12/17/2014 02:53 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Saying 'I Love You'


How often do you say, "I love you" to your partner?

Once a day? Maybe twice a day? Or every time you speak on the phone?

I fall in to the every time you speak on the phone category.

That verbal expression of love is important to me. It's right up there with other acts of love, like cooking dinner for your other, giving them a back rub or taking them on a birthday trip to Las Vegas.

And I'm not alone in my sentiment. Based on a poll of 1,000 married people, regularly saying "I love you" to your partner and connecting physically are two of the top secrets to a happy marriage. Not surprisingly, kissing, having sex and even just cuddling together are important. Little, and big, intimate physical gestures are what helps separate your relationship with your partner from all of the other relationships you have.

My husband and I are a demonstrative bunch. We kiss and hug every morning when he comes downstairs to go to work. (I am always the first up.) And we do the same every time one of us walks back in the house from being gone. I don't know how we started with this routine. It seems as if we've always done it.

And how we outwardly show our love for each other flows over to how we interact with our kids.

The "I love yous" go back and forth between us and them. The exchange usually comes in the form of texts because our kids are all in high school but it still counts. At least for me. When we've been apart for a few days, my kids will give me big hugs. On a daily basis, I get lots of high fives from my 17 year-old son. He saves up saying "I love you" for a special occasion like my birthday or when he wants to use the car.

I'll take what I can get.

How do you express your love?

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This post originally appeared on MiddleSexy.