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How to Say "I Love You" in English and Actually Mean It

How to Say "I Love You" in English and Actually Mean It

Valentine's Day is around the corner. As one of the largest English teaching platforms online, this means it's that time of year when students ask, "What are some different ways to say ‘I love you’?"

Well, our best advice is to avoid set phrases like the following:

  • "I love you to the moon and back."
  • "You are the apple of my eye."
  • "I love you from the bottom of my heart."
  • "I'm head over heels for you."

To learners, these phrases often sound more romantic than "I love you." But the truth is, "popular English phrases" like these either sound old-fashioned or are so overused that they’ve become just empty words.

So today, we'll introduce five actually meaningful ways to say "I love you," whether you're texting, writing a Valentine's Day card, or telling someone in person. 

(But if you want, you can also just skip to the samples at the end!)

1. Tell Them You Love Them

There's nothing wrong with saying "I love you." It's short and sweet. However, if you want something different, here are some ideas.

“I fall in love with you again everyday.”

"I fall in love with you again everyday" means that everyday you see your partner, you fall in love with them again. You'll also hear:

  • “I fall more deeply in love with you everyday.”
  • “I fall in love with you every single day.”

You'll find this classic expression of love in many songs, from Frank Sinatra to Ed Sheeran.

“I adore you.”

"Adore" means to love someone a lot, so "I adore you" is a stronger way of saying "I love you." Some people find "I adore you" sweeter and more special than plain old "I love you."

“I heart you.”

"I heart you" is a less serious way to say "I love you." You'll also find this one in pop songs.

As you can probably guess, the widespread popularity of texting and emojis (I ❤️ You) gave birth to this cute alternative to “I love you.”

2. Tell Them How Much They Mean To You

Here are some simple and effective ways to tell someone how much they mean to you. 

“You mean the world to me.”

The world is a big place, so if someone "means the world" to you, that means they mean a lot to you. You'll also hear:

  • "You mean everything to me."
  • "You're my everything."
  • “When you’re with me, I have everything that I need.”

“I’m so lucky to have you in my life.”

It's natural to feel lucky when you meet someone truly special, and it’s nice to tell them that. If you want more options, you can use "thankful" instead of "lucky." For example:

  • "I'm so thankful you walked into my life."
  • "You don’t know how thankful I am to have you in my life."
  • "You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me."

3. Tell Them Why You Love Them

A nice way to express your love is by telling your partner what you love about them. 

“I love your eyes.”

You can replace "eyes" with basically anything you love about your partner: their smile, their sense of humor, and so on.

You can also be creative and use phrases like these:

  • "I love the sound of your laughter.”
  • "I love the way you look at me."
  • "I love the gentle way you hold my hand."

“I love how you are so caring.”

There's probably a lot of things you like about your partner's personality. Tell them about these things by using the structures "I love how you are so ..." or "I love how ... you are." For example:

  • "I love how you are always so cheerful even on bad days."
  • "I love how beautiful you look even when you’re doing the simplest things."

4. Tell Them How They Make You Feel

When you're with someone you love, life in general seems better, doesn’t it? . Here’s how you can express those feelings to your partner.

“I love being with you.”

You most likely enjoy spending time with your partner. Here are some ways to say that.

  • "I love being with you."
  • "I love spending time with you."
  • "I enjoy every moment we're together."

“You always make me feel special.”

You can tell your partner how they make you feel with phrases like this. For variety, here are some more examples: 

  • "You make me feel alive."
  • "You make me feel warm and fuzzy inside."
  • "I feel loved when I'm with you."
  • "When I'm with you, I feel safe."
  • "I've never felt so comfortable with anyone."

“You make me feel like a million bucks.”

You can add color to your words with some comparisons. For example:

  • "When I'm with you, I feel like I'm in a dream."
  • "When I'm with you, I feel like I'm floating on clouds."
  • "When I'm with you, I feel like I could do anything."

5. Show Appreciation

When you're with the right person, they usually have a positive effect on you. So here are some phrases to help you express your thanks!

“My life is so much better with you by my side.”

Phrases like this tell your partner how much they’ve made your life better. You’ll also hear:

  • “Everything’s better with you by my side.”
  • “You have brought so much joy to my life.”

“You make me a better person.”

If you feel like your partner has helped you grow into a better person, this is the phrase for you. Here are some related phrases:

  • “You bring out my better side.”
  • “You really know how to bring out the best in me.”
  • “I love the way I am when I’m with you.”

“Thanks for always being there for me.”

Finally, don't forget about saying a simple "thanks" for all the little things your partner does for you.

  • "Thanks for making me laugh when I'm down."
  • "Thanks for always listening to me rant."
  • "Thanks for waking me up every morning."

Bonus: Be Funny

Don’t forget that you can always use some humor to lighten up your message if you think your partner might like that. Here are some ideas to get you started.

“Thanks for being my partner in crime.”

Two people are "partners in crime" when they break the law together. However, we often use this term in humorous ways.

So even if you don't actually commit a crime with your significant other, you can lovingly refer to them as your "partner in crime."

“You’re just like bacon. You make everything better!”

You can switch out “bacon” for something else that you like, whether that's hot sauce or Nutella. Here are some examples:

  • "You're like hot chocolate — sweet and always warming me up."
  • "You're just like my favorite song. I can listen to you all day."

“You’re the peanut butter to my jelly.”

This is a fun way to say that the two of you are a perfect match. There are many versions of this saying:

  • "You're the butter to my bread."
  • "You're the maple syrup to my pancake."

Some people also use this with famous characters in movies and TV shows. For example, “You’re the Ross to my Rachel” is a reference to the TV show, Friends.

Sample Messages

Here are some sample messages using the tips above. Remember, if you ever need anyone to check your writing, our tutors are here for you 24/7! Plus, the first lesson is free, so you've got nothing to lose.

Text Messages


Happy Valentine's Day, my love! Thanks for making me feel loved and special, today and every day. Can't wait to see you tonight! xoxo


Morning gorgeous! Just wanted to remind you that you're like hot chocolate - always warming me up and making me feel like home. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Card Messages



Thanks for always being there for me, hugging me when I'm down, and putting up with me when I'm stressed out. No matter what mood I'm in, you always have a way of making me feel like a million bucks.

But you haven't just made me a happier person. You've also made me a better one — gentler, calmer, and more tolerant.

Every day, I wake up feeling so lucky that you're in my life! Happy Valentine's Day!

All my love,



Hi Pumpkin,

I don't usually say things like this, but since it's Valentine's Day, I wanted to let you know how much I love being your partner-in-crime.

I enjoy every moment we spend together, whether we're baking or jogging or just watching TV.

Even when the cookies we bake don't turn out great or it starts pouring halfway through a run, I feel grateful for the happy adventure my life has become since you appeared.