Saying "I love you" is but one piece of the daily duty in loving another person. Without actions to add substance, the words are meaningless.
I find that most people do not feel loved through words alone.
It certainly helps to say the magic words, but they're not a cure-all panacea.
There are times when depression makes someone feel all alone, for instance. Words without actions do not penetrate the haze. Whereas a hug cuts through to the heart and feels loving, or offering favourite snacks can perk up the mood, or how other gestures of affection make it through the fog of depression.
It's common knowledge that varied love languages exist. Acts of love depend on how they're received: more love is felt when actions match the receiver's love languages.
My dear lady, for one, can have countless I-love-yous barely register. Yet a comforting touch will cut through that barrier and allow her to feel the love that encompasses her.
Thus I've taken it on as one of my many daily duties to ensure that my dear lady feels the love that surrounds her, instead of feeling cut off and isolated from that love.
There's teasing and flustering and godawful jokes. Quality time, words of affection, and routes of safety. Little gestures, large moments, silliness, and solemnity. Every day in every way, I show her my love.
It's a shame that my dear lady's best option is unavailable to us. Long distance and affectionate touch do not work together.
Yet that will change soon enough, should life carry on according to plan.
Though... you know what we say: you make plans, and the world laughs at you.