The holiday of Valentine’s Day has its first origins going back at least 1,500 years. Originally the holiday honored one or two Catholic saints named Valentine. Today, however, the holiday is associated with romantic love and is celebrated in many countries. (In the US, like the rest of the world, it is not an official federal or state holiday where many people have the day off work.) The holiday is traditionally celebrated on February 14 (that is my mom’s birthday and her middle name is Val!)
Unsurprisingly, there are many idioms, expressions, and phrasal verbs associated with love in English. Here are a few which might help you out, especially on Valentine’s Day!
ask out (on a date) – to ask somebody out (or ask out somebody) is to ask them to go on a date with you, as a possible way of starting a romantic relationship with them.
Example: He is too scared to ask her out.
chat up – to chat up somebody (or chat somebody up) is to talk to them in a flirtatious way to show you are attracted to them, and to try and make them interested in you.
British and Australian informal English.
Example: I’ve been trying to chat him up all evening but he’s not interested.
cuddle up – to cuddle up with someone is to sit or lie very close them in an affectionate way.
Example: I love cuddling up with my husband.
eat out – to eat out is to eat away from home, at a cafe or restaurant. Many people eat out at a restaurant on Valentine’s Day.
Example: Let’s eat out tonight. I know a very good restaurant.
fall for – if you fall for someone you become very attracted to them, or fall in love with them.
Example: She fell for him as soon as she saw him.
get together – if people get together they start a romantic relationship.
Example: They got together in 2001 when they were working in Paris.
go out together / with – to go out with someone is to have a romantic relationship with them.
1. Will you go out with me?
2. They have been going out together for six months.
live for – if you live for somebody they are the most important thing in your life.
Example: Marcus lives for his wife: he will do anything for her.
move in together / with – to move in together is to start living with someone – usually someone you are having a romantic relationship with.
Example: We’re moving in together in June.
pour out – if you pour out your feelings to someone you tell them everything about how you are feeling. (Also: “Pour your heart out.”)
Example: She poured out her feelings and told him how much she loved him.
run off with – to run off with somebody is to secretly go away with someone in order to live with them or marry them, especially when other people think this is wrong. Often used to show disapproval.
Example: They were only 17 years old when they ran off with each other.
settle down – when two people settle down together they set up a life together and perhaps get married, buy a house and start a family.
Peter and Marcia are settling down and buying a house together.
a heart-throb – a heart-throb is a good looking man; usually someone famous who is attractive to very many women.
1. In my opinion, George Clooney is a heart-throb; but Justin Bieber is not!
2. Many women think the actor Brad Pitt is a heart-throb.
a broken heart – a broken heart (noun) is a feeling of great sadness and despair, especially when someone you love dies or does not love you.
1. They broke up last week and she is broken-hearted. (broken hearted = adjective)
2. Three weeks after our grandmother died, our grandfather died of a broken heart
3. His heart is broken because she doesn’t love him anymore.
a heart-to-heart – a heart-to-heart talk (noun) is a completely open and honest private discussion between two people.
We had a heart-to-heart talk last night to try and work out our problems.
wear your heart on your sleeve – if you wear your heart on your sleeve you are very open about your feelings for someone, and everyone can see how you are feeling.
fall head over heels in love – to fall head over heels in love with someone is to fall in love with them very suddenly, and with great intensity.
Example: I met my husband at university and fell head over heels in love with him on our first date.
lovebirds – if two people are clearly very much in love with each other they are often called ‘the lovebirds’. Lovebirds are small parrots that are well known for showing great affection to their mates.
puppy love – puppy love is the love or romantic feelings felt for someone by children or young adolescents. Often used in a negative or derogatory way.
Example: It’s only puppy love. They will soon forget about it.