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10 beautiful ways to express your love in German

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10 beautiful ways to express your love in German
Malu Dreyer, the chief minister-president for Rhineland-Palatinate, is photographed in February 2017 holding up a heart-shaped sign. Photo: DPA
14:22 CEST+02:00
Struggling to ask someone out or find the perfect German pet name? Allow The Local to assist you with these delicate matters of the heart.

1. Ich liebe dich/ Ich bin in dich verliebt/ Ich hab' dich lieb

A man writes ich liebe dich, which translates to "I love you" underneath a red rose. Photo: DPA

Let's jump in at the deep end. There are a few different ways to drop the l-bomb in German, and it is important to choose the one which strikes the right note.

Ich liebe dich (I love you) is better suited to a serious, long-term relationship than the colloquial hab' dich lieb (love you/love ya lots), which can be used not only for your partner but also friends and family. Ich bin in dich verliebt is definitely only for a lover, but it isn't as serious as Ich liebe dich.

If it feels right to respond with  "I love you too",  just pop auch into the phrase, for example ich liebe dich auch, ich bin auch in dich verliebt, ich hab' dich auch lieb.  

2. Ich bin bis über beide Ohren verliebt

The large ears of a hare peek out from the grass of a field in Brandenburg. Photo: DPA

Continuing with bold declarations of love, ich bin bis über beide Ohren verliebt literally means "I am until over both ears in love". This better translates to "I am head over heels in love". 

3. Liebestoll 

A couple sit together. Photo: DPA/TMN

Ever felt totally consumed by your emotions after being hit by cupid's arrow? Find it difficult to think about anything else but your other half? In German you would describe yourself as being liebestoll, which means to be crazed by love or love-struck. 

4. Pet names  

A couple in their living room in Hanover. Photo: DPA

If you're looking for a cutesy pet name, you have come to the right place. Take your pick from Liebste(r), Mausi, Schatz or Liebling, which all translate to something along the lines of love, sweetie, sweetheart or darling.

If it's getting close to mid-February and you'd like to try something a bit old-fashioned, Vielliebchen is a slightly dated way to call someone your valentine.

5. Dein ist mein ganzes Herz

A woman holds a heart-shaped balloon. Photo DPA/ TMN

This phrase means your's is my heart alone, your's is my entire heart or your heart is my delight. Much like saying I love you, it is also better suited to an established relationship, rather than a new one. 

 8. Du bist mein Ein und Alles

Footballer Steffi Jones (left) with her wife Nicole at the Ball of Sports in 2013. Photo: DPA

Another way to make your feelings known to your significant other would be to say du bist mein Ein und Alles. This is the equivalent of 'you're my everything' or 'you mean the world to me'. Aww. 

6. Willst du mit mir gehn? 

Malu Dreyer, the minister-president for Rhineland-Palatinate, is photographed in February 2017 holding up a heart-shaped sign. Photo: DPA

But how to find someone to say these sickening things to? 

All relationships have to start somewhere. If you feel things are going well with someone and you'd like them to become your partner, how better to ask them than with a simple willst du mit mir gehn?. This literally translates to 'do you want to go with me?'. 

7. Ich steh' auf dich

A green traffic light holding a heart in Thuringia. Photo: DPA

Another gem for the early days of dating would be ich steh' auf dich, which simply means "I'm into you". This is the perfect phrase if you're looking to make your intentions known without getting too serious. 

9. Liebestöter

Some passion-killing underwear hangs on a washing line in Berlin. Photo: DPA

On the other hand, if you really hate the idea of love, you might don some liebestöter or "love/passion killers".

These large, sometimes knee-covering underpants (think long johns) are worn to keep away potential suitors by simply by being unattractive. 

10. Hagestolz 

An instagram post with the hashtag hagestolz. 

Another way to steer clear of the messy business of love would be to declare yourself a Hagestolz. This term usually describes an old bachelor who has chosen a life of solitude simply because they prefer being alone. 

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