Valentine’s Day: How to talk about love.February 13, 2014
by Liz Walter
February 14th is Valentine’s Day, when people all over the world express their love for one another. With that in mind, we thought it would be good to give you not only some useful words to talk about love but also the phrases or ‘word partners’ you need to use them in a natural way.
The first and most important thing you need to know is that we fall in love. Fall is really the only verb that sounds natural with love, probably because it expresses the idea of what happens to us so well. Falling in love is a kind of accident – usually a happy accident, but one that we are not able to control. We express a similar idea when we say that someone is madly in love, or even head-over-heels in love, as if love makes that person feel crazy and out of control.
The Scottish poet Robert Burns wrote: “My love is like a red, red rose…“, and red roses have become a symbol of love and a common Valentine’s gift. The image of a flower is also used when we say that love blossoms or romance blossoms, meaning that it grows from a small feeling into something open and beautiful.
Not everyone believes in love at first sight – falling in love with someone the moment you see them. Nevertheless, it is still a popular romantic idea that two people see each other for the first time, their eyes meet and their hearts pound (beat very hard). At that moment, they know they have found love.
When people fall in love quickly, and especially if they get married after a short period of time, we call it a whirlwind romance. Once again, the image is of something that we cannot control; a strong, violent wind that blows us in circles and makes us unable to think clearly.
When people declare or proclaim their love, they announce it clearly, and when we are sure that love is real, we call it true love. A more formal way of saying ask someone to marry you, is propose or propose marriage, while pop the question is an informal way (notice that it’s not necessary to say what the question is!).
A fairytale wedding is a beautiful and romantic wedding ceremony, at which the couples make their marriage vows (their promises to one another). After that, everyone hopes that the couple will remain happily married, and – as in all the best fairy stories – will live happily ever after.