Press Release: The Science of Valentine’s Day: The Five Best and Worst Ways to Say ‘I Love You’

AUSTIN, February 12, 2013 – The most powerful Valentine’s Day vow of 2013 is: You’re my soul mate and the love of my life.”

Valentine’s Day, on February 14th, is a day of communicating to your loved one just how much they mean to you. But what exactly should you say? What words will have the most impact?

Almost no analytics exist on the effectiveness of Valentine’s Day messages. So the team at Quantified Communications, a professional communications analytics company, set out to find the answer. They started by asking 100 people (50 men and 50 women) to rank their favorites from 20 popular ways of saying “I love you” (including just “I love you.”) From this analysis, Quantified Communications discovered that the best thing to say to your significant other this Valentine’s Day is “You’re my soul mate and the love of my life.”

Not surprisingly, Quantified Communications found that men and women have different preferences when it comes to the best way to express their love. Men prefer the more direct phrases, ranking in the top five messages such as “You are the love of my life” and “You take my breath away” while women prefer the more thoughtful phrases, ranking “You, sweetheart, are my one and only” as one of their top five favorites.

“We wanted to take our analysis a step further and understand what actual language components are preferred in an expression of love,” said Noah Zandan, Founder and President of Quantified Communications, “so we used our quantified communications technology to figure out what characteristics of the best ways to say I love you make them effective.” Using natural language processing, Quantified Communications compared the best Valentine’s Day expressions to a collection of 93 normal face-to-face conversations, and discovered that the language keys to powerfully communicating your love are the following:

  1. Make it personal and use the present tense. It is about them and not about the past or the future.
  2. Don’t explain yourself. Avoid words like “because” and don’t use reasoning.
  3. Make it emotional and thoughtful. Use positive words that express your love.

“In the end, understanding the science involved in expressing your love does not take any of the magic out of the moment,” said Noah Zandan, “but it might boost the odds of leaving a lasting impression.”

Top Five Ways to Say I Love You

  1. You’re my soul mate and the love of my life
  2. You are the love of my life
  3. Life is incomplete without you
  4. You, sweetheart, are my one and only
  5. You take my breath away

Top Five Worst Ways to Say I Love You

  1. You’re one hot babe
  2. When I see you, I think “Good job, God”
  3. You turn me on
  4. I think that I love you
  5. Lovingly yours