From VOA Learning English, this is Words and Their Stories.
In English, some people like to say that “Love makes the world go ‘round.” This means that of the many things we experience, love is the most important. And Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate love.
Let’s start at the beginning.
Step 1: Meet someone
To be in love, you first have to meet someone special. When two people meet and really hit it off, they get along from the start. This is an informal expression – something used in everyday speech. To hit it off does not mean that you and the other person are in love. At least not yet!
But let's say you meet someone and from the very first moment you set eyes on them, they seem to have a strange power over you. That is not simply hitting it off. That is what we call love at first sight.
Another informal saying is to have a crush on someone. Not only is crushing on someone informal, it is more likely to involve young people. So, you might hear a teenager say they have a crush on someone. A crush is usually not serious. A crush can also be called puppy love.
Again, these are all informal expressions. So it is better not to use these expressions in a formal way to talk about a love interest that is serious.
If you are nervous about getting closer to the object of your affections, you can say you admire them or love them from afar. This is something an adult might say.
When you are smitten with someone, you think of that person all the time. You hang on every word they say. They are your one and only. And you only have eyes for them, which means everyone else seems to just disappear.
If you meet someone and fall head over heels in love, you fall in love … hard. True love can sweep you off your feet. Love can take your breath away. Love can make your heart beat faster and give you other physical symptoms that are similar to feeling sick.
Step 2: Become a couple
After you and that special someone are in a serious relationship, people might call you a match made in heaven. This does not mean that the two of you should be making plans for spending the afterlife together. And it doesn’t mean that you met in a house of worship. A match made in heaven simply means two people have much in common or that each person makes the other better.
Another expression that means the same thing is soul mate. This is one way to describe a really close friend who understands you. If you love someone completely, you can say you love them with all your heart and soul.
“Heart and soul. I fell in love in with you heart and soul,
The way a fool would do -- madly, because you held me tight …”
Step 3: Marry or break-up?
If your love relationship is going well, that special someone may pop the question. That is, “Will you marry me?
But sometimes love does not make it down the aisle. In other words, problems arise in the relationship before you get married.
If your relationship hits a difficult period, you can say it is on the rocks. This saying comes from boating. When a boat or ship is on the rocks, it runs aground and breaks apart. The expression “on the rocks” has been used to mean disasters since the late 1800s.
Neil Diamond sings about a relationship in trouble in his hit song, “Love on the Rocks.”
"Love on the rocks ain't no surprise
Pour me a drink,
And I'll tell you some lies,
Got nothing to lose,
So you just sing the blues, all the time..."
Many relationships that are on the rocks end in a break-up.
But if your relationship ends, do not be sad for long. We have another expression in English: “It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”
From VOA Learning English, I’m Anna Matteo. Happy Valentine's Day!
"And I will always love you ..."
Anna Matteo wrote this Words and Their Stories for VOA Learning English. George Grow was the editor.
Love Songs in This Story
The music for “Heart and Soul” was written by Hoagy Carmichael and lyrics were written by Frank Loesser. This original 1938 version is performed by Larry Clinton & his Orchestra, featuring Bea Wain.
"Love on the Rocks" is written by Neil Diamond and Gilbert Bécaud. The song won the Golden Globe for Best Original Song for the 1980 movie The Jazz Singer. It is performed here and in the film by Neil Diamond.
"I Will Always Love You" is a song written and originally recorded by American singer-songwriter Dolly Parton. It is sung here by Whitney Houston.