Ten ways to say “I love you,” sometimes without saying a single word.

Japan likes turning puns into special days of observation, which is how the country got Maid Day, Twintail Day, and Good Meat Day. Then there’s January 31, which proponents in Japan say is Love Your Wife Day.

The linguistic basis is a bit of a stretch: January 31 becomes 1-31, with 1 looking similar to the letter I, which is pronounced like the Japanese word ai/”love.” 31 gets broken into its individual digits, 1/ichi and 3/san, which then lose their terminal syllables and combine to form sai, meaning “wife,” and so 1-31 becomes aisai, meaning “beloved wife.”

The sentiment, though, is much simpler: Husbands should show love and appreciation for their wives. Japanese society doesn’t always go for open and direct displays of affection, though, and so the Japan Aisaika (“Husbands who Love their Wives”) Organization partnered with florist Hibiyakadan for a survey that asked “When actions show that a husband loves his wife?”

Respondents picked five actions, with their first choice getting five points, their second four, and so on. When the points were tallied up, the researchers arranged them in order of highest average score, so let’s take a look at the top 10.

10. He cleans the toilet (average of 3.24 points)

Taking responsibility for the splashback from peeing while standing is one of the purest signs of respect and devotion.

9. He knows his wife’s favorite flower (3.31 points)

8. He buys flowers for his wife (3.32 points)

Just slightly higher in the rankings than knowing her favorite flower, which implies that even if a guy doesn’t know which kind she especially likes, a bouquet is always a nice gesture.

7. He compliments her cooking (3.33 points)

Some would argue it’d be nicer if he did some cooking himself, but we’ll get to that.

6. He notices if she changes her hairstyle (3.44 points)

5. He cooks for her (3.52 points)

4. He takes her on a date for just the two of them (3.63 points)

This might seem so obvious as to not be worth mentioning, but with working adults in Japan spending so much time doing overtime and socializing with coworkers, plus the predominance of group activities in Japanese society in general, it’s not uncommon for a married couple to go for a stretch without an actual date night unless they go to the trouble of carving time out for one in their schedules.

3. He expresses his love for her in words (3.7 points)

While Japanese couples may not say “I love you” all that often, at least when they do they have plenty of choices.

2. He says “thank you” to her (3.78 points)

1. He remembers her birthday and their wedding anniversary (3.83 points)

While it wasn’t explicitly stated, it’s safe to assume that the top pick also include the idea of “and he plans something to celebrate it,” not just that he mentions “Oh yeah, today’s your birthday.”

We should also mention a few things about the survey’s methodology. First, while the Japan Aisaika Organization has reposted the results for this year’s Love Your Wife Day, the data was originally collected in 2016. Second, while all 1,205 respondents were married people between the ages of 20 and 59, 600 of them were men, and their idea of what sort of actions show a man loves his wife may not gel exactly with what wives themselves think constitutes spousal affection, so it’d probably be a good idea not to stop at just one thing on the list if you want your wife to get the message of “I love you.”

Source: Japan Aisaika Organization (1, 2)
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert images: Pakutaso (1, 2, 3, 4)
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