28 ways to express your love in Spanish this Valentine’s day

Do you think Spanish language sounds romantic? Many people do. Like most languages, Spanish is full of expressions related to love and romantic feelings, that can sound sweet and exotic for non-Spanish speakers. On the occasion of this Valentine’s Day, we’ve compiled a few expressions related to love in Spanish so you can practice the language with special people for you.

San Valentín

The basics

  • Love – Amor
  • To love – Amar
  • Lover – Amante

There are different ways to say “I love you” in Spanish, many of them with direct translation into English:

    • I love you – (Yo) te amo, or (Yo) te quiero.

Or being more passionate,

  • I adore you – (Yo) te adoro
  • I want / desire you – (Yo) te deseo
  • I need you – (Yo) te necesito. This one is not always related to romantic feelings, if you add more words you would be saying that you need help with something. For example, “Te necesito para la traducción”, that is the same as “Necesito que me ayudes con la traducción” (I need you to help me with the translation).

Notice that in most cases, you don’t need to use the pronoun “yo” (I), the phrase means exactly the same without it: “Te quiero”.

There are phrases you can say to anyone with no romantic meaning, depending on the context, such as “Me gustas (mucho)” (I like you very much),

Other basic romantic words and phrases

  • I miss you / I missed you – Te echo de menos / Te he echado de menos. In some countries you also can say “te añoro” or “te extraño” (mostly in Latin America).
  • kiss (es) – Beso (s) . “Kiss me!” – Bésame.
  • Hug (s) – Abrazo (s)
  • Heart – Corazón
  • Affection – Cariño
  • Cariño is a very special Spanish word, because it has many translations in English, meaning different things. You can use it to address to someone as your dear “Hola cariño” (hi my dear/ darling), but it also means kindness, sweetness or attachment.

  • A date – Una cita
  • To be in love – Estar enamorado/a
  • Boyfriend – Novio
  • Girlfriend – Novia
  • To hold hands – Cogerse de la mano

Couple goals

Compliments in Spanish

It’s easy to say nice things to people in Spanish. A few examples:

  • You are beautiful – Eres precioso / a. Remember that in Spanish, male names typically end in “o” and the female ones in “a”.
  • You also can be more effusive by saying “Eres lindo/ a” (You’re handsome / pretty), or “Eres espectacular” (You are spectacular).
  • The same word “precioso / a” can be used to compliment parts of the other person’s body, like “Tienes unos ojos preciosos” (You have beautiful eyes), or “¡Qué sonrisa más bonita!” (What a beautiful smile you have!). Bonito / a is similar to precioso /a, but on a lower degree. Precioso / a is something very beautiful.
  • The word “guapo / guapa” is used to say someone is looking good, and it’s a very polite compliment, that you can say to virtually anyone that you know. In this case you say “Estás muy guapo / a” to mean the other person is well dressed or groomed. Due to a little remaining sexism in Spanish culture, it’s not very common for men to say it to their male fellows.
  • If you don’t want to compliment just other people’s appearance, you can also mention their personality, like: “Eres muy listo/ a” (you’re very smart), or “¡Qué divertido/ a eres!” (How funny you are!)

Going on a date with a Spanish speaker and flirting

Let’s imagine that you are out on a date with your Spanish lover. It’s always polite to ask the other person how is he/she feeling.

If you happen to be at a disco, you could always ask: ¿Te lo estás pasando bien? (are you having fun?) and if you want to dance with your date the proper way to ask is: ¿Te gustaría bailar? (Would you like to dance?).

If you both feel it’s time to change place you could say: vamos a otro lado (let’s go somewhere else). If, at any time during your date, you need to go to the bathroom, answer a phone call or just catch some fresh air, you can say: Ya vengo (I’ll be right back).

If you are already flirting with that person, you’ll be happy to know that there are hundreds of phrases to do it in Spanish, and some of them can sound ingenious and funny. The most “normal” and direct expressions can sound like:

Couple in Valentine's Day

  • Pienso todo el tiempo en ti – I think about you all the time.
  • Me vuelves loco /a – You drive me crazy
  • ¿Tienes novio/ a ? – Do you have a boyfriend / girlfriend?
  • ¿Estudias o trabajas? – Do you study or work? Seriously, DON’T use it, it’s such a cliché that is used too much and you can get a direct and rude “neither”. But you might hear it many times.

Rejecting someone

It can happen that someone asks you out but you are not attracted to that person, or you just simply don’t feel like it. Here are some phrases you may use to express it:

No, gracias. No estoy interesado / a – (No, thanks. I’m not interested).

No, gracias. Tengo novio / a – (No, thanks. I have a boyfriend/girlfriend).

If you don’t want to rush into a relationship: Quiero tomar las cosas con calma – (I want to take things easy)

No quiero nada serio – (I’m not looking for a relationship)

or you need some time apart from that person…

Deberíamos darnos un tiempo – (I think we should take some time apart).

Remember that what is important is to be always respectful. Flirt with respect and if you ask someone out and you get turn down, don’t insist and move on. That’s life!

Love in Valentine's Day

Being creative

There is a smooth line between being romantic or funny and being corny when you flirt in any language. But you can try it anyway. If the other person smiles or laughs, it means it worked. This type of flirting is called “piropos” in Spanish, that is a compliment said with humour and a little bit flattery.

Dicen que el amor es ciego, ¡pero no veas lo que alegras la vista! – They say love is blind, but you can’t imagine how you make my eyes happy!

¿Crees en amor a la primera vista o quieres que vuelva a pasar? Do you believe in love at first sight or you want me to go and come back again?

Dime cómo te llamas, porque estas navidades quiero pedirte a los Reyes Magos – Tell me your name, because this Christmas I want to ask for you to the Three Wise Men.

Two final expressions

In many situations, gratitude is a very romantic attitude, so never forget to say

¡Gracias! – Thank you!

“Gracias por estos maravillosos años” (Thank you for these wonderful years), “gracias por confiar en mí” (thank you for trusting me), “gracias por estar a mi lado” (thank you for standing by me), etc.

What is important is to show the people you love that you love them every day. And for today, don’t forget to say : ¡Feliz día de San Valetín!

Happy Valentine’s Day to you all!

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