70 Dating and Relationship Words and Expressions in English: Idioms, Slang, Phrasal Verbs and More

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Don’t just learn it, live it!

If you go by our philosophy, you will certainly appreciate the vocabulary I’m about to present in this lesson.

That’s because you probably aren’t satisfied by just knowing the basic ways of using your English. You want to learn English that you can apply and complement different aspects of your life.

The pop culture you experience every day in the form of music, TV, YouTube videos, etc. as well as the conversations and jokes you share with your closest friends and peers are probably often about sex, relationships, etc.

But if they’re not, there’s still going to be a ton of takeaways for you in this lesson. (although if you recognize all the pics above I would argue this blog post is tailor-made for you!).

So if you haven’t already, and if you’re curious to learn about some insanely cool vocab to better understand movies and maybe even spice up your dating life in the process, watch my video on dating terms and expressions and then keep reading to take your dating vocab to a whole ‘nother level!

In the remainder of the article we’ll go through some of the vocab you already saw in the video, but you’ll also learn tons more I didn’t get to include in the video. Let’s get right to it!

 Phrasal Verbs

  • ASK sb OUT: To ask someone if they’d like to go on a date with you.
  • CHAT sb UP: To talk to someone in a way that shows you’re attracted to them.
  • CHEAT ON sb: To have sex with a person who’s not your boyfriend or girlfriend; wife or husband.
  • GO OUT WITH sb: If you go out with someone (the infinitive use of the verb) it means you are literally going somewhere with the person you’re attracted to (going out on a date most commonly). If you’re going out with someone (the gerund form of the verb) it means that you’ve been meeting with that person on repeated occasions, you’re getting to know each other.
  • HIT ON sb: To act in a way that shows you’re attracted to the other person. It’s similar to chatting someone up, but hitting on someone might include other forms of flirting like getting a bit more physical than normal (jokingly punching her/him, touching hands, a lot of hugging, etc.), or giving the other person sexy, provocative looks.
  • HOOK UP with sb: To have sex with someone. However, for some people it might mean anywhere from making out to sex. Click here to learn about more ways to use the word hook.
  • LEAD sb ON: To cause someone to think that you are interested in them when you are not (either because you want the attention or to get something)
  • MAKE OUT with sb: To heavily kiss. Can also include touching and petting.
  • MAN UP: Not really specifically a dating phrasal verb, but it’s what a guy would tell his friend when he doesn’t have enough courage to ask a girl out or make a move.
  • PICK UP sb: To have a make out session or have sex with a girl you just met, generally at a pub, bar or night club.
  • STAND sb UP: (most commonly used as to GET STOOD UP) if you stand someone up, you don’t show up to a date.
  • TURN sb DOWN: to say no to a date invitation, or to reject any kind of romantic intention from someone


  • To date sb: to be going out with a person. Snap19
  • Drool over sb: to look or stare at someone with obvious desire.
  • FlirtTo show through actions, words or attitudes that you like someone.
  • OgleTo look or stare at someone in a way that shows you’re sexually interested in that person.
  • RejectTo say no to a romantic invitation. To turn someone down.
  • Tease: to playfully and jokingly make fun of and provoke someone because you’re attracted to that person. ‘A tease’ is also a woman who leads men on.
  • To be seeing sb: to be going out with a person in whom you’re interested in getting to know better to find out if he or she is a good match for you. Similar to to be going out with someone or to date someone.
  • Wink at sb: Wink at sb: To close one eye  while looking at a person (girls usually do this) to insinuate sexual attraction or because they want to look sexy. It’s not specifically a dating term, but it’s usually associated with seduction.

Verb Phrases

  • Build up courage: this is not just related to dating, but it’s what you need to do if you want to ask someone out. You need to gather courage if you feel nervous or awkward about talking to a girl you like. >> I’m going to take her to dance, but I just need a few moments to build up some courage.
  • Get laid: This is one of the most common colloquial ways to say ‘to have sex’ or ‘to sleep with someone’. You can say this expression among friends but you need to be more careful when you’re talking with people you don’t know very well. To have sex with and to sleep with someone are far more appropiate alternatives when you’re not sure you should use this expression.  Snap20
  • Have a crush on sb: To be attracted to a woman or a man over a period of time. This expression is pretty common and can be used in almost every context and by different age groups since it’s also innocent and playful.
  • Have good game: (also got game) To have a good technique and way of seducing and chatting up girls.
  • Have an affair: The same as to cheat on someone, but less informal.
  • Have chemistry with sb: To have very good energy. You vibe with them either personally or sexually. (Also, to have a spark).
  • to be heads over heel for sb: A different way of saying you have fallen in love with someone. >> When I was a kid I was head over heels with my neighbor.
  • Make advances at sb: (also to advance on someone) To say or do things that will get you closer to kissing or sleeping with someone (usually a man to a woman)
  • Make eyes at sb: To stare at someone because you like him or her. (to drool over)
  • Play hard to get: If a girl plays hard to get, they resist getting seduced easily to make the man more interested.
  • Pull moves on: Similar to make advances on someone. If you pull moves on a girl, you attempt to get further in the dating process by saying or doing the things that would seduce her.


  • Baby: (Go here for more ways of saying ‘beautiful’) A term used to address your significant other. Baby girl is also common. However, sometimes we say baby after an exclamation, and we’re not necessarily addressing anyone, for example: “It’s party time, baby!”
  • Chick: Men use this term to talk about women in the third person. Addressing a woman as ‘chick’ would be considered disrespectful. This word can be derogative, and men generally use it to express sexual attraction. However, with the right tone of voice it can have much less negative connotation.
  • Cutie: A nice, innocent way to refer to a good-looking girl. Click here to find out about more ways to say beautiful.
  • Creep (or creeper): A guy who likes a girl and tries way too hard to catch the girl’s attention, making the girl feel uncomfortable and totally uninterested in him.
  • Friend with benefit: A guy or girl who you’re not dating, but with whom you have a sexual relationship.
  • Fuck buddy: A more vulgar way of saying ‘friends with benefits.’
  • Jailbait: An extremely sexy-looking girl that you can’t legally have sex with because she’s younger than 18 (the legal age one can be in a relationship with someone over 18). If you do have sex with a jailbait girl, you might end up in jail. Just like the term suggests, she is a bait (object or piece of food used to attract prey) to jail.
  • Player: A man who is skilled in seduction, and sleeps with many women, especially through manipulation.Snap17
  • Significant other: Your boyfriend or girlfriend. People refer to their couple as t ‘significant other’ when they don’t want to disclose their marital status or sexual orientation. (also, partner)
    • Soul mateThe person who is completely ideal for you, and who you would like to marry and spend the rest of your life with.
  • Stud: An attractive, charismatic and popular guy who has no problems finding a girl to sleep with.
  • Type of attractive women: These words refer to the looks (skin and hair color) of women, but doesn’t necessarily mean they’re attractive. However, people do think of attractive women when they hear any of the terms given below.
    • Blondy: A girl with blonde (yellowish) hair.
    • Brunette: A girl with black or brown hair.
    • Readhead: A girl with red hair. People also say ‘ginger’ but this word is sometimes derogative.
  • Wingman: A guy’s friend who helps him find sexual partners, and who would sacrifice himself by accepting to be with an unattractive girl so that his friend can seduce her more attractive friend. A woman’s wingman is another woman that helps her avoid men who are looking for sex.
  • Granade man: A guy who accepts to be with the less attractive girl of a group so that their friends can be with the unattractive girl’s friends.
  • Womanizer: A guy who manipulates women to have sex with him. As opposed to a ‘player’, womanizer is a negative term.


  • First, second, third base: In the process in which you’re dating someone, first base stands for kissing. Second base is heavy touching above the waist. Third base is touching below the waist or oral sex.
    • Hit a home-run: Finally, a home-run is sex.
  • Hold your horses: This expression can be used in many different contexts, but if you’re hitting on a girl, she might tell you to hold your horses, which means to take your time or not go so fast. This might happen in a early-stage relationship when one of the two people involved is going too fast.
  • Out of one’s league: We say a girl is out of your league when you think she’s too beautiful to possibly want to date you.
  • Take one for the team: To sacrifice oneself for the general good of the team. In the context of a group of guys looking for girls to have sex with, the guy who takes the less attractive girl can be said to be taking one for the team.

Other Fixed Expressions

  • Snap21Blind date: A date organized for two people who have never met each other (generally by friends or family)
  • Love at first sight: Love at first sight is when you fall in love with someone you just met or saw.
  • One night stand: To have sex with someone with no intention of talking to that person again.
  • Single and ready to mingle: This is what people might say when they’re single. ‘To mingle’ means ‘to socialize’ and when someone says this, he or she implies that he’s interested in getting to know people.


  • Catcall: (also sometimes referred to as wolf whistle) The whistle men make when they see a sexy-looking girl on the street.Snap22
  • Deal-breaker: Something that causes you to not want to continue dating someone. You might like a person, but a deal-breaker is something that you can’t accept in them, and therefore you decide to stop seeing them. For example, for many people it is a deal-breaker when they find out that the person smokes.
  • Flirtatious remark: A playful and sometimes innocent thing you say to a person you’re attracted to.
  • Pick up line: A line guys say to show they’re sexually or romantically interested in a girl.
  • Pushy: A guy is pushy when he’s too insistent about being with a girl, and doesn’t know how to take his time.
  • Sexting: Derivative from texting. Sexting is sending nude pictures or having a sexual conversation with someone via messages on the phone.
  • Smoking hot: A girl that is extremely hot (sexy)

There you have it. 70 words and expressions relating to dating, relationships and other related vocabulary. Something you should keep in mind is that many of these terms are informal and even slang, and therefore you should be careful with whom you use this vocabulary. Also, some words and expressions might objectify women, so be be prudent with the context and ALWAYS respect women.

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  • Fernanda Tortorette Alves says:

    Very interesting and useful post!!! Living in a non native English country, it’s quite difficult to be up to date when it comes to slangs and expressions. Congrats and tks for sharing with us!

  • ahha says:


  • Chris Wailer says:

    This was clearly made by a male. Clearly indicated by the very sexist definitions and choice of examples.

    • Ethan says:

      Hey Chris, We did our best to be inclusive, but feel free to suggest other ones! It’s only one half of the language. Also we’re definitely not condoning disrespectful use of the language, but people should understand even bad words. Here’s a helpful guide on how to use swear words: https://reallifeglobal.com/how-to-use-swear-words-in-english/

    • Rosie Marsh says:

      I agree with this comment 100%. As a girl, my first thought was, “a guy definitely wrote this”.

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    • Agnieszka from RealLife English says:

      Great to know that! Thank you, Joseph! And you are welcome anytime!

  • Priya Singh says:

    First off, congratulations on this post. Very interesting and useful post!!! Congrats and thanks for sharing with us!

    • Agnieszka from RealLife English says:

      We’re happy that it is helpful for you, Priya!

  • Pooja Singh says:

    Congrats and thanks for sharing with us! This article is really very interesting and effective. Hoping to get more such helpful articles.

    Keep it up and update more articles here.

    Thank you!

    • Agnieszka from RealLife English says:

      Keep browsing through our articles. We have many good ones, Pooja!