute because it was SO OBVIOUS that I did like him. Now, we will both send each other texts every so often to check in that say, “SLM?”. Sometimes when we are arguing he will text me the “SLM?”, and it isn’t as easy to reply in a positive way, but it’s a great reminder of how much I really truly DO like him, even in tough moments.

  93. Maggie MacDonald says...

    This might be TMI but I just feel like I have to share this amazing experince since I can’t tell anyone in real life! Definitely TMI for that!

    A few weeks ago I got a horrible yeast infection (why is being a woman so hard?!?) and it was intense. I was doubled over in pain on the bathroom floor. My boyfriend of 5 years found me there and immediately ran to the kitchen to get a bag of frozen peas to help with the itch and sting and then ran out at 7am, in the ran to stop and shop to get some yogurt (I’m trying to reduce the medications I put in my body so just plain yogurt and garlic this time around). He came home with a huge thing of plain yogurt and a ginger ale to comfort me. Once I could stand he wrapped me in my robe and tucked me in on the couch to sleep off the traumatic experience. I have never felt more vulnerable, seen or loved. He didn’t jump back in horror because I was having “lady problems” he jumped in and to my rescue. I don’t know what I would have done without him that day.

    • Heather says...

      That’s amazing! I’d like to share another way that men can be awesome about “lady issues”.

      My boyfriend is comfortable about removing my tampons whole we’re messing around before we have sex. I thought this was great on its own, but then, after the most recent period-sex romp, he silently picked up my (adequately full) tampon and carried it in his bare hands to the bathroom trash across the hall – even listening when, after I realized what he was doing, I told him to wrap it really well in toilet paper (it’s a shared bathroom! I didn’t want my business out there so I checked the trash and saw he had).

      That’s not even the amazing part. What’s amazing is when he came back from the bathroom, and I told him I was amazed at how comfortable he was to volunteer to do that for me, and how I didn’t think men could he comfortable around used feminine products like that. He smiled, and waved his (washed!) hands around his face and said, sarcastically, “oh no, your lady parts! I wouldn’t want to get ANYWHERE around those!” I love how comfortable he made me feel about something that would make me self-conscious around any other person.

    • Jeannie says...

      Not TMI at all! And, I hope this is helpful: I had horrendous, recurring yeast infections in my mid-20’s and it stemmed from a sudden intolerance to dairy (cue sad music). It took me a few years to figure this out, so I’m hoping to pass this along. It might not be dairy intolerance, but it could be related to diet/food ingredient.

    • aubry says...

      Probiotic caps or live raw sauerkraut for the dairy intolerant but also just good for everyone.

  94. Lainey says...

    These are bittersweet to read, and so beautiful. My former fiancé and partner of six years is moving out next week after a long, challenging, thoughtful separation. I know there will be lonely moments ahead, and after reading this post I think I want to write down every single act of loving kindness that people have shown me during this time, so that I never forget them.

    • Jeanne says...

      Thinking of you Lainey. Hang in there. The sun will rise again.

    • A says...

      I am having a similar response, because I’m not with a romantic partner and also not feeling beautiful at the moment, either…

    • MM says...

      Lainey, you’re reminding me to consciously practice perceiving abundance wherever in my life I see lack. I’ve done this before with money — one year during a really rough financial period, I cut all my extraneous spending, but so as not to forget how well I was provided for, I wrote down every gift I received, whether it was payment for work, a friend spotting dinner out, or a word of kindness. But I’ve never systematically done it to remark the (overwhelmingly abundant) love in my life in seasons where I wish for romantic intimacy. I recently broke up with a wonderful man who I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life with, and sometimes I feel that the authority of my desire is tremendously suspect — that I want something I can’t have. So these comments are beautiful to read, to see how much love there is to go around, romantically and otherwise — they’ll keep my romantic hopes alive while reminding me that my cup overflows already ;)

  95. J says...

    My husband and I both work full time and try to divide up the house duties as much as we can. The chore that we both struggle to stay on top of is washing the dishes. We don’t have a dishwasher and always go home from lunch during the workday. If we don’t make the dishes a priority each evening, they can really pile up. Every now and then, my husband will tackle the mountain of dirty dishes by himself and clean the kitchen to boot. When I thank him he always says, “It’s just another way to say ‘I love you'”.

  96. kai says...

    my very low key husband’s most romantic gesture happened when i went abroad to chile during my junior year in college (we met at 18/19!). he called me every single day for 10 minutes (hey we weren’t millionares) for 8 months. this was somehow much more shocking in 2003 than it would be now–calling card/host family landline minefields were navigated to make the international communication happen! it feels like such a good encapsulation of his general approach to our relationship–not the flashiest, just steady, constant reminders of genuine, kind regard. and that some part of his heart is always with me, even when he’s far away.

  97. Nicole says...

    Every night when we sit down together for dinner my 2 year old exclaims “this looks wonderful!” Even when she refuses most of the food (she is still a toddler after all 😂), she thanks her mama for the dinner. I can only say that she learned this from her dad who is a wonderful example.

    • Christy says...

      What a sweet girl & dad!

    • jacquie says...

      that’s so sweet! you have two keepers :)

  98. Taylor says...

    aghh! I never understood a man’s desire to propose, so when my fiance told me it was something he was planning on doing, and that getting down on the knee with a ring was important to him I felt kind of left out! Like why does he get to give me something I’ll wear forever but I don’t get to give him something? So I went out and got him a $500 gift card for him to get a suit at J. Crew. (He’s not a bougie watch guy, and he didn’t own a suit.) It was the most amount of money I’d ever spent at one time on another person as a gift.

    I TOTALLY get why men (and women) enjoy proposing. The rush when I gave it to him was amazing! It was me saying “no one in this world is more important than you and you deserve something amazing and I want you to get a suit you’ll have forever.” Now he’s going to wear the suit he got when we get married :)

  99. BR says...

    About a month after we got married, I was still learning how to cook and wasn’t very good. My husband said “That’s not how my mom makes it,” one night while I was making baked chicken breasts. I was hurt and asked him to be nice about my cooking because I’m still learning. Later when we were about halfway through our dinner, he said carefully, “Umm honey, it tastes really good and you did a great job, but I don’t think my chicken is cooked all the way through. Please don’t be offended, but I’m going to put it back in the oven.” I looked down and, sure enough, it was RAW. He had eaten half a raw chicken breast for me out of love.

    • Caitlin says...

      Oh gosh, this made me laugh. One time, my sister and I made my dad dinner (we were pretty young) and we were SO proud of ourselves. We baked chicken breasts and as we watched my dad cut into his chicken breast, it was totally raw. I just remember him saying so kindly, “it’s okay. Let’s just pop it in the microwave.”

    • Ingrid says...

      Gee since he’s the expert on how his mother makes it why doesn’t he think to prepare it? Awkward!

  100. Hannah says...

    Hello! I am the Hannah that is mentioned above, with the Seinfeld-watching toe-holding fiancé!

    Except…. he’s not my fiancé anymore because blog reader, I married him.
    Just Yesterday!

    This has made me SO very excited to see our anecdote on Cup Of Jo, which I am reading in bed on our mini-moon while the husband snores next to me.

    • Caroline Donofrio says...

      Hannah! This is so sweet and makes us so happy! Congratulations to you.

    • Jill says...

      !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Totally giggling now!
      Congratulations on your dream coming true!

    • Megan Raitano says...

      Ahhh!! Congratulations to you both! May you have so many lovely years of toe-holding <3

    • Adri says...

      This is such a great story, it made my heart swell a little :) Congrats!!

    • Elspeth says...

      Best comment ever! You hold on to your toe-holder 😊 congratulations Hannah!

    • Mariana says...

      Yey! Congratulations!

    • awwww!! Congrats, Hannah!! Enjoy your mini-moon. xoxo.

    • Vicki says...

      How lovely. I wish you the happiest life filled with love 💗

    • Anna says...

      Love the Jane Eyre reference:) congrats on your marriage!

  101. BMH says...

    I had a baby recently and was busy nursing him and putting him to sleep. I came out into the living room after the baby was down, and my husband had propped up his phone and had been recording the bachelor (which he despises, ha) for me on his phone so I wouldn’t miss anything since we don’t have cable, (so no pause/rewind option). I couldn’t stop laughing! Such a simple act, but I felt so loved! :)

    • Rachel says...

      Wow! That’s is LOVE!

  102. Sarah King says...

    Just a couple weeks ago, my grandfather passed away. I was very close to him, so it hit me hard. I went home to help make arrangements, attend the funeral, and be close to family. I was staying in my parent’s guest room and the first night there I found that the top sheet was on after the extra blanket instead of the other way around (I’m a firm believer in the top sheet). I was too emotionally and physically exhausted from the drive in to town that I didn’t fix it, I just slept like it was. The next day I casually joked about it to my mom and mentioned that I’d have to remember to fix it before bed that night (she knows my strong opinions about top sheets). That night I went out for drinks with friends who were graciously trying to keep me company during my sad time. I got home late and realized I never fixed the sheet, but once again I was too tired to fix it. I finally crawled into bed after my nighttime routine only to find my mom had fixed the sheet/blanket for me and left a little note saying she loved me.

    It was the most random little gesture, but it meant so much to me, especially during such an emotionally raw time. I never felt more loved and cared for.

    • freya says...

      moms are the best. so sorry for your loss.

    • Katie says...

      I imagine it made her happy to do this for you. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  103. Kate Bowen says...

    These are wonderful.

  104. Jen says...

    Whenever I take a trip, the first night I get home, and my boyfriend and I are laying in bed, he’ll grab my hand and say “I’m glad you’re home.”

    He’s not as emotional when communicating as I am, especially when we’re apart, so that moment always feels like a special acknowledgment of our life and our love.

  105. Daniela says...

    Oh, multiple of these brought examples from my own life.

    My fiancé too always gropes me in the kitchen. Doesnt matter how I look, if I’m on my period, he will still do it. He tells me I’m beautiful every single day as well and I often wake up in the middle of the night to him holding me.

    I suffer from depression. One day I was laying on the couch crying and completely unable to get up. He got his snowboard outfit (multiple sizes too large for me) and tenderly dressed me while I lay there. It even made me laugh!

    Also, one of my cats never leaves my side when I’m sick or sad. Thanks for the reminders!

  106. Molly says...

    When my youngest son was 2 and I’d tell him I loved him he’d reply, “I wuv wuv.” Now my husband and I always say that to each other, “I love love!”

  107. alexis says...

    “Mommy, you just sit there and eat, okay? Daddy and I will clean up, okay?”

    Where do you think he got that from?

  108. Sarah says...

    Thank you for this. It was beautiful and made me happy today.

  109. j.d. says...

    oh i loved all of these….beautiful!

  110. Jackie says...

    Crying at my desk and simultaneously so excited to see my husband after work. Love these comment round-ups!

    If I could add my own, I felt so loved when, while dancing at a wedding together to a fun, fast song, I whispered “Does my breath smell” to my husband and he answered enthusiastically, “Yes!” I was mortified and asked him “What!?” He confusedly replied, “Didn’t you ask if we are best friends?” We still laugh about that conversation and the memory is just the sweetest. He’s definitely my best, best friend.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      omg that is so so cute :) :) :)

    • Monica Mulhern says...

      I so love that, sitting here at my desk just laughing alone!

    • Sarah says...

      I am putting my daughter to bed and silently shaking with laughter…. this is the absolute best!

    • S says...

      Oh my gosh the “so excited to see my husband” line is the sweetest.

  111. Emma says...

    I got my haircut yesterday and was feeling iffy about it because I only paid for the cut (no wash or style at Great Clips no less!) but when I latched my two year old in his car seat he looked up at me and said, “Can I touch your haircut Mama?” After touching my hair he said, “I love it!” There’s nothing like being loved by a sweet two year old!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      omg that is SO sweet! what a love.

      toby once asked me, “mama, did you get a delicious haircut?” and i was like, “yes, toby, yes i did.”

  112. L says...

    Wow – These moments were so sweet and they did make me feel warm and fuzzy, but now I’m sitting on my couch crying. I’m sorry to be such a downer, but now I feel so alone. I’m 33 and single. I have a great life, but not a family of my own. Having people in my life who would do these gloriously incredible things for me feels like a pipe dream. Crossing my fingers – I know I deserve these things too!

    • Ryane says...

      I was single until I was 33 (35 now) and it was so hard. I loved my life and my friends but I wondered what I was missing without a partner.
      After a particularly long week, I remember sobbing to my long distance best friend that I just wanted someone to finally take care of me, instead of me being the one everyone relied on. Coming home from work a few days later and a beautiful box of bath bombs, lotion, warm socks and more was on my doorstep with a note that said “I’m here to take care of you, across the distance.” Even now, with an adoring spouse, this is still one of the moments I felt most seen and loved by my friend.

    • camile says...

      Lately I’ve felt the same – what’s helped me is to realize that my primary job, Right Now, is to Love my Self as simply and creatively and broadly and deeply as possible. As if I were my own child who felt the same way. No excuses. I have to practice remembering this as soon as I feel lonely and then – well it’s become a strange and welcome awareness that I have the l luxury of doing just that when so many others are bound by relationships that pull them away from themselves. Give it a try?

    • Abigail says...

      I don’t know you, but yes! Yes, you do deserve all these things! Sending love your way.

    • Ella says...

      Yeah, sometimes CoJ can be really hard to read if you’re single. It’d be nice to include more versions of love here that aren’t for mother/wife. Think Disney Frozen! I’m single too, and it’s exhausting to be constantly told by the media that somehow my experience isn’t as real somehow. I experience love when my sister sends me a text first thing in the morning so I know someone is thinking of me when they wake up 💚
      I need more single-person reinforcement in my life.

    • MKW says...

      Sending so many feelings of self-love. You are important. You are special. Many care for you.

    • HH says...

      Ditto, L, Ella, etc. And I’m 39! It’s when I’m going to bed that I feel most alone although, honestly, I am not alone. Cat #1 curls up on top of my face. Cat #2 curls up on my toes. Cat #3 looks on enviously from the doorway because she’s not-quite-tame. Sometimes I wonder if I had two fewer cats if there would be a man in my life. But then I think the only ex who took issue with these sweet kitties was someone I am now thankful to NOT have married. And the time I have, right now, to be truly there for my sister (when she really needs it) and an aunt to my niece as she waddles through the lovely-ever-changing-days-of-toddlerhood, seems such a remarkable blessing that somehow makes up for those brief four minutes of sadness each evening.

    • Elizabeth says...

      I am 31 and have been married for 4 years and reading these comments has made me feel so alone and lonely and yet I have someone to go home too. My husband isn’t romantic, or sweet. Our dating relationship never had any of this either. He’s very pragmatic, in a way that he doesn’t show very much of anything. I do not have kids (nor do I want any) and my mom and sisters live pretty far away. I feel for you “L” because I feel the same way and yet I do have people. Good vibes and lots of love headed your way because I hope when you do find your person and your people, they are as wonderful and special as the people described in these comments.

      Note: I have 2 cats as well. The older of the two, the first one I got 7 years ago, loves me in a way I don’t think I’ve every experienced. He knows when I’m down and need extra cuddles; sleeps next to me every night, follows me around like a toddler (or puppy), talks to me in the morning while I get ready for work. My person is my cat. :)

    • Maria says...

      I feel the exact same sister, same. *hugs*

    • M says...

      Me too, L–no one has done any of these sort of things for me, either, and it’s been decades. Makes me so sad.

    • M says...

      (And yes, I do these sorts of things for others all the time.)

    • Sarah says...

      Elizabeth said some of what I could not. I’m married with a child, and another on the way and feel unloved on the daily by my spouse. Figuring out how to leave so that I can pursue happiness outside of marriage is complicated by kids (who I do not for a second regret; I LOVE my babies so much) and I don’t know what to do…. but I do know that I deserve love and hope to one day find it again.

    • L says...

      L, you’ve got this. Yes, you do deserve good things and to be loved – by yourself and by others – friends and family, and romantic partners alike.

      As to the romantic part, keep in mind that appearances and labels can be deceiving. Similar to some other commenters here, I am married for 10 years with 2 beautiful children and miserable with my husband. It’s for a variety of reasons but bottom line is that romantic partner does not equal happiness. We all have to find that first within ourselves.

    • Sofi says...

      I’m with you L. I’m 34 and just left my cheating ex-bf. I read these comments and wonder if any of this will ever be in store for me. I am so ready for true, lasting, passionate love, in all its glory, yet it seems it’s the one thing in life I can’t seem to attain. What gives? I have to trust that it will happen eventually, even though right now I feel like I will never get there.

  113. Jessica O'Malley says...

    My husband and I have always sent each other random “Hey I love you” texts during our 10 year relationship. It seems to have translated because now our 3-year-old son will randomly stop in the middle of what he’s doing, look at us and kind of shout “I LOVE YOU!”
    It’s the best.