What's the difference between "my love" and "my lover" ? Or do they have the same meaning ?

  • a person should not call a friend 'my love' is totally wrong
    – user31633
    Dec 1, 2012 at 4:47

4 Answers 4


'Lover' implies a sexual relationship. 'Love' does not, at least not necessarily.

You could call your lover your love with no problems arising. But if your love is, say, your child, you wouldn't want to call your love your lover!

  • 7
    Although there are regional variations - in some parts of the west UK lover is used in a way more similar to love.
    – UpTheCreek
    Sep 20, 2011 at 11:57
  • 1
    Thanks for that. I should clarify that my reference is American English.
    – user13141
    Sep 20, 2011 at 11:59
  • 5
    @UpTheCreek: indeed, I have a friend brought up in Cornwall who tells me that "my lover" can be a friendly address even to a stranger.
    – Colin Fine
    Sep 20, 2011 at 12:13
  • 1
    As the answer states, "my lover" is a person with whom you have a sexual relationship; "my love" does not need to be a person at all, but could be, for example, a hobby or technical subject one feels strongly about. (For example, an athlete saying that they play multiple sports but "my true love was gymnastics.") [US English and web search] Contrast, though, with the reflexive usage, i.e. "a lover of fine food" (again many examples in web search.)
    – arp
    Sep 13, 2016 at 15:34

A lover is someone who you sleep with and makes love to you.

A lover can be the love of your life, but very often the rapport is one of lust and passion and the relationship will eventually fizzle out. You can have an affair with a lover but never with your husband or wife. You may even decide to live with your lover, but once married you will no longer feel comfortable calling your spouse my lover and instead choose to call them "my wife", "my husband" or even "my love" as a term of endearment.

Often the word lovers is used when talking about an extra marital affair between two adulterers. Somehow the expression is more forgiving and many will opt to call themselves that. It is true that the expression "my lover" has a more exciting, thrilling edge to it than "my love".

To mention my love conjures feelings and sentiments of romanticism, affection, tenderness and love. The words "my love" have been the source of romantic love songs and poems since time immemorial and express a level of commitment which my lover does not. It tells the outside world that your relationship is one based on trust, honesty and that you share deep emotional feelings for one another. You do not necessarily have to have slept with someone before calling them "my love". On the other hand, a lover is always someone whom you sleep with and needn't love.

  • 2
    Mari, so while a love could fill your heart a lover can fill your bed, yes? Excellent answer that really explains, in comprehensible way, a difference which often is difficult to understand. Congratulations & +1!
    – user19148
    Aug 18, 2013 at 22:48
  • I think there is a shade of difference if one uses "lover" as a form of address. In my grandmother's generation in the US southern states, a woman often called her husband "Lover" in the privacy of their home and among family, yet she referred to him as Mr. FamilyName in the third person when speaking in public.
    – Theresa
    Oct 10, 2014 at 2:52

In absence of context information, my best response would be:

My love - Someone whom the person speaking loves

My lover - Someone who loves the speaking person


  • 4
    Seriously? Any reference for your definition of lover?
    – Terry Li
    Dec 1, 2012 at 6:36

In my opinion lover should be someone besides the one you love, with whom you are having sexual relations.

  • 1
    That is just sad. Lover definitely implies a sexual relationship, but surely not devoid of love? And contrasted to the one who is loved? So in your opinion, "lover" is an ironic euphemism.
    – Theresa
    Oct 10, 2014 at 2:56

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