Valentine’s Day and love – they go together like peanut butter and chocolate. With sky rockets in flight as Cupid draws back his bow with all his tiny might, VDay is as celebratory as New Year’s Eve and the 4th of July combined.

Being the iconic day for expressing love, it made The Kissing Expert ponder the ways we might express our love for someone without relying on the actual word. 

Romantic love has been a “hot topic” through the ages. By its very nature, there’s a provocative dichotomy to its thunderous ecstasy sitting side by side with abject misery that draws us in endlessly. Words like “gentle breeze”, “delight”, “electricity”, “explosive”, “agony”, “pain”, “fever”, and “longing” are familiar musical notes inked by quills, pens and QWERTY keys to describe it. Petrarch, Shakespeare and Austin all famously capitulated, using poetic language or an iambic pulse to quicken the heart. Love is an insane rollercoaster for which there should be a height requirement.

So how might the unsung pronounce love with other language when queried? For some diamonds and pearls, The Kissing Expert turned to her noteworthy circle. Not surprisingly, they were colorfully expressive, finding very poetic alternatives. And like the Ancient Greeks, they captured the different shades of love, speaking not only to their romantic hearts, but their affection for family and friends.

Valentine word cloud

To see if there was a popular synonym, The Kissing Expert word-clouded their responses. “Pleasure” rose to the top with love of all kinds. With pleasure being defined as a feeling of happy satisfaction and enjoyment, it feels pretty ideal for Valentine’s Day when thinking of the pleasure of the heart.

Here’s what The Kissing Expert’s VDay “Love Gang” had to say:

heart on snow

Romantic

Gents

  • “First thing that came to mind was a relatively ancient term of endearment... 'She makes my mood ring sweat.'”
  • “I adore, respect and cherish my beautiful bride. Even after 25+ years she still makes me smile when I think about her...”
  • “It is a song we hear in our hearts years later; it is the olfactory pulse that awakens our soulfulness; it serves as a physical chill that paints goose-bumps on the backs of our necks...”
  • “It is a place, a feeling, a space where all the senses combine without borders... It is where all the waters of the tributaries come to crash over a spillway and blend in a foamy, frothy broth of passion... It is why unrequited it is so very painful, and if shared it is without equal...”
  • “I can tell by the look in her eyes… I see me in her eyes…”
  • “When the tiny details about someone seem insignificant to most, but are the most incredible to you.”

Ladies

  • “Ebb and flow - always constant.”
  • “The immediate response to that thought is a smile, maybe sometimes a tear or two. Those reactions bring total joy.”
  • "The soul's recognition of its counterpart in another.”
  • “When rainy grey days feel like bright sunshine!”
  • “It’s the person I don't want to give up on, ever. My “go to” person for advice and perspective...The person I keep wanting to impress.”
  • "It's a heartfelt and profound commitment based upon gratitude, that we are sharing in each others lives on a continual, mindful and joyful basis... that to me is the purest…. “

African American family

Family

Gents

  • ““Fleeting”. Missing two days with a little person feels like missing two years with someone else... It’s a fantastic reminder that every day with someone you [love] is worth embracing.”
  • "My sons are the light of my life! They make me laugh all the time and I cannot put into words how proud I am of the men they’ve grown to be.”
  • “Looking at my children, I see my future in their eyes…”

Ladies

  • “It’s wanting to hold my children 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and never letting go.”
  • “Where the health and well-being of your family are more important than your own – their life to me is of more value than my own life to me.”
  • “Feeling a sense of gratitude for what your parents have given, and a pride in who they are as people.”

Friendship love

Friendship

Gents

  • “Some of my dearest friends are the ones that I may not see or speak to on a regular basis, but just knowing they’re there is a comforting gift.”
  • “Unconditional...”
  • “Bro-mantic…”

Ladies

  • “When you’ve been friends for so long that they are no longer simply friends, but the family you’ve chosen.”
  • “Having my girlfriends’ support no matter good times or bad, but in the bad times it means more…”
  • “Finding forgiveness even when you’ve been hurt…”

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, seize the chance to express your feelings for anyone you love. While the holiday might be most associated with romantic love, any love counts. So The Kissing Expert encourages you to let the pleasure in your heart shine through – it will make you feel better. And that manifestation is made a little sweeter with a kiss. Open your heart, and taste the fuzzy feeling of love and Coca-Cola. #TasteTheFeeling.

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Andréa Demirjian is
The Kissing Expert and author of KISSING. When not thinking, talking and writing about kissing, she runs an independent marketing business. Andréa believes truly and simply that kissing is the key to peace on earth. For more kissing tips, find her on Facebook/kissingexpert and @kissingexpert.