Romance and Dating: 10 Useful Spanish Words and Expressions

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Romantic Spanish expressions and vocabulary

Valentine’s day is just around the corner and, although this day (in our humble opinion) is not as cool or special as Catalonia’s version la festa de Sant Jordi, we wanted to share some expressions related to dating and romance. If you’re looking for some fabulous places to take your date in Barcelona, you can check out our suggestions in this blog post. If you want to expand your vocabulary, read on.

Llevarse bien – to get along
Llevarse bienThis first expression is not necessarily used solely in a romantic sense. Friends, and even strangers, can all get along.
ex: ¡Me llevó muy bien con tu amiga en la fiesta! (I got along really with your friend at the party.)

Coquetear – to flirt
coquetearOnce you are out and meeting new people, perhaps someone strikes your fancy. You can coquetear (flirt) with them.
ex: A Raquel le encanta coquetear, pero no suele hacerlo en serio. (Raquel loves to flirt, but she normally isn’t serious about it.)

Una cita – a date

Again, the word cita does not immediately imply something romantic, but if you have an appointment – whether it be with your doctor or a romantic interest – you can call it a date.
ex: Hice match en Tinder y ahora tengo una cita con él. (I got a match on Tinder and now I have a date with him.)

Dejar plantado (a alguien) – to stand (someone) up (literally: to plant someone) Dejar plantado

Unfortunately, sometimes not all dates work out and a real stupid person can just not show up after you’ve set up a cita. Someone like this will leave you waiting there with no warning. In Spanish, the expression is dejar plantado a alguien.
ex: No quiero volver a salir con tu amiga porque me dejó plantada. (I don’t want to go out with your friend again because her stood me up.)

Un rollo de una noche – a one-night stand

Maybe your date goes really well, maybe it’s something specific you’re looking for. One-night stands happen and in Spanish, we use the expression rollo de una noche.
ex: Mi relación con tu hermano fue un rollo de una noche. (My relationship with your brother was a one-night stand.)

Ponerle los cuernos (a alguien), ponerle el cuerno – to cheat on (somebody) (literally: to put the horns on someone)
Ponerle los cuernos

Sometimes, for reasons we can’t explain, a significant other or someone we are dating decides to be unfaithful. This Spanish romantic expression makes the idea of infidelity sound somewhat fun. To put the horns on someone means that you have been untrue to your partner.
ex: Juan le puso el cuerno a su mujer y terminaron divorciados. (Juan cheated on his wife and they ended up divorced.)

Lo hemos dejado – we split up (literally, we left it)

Lo dejamos, nos separamos

It may not be the happiest thing to talk about, but if something doesn’t work out, it’s useful to know this phrase. You could say lo dejamos (we left it), nos separamos (we separated), or rompimos (we broke up).
ex:

Salir con/salir juntos – to go out/to date

This expression can mean different things depending on the context. Just as in English, you could say I went out with my friends (salí con mis amigos) in a platonic way, but it also has a romantic implication if you are talking about someone special.
ex: Conocí bien a Daniela cuando salimos juntos. (I got to know Daniela well when we dated.)

Novia, novio – girlfriend, boyfriend

Once you are officially a couple, you can refer to your significant other as your novio (boyfriend) or novia (girlfriend).
ex: Ricardo me pidió ser su novia. (Ricardo asked me to be his girlfriend.)

Enrollarse, ligar – to hook up

Once you’ve impressed the one you’re interested in, which has led to some you can say he ligado or nos enrollamos.
ex: ¿A dónde fuiste anoche? ¿Ligaste con esa tía? (Where did you go last night? Did you hook up with that chick?)

Mi media naranja – my soulmate, my better half (literally: my half-orange)
Eres mi media naranja

When you feel really strongly about someone, when you feel like you’ve found “the one”, you can say: conocí a mi media naranja (I met my soulmate.) We love this expression because it’s just so sweet and fun, as love and romance should be!

Lastly, here are some nicknames and terms of endearment that people use for their significant others in Spain:

  • cielo – heavens
  • amor – love
  • corazón – heart
  • cariño – sweetie, honey
  • querido/a – dear
  • bebé – baby
  • vida – life
  • churri – sweetheart

We hope these romantic Spanish expressions come in handy for your dating life. Let us know your favourite one in the comments below.

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