10 Old-School Ways To Say 'I Love You' That Men Really Appreciate

Why just say it when you can show it, too?

woman and man embracing with foreheads touching Shift Drive | Shutterstock

Since the advent of the easily accessible internet and smartphones with cameras, romance often involves technology.  

"I love you" is texted and expressed with emojis or posted on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook for all to see. Some amazing proposals have been created and then filmed and posted on YouTube.    

But, I grew up before cell phones and before the internet was available to the public. I remember the impact of some of the "old-fashioned" ways of telling someone "I love you."


Do you want to stand out from the pack? Why not turn back time and try out these old-fashioned ways to say "I love you" to express your love? 

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Here are 10 old-school ways to say 'I love you' that men will appreciate

1. Handwrite a love letter

There is nothing like receiving a hand-written love letter in the post. Your handwriting communicates its own message to your love.  


In my case, my handwriting is not terribly legible. OK, getting real — sometimes I can’t even read it. If you are like m,e you might think that handwriting a love letter is a bad idea. It’s not. 

Take your time and don’t write a book. If they can read even half of it, they will still feel special. The letter is about more than the words on the page. It is an entire sensory experience. 

Choose the paper carefully. Do you want plain notebook paper or cotton raglan? Feel some different papers before you choose. Are you going to write with a fountain pen, rollerball, felt tip or ballpoint? Each produces a different feel. 

When you are done with the letter, if you wear perfume or cologne, spray it with your scent.


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2. Make an old-fashioned mix tape

OK, this one is from the ’70s and '80s so not so old-fashioned. But instead of making a random playlist, create a digital collection of music for your love that talks all about how much you love them and the different parts of your relationship.    

It should be between 45 and 90 minutes of music —  good for a decent commute or for a workout. Make each song significant and include notes about them: "This song was on when we first met" or "This song reminds me of when we were on our fourth date."

3. Ballroom dance

Ballroom dancing can be incredibly romantic. Plan to dress up and practice at least once before heading to the venue. Then, while you are dancing, whisper sweet nothings in your lover’s ear.


4. Hand-deliver a hand-picked bouquet of flowers and a homemade treat

If your lover is a chocolate lover, make chocolates. If they like biscuits, bring a freshly baked batch.   

If you want to make an extra special impression, bring a message in flowers using the old-fashioned meanings for them. For example, red chrysanthemums mean "I love you."  And a calla lily means "magnificent beauty." Many of the meanings come from Victorian times.

RELATED: 5 Words That Are Infinitely More Romantic Than Saying 'I Love You'

5. Create a fancy meal with all the trimmings

Attention to detail is what communicates how much you love them. Make sure the environment is beautiful and free from distraction. 


Make sure there are table coverings and cloth serviettes or napkins. Use crystal glasses, if you have them. Light candles — scented ones are best. 

Make sure the foods are chosen with love in mind and not too heavy. If your love has a favorite dish, include it. 

6. Plan a weekend getaway

It can be in the country, at the beach, in the woods, where ever you enjoy being in nature. Make it an old-school weekend and bring board games or cards to play indoors. 

Spend time walking out in nature and have a picnic if the weather allows. Sleep late, cook meals together, and just stay focused on your lover. 

RELATED: 7 Phrases You Should Be Telling Her Other Than 'I Love You'


7. Write a poem, a song, or a short story

Even in the old days, erotica was written to demonstrate to a lover how valuable and exciting they were. So much poetry is love poetry and it is traditional to write a poem to declare your love. The same is true for songs. 

I can hear you saying, "But I’m not good at writing!" or "But I’m not good with music and I can’t sing!" 

It is the emotion, the love you put into the creative project that your beloved will respond to so tell your inner critic to be quiet and get writing.

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8. Propose to your partner in an old-fashioned way

This may seem extreme. I am not recommending you do this if you weren’t planning to propose anyway. 


Instead of just deciding together to get married or just moving in together, make a formal declaration of your love and intention. Get down on one knee. Present your partner with a beautiful token (traditionally a ring but it doesn’t have to be). Then, formally ask your partner for their hand. 

If you want to be even more old-fashioned (and you know your partner won’t be offended by this), ask your partner’s parents’ permission to marry or move in together. 

Again, this includes a declaration of your love and intentions. An alternative is to declare your love in public by putting an announcement in the newspaper or dedicating something on the radio.


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9. Surprise your partner with something beautiful

The old-fashioned way to do this is to surprise your partner with jewelry or beautiful clothing.

10. Tell your partner how much you love them

The ‘old-fashioned’ part of this is to make sure that you have their full attention and then just simply tell them you love them and talk about all the traits and quirks that you love about them.

All too often, we rush when we say, ‘I love you’ and we say it without much energy. It gets so that the phrase can lose meaning. If you want your partner to really know you love them, take the time and think about what you want to say. 


Then, make sure that you have their attention and give them your full attention and focus. Finally, touch them and speak your love

Do some of the little old-fashioned things to reinforce this message like prioritizing your partner’s needs, choosing not to go to be angry, taking time out of your day to let them know that you are thinking of them, touching them every day you are together — holding, cuddling, kissing, sensual touch, and sexual touch. 

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Dr. Lori Beth Bisbey is a psychologist and intimacy/sex coach who helps individuals, couples, and polyamorous groups create their ideal relationships.