How to Respond to “I Love You More”

The “I love you more” sentiment is something that we all received at some point in our lives. However, after hearing those words, you will somehow find yourself asking, “How do I respond to this?”

“Can I say something funny in return to keep things light?”
“Should I ask if they really meant it?”

According to experts, these are the best ways to respond to “I love you more.”

Amy Rollo, Ph.D., LPA, LSSP, LPC-S

Amy Rollo

Triple Licensed Psychotherapist | Doctorate, Marriage & Family Therapy | Founder, Heights Family Counseling

You could use a metaphor: “I love you more than water in the ocean”

“I love you more” is often used when a partner wants their significant other to understand the magnitude and authenticity of their love. It’s not usually used as a competition but as a saying to express there is meaning behind their words.

Instead of receiving the phrase as a competition, a good way to respond is to find another way to express how much you love your partner.

  • You could use a metaphor, such as: “I love you more than water in the ocean.”
  • You could also respond by sharing all the reasons you love your partner: “I love you because…”

Whatever way you respond, it’s best to reassure your partner of your love while receiving their words at the same time.

Responses can be an embrace, a kiss, eye contact, and more

Responses don’t even need to be just words; they can be an embrace, a kiss, eye contact, and more.

Don’t forget love is a verb and can be shared through:

  • words,
  • acts of service,
  • physical touch,
  • quality time, and
  • gifts.

Be creative in sharing your love.

Make sure to be intentional with sharing your love and care

When thinking about this phrase from an attachment lens, “I love you more” could be a sign of an anxious attachment. The phrase could be an unspoken need for the partner to share their love and feel more secure in their connection.

Make sure to be intentional with sharing your love and care and not just say something like, “same” or “right back at you,” or even worse, “ditto.” Those remarks could feel dismissive or distant and leave your partner with more of an anxious attachment feeling.

Alternatively, the “I love you more” could be a cute way of expressing fear of being vulnerable and/or the one that feels more attached.

Validate their love; this is the time to double down on assurances

If you know your partner is someone who needs lots of assurance, don’t be annoyed, and do not distance yourself from them, this is the time to double down on assurances.

Validate their love by saying, I love your love so much, and I love you just as much.” This will place your partner at ease and promote a secure attachment style.

Related: The 4 Different Types of Attachment Styles

Bonus points if you can continue to show love throughout the week with a card, flowers, small caring act, or anything else that really shows love.

Susan Trombetti

Susan Trombetti

Matchmaker and CEO, Exclusive Matchmaking

When it comes to responses to “I love you more,” there are so many.

First, though, I want to say I don’t like that saying, “I love you more.” It seems empty and competitive. When people say that, it reminds me of two sweet little kids expressing their affection, and there are so many more mature ways to express this sentiment that is more adult-like.

Leave it to the responses to address this issue.

You could respond by saying:

“Thank you for all the love you show me, I love you just as much”

This shuts down this sort who loves each other more than going back and forth.

“I will love you forever and always from the bottom of my heart”

It meets and addresses the sentiment that you love them more than just the average “I love you” they are also trying to convey.

“I will love you for all eternity”

Once again, it meets the seriousness of their declaration of love, and it’s a good response because it matches their loving intent and conveys the same.

“I love you more than ice cream but not as much as my cat”

When it comes down to funny or snarky replies, you could try “I love you more than ice cream but not as much as my cat” is a deserving response because this just doesn’t seem like a serious “I love you.”

At best, I love you is a little romantic play on words.

Abi Singh

Abi Singh

Life Coach and Relationship Expert

Imagine being in a deep sleep to then be awakened by your alarm clock. You may open your eyes, but chances are you will remain on your bed.

Now imagine being awakened by four-alarm clocks all chiming away together. Well, just like those four alarm clocks, the words “I love you more” can literally wake you up.

Whether you are a newly engaged, dating, or married couple, hearing the words “I love you more” is magical and makes you feel tremendously special, admired, loved, and appreciated. Simply put, they can take your breath away.

But how do you respond to those words?

Here are three powerful ways to respond when your partner says, “I love you more.”

Respond with a non-verbal gesture

A great response to the words “I love you more” is to respond with a non-verbal gesture.

A passionate kiss or a tight hug, or even placing your hand on their face looking lovingly in their eyes before you kiss them, is sure to be a special moment.

They will immediately understand that you also feel the same way, that you also care and love them.

Tell them that you share the same feeling

Hearing you respond by saying that you also feel the same way will let them know that the feelings are mutual. After all, expressing love verbally is important for a relationship and removes any misunderstanding and confusion in the relationship.

Responses to “I love you more” can be:

  • “I love you the most.”
  • “That’s so sweet of you to say. I feel the same way.”
  • “Thank you so much for loving me the way you do, and I want you to know that the feeling is mutual.”

Respond with both words and actions

Powerful statements like “I love you more” sometimes call for more than just a reply with the same words. It deserves to have both words and actions.

For example, when your partner says “I love you more,” respond by telling them “I love you most,” followed by a kiss or a tight hug.

Expressing love to one another helps your relationship flourish.

When someone says they love you more, show appreciation to them with small actions and gestures or respond by telling them you love them most, listen to them and show them how much you love and appreciate them.

Nicole Moore

Nicole Moore

TV Host of Reality of Love | Love and Relationship Coach, Love Works Method

“Prove it” – said while winking

For those that love to flirt and perhaps even take the love further to the bedroom, “prove it,” said with a wink, is a great way to respond when someone says, “I love you more.”

If you look into your partner’s eyes and say it with a seductive wink, they just might get the message and take you into the bedroom to prove their love in other ways.

“I loved you first”

“I loved you first” is a great response when someone says to you, “I love you more,” if you happened to say I love you first at the beginning of the relationship.

It will take your partner back instantly to the magical time at the beginning of your relationship when they first heard you say “I love you” to them and put a smile on their face.

“I loved you first” also works as a great response to your children or family members that are younger than you since you technically loved them since they were too little to utter the words “I love you” back.

It will help them get in touch with just how long you’ve loved them and really help them feel an even deeper sense of always having been loved by you.

“I love you the most”

For those that love a little friendly competition, “Love you the most” is the perfect response when someone says to you, “I love you more.”

It wraps up the loving communication and lets the person know you really do love them just as much as they love you.

Lena Suarez-Angelino, LCSW

Lena Suarez-Angelino

Licensed Clinical Social Worker | Writer, Choosing Therapy

Don’t force yourself to say anything you are uncomfortable with doing

The “I love you more” debate, while commonly seen as high-school cliché banter, can quickly turn into a toxic red flag if you’re not careful. There can be a variety of different ways in which you choose to respond to someone that says they “Love you more.”

You will know best in which context their intentions for stating “I love you more” fall under.

The varying degree of context can fall under these two categories:

  1. The innocent, totally enamored, and awestruck context, or
  2. The context of power in an effort to show superiority and create competition while establishing a sense of ownership and command.

When someone says to you, “I love you more,” notice your initial reaction both mentally and physically.

  • Do you feel repulsed or like you’re backed into a corner?
  • Do you feel seen and appreciated?
  • Do you acknowledge this is one of the ways that people show you affection?
  • Do you think to yourself, now what do I say back?
  • Am I supposed to prove to them that I, in fact, love them most?

With anything in a relationship, don’t force yourself to say or do anything you are uncomfortable with doing. This includes acknowledging or responding to “I love you more.”

You can instead try to respond with something a little bit more neutral, such as:

“Our love has the perfect balance” or
“Our love for each other is equal.”

Responding in a sarcastic banter could elicit playful laughter or low self-esteem

Depending on your relationship, responding in a bit more of a sarcastic banter could elicit playful laughter and conversation and affirm that they do, in fact, love you more. You may try responding with something like, “I’m sure you do.”

I would strongly recommend avoiding making comments such as that if you or your partner experience low self-esteem or insecurities relating to the relationship.

Erika Davian

Erika Davian

Men’s Mindset and Dating Coach

A phrase like “I love you more” can mean different things to different people. When your partner says this, ask yourself, “What do I think they mean?” and then notice how you feel.

How you feel is the key to how you will respond.

Get silly if you’re feeling playful

Do you think they said it to play and have fun with you? Respond with equally playful things!

“Oh yeah? Well, I love you more than all the drops in the ocean! I love you more than I love BBQ potato chips!”

Show your appreciation if you’re feeling sentimental

Sometimes partners just say this to be sweet. You may not have to say much, but some kind of response will help them know their words were heard and appreciated.

A hug, a kiss on the cheek, a smile, or a short spoken response such as, “Awwwww” is often enough.

Share your heart if you’re feeling passionate

Saying, “I love you more,” may be a bid to share more deeply what is in your heart.

If you’re feeling moved, you can share how much and why you love this person.

The “why” is especially important and meaningful, yet so often left out.

  • “I love you so much more than you could ever know.”
  • Your presence has changed my life for the good in so many ways.”
  • I am more patient and kind because of you.”
  • The way you show up for me has helped me to be kinder to myself.
  • I can’t imagine a better or more loving person to share life with.”

Ask for clarification if you feel confused

Sometimes we’re not sure what our partner means when they say, “I love you more.”

  • Are they being playful?
  • Do they want me to share what’s on my heart?
  • Do they think there is an imbalance in our relationship?
  • Are they feeling unloved?

I think we mistakenly believe that we’re supposed to “just know” what’s on our partner’s mind all the time.

It’s okay to simply ask, “What do you mean by that?”

Whatever you do, intentionally respond in some way. After all, no response is still a response. In most cases, a smile or a little squeeze is all you need.

Jerry Brook

Jerry Brook

Certified Professional Life Coach, Good Together | Author, “Good Together

“That’s nice; tell me more about that”

“I love you more.” That is a statement, and statements don’t require a response. Only questions are meant to elicit a reply, but even inappropriate questions don’t warrant your consideration.

So, how should you respond if, in fact, you choose to? The shorter the statement, the more we need to clarify to be sure that we are addressing the correct concept.

Before we can answer any question, we need to define what it is that we are talking about.

Love

Per the dictionary, love is a profound and caring affection towards someone or something, a feeling of intense attraction towards someone or something.

I shudder to attempt to define something so personal as love. Entire books have been written on the topic. If those books had clearly, definitively, expressed the concept of love, then we would be using their definition here and now.

In other words, entire books haven’t done this topic justice.

I won’t try to explain your personal brand of love. I will only name a few of the general and basic tenants of what is required for love.

  • Knowledge

We can’t love something or someone that we have no knowledge of. It wouldn’t make sense to say, “I love the way that you sew,” if I don’t even know if you sew.

  • Sharing
  1. “We can’t know what isn’t shared. Again, if you don’t share with me that you sew, you have chosen to exclude me from that particular aspect of your life.”
  2. “The more that we share, the more that we know.”

Sharing isn’t caring; sharing is knowing. And knowing is inclusion.

  • Caring

Once shared and known, we make the choice whether to care or not. Caring can be measured. Caring is made up of time, effort, and sacrifice.

Typically, when people speak of love, they present it in static terms. It is a kind of “one and done.” Examples of this are the phrases “find love” or “true love.” These cast love in the light of an object.

Love, however, is dynamic.

Love is ever-changing. Love is not a single thing. It is the amalgamation of many things. There are lovely sights, lovely sounds, lovely smells, lovely tastes, lovely touches, and lovely values, just to name a few.

More importantly, love is a choice that you must make repeatedly.

The choice to:

  • know,
  • share, and
  • care.

More

The “more” aspect of “I love you more” is a relative term.

Firstly, it is an indication that love has degrees. If more means that it can grow, less would mean that it can also shrink. Again, love is a living thing. All living things need to be fed to survive and nurtured to thrive.

Secondly, more is a measure, but a measure of what exactly in this context? More than what precisely?

“More today than you did yesterday?”

  • “Great. What is it that you love more about me?”
  • “What has changed to produce this added love?”
    • Hint: “We know more about one another, we have shared more with one another, and we care more about one another.”
  • “I need to know so that I can keep doing it.”

“More than you love something else, like maybe chocolate cake?”

  • “Why are you comparing me to other things or, worse yet, other people?”
  • “Let’s keep our love between us.”
  • “Let’s know more about each other, let’s share more with each other, and let’s care more for each other.”

“More than you believe that I love you?”

  • “Love is something that you know about others. It is something that you share with others, and it is the act of caring for others.”
  • “It’s collaboration, not competition.”
  • “It is insulting to me, to love in general, to twist an alliance into a rivalry.”

“Or maybe, you are baiting me for a reply.”

  • “Is this an attempt to gain a commitment?”
  • “Again, is this a competition that you want me to try to outdo you at? No, I love you more!”
  • “That’s manipulation. It’s not love at all.”

We need to ask ourselves, “What is the motivation for this statement?” As you can see from above, only one of the four possible reasons is a positive one. It behooves you to understand “more than.”

A word of caution, just as love can increase, it can decrease. People are quick to tell you the good news, “My love for you has increased,” but rarely will they rush to tell you the bad news.

We don’t even consider the phrase “I love you less.” We simply jump all the way down to “I don’t love you anymore.”

So, how would I respond to “I love you more?”

“That’s nice; tell me more about that.”

Respond with playful banter

This statement is generally made in a playful way between couples in loving relationships.

Whenever my wife or I say, “I love you more.” The other person usually responds with, “Impossible! But keep trying.”

These statements aren’t typically meant to imply there is some type of competition within the relationship.

It may also be an expression of resentment or discontentment

In some instances, a person may say “I love you more” to let their partner know they actually don’t feel loved and appreciated.

The person making the statement believes they do more to demonstrate how much they care for their mate while not seeing nearly the same effort in return.

There are a variety of reasons why someone might feel this way.

First of all, it may be true. It’s possible their partner isn’t as emotionally invested in the relationship. Maybe their partner never apologizes for anything or makes the first move to offer a compromise. They do or say many things they need to feel loved.

The element of surprise and thoughtfulness are considered romantic

It may be a lack of communication whereby the person has never shared with their partner what they need to feel loved and appreciated.

Communication is often touted as one of the keys to having a healthy, successful relationship. However, it contradicts the “soulmate myth.” According to this, your partner will instinctively know what to do and say in order to please you without you having to ask or tell them.

Imagine a wife in a long-term marriage complaining to her husband on Monday about him no longer buying her flowers like he did when they were courting.

On the way home after work on Tuesday, he stops by a florist and buys his wife a dozen red long-stem roses. Communication is validated as being a solution. However, his wife doesn’t exactly jump for joy. A part of her resents the fact that she had to ask or tell him about the lack of this romantic gesture.

She didn’t just want the roses; she wanted it to be his idea to get them for her! The wife replays in her mind all the things she does for him without being prompted. She reaches the conclusion: “I love you more.”

It’s also not uncommon to hear someone tell their partner:

“If you loved me you would…etc.” or
“I shouldn’t have to ask or tell you to…etc.”

While communication increases their odds of getting whatever it is they want, it comes with some resentment over the fact their mate needed to be asked.

Related: How to Overcome Bitterness and Resentment

There is a big difference between waking up to breakfast in bed and asking your partner to serve you breakfast in bed, even if the results are the same.

The element of surprise and thoughtfulness are considered romantic. Communication, while effective, is not considered romantic.

There are different love languages

Several years ago, the author Gary Chapman wrote a bestselling book titled: The 5 Love Languages. He surmised there were five different ways people expressed and interpreted love.

The languages are:

  • Words of affirmation,
  • Quality time,
  • Physical touch,
  • Acts of service, and
  • Receiving gifts.

At the beginning of most budding new relationships, there is an infatuation or honeymoon phase.

Related: The Difference Between Love and Infatuation

This is a period whereby both people are bending over backward to please each other and avoid doing or saying anything which might blow it.

  1. Everything one person suggests, the other person is game for.
  2. Conversations and laughter last for hours.
  3. Cards and token gifts are given “just because.”
  4. Each person makes it their top priority to make sure the other person is happy.
  5. Sex is passionate, spontaneous, and off the charts!

Essentially, during the infatuation phase, odds are both people were speaking all five love languages and, by default speaking each other’s love language. Therefore neither person is likely to feel as though their needs are not being met regardless of what their love language is.

However, once there is an emotional attachment, people feel secure enough to relax and reveal their “authentic selves” without fearing their partner will instantly walk away.

It is at this time that the couple may learn they do actually have different love languages.

A “words of affirmation” and “physical touch” person dating someone who is primarily a “quality time” and “acts of service” person may have some issues.

Generally speaking, most people express love the way they want to be loved. It’s tantamount to the old adage: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Whenever someone feels they are giving more than what they are getting in return, they are likely to believe they actually do love their mate more.

Let go of the soulmate myth

It is unrealistic to expect your partner to be able to read your mind or instinctively know what to do and say to make you feel loved and appreciated.

You have to make your needs and wants to be known. If you are on the other end of the “I love you more” statement and you feel it is not true, then say so.

“I hope you know that isn’t true. Apparently, I must have dropped the ball. What is it that I’m not doing that would make you feel unloved or less loved?”

Communication allows a couple to put everything in their minds and hearts out on the table. It’s an opportunity to have issues acknowledged and addressed.

If someone believes you are worth the effort, they will make the effort.

“Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary.”Oscar Wilde

Ray‌ ‌Sadoun

Ray‌ ‌Sadoun

Mental‌‌ ‌‌Health‌‌ ‌‌and‌‌ ‌‌Addiction‌‌ ‌‌Recovery‌‌ ‌‌Specialist | Medical Reviewer, OK Rehab

“I love you the most”

This classic romantic response shows that you are not content to accept that your partner loves you more. It demonstrates that you want to compete with your partner over who can be the most loving, which will make your partner feel loved and appreciated.

It’s also an endearing way to end the conversation without going round in circles, and it may become a lovely habit for one of you to say “I love you more” and the other to respond, “I love you the most.”

“Not possible”

Again, this is a romantic reply as it suggests you cannot even imagine your partner loving you more than you love them.

If you respond with the obvious “No, you don’t” or “I love you more,” it gives your partner room to argue back, but saying “Not possible” is a way to lovingly shut things down.

“I’m so lucky”

Sometimes, when you don’t want to go round in circles about how much you love each other, admitting “I’m so lucky” is the way to go about it.

It allows your partner to revel in the fact that they believe they love you more, and it demonstrates that you believe they are the right person for you, which is great for their self-esteem and may help them with any insecurities they have about the relationship.

Respond to “I love you more” with actions

Write them a letter expressing your love

When a short response isn’t enough, a great alternative is to write your partner a letter explaining everything you love about them.

This is something they’ll be able to go back to when they’re feeling down, and it will remind them how you feel about them if you’re going through a rocky period.

We often express our emotions better when we aren’t pressured to speak face to face, so a letter is a great way to demonstrate your appreciation for your partner and to truly say, “I love you more.”

Buy them a thoughtful gift

Another great idea is to buy your partner a gift that is personal to them to show them you know them well and you care about their interests.

This doesn’t have to be expensive, sometimes small gifts are the best way to show your appreciation.

One of my clients buys his partner flowers every Monday as he knows she struggles with the new start to the week, and this simple gesture reminds her that she is valued and that her partner is paying attention to the little things.

Spend quality time with them

Finally, there is no better way to show someone you love them than to spend quality time with them, as it shows you are making an effort to be around them rather than just saying you appreciate them.

Some ideas I often give clients are: go out for a meal together, go on a walk in a new area, spend time with joint friends, or plan a fun day trip together.

Emyli Lovz

Emyli Lovz

Dating Coach for Men | Co-Founder, emlovz

The Disney response

“I love you more” is subsequently followed by a volley of “No, I love you more.” You two will ping-pong your affection back and forth until you either have sex, are late for work, or your friends tell you to get a room.

If you’re in a healthy relationship, feel free to go ahead and respond this way. Doing so serves to reaffirm your social standing with your partner and strengthens your relationship.

Love-bomb to quickly build attraction

Love-bombing is a narcissist’s favorite emotional weapon. It involves inundating a romantic flame with romantic gestures early in the relationship to quickly build attraction.

A narcissist may tell you they love you more because they always have to one-up your feelings. Doing so gives them an emotional edge they will later exploit.

Related: 35+ Signs You’re Dating a Narcissist

Talk about how you’re both feeling about each other

If your partner really thinks they love you more than you love them, ask them about it. This is the perfect time to talk about your relationship, how you’re both feeling about each other, your sex life, your future, etc.

“I love you more” is a sign that you two are in good enough standing to talk about anything. It’s an open invitation to discuss more sensitive topics.

Consider your future with this person

You’re in deep. This person believes they love you more than you love them, something you think is emotionally impossible.

  • Considering how strong your feelings are, do you think you should cement the relationship by taking it to the next level?
  • Did you both say I love you far too soon?

Before things get even more hot and heavy, take a moment to assess the situation and decide how you want to proceed.

Sara Macke

Sara Macke

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

“I love you more” isn’t a competition

Historically, “I love you more” is romantic. It’s something we use to show how much we love someone, and it even becomes competitive.

It’s a challenge to show who cares more about the other person, but other than the regular “cuteness” of the phrase, why do we need to say it?

Let’s look behind the phrase and check out what really matters.

  • Are we showing it?
  • Are we meeting the needs of our significant other outside of this phrase?
  • Words of affirmation may be welcomed, but what about the other four love languages?

I always encourage my clients to take the Love Language quiz by Gary Chapman.

You have a chance to identify how you prefer to receive love. Then, we won’t need to keep up the competition with “I love you more” because we will know what our partner really needs.

So, what if we started responding with “Okay”? Would our partner be okay with a non-compete statement?

Instead, what if we showed them our love by spending time together, bringing little gifts as a reminder that we care, giving a hug, or doing something for them like washing their car?

Think about it. Talk to your partner about what they really need.

AJ Silberman-Moffitt

AJ Silberman-Moffitt

Senior Editor, Tandem

Movie aficionados know that these are lines from Ghost, Jerry Maguire, and Love Actually, respectively.

“Ditto.”
“You complete me.”
“To me, you are perfect.”

No matter how you say it, being told “I love you” is important in relationships. The longer you are in a relationship, the more you might yearn to find a new way to express your everlasting love and devotion.

Many people have quirky ways of telling their significant other they love them. But how do you respond when your partner says, “I love you more“?

Do as the movies do

There’s a reason that many of you recognized those movie lines from above. Movie lines are memorable.

Saying them can be a fun and flirtatious way to respond when someone says they love you more. Why not reply with a quote from Cher in Clueless by retorting, “As if!”

One-up him or her

If your partner says, “I love you more,” you can retort with, “No, I love ‘you’ more.” My husband and I frequently one-up each other.

Our typical conversations go something like this:

  • “I love you.”
  • “I love you more.”
  • “I love you the most.”
  • “I love you the mostest.”
  • “I love you the mostestestestest.”

Concede; let them love you more

Letting someone love you more is okay. It’s meant as a compliment, making it okay to accept it. So if your significant other tells you they love you more, you can simply reply with, “Okay.”

Regardless of how you reply to “I love you more,” revel in how great it feels to be loved. And remember, there is no need to apologize for being loved.

After all, as was said in Love Story, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”

Sameera Sullivan

Sameera Sullivan

Relationship Expert, Sameera Sullivan Matchmakers

Don’t say something awkward; stay calm and appreciate being loved

Hearing your significant other tells you they love you is a great feeling because you get to tell them you love them too. And when they tell you they love you more, it’s even better and adorable, but the trouble begins when you try to reply to it, and no, I love you more, is not it.

Possible replies

The first step is not to panic and say something awkward. Stay calm and appreciate being loved. There is pressure not to ruin the romantic situation.

Several replies are both appropriate and help you maintain the romantic vibe, for instance.

  • “I love you the most” – meaning you love them more than anyone or anything!
  • “I love you more than anything”
  • “I love you more than life itself” – making someone aware of the fact that you love them more than your own life is a very heartfelt sentiment.
  • “I love you more plus one” – however much they love you, you love them one tiny bit more!

Rori Sassoon

Rori Sassoon

Relationship Expert | Co-Founder, Platinum Poire

Say whatever you are comfortable with

Say whatever you are comfortable with. Obviously, you love them at this stage in dating, but you may not feel the need to play the “I am the emotionally competitive” partner game.

Saying “I love you more and then some” may not be true to who you are!

Be aware that their primary love language may be words of affirmation, and they may speak with a more exaggerated flair. Accept them at face value, and be happy that they love you with a passion!

Don’t feel guilty if you feel like your partner loves you more. One person in the relationship generally has a stronger fondness for their partner. That does not make the relationship any less profound or one-sided in the least.

Related: 60+ Signs She Loves You Deeply

Think about the tone — was it warmhearted, genuine, and spontaneous? Maybe a kiss (or more!) is just the right response.

Jacob Brown

Jacob Brown

Psychotherapist | Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist

Try to reassure them by telling them how much you love them

When you tell someone you love them, and their response is “I love you more,” they’re trying to send you a message. It’s a message you should listen to carefully because it’s telling you something about them. “I love you more” is a way to disguise what they’re really feeling.

What they really want to say is:

  • “I don’t feel you love me enough,” or
  • “I want more love from you,” or
  • “I’m afraid you’re going to leave me.”

But saying any of those directly is too vulnerable, and there’s too much opportunity for being humiliated, so instead, they hide their fear inside a cute phrase by saying, “I love you more.”

When someone says that to you, the natural response is to try to reassure them by telling them how much you love them. But if they’re feeling insecure, your reassurance won’t last. And they’ll start to feel their fear all over again.

A better response is to simply say something like, “When you say ‘I love you more,’ it doesn’t feel good to me. I don’t know what you’re trying to tell me. Can we talk about this?” And then make space to have a real conversation about what it means when you say, “I love you.”

David Helfand, PsyD

David Helfand

Licensed Psychologist | Owner, LifeWise, PLLC

Translate that remark based on the context of the situation and the relationship

If someone says, “I love you more,” it’s important to translate that remark based on the context of the situation and the relationship. If it’s a new relationship, the intent might be to come across cute or playful.

People in new relationships often test the waters of a serious concept with humor. In that case, play along and be silly with each other.

Many relationships these days lack playfulness, so any chance you have to add a little fun to your relationship is likely to improve it.

  • If it’s a child trying to prove something, then don’t engage in the contest and let them win. Kids often test boundaries and try to compete with parents.
  • If the kids say, “I love you infinity plus infinity,” you can respond with, “Wow, I feel so happy and loved.”
  • If they are being playful, then again, you can be playful back with them. Make sure to figure out if they are trying to be serious or funny first.

If it’s your long-term partner, similar to kids, assess if it’s a playful response or coming from anxiety.

If they truly believe they love you more, then:

  • be curious,
  • validate their feelings, and
  • explore the topic.

Saying something like, “I sense there might be more you want to say,” can help someone feel invited to share their deeper feelings of anxiety. If you enter into a competition of who actually loves the other more or if you greet their remark with humor, it’s likely to shut them down.

Alan Ahdoot

Alan Ahdoot

Legal Specialist, Adamson Ahdoot LLP

Acknowledge the tenderness of the moment while reciprocating the answer

Give an answer that acknowledges their show of affection while also echoing it.

One of my favorite responses to such a statement is, “You might be right, but I don’t see how that’s possible.”

It reminds me of a scene in a movie – one that isn’t even remotely romantic but still relevant to this point.

During one scene in “The Big Short,” when Christian Bale’s character predicted the housing crash, every metric showed that the bottom of the market was going to fall out, yet there was no crash.

Someone who worked in his office said to him, rather smartly, “Maybe you’re just wrong.” He came back with, “You’re right. I could be wrong. I just don’t see how.”

It was an answer from a man who was confident in what he knew. Eventually, the crash did come, and Bale’s character, which was based on a real person, got rich in a very bittersweet way.

At any rate, the answer struck me because it came from someone who was secure in himself but not arrogant.

When someone tells you something so generous, the last thing you want to be in your response is arrogant, even in jest. Saying something like, “I know,” will kill the moment.

Acknowledge the tenderness of the moment when someone tells you, “I love you more,” while also reciprocating the answer.

“I just don’t see how” is as close as you’re going to get to a perfect response to such a statement.

Maria Alfano

Maria Alfano

Founder, The Silver Diaries

Love is not a competition. It is a feeling that comes from deep within your soul. It leaves you breathless with joy, and the anticipation of being with that special someone is amazingly overwhelming and precious.

No one can tell you that they love you more without truly understanding what you are feeling and what is in your heart.

Some days, your partner may be right when they tell you they love you more because they may have done something so infuriating that you just don’t like them at that particular time. But, they are still the love of your life.

Show more than you tell

Respond to the message of I love you more by acknowledging your partner’s feelings first and foremost.

Have your own cute response like:

“I love you more today than yesterday”
“My love for you goes all around the world and back”
“Our love is so beautiful; I can’t live without it!”

Most of all, show your partner how much you love them by:

  • Pampering them with their favorite things – a nice meal, a back rub, a warm bath, or simply snuggling with them in the middle of a Sunday afternoon
  • Surprise them with tickets to the ballgame, a weekend escape, or a mini shopping spree
  • Remove all worries from their day by taking care of the family, the bills, and the stress that comes with the day.

Tatiana Gavrilina

Tatiana Gavrilina

Content Marketing Writer, DDI Development

You don’t have to respond with the same words at the same minute

The question implies that the person you are talking to is expecting something from you in return. This happens with teenagers, that is, with people who are not psychologically mature enough.

Often, they declare their love only to hear the same declaration in return. Conversely, a mature person loves the other person almost gratuitously, without expectation or demand.

Who is in the relationship: “teenagers” or mature people?

If your partner utters the phrase “I love you more,” you can respond with a kiss, a hug, or a joint fooling around. You don’t have to respond with the same words at the same minute.

On the contrary, the silence, the look, and the actions often say much more about how much you love your partner.

A relationship is not a competition. No one gives you an award for the loudest words or points for the number of declarations of love made during the day.

If you didn’t say anything in response to the phrase “I love you more” but expressed your love to your partner in your own way, that’s your right. But if your partner took offense at you or said they expect more from you, it’s worth wondering if they are your kind of person.

Sam Holmes

Sam Holmes

Editor, Feel and Thrive

Before you do anything, give yourself a mental high-five. It means that your partner has responded to your bid to connect.

Bids are basically the small requests we make to connect when we’re in a romantic relationship. These connection requests are what keep a relationship alive and happy.

Related: 20 Best Relationship Books

Saying “I love you” demands a certain level of vulnerability, and hearing the words said back to you is your green light to keep the connection going!

Here are a few good ways to respond:

Respond through physical contact to induce the love hormone

When you’ve run out of words to say, nothing says “I love you even more” than a hug or a kiss. This will give you and your partner a love hormone (oxytocin, serotonin) boost that will strengthen your connection.

Do thoughtful gestures

Show your partner that you love them even more by doing something thoughtful that you know they would appreciate.

Whip up their favorite meal or pick up a few of their chores. Sacrificing your time to make their life a little easier is sure to communicate just how much you love them.

Jen Wan

Jen Wan

Co-founder, Soteri Skin

“That’s not possible”

It’s impossible for someone to love someone else as much as you love them.

“I love you more than infinity”

Infinity is the largest number.

“I love you more than anything”

People understand that no matter how much stuff I love, they are more loved by me than anything else. It becomes obvious when you tell someone you love them more than anything else.

“My love for you knows no bounds”

A paraphrasing of the previous reply, “I love you more than anything.”

You can also try these funny replies:

“I know your tricks”

You might believe them if they say that because they need something from you.

“I love you more than Kanye loves Kanye”

Those of you who know Kanye West will know that ego does not matter to him. So if you love them more than Kanye loves himself, it means you love them a lot.

“Not that it’s a competition”

Why do you have to be competitive about something as important as love?

Justin Gasparovic

Justin Gasparovic

Self-Taught Personal Development Geek | Founder, The Enemy Of Average

“I love you, too”

This is the most common response, and it lets the other person know that you feel the same way about them.

“I promise to love you more”

This is a great way to show your commitment to the relationship and that you’re going to live by the promise of always trying to find ways to deepen it.

“That means so much coming from you”

This shows that their declaration of love means a lot to you and that they are important to you.

“Wow, I’m so lucky to be loved by you”

This lets them know that you recognize that they’re making a conscious choice to show you love. They have the choice to love anyone, but they’ve chosen you, and this phrase emphasizes that you’re incredibly grateful for that choice.

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