This is an update of an article from 2017. Click here for the original.
Try a pet name
Some of the most common: miláčku (sweetheart), lásko (love), zlatíčko (little gold), drahý (dear), kočičko (kitten), princezno (princess), broučku (little beetle).
Some of the more unusual ones: prdelička (little butt), puso (little kiss), koloušek (little deer), drobínek (little crumb), mufínek (little muffin).
Be poetic about it
In English we tell someone that we are “head over heels” for them; in Czech you could say “I’m drowning in your eyes” (Utápím se ve tvých očích) or “I love you up to your ears” (Zamilovaný/á až po uši).
Another saying that is sure to ignite romance: “I would bring you the blue from sky” (Přinesl bych modré z nebe).
Or get straight to the point
I adore you. (Zbožňuji tě)
I’m crazy for you. (Jsem do tebe blázen)
I can’t live without you. (Nemůžu bez tebe žít)
Use a flirtatious gesture
The word cukrblik is best translated as batting your eyelashes (in English, “puppy dog eyes” come to mind). This compound Czech word combines “cukr” (sugar) “blik” (blink). There’s even a song about it!
Say it with “flower speak”
The traditional meanings behind flowers and their colors, known as květomluva in Czech, share a common root in the Victorian era. Red roses (červené růže) mean love, a red tulip (červené tulipány) is desire. Orange blossoms (pomerančový květ) say “My love is true,” and a fern frond (kapradí) means love at first sight.
Say it with food
In English, we say the way to a man (or a woman’s) heart is through his or her stomach. The Czech saying goes like this: “Love comes through the stomach” (Láska prochází žaludkem). You can also say “I love you so much I could eat you” (Miluji tě k sežrání).
Give a kiss but hold the hugs
Have you ever noticed that Czechs aren’t big huggers? A friend explained to me that hugging is a holdover from communism when party comrades used to embrace one another in an act of solidarity. And yet a handshake can be construed as too formal. Go in for a kiss (pusinky), one on each cheek, to show you care.
Whip up a Czech love potion
According to Czech witch Marcela Košanová a simple love potion (nápoj lásky) can be made by placing a vanilla bean in a bottle of red wine or serving your love some curly-leaf parsley, said to arouse desire in anyone who eats it!
Just say “I love you”
In Czech, “I love you” is translated as Miluju tě though if you ask a native speaker of the language, love is rarely expressed in this form.
Or better yet “I like you”
While Mít rád/ráda (Mám tě ráda) is rather translated as “to like” it more often than not signifies love. Many Czechs will tell you that this is a greater expression of affection than “to love” (milovat) which is reserved for children.