When you first start seeing someone, you are most certainly in the honeymoon phase. I would know—I’m living it. The weather is great here. We don’t fight, we laugh A LOT, and we’re constantly learning new and exciting things about each other. He is interesting and so am I. We don’t have any real problems, and if we did this early, it may be a sign that things weren’t right. I love living in the honeymoon phase where we’re totally smitten. But, like all good things, it will end. Now this isn’t to say we won’t love being around each other, or the feelings will fade, because it doesn’t have to be that way (don’t panic babe this isn’t a my-girlfriend-is-planning-our-break-up article) as long as you keep being interested and choosing each other.

We’ve known each other six weeks and have been dating for three of them, so obviously neither of us are ready to be dropping the “L” word and even if we were, I think we’re both aware of the weight it carries, and we’re just fine waiting to use it. So here are 10 ways we tell each other we care for each other, or, in our words, how to say, “I totally heart you.”

1. Listening & Remembering

When we’re young we’re told how important it is to be good listeners, and it’s true, you have to listen, but more than that, you have to hear the person you’re talking with. Nothing make my day more when my SO remembers what I had planned and asks me about it, or wishes me luck without me having to prompt them. This is how you show interest.

2. Doing Small Things to Make Their Life A Little Easier

My SO will pump my gas when it’s cold, help scrape ice and snow off of the car (he tries to do it himself but I won’t let him) and helps clean up when we cook dinner. Seems simple—seems like things you should do, but so many people don’t and just recognizing the little things that stress your person out or finding small gestures like these show you care.

3. There’s No Such Thing As Too Much Gratitude

Always, ALWAYS, A L W A Y S say thank you. Tell them you appreciate them, even when you know they know. Say thank you. Being told someone appreciates you is a serious game changer. Honestly. It makes you want to keep doing the nice thing for them and it shows that your SO values the things you do.

4. Be Silly

Make a fool of yourself, make ugly faces, and laugh weird and dance in the kitchen, we pride ourselves in weird faces and accents. Being silly, making a total fool of yourself every now and then allows you to get comfortable with a person and show that you trust them, that you don’t judge them, and won’t judge them. If you can’t be silly with your SO, what’s the point?

5. Leave Notes

We love giving and getting cards and notes from each other. It’s a good way to be mushy and sweet with minimal effort and a lot of pay out. His notes are all saved, and I love reading them. Sure he says nice things over text, but there is something about the extra time it takes to fill out a handwritten note for your person.

6. Introduce Them to Your Friends and Include Them

I feel really special when I get to meet new friends and even hangout with the guys. This isn’t to say you should do all things with your SO, but letting the person you’re dating get to know the people in your life shows that you’re in one way or another serious about them.

7. Ask Questions

Always ask about their day, listen to their thoughts and ask questions when they talk about things they’re passionate about. When you seem interested, you score major brownie points. Plus, you want to be someone they can trust, and hopefully become one of their best friends. I promise you won’t accomplish that by nodding along. **If you’re not interested at all, consider re-evaluating why you’re with this person.

8. Call Them

And don’t ask if it’s okay. Just Call. Nothing makes me happier than seeing his name pop up on my phone in the middle of the day, and if I’m busy, I just won’t answer or vice versa. You need to be able to accept they may not always answer, but calling to hear their voice, ask a question or see how their day is going, is always a good idea.

9. Tell Stories

Let them in on who you are. Tell them about the crazy thing you did at 16 or how you got that scar. Talk about your siblings or your parents. This is how you get to know someone.

10. Be Honest

If you don’t like something, say something. But have a solution and be ready to offer examples of what happened. Have a conversation, be open and work through it. If you want to make it past the honeymoon phase, be ready to deal with the things that may cause it to end early. No relationship comes without honesty.

{A quick aside to my guy: Thanks for doing all of these and then some}