How to Say I Love You in English and Other Relationship Phrases

Ahh, love… It’s one of the most powerful emotions. It can brighten someone’s day, help others during a tough time, and show genuine affection for a significant other (person who someone has an established relationship with).

Yes—there’s another side to love, but we’ll focus on the positives in this blog!

As an ESL student, learning how to express yourself in different ways is how you’ll open new relationships. Remember, love is not always an expression reserved for romance. People express love to friends, family, and to people they don’t even know. 

However, in this blog, we’ll focus on the romantic side of things and provide options on how to express yourself beyond a simple “I love you.”

So, let’s learn about expressing love in English and some of its nuances (subtle differences in meaning or expression). In this article we’re talking about How to Say I Love You in English.


Showing Interest

Most relationships don’t start with people head over heels (Not sure what this means? Visit our article on Old Sayings) in love. There are steps to building a relationship. So let’s explore some phrases and expressions in English that show interest for a loving relationship.

1. I’m very fond of you.

Saying  fond (have affection for someone) is a more subtle way to show attraction or interest in another person. The term lets someone know you like spending time with them without directly saying, “I have feelings for you.”

2. I’d like to get to know you more.

This is another subtle phrase to show you want to spend more time with someone. It also means you value their opinions and personality and would like to explore that on a deeper level.

3. I think there’s ‘something’ between us.

Don’t read this phrase literally! When showing interest in someone, the ‘something’ referenced means a connection. It’s another indirect way to say you might have a spark (trace of an intense feeling) with someone. 

4. I’ve got a crush on you.

A crush is a brief, yet intense, infatuation with another person. So, telling someone that you have a crush on them is not subtle at all, but it certainly lets them know you have interest! 


How to Say ‘I love you’ Directly

If you’re already in a loving relationship or if you’d like to take the relationship to the next level, then let’s look at the more direct phrases you can use to express that you love someone.

1. I love you.

It’s the classic, direct way to let someone know you love them in English. You already know it, but our list wouldn’t be complete without it. Remember that the phrase isn’t limited to just romantic relationships, You can also say it to family and friends.

2. You’re the love of my life.

Want to be with someone for the rest of your life? Let them know with this phrase. It says they’re more important than all others.

3. I’m in love with you.

It’s important to understand the difference between telling someone you love them and saying you’re ‘in’ love with them. Expressing that you’re ‘in’ love with someone lets them know you have a deeper, romantic love. This phrase is not for family or someone you want to remain casual friends with.

4. I’m the luckiest person in the world.

If you believe in luck, then stating that being with someone makes you the ‘luckiest person’ is a great testament to your feelings towards them. Just be sure the other person understands the context!

5. I love you to the moon and back.

There are many origin stories for this phrase, but it’s mainly credited to a children’s book from 1994. Though the book presents the phrase as more of a family type of love, it can also express your love for a significant other. I mean, from here to the moon is a pretty huge space to fill with love, right?

6. You’re the best thing that has ever happened to me.

It might seem like an odd phrase to express love, but don’t confuse the term ‘thing’ as saying your romantic partner is an object. The ‘thing’ stated in the phrase is the relationship itself, which in English, has no gender. It’s a way of saying your time with another person is the best period in your life.


How to Say I Love You by Someone Know You’re Thinking of Them

When you’re in a loving relationship with someone, it isn’t reasonable to think that you’ll be with them all the time. So here are some phrases to help you let another person know that you’re thinking of them even when they’re not around.

1. You’re always on my mind.

This phrase became the title of a famous Country music song in America. It’s a not-so-subtle way to tell someone that even when you’re busy, you’re thinking of them.

2. I heard a song that reminded me of you.

Speaking of songs, a great way to let a significant other know you’re thinking about them is to tell them about a song that reminds you of them. Many people connect with each other on a deeper level through music, and it’s a great way to make someone smile or remember a date.

3. I haven’t stopped thinking about you.

It’s a very intense phrase, but highly effective. The meaning behind telling someone that you haven’t stopped thinking about them since you last saw them is pretty clear. 


How to Say I Love You and Grow a Relationship

If you’ve been together for a while, some phrases might get old if they’re repeated. Here are some expressions you can use to grow the love even more in your relationship.

1. You’re amazing.

Everyone loves to hear they make a good impression, and if you’ve been in a relationship for a while, it’s good to remind your significant other that they still cause that sensation even after time has passed.

2. You mean the world to me or You’re my world.

‘World’ in this phrase means your mind or thoughts. It shows that your focus dwells on them even when they’re not around. Who wouldn’t appreciate that kind of attention and focus?

3. I love you more and more every day.

Other than stating ‘I love you’, there’s no other phrase more direct.



With these phrases, we hope you can make a good impression when speaking to that special someone. Showing someone you love them can be difficult when you don’t know how to say ‘I love you’, but with these phrases you’ll be on your way to that next step!

Jake Pool

Jake Pool

Jake Pool worked in the restaurant industry for over a decade and left to pursue his career as a writer and ESL teacher. In his time at Magoosh, he's worked with hundreds of students and has created content that's informed—and hopefully inspired!—ESL students all across the globe. Jake records audio for his articles to help students with pronunciation and comprehension as he also works as a voice-over artist who has been featured in commercials and on audiobooks. You can read his posts on the Magoosh blog and see his other work on his portfolio page at You can follow him on LinkedIn!
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