With Valentine’s Day almost upon us, our attention at About Words has turned to love, or more specifically, the various phrases and idioms that we use to describe romantic love. If love is on your mind, read on…
We’ll begin this post with the start of romantic love. When you fall in love, you start to love someone romantically: They met in the spring of 2009 and fell madly in love.
If you start to love someone from the first time you see them, you may describe the experience as love at first sight: Al and I met in a friend’s kitchen and it was love at first sight for both of us.
To describe the same experience of immediate, very strong, romantic love for someone, you may say that they sweep you off your feet: The first time I met her, I was completely swept off my feet. Meanwhile, although this phrase describes a slightly less intense feeling, if you take a shine to someone you have just met, you start to like them immediately: I think Karl’s taken a bit of a shine to your sister.
An idiom that is used to describe great strength of feeling, rather than the start of that feeling is head over heels. If you describe yourself as head over heels (in love) with someone, you mean you are completely in love, with very strong feelings: The actor is reportedly head over heels in love with his co-star.
In a relationship, if someone loves and admires their partner very much, it is sometimes said that they worship the ground that they walk on: I’ve never known anything like it – he worships the ground she walks on.
Sadly, in the real world not all couples get to live happily ever after (=happy together for the rest of their lives). Love sometimes ends. If you break someone’s heart, you make them very sad, usually because you have stopped loving them: She was crazy about Daniel and it broke her heart when he left her.
Sometimes, a person has strong feelings for someone who does not love them. For this sad situation, we use the phrase unrequited love: James was very keen on a woman that he worked with but sadly, it was a case of unrequited love.
Meanwhile, someone who is said to carry a torch for a person, loves or admires them over a long period, even when the person does not realise this: He’s been carrying a torch for Rebecca for years.
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!