english idioms about love

62 English Idioms About Love to Express Romance Like a Native

Idioms add flavor to languages in unexpected ways.

They can have surprising meanings that are very far from the actual words. And native speakers love using them.

Some of these idioms describe the purest forms of love, others make fun of a person’s feelings and there are even a few that have sad meanings (like breaking up).

Read this post to learn about the 62 most used English idioms about love in all its forms.


1. To fall in love / to fall for someone

When you fall in love with someone, you have a strong attraction to or desire for them.

2.  To fall out of love

You first fall in love, and then, if it doesn’t go well, you can fall out of love, which normally means that you don’t love that person anymore.

3.  To be head over heels in love

If you are or fall head over heels in love with someone, it means you’re completely in love with them.

4.  A blind date

Going on a blind date doesn’t mean that your date is blind or that you can’t see them.

A blind date is just a romantic meeting between two people who haven’t met before.

Pro tip: My best friend went on a blind date nine years ago, and she and her husband have three children now!

5.  To be blinded by love / love is blind

It seems the metaphor of blindness appears often in expressions related to love.

Maybe this has to do with the fact that when we fall in love, we don’t see any defect (imperfection) in the other person, and we blindly (without thinking about it) do anything for them.

This is exactly the meaning of to be blinded by love and the expression love is blind. You love someone so much that everything looks perfect. You can’t see your significant other’s faults (imperfections).

Pro tip: Check out the series “Love Is Blind” on Netflix!

6.  Sweep someone off their feet

Though this idiom sounds somewhat dangerous, it’s actually a very good thing.

That’s because this idiom means that you’ve gone and made someone fall in love with you. The “sweeping off their feet” is a very good thing because the person is happy and feeling in love.

7.  Those three little words

When someone refers to those three little words, they’re talking about the words I love you.

For some people, these words can be difficult to say, or they can even be taboo words (words you shouldn’t use) in some conversations.

If you don’t feel comfortable saying the words I love you, just use this expression instead!

Pro tip: Play the game “Taboo” to practice your English vocabulary!

8.  To have the hots for someone

If you have the hots for someone, you find them very attractive.

You can also use the word hot to describe someone who’s attractive.

9.  Love at first sight

This is an example of an expression that’s literal (it means what it says).

When you fall in love at first sight, you start having strong, romantic feelings the very moment you see a person for the first time.

Pro-tip: Listen to Kylie Minogue’s song, “Love at First Sight,” to practice this idiom.

10.  To be a love rat

Not all idioms about love are positive and full of nice feelings.

Many people normally don’t like rats, so maybe this is the reason why English has the idiom to be a love rat, which describes a person who’s unfaithful to their partner.

11.  A match made in heaven

If a match is made in heaven, it means that two people are perfect for each other.

This is the kind of relationship many of us want in our lives.

On the other side, we have a match made in hell.

As you can imagine, a couple who are a match made in hell don’t have the best relationship.

12.  To be an item

When two people are an item, it means they’re together. They’re a couple.

13.  Puppy love

Puppy English is cute, and so is puppy love.

But while it may be cute, it normally just describes infatuation (see the sixth idiom on this list), especially between children or teenagers.

This idiom is most often used by adults to describe young people who’re starting to discover feelings and attraction.

Pro-tip: Watch this video to learn more English vocabulary about puppies!

14.  Kiss and make up

No, we’re not talking about English makeup (beauty product) vocabulary. We’re talking about making up.

To kiss and make up means that a couple solves a problem they had and reconciles (they make peace).

This expression doesn’t necessarily mean that two people kiss and apologize. It can also be used outside of couples when two people (for example, two friends) stop fighting and forgive each other.

Pro-tip: Practice this idiom with Dua Lipa’s and BLACKPINK’s superb song, “Kiss and Make Up.”

15.  To be lovey-dovey

If you’re not a fan of PDA (public displays of affection), you probably don’t like couples who are lovey-dovey because this idiom is used to refer to couples that love showing how much they’re in love.

16.  To be the apple of someone’s eye

Simply put, the apple of your eye is the person you love the most.

This idiom can be used with a person you have romantic feelings for or with family members (especially kids) and even objects.

17.  To be smitten with someone

If you’re smitten with someone, you have strong feelings of affection or attraction for that person.

You can also use this idiom with animals and people.

18.  To have a crush on someone

Contrary to what you may think, to have a crush on someone doesn’t mean to destroy or be destroyed by someone.

It actually means that you have strong romantic feelings for someone, but normally you don’t know the person very well, and sometimes they may not even know you exist!

19.  To be under someone’s spell

When you’re under someone’s spell, you’re very attracted to them romantically, but you’re also influenced by them.

This means that sometimes you can be manipulated by the other person (as if they had a real spell on you), so that’s probably why this idiom is normally used negatively.

20.  To tie the knot

When two people tie the knot, they get married.

21.  To think that someone hung the moon

If you think someone has hung the moon (and possibly the stars, too) in the sky for you to see, you definitely think they’re the most extraordinary person in the world.

Congratulations, you’re in love!

You can also use this expression when a little kid loves and admires an adult.

22.  To be over the moon

And since we’re talking about the moon, have you ever been over it?

If you’re over the moon, you’re blissfully and happily in love.

However, you don’t have to be in love or even be talking about romantic feelings to be over the moon.

23.  To fall for someone hook, line and sinker

When someone falls for someone hook, line and sinker, it means they’re completely infatuated with them.

24.  On the rocks

My friend, if your relationship is on the rocks, it’s having difficulties. You better kiss and make up (see the 14th idiom on this list) or break up (see the 29th idiom on this list).

25.  To take someone’s breath away

When someone takes your breath away, you have probably fallen in love with them. You think they’re so amazing that you forget to even breathe.

Things can also take your breath away when you think they’re awesome. They make you have intense feelings, too, but not the romantic kind explained above.

Pro-tip: Practice this idiom with one of the most superb classics in the history of music, Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away.”

26.  To pop the question

When someone pops the question, they ask the person they love to marry them.

27.  To be in a love triangle

Triangles can be in a math book, in an orchestra and even in a relationship!

A love triangle is a romantic relationship that involves three people instead of two. For example, person A loves person B, but person B loves person C and person C loves person A… confusing!

28.  To only have eyes for someone

To only have eyes for someone means that you look only at that one person romantically. You’re so in love with them that there’s no other option out there.

29.  To break up / to split up

This is probably one of the saddest idioms on this list.

If a couple breaks up or splits up, they end their relationship.

30.  To be the love of someone’s life

If you’re the love of someone’s life, it means that they love you wholeheartedly (with their whole heart, or a lot), and you’re the most important person in their life. They’ll probably also tell you that they want to spend the rest of their life with you.

31.  Wear your heart on your sleeve

This means you openly display your emotions. No hiding here. If you’re in love, you look like you’re in love. If you’re angry, you’re scowling.

32.  Two peas in a pod

When two people (usually a couple or best friends) are so right for each other, we can say that they are like two little green peas in a pod. As you may have assumed, this idiom has nothing to do with the green legume. 

33. Steal someone’s heart

Although you can’t literally steal someone’s heart, you can convince them to fall in love with you. In English, you can say this is stealing someone’s heart, though the person who’s fallen in love most certainly still has their heart.

34.  Butterflies in your stomach

You know that feeling when you’re in love (or have a crush on someone) and when you think about them, you feel a light fluttery feeling in your stomach?

That might mean you’re in love. But hopefully there aren’t really butterflies in your stomach.

Here’s a video that describes why people feel this sensation:

35.  Lovebirds

When two people are in love and they seem just right for each other, we can call them lovebirds. After all, many birds do mate for life!

36.  Third wheel

This is a bad thing usually. You know when you’re hanging out with a couple and they only have eyes for one another (meaning they really, really like each other)? 

This is when you may feel like a third wheel. Imagine a motorcycle or a bicycle. They only need two wheels!

37.  Playing hard to get

This describes when you know someone likes you, but you want to really make them work for your attention. This is called playing hard to get

Many people do this because they want their suitor to work hard for their love.

38.  Heart skips a beat

Hopefully your heart doesn’t actually skip a beat, because this is a medical disorder!

But in English idioms about love, this is a very good thing. It means that someone is so striking or beautiful that when you look at them, you feel like your heart is skipping a beat.

To hear this idiom in context, listen to the song “Heart Skips a Beat” by Olly Murs:

39.  From the bottom of my heart

Though your heart does have a bottom, that’s not what this idiom is about. 

What is actually means is that you are totally sincere in what you’re saying or feeling.

40.  Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all

This common idiom means that you should try to find love in your life, even if it doesn’t work out. Because a lost love is better than never having one at all.

41.  Stole my heart

If someone steals your heart, you die, right? 

Not in the world of English idioms. Here, it means that you fell in love with the person who stole your heart.

42. Love’s young dream

This idiom means that love is naive. Young people fall in love quickly, but they also fall out of love quickly. So this idiom means that love makes everything young and innocent. And that’s a good thing unless you take it too far.

43.  All’s fair in love and war

This idiom means that every behavior is acceptable in two situations: love and war. Of course you can’t take it too seriously.

People behave pretty badly when their jealous or when they get broken up with. And during war, they do really bad things. Nevertheless, it’s a great idiom.

Listen to Ronnie Milsap’s classic song “All’s Fair in Love and War” to hear this idiom in context:

44.  Break someone’s heart

You don’t want to break someone’s heart by hurting them. That’s exactly what this idiom tells us. If you break up with your boyfriend/girlfriend out of the blue one day, you may break their heart.

So be careful with those you love.

45.  Distance makes the heart grow fonder

This idiom reminds us that when you’re away from your lover, you may grow to love them even more. All the little annoyances will be gone and you’ll only remember the good stuff.

So maybe take a solo vacation once in a while.

46.  Opposites attract

Sometimes, two people seem like total opposites.

He’s a scientist and she’s a romance author, for example. Or he’s a neat freak and she’s one of the messiest people on earth.

Well this doesn’t mean that a relationship won’t work. Sometimes opposites attract. 

47.  Love is a two-way street

This idiom means that you have to put work into a relationship to make it work out. And since it’s a two-way street, this means that both participants in the relationship must put in some work.

48.  Love’s labor lost

This is a negative one. It means when one’s efforts to win someone’s affection or love go unrewarded.

Imagine you bought flowers for someone every day for a week, and wrote them love letters on the weekend. But the person receiving the flowers and love letters still has no interest in you. That’s love’s labor lost.

49.  Love-hate relationship

Sometimes with certain people, you love them so intensely that it almost (sometimes) feels like hate. 

At times like this, you realize how close love and hate are on the emotional spectrum. This is a love-hate relationship.

50.  Ride or die

Your ride or die is your first choice person to spend time with. Your “partner in crime” is another idiom that means the same thing. 

Your “bestie,” (best friend) or your “bestie with benefits,” which means that you also have an intimate relationship.

Here’s a great song featuring this idiom:

51.  King / queen of hearts

A king or queen of hearts is someone that everyone loves. 

Most likely they’re intelligent, witty, funny and, on top of all of that, very attractive.

52.  Love nest

If you fall in love with someone, and spend a lot of time alone with them, your friend might start calling your apartment your love nest.

As if you’re two “love birds” together in a cozy little nest.

53.  Love is in the air

This idiom means that someone feels like someone is falling in love. It’s a feeling that love and romance is all around. Like in Paris in the spring, for example.

54.  Cupid’s arrow

If someone gets shot with Cupid’s arrow, that means they’re going to fall in love. Cupid sounds dangerous, right?

55.  Love is a battlefield

Love can get pretty cruel at times. That’s what this idiom is about. But it also means that you have to fight for love and for your relationships.

You have to be a soldier on the battlefield of love. 

56.  To go weak in the knees

When you see someone who you think is attractive, you may feel like your knees are giving out.

If they happen to kiss you under some mistletoe (the small branch of a plant that gets hung in a doorway during Christmas), you may feel like you’re going to collapse, but in a good way. This is also called “swooning.”

57.  Love knows no bounds

You live in New York and he lives in Texas? No problem. She lives in Ecuador and only speaks Spanish and you don’t know the language? No worries.

Love knows no bounds.

58.  Rekindle the fire

Say you were in love at one time with someone and then the relationship ends. But then, a year later, you see him or her at a party and you feel like maybe you’d like to give it another try.

This is called rekindling the fire. “Kindling” is small pieces of wood used to start a fire, and “fire” is often used as a metaphor for love.

59.  To wear the pants in the relationship

The person who wears the pants in the relationship is the one who makes the decisions.

Though it probably has a questionable origin, the person who wears the pants has nothing to do with gender. 

60.  Love will find a way

Love will prevail, even in the hardest times. Say you’re broke and your boyfriend just broke up with you and then, on top of all that, your car gets stolen.

Well have no fear because soon enough, love will appear again in your life, making everything feel better.

61.  An old flame

An old flame is someone you used to be in a relationship with. An ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend that maybe you still have fond feelings about.

62.  To fan the flames of love

To start a fire, sometimes you have to fan it (or blow on it). This idiom uses the fire metaphor again to explain how building a relationship is similar to building a fire.


And on this sweet note, we’ve finished our list of love idioms!

As you’ve seen, there are a lot of idioms in English to talk about love and relationships.

Some of them are more positive than others, but they all have something in common: They’re often used by native English speakers and are a part of everyday conversations. You can see for yourself by watching the videos on the FluentU program. And while you watch, look for more romantic phrases to use with your own sweetheart.

FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

You can try FluentU for free for 2 weeks. Check out the website or download the iOS app or Android app.

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The more idioms you learn, the better you’ll be able to express all the nuances this beautiful language has to offer.

Stay in love, my friends, and as always, happy learning!

And One More Thing...

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