Have you ever heard someone’s heart described as “cold as ice” or a new romance called a “match made in heaven”? These colorful expressions are more than just playful words; they are idioms about love!
These common phrases, steeped in metaphor and vivid imagery, beautifully capture the complex world of love, affection, and relationships in just a few words. They are a charming and integral part of how we communicate our deepest feelings to one another, across cultures and through time.
So, let’s dive into the fascinating, heartwarming world of love idioms and explore what they reveal about our experiences with romance!
Starting a Relationship
1. Love at first sight
When someone falls in love with another person immediately upon meeting them, it’s called love at first sight. It’s when someone feels an instant, extreme, and long-lasting attraction toward someone else the moment they see them.
2. Blind date
A blind date is a social engagement with someone you have not previously met, often arranged by a mutual acquaintance. It is a way to meet new people for possible romantic relationships.
3. Fall for someone
To fall for someone means to start to feel love for someone. It describes the process of developing deep feelings for someone, leading to love.
4. Swept off one’s feet
When someone is quickly and completely charmed by another person, they are said to be swept off their feet. It describes a situation where someone is suddenly and completely won over by someone else’s charm.
5. Have a crush on someone
Having a crush on someone means experiencing a short-term but intense feeling of love for that person, usually secretly. It’s often an initial stage of affection, which can be intense but not necessarily long-lasting.
6. Catch someone’s eye
To catch someone’s eye means to attract someone’s attention, especially in a romantic context. It happens when one person finds another person visually appealing or intriguing.
7. Have a thing for
When you have a thing for someone, it means you are attracted to that person, either physically or emotionally. It’s more than a casual interest, indicating a notable affection or desire.
8. Play hard to get
To play hard to get means to pretend to be uninterested in a romantic pursuit to make oneself seem more desirable. It is a strategy some people use to increase their appeal.
9. Be infatuated with
Being infatuated with someone means having an intense, but often short-lived, love or admiration for that person. It is a powerful, consuming feeling that can feel like love but is usually more fleeting.
10. Have the hots for
To have the hots for someone means to be physically attracted to that person in a strong and obvious way. It is a casual and direct way to say someone finds another person very attractive.
11. Fancy someone
To fancy someone means to find that person attractive. It is a more informal and straightforward way to say that you are interested in someone in a romantic sense.
Deep Affection and Commitment
1. Tie the knot
To tie the knot is to get married. This phrase refers to the act of committing to a lifelong partnership with someone. The knot symbolizes the bond that is formed when two people wed.
2. Match made in heaven
A match made in heaven refers to a perfect couple. It is used to describe two people who are exceptionally compatible and seem perfectly suited for each other. The phrase implies that the relationship was destined for a higher power.
3. Better half
The better half is a term for a person’s spouse or partner. It shows respect and affection, suggesting that the partner complements or improves the other person’s life. This phrase is often used to express love and appreciation for a partner.
4. Be an item
When people are an item, they are a couple. This means they are in a romantic relationship and are committed to each other. It is a casual way to refer to two people who are dating or in a relationship.
5. Written in the stars
If something is written in the stars, it is meant to be. This phrase is used to express the belief that fate or destiny has planned the relationship. It suggests that the love between two people was preordained and inevitable.
Lovebirds are a couple in love. The term is used to describe two people who are openly affectionate and deeply committed to each other. It often implies that the couple is in the blissful early stages of romance.
Heartstrings refer to deep emotional feelings. When something tugs at your heartstrings, it evokes a strong emotional response, often related to love or affection. It is a metaphor for the deep emotional connection between people.
8. Smitten with
To be smitten with someone is to be deeply in love with that person. This phrase describes a powerful, often sudden, affection towards someone else. Being smitten usually includes strong feelings of attraction and affection.
9. Be madly in love
To be madly in love is to be extremely in love with someone. This phrase describes a deep and intense emotional connection with someone else. It suggests a passionate and overwhelming feeling of love.
Challenges in Love
1. On the rocks
When a relationship is on the rocks, it is in trouble and may be close to ending. The people involved are having serious problems and disagreements. The phrase paints a picture of a ship struggling and possibly crashing on rocky shores, just like the struggling relationship.
2. Star-crossed lovers
Star-crossed lovers are people who are in love but cannot be together due to circumstances beyond their control. Their relationship is doomed by fate, often because of family, societal, or other external conflicts. This phrase suggests that the stars (fate or destiny) are working against their love.
3. Love triangle
A love triangle involves three people who are connected through romantic relationships. One person is typically romantically involved with the other two, or all three have relationships with each other to varying degrees. This situation often leads to tension and conflict among the people involved.
4. Torn between two lovers
Being torn between two lovers describes a situation where someone finds it difficult to choose between two love interests. The person feels strong romantic emotions for two different people and is uncertain about whom to commit to. This situation usually involves a great deal of confusion and emotional turmoil.
5. Marry in haste, repent at leisure
This phrase is a warning that quick, impulsive decisions to marry can lead to long-term regret. It suggests taking time to know your partner well before marriage to avoid future unhappiness. The saying highlights that rushed decisions in love can lead to a lifetime of consequences.
6. Love-hate relationship
A love-hate relationship is one in which feelings of love and affection are mixed with intense dislike or hostility. People in such a relationship may deeply care for each other one moment and argue fiercely the next. It’s a relationship full of contradictions and emotional extremes.
Healing and Ending Relationships
1. Mend a broken heart
To mend a broken heart is to recover from a painful end to a love relationship. After a significant relationship ends, a person may feel deep emotional pain, and mending a broken heart is the process of healing and moving forward from that pain. It involves letting go of the past and starting to find happiness again.
2. Old flame
An old flame is a former lover or romantic partner. This is someone with whom a person once had a romantic relationship, which has since ended. The term suggests that there was once a “fire” or passion, but it has since gone out, although memories of the relationship remain.
3. Rekindle an old flame
To rekindle an old flame is to revive a former romantic relationship. This happens when people who were once in a romantic relationship decide to give their love another chance. They reignite the passion and connection they once had, much like reviving a dying fire.
4. Fall out of love
To fall out of love is to stop feeling love towards someone. This is a gradual process where the affection and romantic feelings for a partner fade away. It can happen over time due to various reasons, such as growing apart, changes in each person, or unresolved conflicts in the relationship.
5. Broken heart
A broken heart refers to the feeling of deep emotional pain after love has ended or because love is unrequited. It is a metaphor for the intense emotional—and sometimes physical—pain one feels after losing a loved one, either through a breakup, death, or unreturned affection.
It’s a common experience, but with time, most people heal and move forward.
Expressions of Love
1. Whisper sweet nothing
To whisper sweet nothings is to speak words of affection to one’s lover in a soft and intimate manner. These are usually tender, loving, or endearing words that are meant to make the other person feel cherished and special. It’s a personal and romantic way of communicating love and affection.
2. Send one’s love
To send one’s love is to send one’s affection through a message or gesture. This can be in the form of a letter, a card, a phone call, or a gift. It’s a way of letting someone know that you are thinking of them and that you care, even when you can’t be physically present.
3. Win someone’s heart.
To win someone’s heart is to gain another person’s love. This usually involves acts of kindness, romantic gestures, or consistent affectionate behavior that makes the other person fall in love. It’s the process of making someone else feel so cherished that they grow to love you in return.
4. Wear one’s heart on one’s sleeve
To wear one’s heart on one’s sleeve is to show one’s feelings, especially feelings of love, openly. A person who does this doesn’t try to hide how they feel; they are open and honest about their emotions. It means being vulnerable and transparent about your feelings, not concealing them.
5. A sight for sore eyes
A sight for sore eyes is a person or thing that you are extremely pleased or relieved to see. In the context of love, this phrase often describes being very happy to see a loved one after a long time apart. It expresses a deep sense of comfort and joy at their appearance.
6. Love notes
Love notes are written messages of affection. They are often short, sweet, and personal, written to express love and appreciation for another person. People give love notes to make their loved ones feel special and cherished, and they can be in the form of a letter, a card, or a simple note left in an unexpected place.
Support and Comfort in Love
1. A shoulder to cry on
A shoulder to cry on refers to someone who offers sympathy and a friendly ear during tough times. When you are sad or facing a hard situation, this is the person you can turn to for comfort. They listen to your problems, offer kind words, and are there for you when you need emotional support.
2. Be someone’s rock
To be someone’s rock means to be a source of strength and support for someone. In a relationship, being someone’s rock means that you are stable, reliable, and dependable. When everything else is uncertain, this is the person you can count on to be there for you, providing emotional support and guidance.
3. Young at heart
Being young at heart means still feeling young, regardless of one’s actual age. In a romantic context, it often refers to someone who keeps a youthful, optimistic perspective on life and love, despite their years. They are playful and maintain a positive, spirited attitude that can be uplifting to those around them.
4. Have a soft spot for
To have a soft spot for someone means to have a tender or sentimental feeling toward that person. It implies that, no matter what, there is a part of you that holds affection and warmth for this person. It might be someone you love deeply or someone for whom you retain a special, enduring fondness.
Character and Personality in Love
1. Heart of gold
A person with a heart of gold has a kind and generous disposition. They are often willing to help others and show great patience and compassion. In a romantic context, such a person is often considerate and selfless, always thinking about how to make their partner happy and put their needs first.
2. A heart of stone
A person described as having a heart of stone is seen as unfeeling or cruel. They do not easily show emotions and might appear indifferent to the feelings of others, including those they are close to. In relationships, this person may seem cold and distant, often unaffected by emotional situations that would move most people.
3. A bleeding heart
A bleeding heart refers to a person who shows excessive sympathy, especially towards those underprivileged. They are deeply compassionate and are often moved to help those in need. In a relationship, a bleeding heart may be extremely caring and sensitive, often going out of their way to comfort and support their partner in times of need.
4. To wear rose-colored glasses
This means to see things as better than they really are, especially in a romantic relationship. It’s like viewing everything optimistically, ignoring potential flaws.
5. A labor of love
This phrase describes a task done for pleasure rather than reward, often in the context of romantic relationships. It’s like working hard out of love, not for any external benefit.
6. Old flames
This refers to former lovers or romantic partners. Just like a fire that was once burning but has been put out, an old flame is a past relationship or romantic interest.
7. Puppy love
This idiom describes a young, superficial love that is seen as immature, much like the affectionate but not deep love of a puppy.
Love and Fate
1. The course of true love never did run smooth
True love always comes with challenges. This phrase emphasizes that a deep, genuine love relationship is rarely easy or without struggles. Whether it is disagreements, external pressures, or life changes, enduring love isn’t about having no problems but about overcoming the problems that arise together as a couple.
2. Love conquers all
This phrase expresses the belief that love can overcome any obstacle. It suggests that when people truly love each other, they can find a way to make their relationship work, regardless of the circumstances.
The power of their love is so strong that it can help them through the hardest times, making everything else secondary to their commitment to each other.
3. Love knows no bounds
Love can overcome any obstacle or restriction, indicating that it is limitless and unconditional. When you love someone in this way, there is no distance too far, no obstacle too big, and no sacrifice too great. This kind of love doesn’t judge or set conditions; it accepts and endures, regardless of circumstances or challenges.
4. Old flames never die
This idiom suggests that past romantic relationships can still hold a spark or emotion, even after a long time has passed.
5. A love that defies time
This idiom describes a love so strong and deep that it seems to transcend time, suggesting a connection that is fated and unbreakable.
6. Till death do us part
Traditionally part of marriage vows, this phrase signifies a lifelong commitment, as if fated to be together until the end.
Casual Relationships and Flirting
1. Love rat
A love rat is a person who cheats on his or her partner. This person is not faithful and breaks the trust that is fundamental to a committed relationship. Being a love rat damages the bond between partners and is often a cause for the end of a relationship.
This term is often used to express strong disapproval of such behavior.
2. Have a roving eye
To have a roving eye means to show interest in people other than one’s partner, suggesting a desire for romantic or sexual involvement with others. This might involve flirting, paying special attention, or entertaining romantic thoughts about someone other than the partner.
It often implies a lack of commitment to the current relationship and can create tension or distrust between partners.
3. Fool’s paradise
Fool’s paradise refers to a state of happiness based on false beliefs, often used in the context of a doomed relationship. It describes a situation where someone is happy because they are ignoring the reality of their situation.
For example, someone might be blissfully unaware that their partner is not as committed as they thought, creating a happiness that is likely to be shattered when the truth emerges.
4. Playing the field
This idiom refers to someone who dates multiple people without committing to a serious relationship. It’s like a player in a sports field, actively participating but not dedicated to just one ‘team’.
5. Wink and a nod
This phrase suggests subtle, often playful acknowledgment or flirtation, where nothing is said explicitly, but the intentions are understood through gestures like a wink or a nod.
6. Spark flying
Used to describe the visible chemistry or attraction between two people, as if literal sparks are produced from their interaction.
Pre-Marriage and Proposal
1. Pop the question
To pop the question means to propose marriage to someone. This is a significant step in a relationship where one person asks the other to marry them. It is often a planned and thoughtful gesture, sometimes involving a traditional element like presenting an engagement ring.
This phrase describes the moment when someone asks the life-changing question, usually, “Will you marry me?”
2. Get hitched
To get hitched means to get married. This phrase is a casual way to refer to the act of entering into a marriage. It is often used in a lighthearted or informal context.
For example, instead of saying a couple got married, one might say they got hitched to imply a more relaxed or non-traditional approach to their marriage.
3. Cold feet
Having cold feet refers to the fear or doubt someone might feel regarding a big decision, often related to marriage. As a wedding is a significant commitment and life change, it is common for people to feel nervous before the event.
If someone is having second thoughts or severe anxiety about proceeding with the marriage, it is often said that they are getting cold feet. It doesn’t necessarily mean the wedding won’t happen, but it indicates a level of uncertainty or hesitation.
1. Love makes the world go round
This phrase emphasizes that love is a powerful force that drives human actions and connections. It suggests that love, in various forms, is a fundamental aspect of human life, inspiring people to create, care, and strive for better. This idiom is used to acknowledge the profound impact love can have on individuals and communities.
2. Love potion
A love potion is a mythical drink that is supposed to make someone fall in love with the person who gives it to them. The concept of a love potion is often used in stories and legends to explain why a character falls deeply and magically in love, sometimes against their will or better judgment.
It symbolizes the mysterious and compelling nature of love.
3. Go weak at the knees
To go weak at the knees means to feel an intense emotional or physical reaction, often due to attraction to someone. This phrase captures the sense of being so struck by someone that it feels as though you can’t stand up straight.
It’s often used to describe a dramatic and immediate response to seeing or thinking about a loved one.
4. Be on cloud nine
To be on cloud nine means to be extremely happy, often because you are in love. This phrase is used to describe a state of euphoria or immense joy. When someone is in love, and everything seems perfect, they might say they are on cloud nine, as if they are so happy they are floating on air.
5. Love’s young dream
Love’s young dream refers to the blissful phase of young love when everything feels perfect and the challenges of life seem to fade away. It’s a time when people in love might seem to live in their own world, wrapped up in each other and unconcerned with anything else.
This phrase captures the innocence and enchantment of first love.
6. Be lovesick
To be lovesick means to be so infatuated with someone that it affects one’s physical or mental health. When someone is lovesick, they might be unable to think about anything other than the person they are infatuated with.
This can lead to symptoms like a lack of appetite, trouble sleeping, or a feeling of sadness when apart from the loved one. It describes an intense emotional state that feels almost like an illness.
1. Double date
Two couples decide to spend time together and go out as a group for a date. This could be dinner, a movie, or any other outing. A double date can be a casual, fun way to spend time with friends and enjoy each other’s company, and it often helps to make the atmosphere more relaxed and social.
2. Settle down
When someone decides to settle down, they choose to lead a more stable, settled life, often through marriage or a committed, long-term relationship. This person is likely focusing on building a family or a life with a partner and is moving away from a phase of life marked by frequent change or uncertainty.
3. Love nest
A love nest is a private place where two lovers meet, often in secret. This could be an apartment, a hotel room, or any other secluded place. It’s a place where they can be together without interruption, where they can enjoy each other’s company, and where their love for each other is the main focus.
4. Paint the town red
To paint the town red means to go out and enjoy oneself in a lively and flamboyant manner, often with a group of friends or a romantic partner. It suggests celebrating and having a good time, usually at multiple venues, like going to restaurants, clubs, or bars, and generally making it a memorable night.
5. Find Mr./Mrs. Right
When someone is looking to find Mr. or Mrs. Right, they are searching for the perfect partner for themselves, the one they want to spend the rest of their life with. This is the person who ideally complements their own personality and lifestyle, with whom they have a deep and lasting connection.
6. Lonely hearts
Lonely hearts refer to people who are seeking a romantic relationship. They may be single and looking for a partner to share their life with. These individuals might use dating services, attend singles events, or engage in other activities in the hope of finding a romantic partner to end their loneliness and share in their life.
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