Readers Share the Most Moving—and Hilarious—Ways They’ve Been Told They’re Loved

Pumpkins, mustard and skydiving—oh my! These true "I love you" stories from our readers are sure to make you smile.

There are endless ways to say “I love you” to the person who makes your heart skip a beat, no matter what your love language is. You could recite romantic love quotes that make them blush, craft personalized love poems that tug at their heartstrings or, heck, even just take out the garbage after a long day (because nothing shows you care more than tackling the stinky chores). Saying “I love you” doesn’t have to accompany a grand gesture, either; the most important thing is that you let your special someone know they’re loved.

Take these heartfelt (and hysterical) love stories from our readers below, for instance. Some feature romantic gestures that got a spouse to smile, while others are funny tales that prove everyday love is a hoot. Read on to get some inspiration for saying “I love you!”

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Red heart

Pumpkin proposal

“My boyfriend and I were carving pumpkins. After carving a lid, I found that mine was already hollowed out—with a diamond ring inside. I was thrilled at his proposal and flummoxed as to how he pulled off placing the ring box in my seemingly untouched pumpkin. Years later, pumpkin carving remains a favorite—and my husband’s trick a mystery.” —Brenda Walsh, Avon, OH 

“Harleyville” you too

“My husband and I try to maintain a sense of humor about our short­comings, like his refusal to admit he has a hearing problem. While driving along the highway one day, I read a roadside exit aloud: ‘Harleyville.’ He turned to me and said, ‘I love you too.’ It’s become an inside joke between us—instead of ‘I love you’ we just say ‘Harleyville’!” —Alyce Dassing, Elkridge, MD

Holding each other up

“My boyfriend, Dean, had a stroke at age 47. He needed therapy to use his arm and leg again. He was tired and depressed, but I encouraged him. One day, he stumbled while we walked down the hallway. I helped him straighten up and we continued. He sagged again, but I wouldn’t let him fall. The more he seemed to be sliding down, the more resolved I was to help. Finally, he said, ‘Will you please stop holding me up? I’m trying to get on one knee and ask you to marry me.’ We’ve been married for 11 years.” —Amiee Mingus, Berlin Heights, OH

Red and pink heart

Cutting the mustard

“I stepped away from making my turkey sandwich for just a moment. When I got back, my husband had added the mustard for me in the shape of a heart. It wasn’t some grand gesture, but nine years later, I still think about it and smile.” —Claire Jones, Overland Park, KS

From first date to 50 states

“For my wife’s 50th birthday, I signed 50 birthday cards and mailed them to friends and relatives all over the country to mail back to my wife on my behalf. This way, she’d get a birthday card postmarked from all 50 states. My son drove from Oregon to Washington to have one postmarked in the Evergreen State. I even enlisted a few Holiday Inn managers!” —Richard Hauser, La Quinta, CA

Red and pink heart

Really digging one another

“Early in our marriage, my husband, Bill, and I worked different shifts and seldom saw each other. We’d leave notes to communicate, addressing each other and signing off with just our initials. One day, I came home to find our pond frozen and ‘M— I LOVE U —B’ written in giant letters on the snow. I was touched by the sweet message and imagined the work it took to shovel out each letter. After 18 years of marriage, he is still the love of my life.” —Mary Schultz, Wauseon, OH

Can’t hide love

“My husband once got me a credit card–size ‘I love you’ greeting card. I hid it for him to run across. He returned the favor, and we’ve now been hiding it back and forth for years. Some times it stays hidden longer than ­others—like when he hid it in the pocket of my fleece jacket at the end of winter.” —Cricket Lott, Lansing, MI 

Red and pink heart

License to love

“I wrote a letter to my wife, Patty, every day while I was deployed. I signed each of them, ‘Patty, I Love You, Mike.’ Sometimes I’d abbreviate it to PILYM. Once home, I had to buy a new vehicle registration. I chose a custom license plate that reads ­PILYM, which makes her smile every time I pull in the driveway.” —Michael Flavin, Grove City, OH

Now that’s an air kiss

“I was attending a jump meet with several other skydivers, including Jerry, whom I was dating. When we jumped from 6,000 feet, Jerry grabbed hold of me and gave me a kiss, known as a ‘kiss pass’ if you do it while free-­falling. I knew it was his way of telling me that he loved me. We got married four months later.” —Joan Helms, Indio, CA

Red heart

Celebrity crushes

“When our daughter sent out her wedding ‘save the date’ cards, she accidentally addressed ours to ‘Dad and guest.’ My husband the jokester quickly lined up two other women (both A-list actresses) to take before asking me, his wife of 30 years. As his third choice, I told him it would take a grand gesture to get me to be his date. We joked for weeks until I came home to roses and a letter detailing all the reasons he loves me and asking if I would be his date. It was a beautiful wedding—shame those actresses had to miss it.” —Brenda Pyle, Menomonie, WI

Beloved blossoms

“My husband, Larry, was excellent at giving unique gifts. One Christmas, he gave me 100 daffodil bulbs of all kinds and colors. It is my favorite flower, tied to special memories of my grandmother. However, I have a black thumb and thought, Oh no! Am I going to have to plant all these? Reading my mind, Larry assured me that planting was part of the gift. He planted all 100 bulbs all over our yard, and they blossom into a beautiful landscape each spring. Larry passed a few years ago, but each spring when the daffodils bloom, I know his love still surrounds me.” —Janis Smith, Loganville, GA 

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest