If you do believe in common clichés, you would know that Spanish and French are two of the most romantic languages to say “I Love You”. However, if you are someone who likes being different, you can try expressing your love to your special one by saying I Love You in German. If your romantic partner is a German, he/she will not stop blushing once you express your feelings to them in a language which stays close to their heart. Check out the different ways in which you can say I Love You in German and make your partner go gooey-eyed.
The different ways to say I love you in German
There is a significant difference between how the Americans perceive the word “love” and how Germans perceive it. Americans are generally very outspoken about how they feel about everything. Like you can often hear them saying “I love pizza”, “I love going to the beach”, “I love sandwiches”, etc. They often seem to go overboard with the word “love”. Even if they “Like” something, you would hear them saying that they “love” it. You can often see friends casually saying “I Love You” to each other in America. If you belong to a conservative country like Germany, you may find this pretty strange. Still, most people will agree that it is a very refreshing thought to openly express your feelings in an enthusiastic way. Since the degrees of love and feelings vary in extent, there are plenty of ways in which you can say “I Love You” in German.
Ich liebe dich
“I love you” in German is translated as “Ich liebe dich”. However, in Germany, people strictly reserve this phrase only for their partner or lover. You can say “Ich liebe dich” only to that person with whom you feel most connected romantically. “Ich liebe dich” also indicates that there is a great deal of understanding and trust between you both. The reason behind Germans using “Ich liebe dich” strictly for the person whom they value the most is that they usually do not make rash decisions and do not rush into saying they love someone until and unless they are absolutely sure.
If someone says “Ich liebe dich” to you, you must believe that they are serious about their feelings and are not saying it casually. If your feelings are mutual, you can say “Ich liebe dich auch” which means “I love you too”. You can reply with the phrase “Ich liebe dich”, as well.
You may be wondering, how to tell someone “I love you” in German when you have just started liking them and your feelings still are not very intense. Well, this is the reason there are many other ways in which you can say “I love you” in German instead of directly jumping to “Ich liebe dich”.
Ich bin ich dich verliebt / Ich habe mich in dich verliebt
“Ich bin ich dich verliebt” is German for “I am falling in love with you” and “Ich habe mich in dich verliebt” means “I have fallen in love with you” in German. You may feel that these phrases mean the same. But even this minuscule difference is a prominent one in Germany.
You can say this to someone for whom you are experiencing intense feelings but are still not head over heels in love with them. You can say “Ich habe mich in dich verliebt” when you are definite about your feelings for someone and you can say “Ich bin ich dich verliebt” if you are still in the process of falling in love with someone.
If you want to be a bit vague and are still pondering about how you feel, you can say “Ich glaube, ich habe mich in dich verliebt” which means “I think I have fallen in love with you”.
Du bist mein Ein und Alles
When cupid’s arrow hits you hard, and you know it for sure that that person means the world to you, you can say “Du bist mein Ein und Alles”. When you say “Du bist mein Ein und Alles” to someone, it would mean that they mean everything to you. Be sure to say this when you are truly passionate about this person and feel you are going to be with this person for the long haul.
Ich steh’ auf dich
During the start of a relationship, it is natural for you to be completely smitten and completely in awe of your partner. Your feeling ecstatic about the new experience may send your brains the signals and the urge to say “Ich liebe dich” but this phrase may indicate something too serious, and you may not be at that stage of your relationship yet. This is when you say “Ich steh’ auf dich” which simply means “I’m into you” in English. This seems harmless and you can use this when you feel like playing it safe in the initial stages of a relationship.
Dein ist mein ganzes Herz
This phrase has a beautiful meaning and has the perfect words to write in a Valentine’s Day card. Use the phrase, “Dein ist mein ganzes Herz”, when you wish to say, “Yours is my whole heart”. This phrase means a great deal and you should use it very carefully. Ideally, you can say this to someone with whom you have formed a long-lasting relationship.
Ich hab’ dich lieb
If you want to innocently express your love to a very close friend, family or a relative, you can say “Ich hab’ dich lieb” to them. You can also use this phrase when you are feeling too shy to say “Ich liebe dich”. In Germany, you may usually find the ladies using this phrase for their close friends.
Ich mag dich
The Germans generally use the phrase “Ich mag dich” in a platonic context but sometimes they use it to describe the development of a love interest. When you find someone tremendously interesting, you can say “Ich mag dich” which is a is a way of saying “I like you”.
Du gefällst mir
While it is not the literal way of saying “I love you” in German, “Du gefällst mir” can come in handy when you are trying to convey to someone that you fancy them. The literal translation of this phrase in English is “You please me”. Germans use this phrase with regards to someone’s personality or looks and even when they share the same interests as the other person.
Ich bin bis über beide Ohren verliebt
When your life seems incomplete without your significant other and when you can’t stop thinking about someone, you can say “Ich bin bis über beide Ohren verliebt” to them. This is a way to convey that you are head over heels in love with them.
Du bist die Liebe meines Lebens
Reserve this when you feel immensely sentimental about someone. “Du bist die Liebe meines Lebens” is a strong and secure German phrase. People in Germany use it for their spouses especially on their wedding day. When you want to convey “You are the love of my life” to someone, you can use this phrase. Until you are at this stage of your relationship, it is better to stick to “Ich bete dich an”.
Ich habe dich gerne
When you are on the receiving end or when someone says “I love you” or “Ich liebe dich” this phrase can come in handy. If you don’t quite feel the same for them, you can say “Ich habe dich gerne” which means “I care for you”.
Other German Terms of Love & Affection
There are a few standard terms of love and affection in German which every German couple would have used at least once for their loved ones. Let’s have a look at a few of them.
Schatz means treasure or precious. This phrase is close to the equivalent of the American word “Baby”.
This German term is slightly old-fashioned and means darling in English.
This German love term translates to angel in English and is used by many couples in Germany who are still in the honeymoon phase of their relationship.
Hase is a word that is almost similar to Engel. It means bunny or rabbit and Germans use it in the same context as “Engel”.
Just like the German terms Engel and Hase, Germans often use the term Maus as a nickname for the person they love. It means “Mouse” and it is not a gender-specific term.
Bärchen meaning little bear is one of the most common pet names and Germans usually use this for calling their significant other.