31 Beautiful Ways to Say, "I Love You"

Cute couple spending time together in the city
martin-dm/Getty Images

The three simple words, "I love you," might not seem like enough to really express how you feel. After all, how can a measly 10 characters (including spaces) adequately plumb the depths of your soul? Tell that special someone what's in your heart with some eloquence and grace after getting some ideas from some famous romances—and romantics—through the ages. Hearing thoughtful words never gets old, even if your sweetie already knows your love is true.

George Moore

George Moore was a 19th-century Irish poet. It is said that he was in love with Lady Cunard and had a secret relationship with her. Although Moore was keen to dedicate a novel for his lover, Lady Cunard did not want to publicize their relationship. Eventually, Moore convinced Lady Cunard to let him write a dedication to her in his novel "Heloise and Abelard." However, Lady Cunard made sure that Moore only mentioned her as "Madame X" and did not use her real name. This quote is from a collection of his letters that were published as "Letters to Lady Cunard" published in 1957:

"The hours I spend with you I look upon as sort of a perfumed garden, a dim twilight, and a fountain singing to it. You and you alone make me feel that I am alive. Other men, it is said to have seen angels, but I have seen thee and thou art enough."

Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning

Elizabeth Barrett was a well-known poet even before she met her future husband, Robert Browning. An invalid and a recluse, Elizabeth had found her true love. The 573 letters they wrote to each other started in 1845 with Robert writing to say how much he enjoyed her work. The couple fell deeply in love, but their relationship was frowned upon by Elizabeth's strict and dominating father. On September 12, 1846, they eloped. After the wedding, Elizabeth returned home but kept her marriage a secret. Eventually, she fled with Robert to Italy and never returned to her father's home. This quote reflects her deep love for her husband: "I love you not only for what you are but for what I am when I am with you." Robert didn't hide his feelings either: "So, fall asleep love, loved by me...for I know love, I am loved by thee." 

King Henry VIII

King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn were an unlikely match. Their desire to marry was the root cause of the separation of the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church, which would not grant him a release from his first marriage. King Henry VIII was so besotted by Anne Boleyn that he chased her until she agreed to marry him. He wrote Anne in a love letter in 1528: "I beseech you now with all my heart definitely to let me know your whole mind as to the love between us..."

More Famous Words of Love

Love letters of most people remain private, unless, of course, you become famous.

From Johnny Cash to June Carter Cash

"You’ve got a way with words and a way with me as well. The...ring of fire still burns around you and I, keeping our love hotter than a pepper sprout." 

"We get old and get used to each other. We think alike. We read each other's minds. We know what the other wants without asking. Sometimes we irritate each other a little bit. Maybe sometimes take each other for granted. But once in a while, like today, I meditate on it and realize how lucky I am to share my life with the greatest woman I ever met. You still fascinate and inspire me. You influence me for the better. You're the object of my desire, the #1 Earthly reason for my existence."

Herman Hesse

"If I know what love is, it is because of you."

Charlie Parker to Chan Woods 

"Beautiful is the world, slow is one to take advantage. Wind up the world the other way. And at the start of the turning of the earth, lie my feelings for thou."

Herbert Trench

"Come, let us make love deathless."

Woodrow Wilson, to future wife, Edith

"You have the greatest soul, the noblest nature, the sweetest, most loving heart I have ever known, and my love, my reverence, my admiration for you, you have increased in one evening as I should have thought only a lifetime of intimate, loving association could have increased them."

Rockwell Kent to wife, Frances

"And as I love you utterly, so have you now become the whole world of my spirit. It is beside and beyond anything that you can ever do for me; it lies in what you are, dear love—to me so infinitely lovely that to be near you, to see you, hear you, is now the only happiness, the only life, I know." 

Cassandra Clare, "City of Glass"

"I love you, and I will love you until I die, and if there's a life after that, I'll love you then."

Prince Albert to Queen Victoria

"Even in my dreams I never imagined that I should find so much love on earth. How that moment shines for me still when I was close to you, with your hand in mine."

Pearl S. Buck

"I love people. I love my family, my children…but inside myself is a place where I live all alone and that's where you renew your springs that never dry up."

Jessie B. Rittenhouse

"My debt to you, Beloved,

Is one I cannot pay

In any coin of any realm

On any reckoning day."

John Keats 

"My dear Girl I love you ever and ever and without reserve. The more I have known you the more have I lov’d....Can I help it? You are always new. The last of your kisses was ever the sweetest; the last smile the brightest; the last movement the gracefullest. When you pass’d my window home yesterday, I was fill’d with as much admiration as if I had then seen you for the first time...No ill prospect has been able to turn your thoughts a moment from me. This perhaps should be as much a subject of sorrow as joy—but I will not talk of that. Even if you did not love me I could not help an entire devotion to you: how much more deeply then must I feel for you knowing you love me. My Mind has been the most discontented and restless one that ever was put into a body too small for it. I never felt my Mind repose upon anything with complete and undistracted enjoyment—upon no person but you. When you are in the room my thoughts never fly out of window: you always concentrate my whole senses. "

Cole Porter

"Birds do it, bees do it, even educated fleas do it; let’s do it, let’s fall in love."

Mark Twain to Olivia Langdon

"Out of the depths of my happy heart wells a great tide of love and prayer for this priceless treasure that is confined to my life-long keeping.

"You cannot see its intangible waves as they flow towards you, darling, but in these lines you will hear, as it were, the distant beating of the surf."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Thou art to me a delicious torment."

Ronald Reagan to Nancy Reagan

"When you aren't there I'm no place, just lost in time and space."

"I more than love you, I'm not whole without you. You are life itself to me. When you are gone I'm waiting for you to return so I can start living again."

"The most important things are the hardest to say, because words diminish them."

Frida Kahlo to Diego Rivera

"I’d like to paint you, but there are no colors, because there are so many, in my confusion, the tangible form of my great love."

Anonymous

"So many times I thought I would never find someone to love me the way I needed to be loved. Then you came into my life and showed me what true love really is!"

Beth Revis, "Across the Universe"

"And in her smile I see something more beautiful than the stars."

Ernest Hemingway to Marlene Dietrich

"I can't say how every time I ever put my arms around you I felt that I was home."

Napoleon Bonaparte to Joséphine de Beauharnais

"The charms of the incomparable Josephine kindle continually a burning and a glowing flame in my heart…I thought that I loved you months ago, but since my separation from you I feel that I love you a thousand fold more. Each day since I knew you, have I adored you more and more."

Victoria Michaels, "Trust in Advertising"

"I won’t lie to you. We aren’t going to ride off into the sunset together and have everything fixed overnight. I know that, and I think you do too. But I’m willing to work at it, if you are. I do love you. I mean that with every cell in my body, every breath that I take. I think you’re worth it. I think we’re worth it. I think you could be the great love of my life, Vincent Drake."

Richard Burton to Elizabeth Taylor

"My blind eyes are desperately waiting for the sight of you."

Ludwig von Beethoven to "Immortal Beloved"

"Even in bed my ideas yearn towards you, my Immortal Beloved, here and there joyfully, then again sadly, awaiting from Fate, whether it will listen to us. I can only live, either altogether with you or not at all. 

"What longing in tears for you—You—my Life—my All—farewell. Oh, go on loving me—never doubt the faithfullest heart

"Of your beloved

"L

"Ever thine.

"Ever mine.

"Ever ours.​"