If you’re not quite ready to go the whole ‘Wǒ ài nǐ’ yet. Another phrase which might be useful is:
Chances are, you’re going to want to tell your object of desire exactly how you feel in the Chinese language.
Wǒ xǐhuan nǐ
Literally, ‘I like you’
But that really is halfway there to ‘Wǒ ài nǐ.’
Maybe you just need to get to know each other better? ^_^