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If you ask me, the three magic words are “let’s get pizza.,” but to the rest of the world they’re probably “I love you.”

And a great conundrum in relationships can often be when to say it (not the former, you should say those 3 words as often as possible); who says it first? Do you have to say it back? Is it actually that big of a deal?

Well, according to one couple—Maia and Alex—it wasn’t. Well, at least for 8 years it wasn’t. Yep, they were together for 8 years and never said that big whammy of a declaration. They even lived together, shared a car and a bank account. According to Maia, it just meant that they found creative ways to express that same sentiment instead of the standard version—things like ‘You’re my favorite,’ and ‘I love being with you.’

But eventually she felt like it was time. And when she heard a bit on “This American Life” about seeking people who had an important message to tell someone, she figured this would be as great a chance as any.

So she wrote in, and out of about 350 people that had written in, she was chosen. The prize? Getting a free video, made by filmmaker Bianca Giaever and posted to the New York Times website, to express the important message.

Regardless of how you feel about the importance of an “I love you”, you will be totally endeared by the video Maia made. In it, she says those three words, pronounces it with graphics and even has a man in a bear costume hold a sign up with the phrase written out. Hey, why not go all out?

Oh and as if that weren’t sweet enough, she filmed Alex watching the video for the first time. He seems in shock and I was hoping for a public “I love you” back but everyone has to do things their way, right?