How often do UK adults say ‘I love you’

Some said they felt too embarrassed to express themselves

Richard Jenkins
Tuesday 16 November 2021 16:22 GMT
Those polled said they expressed their love in a multitude of ways
Those polled said they expressed their love in a multitude of ways (Getty Images)

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Louise Thomas

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Only 43 per cent of Britons say ‘I love you’ to their partners every day, according to a survey.

Research of 2,000 adults found 17 per cent say the three special words to their other half just once a week.

But this is still more than the average adult tells their parents, siblings, and even their children they love them.

Just under four in 10 keep their feelings bottled up because it ‘feels awkward’ for them to say, while 33 per cent claim their ‘families aren’t very open with affection’.

And 30 per cent feel ‘embarrassed’ to express themselves.

Despite this, 66 per cent will say ‘I love you’, but only to certain people, and 69 per cent claim that hearing the phrase is a sure-fire way to brighten up their day.

However, a few say they prefer to demonstrate their love with an action or gift, rather than saying the three magic words.

Anna Blackburn, managing director at jeweller Beaverbrooks, which commissioned the research, said: “Telling someone that you love them is such a special moment and one to be cherished, no matter how often you hear it.

“But it seems many people have a difficult time telling friends, family – and even their own partners – that they love them.

“There are so many different ways to express how you’re feeling, and sometimes a simple action or gesture can be a great way to show someone you care when you just can’t find the words.”

The study found 55 per cent sometimes struggle to say or convey how much they care about someone.

And when it comes to the phrases Britons find most difficult to express, ‘I love you’ was at the top, followed by ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘please forgive me’.

When it comes to expressing love for their nearest and dearest, some said that just because they don’t say it, doesn’t mean they don’t feel it.

Other ways people show they care, rather than using words, include giving cuddles, trying to make them laugh and buying them gifts like jewellery.

One in five, meanwhile, show their love by sitting through TV shows they really don’t like – but they know the other person does.

Others feel showing gratitude for everything their loved ones do is a way of expressing they care, while 32 per cent said they would simply cook a special meal, or ask them how their day was.

Of those who are comfortable saying I love you, several claim they didn’t really hear it themselves when they were younger – so they want to make up for it now.

Another four in 10 feel it’s more important to verbally express their love for their nearest and dearest since the pandemic.

Nearly two thirds, however, feel the phrase ‘I love you’ loses its meaning if it’s spoken too often, according to the OnePoll figures.

Anna Blackburn added: “Our research shows that people really do express their love in all kinds of different ways – and saying it out loud is just one of them.

“When you are comfortable with your loved ones, actions can often speak louder than words – and it’s the things you do that demonstrate how you truly feel.

“With Christmas around the corner, gifts are a great way for people to show love and affection for one another – something personal and sentimental for when you just can’t find the words!”


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