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Synonyms for Love: How They Add Meaning

Updated on April 20, 2020
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MsDora, Certified Christian Counselor writes on moral integrity especially for women and encourages appreciation for the men in their lives.

Synonyms for Love
Synonyms for Love | Source

There will always be a place for an honest “I love you” in the relationship. However, there are six selected synonyms below which add clarity both for the speaker and the listener. Lovers who never say them should ask themselves whether they honestly can. Lovers who never hear them may ask to make sure that there is a mutual understanding of what is being said.

Synonyms (and Antonyms) for Love

Selected Synonyms
Words and Phrases Which Also Mean Love
Words and Phrases Which Never Mean Love
(1) Like
enjoy, pleased with, find irresistible
dislike, disgusted with
(2) Value
respect, consider important, cherish
abuse, exploit, manipulate
(3) Support
care for, encourage, cooperate with
neglect, undermine
(4) Accept
bear with imperfections
reject, humiliate
(5) Trust
believe in, confide in, count on
suspect, distrust
(6) Applaud
admire, approve, celebrate, honor
embarrass, condemn

1) Like

Some people consider love a stage beyond like, but like has a permanent place in the love relationship.

Here’s a true story, except for the names. John says that he loves Maria, and he likes her best friend Marianne. He compliments Marianne for her talents, her knowledge and her wit. He looks forward to their conversations including the laughter which is missing when he is in Maria’s company.

When Maria complains that Marianne enjoys her boyfriend more than she does, John reveals that Marianne is the kind of girl he really likes. Meanwhile, he says “I love you” to Maria because the more he says so, the more she satisfies his physical desires.

Take time to like and be liked for qualities other than sexual attraction. If in doubt, ask “What do you like about me (besides my physical heritage)?”

I love (value) you.
I love (value) you. | Source

2) Value

The value you place on another person gives a clue as to how you expect to be valued. So what does it mean when you say or hear “I value you?”

If we borrow the analogy of merchandise value, would that be “dollar store value” among items that are overstocked, falling onto the floor, available for shoppers to pick up and fondle, and put back on the shelf?

Or would that be “jewelry store value” where there is a security guard at the door, the jewel is kept under lock and key, to be admired but not fondled at will, to be brought out for a closer view only to the customer who asks permission?

Realize that the value you place on yourself determines whether you will be cherished and protected, or abused.

3) Support

The true-love relationship brings out the best in each other. If arguments, competitions, stresses and frustrations, are the norms instead of the exceptions in the premarital love relationship, why invest anymore of yourself?

It makes one happy to hear an energetic “I support you.” Individuals who say it are interested in the other person’s goals. They commit to helping each other succeed. They know that mutual support depends on mutual cooperation.

So what happens to supportive love when a female college graduate needs sick leave before she even starts her first job, because she is pregnant and penniless? More often than not, the relationship also ends here. Be sure to discuss the future, and solicit support. Support also means cooperation when one is wise enough to say “No.”

Do we sometimes mean "support" or "accept" when we say "love"?
Do we sometimes mean "support" or "accept" when we say "love"? | Source

4) Accept

“I accept you” usually means “I love you despite the limitations which I acknowledge that you have.” It makes the other person know that his or her imperfections will not become excuses for verbal or mental abuse, for rejection or humiliation. There will be no pressure to become like anyone else; only assistance to improve where there is willingness to do so.

Statements like the following suggest conditional acceptance:

“I love you,

  • but you need to lose a number of inches from your waist.”
  • but you need to grow your hair as long as your sister’s.”
  • but you need to bring your cooking up to par with my mother’s.”

True love is unconditional and so is acceptance when used as another word for love.

5) Trust

Insecurity often demonstrates itself in the love relationship as lack of trust. Eventually, it translates into the desire for control, and the other person is required to give constant updates on whereabouts, activities, cell phone calls made and received, and so on. Every move or lack of movement becomes a reason for suspicion.

Suggest professional help if necessary and stand back.

“Do you trust me?” is a valid question, and it deserves a straightforward answer. However, because it more pleasant to receive assurances than to request them, it would be great for one individual to occasionally offer to the other “I trust you.”

Whenever misunderstandings or preconceived notions create doubt, deal with the distractions in the true spirit of love. Establish trust as a standard in the relationship and commit to maintaining it.

6) Applaud

Statements which convey a feeling of pride and joy should be forthcoming without solicitation, especially when there are obvious reasons.

  • “I feel happy just because I am with you.”
  • “I’m proud to have you as my partner.”
  • “I applaud you for knowing how to love me.”

These expressions underscore value in the individual and satisfaction with the relationship. Self-worth dictates that lovers take the time to establish these sentiments as basic meanings of love, before committing heart, soul and body in response to an “I love you” which may be just slang.

Use these other words sometimes in place of the word love and proceed cautiously.

Application Exercise

Insert the six words below (one at a time) into the sentence, "I --- you." Answer the following four questions each time.
Like
Value
Support
Accept
Trust
Applaud
  1. Does your lover ever use this word in statements to you?
  2. If he or she used that word, would you believe it based on the way you interact with each other?
  3. Does the word describe what you feel toward your lover?
  4. Do you ever use this word in statements to your lover?

If you can answer all four questions in the affirmative, with the insertion of each of the six words, you may have a love relationship you can nurture. Wholehearted love includes all these meanings. Use the synonyms sometimes to help you validate what you really feel. Listen for them to help you decide if you have the kind of love you deserve.

© 2014 Dora Weithers

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