17 Unexpected Ways To Say "I Love You" To Your Partner

Illustrated By Abbie Winters.
Love isn't always expressed with the words "I love you," and it's often more powerful when it's not. We place so much emphasis on exchanging those three words with our partners, though, that actions that say the same thing sometimes go underappreciated.

That's why we've gathered 17 accounts of the sweetest (and sometimes strangest) romantic gestures you have ever received. There are no bouquets of roses or heart-shaped boxes of chocolates here. You told us stories of monogrammed lasagnas, an apartment adorned with sticky notes, and a three-foot-tall puppet custom-made to look like you (yes, really). The common thread is that the suitors ahead took the adage "show, don't tell" to heart.

If you're in the market for inspiration to apply to your own relationship, or simply want to live vicariously through others, click through. Just don't blame us when you're left wondering why your darling partner has never done any of the following. (Although the jury is still out on the advisability of giving your partner a puppet in her likeness.)