The Best Love Songs That Don’t Contain the Word Love

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Illustration by Sarah Lutkenhaus

There are plenty of potential reasons for wanting an amorous soundtrack for a romantic encounter that doesn’t casually throw the word “love” around. Maybe it’s a relationship’s early days and you’re not ready to launch an L-bomb yourself quite yet. Who needs the stereo increasing the sweaty-palmed anxiety level? Maybe you’re a committed—but repressed—super-WASP who deserves love even if you can’t quite make your mouth form the syllable. Maybe subtlety just turns you on.

Whatever your specifics may be, here’s a playlist full of passionate sentiment that never once leans on the love song’s most obvious vocab crutch.



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