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7 Alternatives for "Love" to Use on Valentine's Day

7 Alternatives for "Love" to Use on Valentine's Day

With Valentine's Day around the corner, love is in the air. In many countries around the world, it's a day when people do something special for or with their partner.

But Valentine's Day isn't only for people who are already in relationships – it's also an opportunity for people to share their feelings with others that they're romantically interested in. Some people express this with gifts or cards, but the most direct way is to simply say it.

As you probably know, "love" is a word with quite a strong meaning, so it may not be the exact thing you want to say, especially when asking someone out for the first time or early in a relationship. So in this article, we'll introduce some similar expressions that may match your feelings more closely — or at least not scare the other person away! Some can be used when talking to friends, and others to say how you feel to that special person.

To like

The simplest way to say you like someone, well, is to say you like someone!

I really like you.
Sarah likes Adam.

However, we also use "like" to talk about many other things, so in many cases it may not sound especially romantic or emotional. Tone of voice, body language and the particular situation can all affect how the other person will understand it. 

For example, if you've just finished soccer practice and say, "I really like our new coach" to a teammate, they probably won't think you have romantic feelings for the coach. But if you're out for a walk with a close friend, then stop, take their hand and say "I think I really like you," then they will probably assume you do have romantic feelings for them.

If you're not satisfied using like, or want to say something that's a little more direct, try one of the following expressions instead.

To have a crush (on someone)

Having a crush on someone has the same meaning as liking someone romantically. It has a light nuance, so it isn't as serious as "love." It sounds a little childish, and it's common for teenagers to talk about having crushes on people — but adults use it as well. It's usually used in situations where the person who likes someone is not yet in a relationship with them, or hasn't even told them how they feel yet.

My daughter has a crush on a boy in her class. It's cute.
I've had a crush on Jill since last year.

Some people use "crush" as a verb to express the same thing.

She's really crushing on Taylor.

To have a thing (for someone)

"Having a thing" for a person is a softer way of saying that you like someone. It's not exactly a secret, but it may not be obvious. This expression is often used to talk about someone else rather than yourself.

So… do you have a thing for Seth?
I think he's got a thing for Christina, but he won't admit it.

To be sweet (on someone)

This expression is very similar in meaning and usage to "have a thing."

I think Jordan is sweet on Joe. She's very flirtatious whenever he is around.
He was sweet on Sarah before he met Teri.

To be head over heels

Being head over heels for someone has a meaning that is much stronger than the simple "like" or the casual "have a crush." However, it's not always as serious as "being in love." It has a fun tone and is like saying that you really, really like someone, or that you like someone so much that it's difficult for you to hide it! It's most commonly used during the early stages of a relationship.

Ashley is head over heels for Jacob. I've never seen her like this before.
They are head over heels in love with each other.

This expression may sound a little strange to you. After all, our heads are normally over our heels. Originally, however, the expression was "heels over head," implying that you are flipping or turning your body, probably because of excitement!

To be into (someone)

This is another expression that means "like."

He's really into Danielle. He talks about her all the time.
I'm really into you.

This expression can also be used to talk about how you feel about hobbies and other interests.

She's been into painting ever since she was a child.

To fall (for someone)

Of course, this sounds very similar to "fall in love," but it's not quite as serious. This is used when someone's feelings are strong enough for them to recognize that they really like someone. Think of it as the first step on the way to being in love. It's normally used in the past or present tense.

I tried to ignore my feelings, but I've really fallen for Jen.
I fell for Ally as soon as we met. She's amazing.
I think I'm falling for you.

Express yourself

As you can see, there are quite a few different ways to say you like someone, from casual to very bold. Even if you don't use these expressions directly with a person you like, learning them will give you a bigger vocabulary to help you discuss romantic topics with friends. Give them a try!

And one more thing: Use our special themed background and emojis during a lesson with an Engoo tutor to help you get into the Valentine's Day spirit!