On the Subject of Love

I woke up with your name on my lips. I woke up with your lips on my imagination.
— BZ with Joanne – from the song Jackie
Everyone admits that love is wonderful and necessary, yet no one agrees on just what it is.
— Diane Ackerman

There is a Law that man should love his neighbor as himself. In a few years it should be as natural to mankind as breathing or the upright gait; but if he does not learn it he must perish.
— Alfred Adler
Music I heard with you was more than music, and bread I broke with you was more than bread. Now that I am without you, all is desolate; all that was once so beautiful is dead.
— Conrad Aiken
Love is the answer, but while you are waiting for the answer, sex raises some pretty good questions.
— Woody Allen
The only way to be happy is to love to suffer.
— Woody Allen
Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss, and ends with a teardrop.
— Anonymous
The fate of love is that it always seems too little or too much.
— Anonymous
Life without love is a shadow of things that might be.
— Anonymous
Spouse, n: Someone who’ll stand by you through all the trouble you wouldn’t have had if you’d stayed single in the first place.
— Anonymous
We always believe our first love is our last, and our last love our first.
— Anonymous
We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.
— Anonymous
Wind is to fire like distance is to love; it extinguishes the small and enflames the great.
— Anonymous
In dreams and in love there are no impossibilities.
— Janos Arany
This is the reason why mothers are more devoted to their children than fathers: it is that they suffer more in giving them birth and are more certain that they are their own.
— Aristotle
Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh.
— W(ystan) H(ugh) Auden
Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart.
— Marcus Aurelius
Hell is a place, a time, a consciousness, Richard, in which there is no love.
— Richard Bach, in ‘A Bridge Across Forever’
It is impossible to love and to be wise.
— Francis Bacon, Essays
I cannot love as I have loved, And yet I know not why; It is the one great woe of life To feel all feeling die.
— Gamaliel Bailey
Love is the poetry of the senses.
— Honoré de Balzac
The more you judge, the less you love.
— Honoré de Balzac
My love does not, cannot make her happy. My love can only release in her the capacity to be happy.
— J. Barnes
If it is your time love will track you down like a cruise missile. If you say ‘No! I don’t want it right now,’ that’s when you’ll get it for sure. Love will make a way out of no way. Love is an exploding cigar which we willingly smoke.
— Lynda Barry, Big Ideas (1983)
All you need is love.
— The Beatles, song title
And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make.
— The Beatles, The last lyric of their last song
I never knew how to worship until I knew how to love.
— Henry Ward Beecher
Young love is a flame; very pretty, often very hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. The love of the older and disciplined heart is as coals, deep burning, unquenchable.
— Henry Ward Beecher
Love ceases to be a pleasure, when it ceases to be a secret.
— Aphra Behn, The Lover’s Watch, ‘Four o’Clock’
One hour of right-down love / Is worth an age of dully living on.
— Aphra Behn, The Rover
Hell, Madame, is to love no longer.
— Georges Bernanos, The Diary of a Country Priest
Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.
— Bible, Proverbs 15:17
Love covers over a multitude of sins.
— Bible, 1 Peter 4:8
Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your father who is in heaven.
— Bible, Matthew ?:?
Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it.
— Bible, Song of Solomon 8:7
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear.
— Bible, 1 John 4:18
This is my commandment, that ye love one another, even as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
— Bible, John 15:12-13
ARDOR, n. The quality that distinguishes love without knowledge.
— Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary, 1911
LOVE, n. A temporary insanity curable by marriage or by removal of the patient from the influences under which he incurred the disorder… It is sometimes fatal, but more frequently to the physician than to the patient.
— Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary, 1911
NEIGHBOR, n. One whom we are commanded to love as ourselves, and who does all he knows how to make us disobedient.
— Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary, 1911
He who binds himself to a joy Does the winged life destroy; But he who kisses the joy as it flies Lives in eternity’s sunrise
— William Blake
I am in you and you in me, mutual in divine love.
— William Blake
Love matches are made by people who are content, for a month of honey, to condemn themselves to a life of vinegar.
— Countess of Blessington
It is ever the invisible that is the object of our profoundest worship. With the lover it is not the seen but the unseen that he muses upon.
— Christian Nestell Bovee
Those who have some means think that the most important thing in the world is love. The poor know that it is money.
— Gerald Brenan, Thoughts in a Dry Season
Your life and my life flow into each other as wave flows into wave, and unless there is peace and joy and freedom for you, there can be no real peace or joy or freedom for me. To see reality–not as we expect it to be but as it is–is to see that unless we live for each other and in and through each other, we do not really live very satisfactorily; that there can really be life only where there really is, in just this sense, love.
— Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat
If you wish to be loved, show more of your faults than your virtues.
— Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton
‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have lost at all.
— Samuel Butler, The Way of all Flesh, Ch. 77
Alas! the love of women! it is known / To be a lovely and a fearful thing.
— George Gordon, Lord Byron, Don Juan, II. 199
In her first passion woman loves her lover,/ In all the others all she loves is love.
— George Gordon, Lord Byron, Don Juan, III. 3
Like the measles, love is most dangerous when it comes late in life.
— George Gordon, Lord Byron
My mind’s sunk so low, Claudia, because of you, wrecked itself on your account so bad already, that I couldn’t like you if you were the best of women, – or stop loving you, no matter what you do.
— Catullus
Nothing takes the taste out of peanut butter quite like unrequited love.
— Charlie Brown, character in “Peanuts” comic strip, created by Charles Schultz
Better to have loved a short man than never to have loved a tall.
— David Chambless
The way to love anything is to realize that it may be lost.
— Gilbert K. Chesterton
Love is the word used to label the sexual excitement of the young , the habituation of the middle-aged, and the mutual dependence of the old.
— John Ciardi
Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your hearth or burn down your house, you can never tell.
— Joan Crawford
Love is shown in your deeds, not in your words.
— Fr. Jerome Cummings
Honor the ocean of love.
— George de Benneville
Love not what you are, but what you may become.
— Miguel de Cervantes
Absence diminishes small loves and increases great ones, as the wind blows out the candle and blows up the bonfire.
— François de La Rouchefoucauld
It is with true love as it is with ghosts; everyone talks about it, but few have seen it.
— François de La Rouchefoucauld
Sometimes we are less unhappy in being deceived by those we love, than in being undeceived by them.
— François Duc de La Rochefoucauld
There is only one kind of love, but there are a thousand imitations.
— François de La Rouchefoucauld
We cease loving ourselves if no one loves us.
— Mme de Staël
Love is an ocean of emotions entirely surrounded by expenses.
— Lord Dewar
Love is built on beauty, soon as beauty, dies.
— John Donne
Love reckons hours for months, and days for years; every little absence is an age.
— John Dryden, Amphitryon
Gravitation can not be held responsible for people falling in love.
— Albert Einstein
Anger and jealousy can no more bear to lose sight of their objects than love.
— George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss
All mankind loves a lover
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
He is not a lover who does not love forever.
— Euripides
He that falls in love with himself will have no rivals
— Benjamin Franklin
Where there’s Marriage without Love, there will be Love without Marriage.
— Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanac
Love makes the time pass. Time makes love pass.
— French Proverb
Love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness.
— Sigmund Freud
Immature love says: “I love you because I need you.” Mature love says: “I need you because I love you.”
— Erich Fromm
Hatred is blind, as well as love.
— Thomas Fuller, M. D.
A man in love is incomplete until he has married. Then he’s finished.
— Zsa Zsa Gabor
Getting divorced just because you don’t love a man is almost as silly as getting married just because you do.
— Zsa Zsa Gabor
A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the perogative of the brave.
— Mahatma Gandhi
Where there is love there is life.
— Mahatma Gandhi
Love has power that dispels Death; charm that conquers the enemy.
— Kahil Gibran
It is wrong to think that love comes from long companionship and persevering courtship. Love is the offspring of spiritual affinity and unless that affinity is created in a moment, it will not be created for years or even generations.
— Khalil Gibran
We love because it’s the only true adventure.
— Nikki Giovanni
We look forward to the time when the power to love of will replace the love of power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace.
— William Gladstone
There is a courtesy of the heart; it is allied to love. From it springs the purest courtesy in the outward behavior.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
A life without love, without the presence of the beloved, is nothing but a mere magic-latern show. We draw out slide after slide, swiftly tiring of each, and pushing it back to make haste for the next.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Love does not dominate; it cultivates.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
We are shaped and fashioned by what we love
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Love is a perky elf dancing a merry little jig and then suddenly he turns on you with a miniature machine gun.
— Matt Groening, Love is Hell
Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra and then suddenly it flips over, pinning you underneath. At night, the ice weasels come.
— Matt Groening, Love is Hell
A lover without indiscretion is no lover at all.
— Thomas Hardy, The Hand of Ethelberta
People need loving the most when they deserve it the least.
— John Harrigan
Love is the great miracle cure. Loving ourselves works miracles in our lives.
— Louise Hay
The story of a love is not important – what is important is that one is capable of love. It is perhaps the only glimpse we are permitted of eternity.
— Helen Hayes
Love is only the game that is not called on account of darkness.
— M. Hirschfield
Attraction, she now understands, is a state of mind.
— Alice Hoffman, From Practical Magic
Love is like pi – natural, irrational, and very important.
— Lisa Hoffman
People who throw kisses are mighty hopelessly lazy.
— Bob Hope
The love we give away is the only love we keep.
— Elbert Green Hubbard
Life is the flower for which love is the honey.
— Victor Hugo
The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that one is loved; loved for oneself, or better yet, loved despite oneself.
— Victor Hugo
Love, I find, is like singing. Everybody can do enough to satisfy themselves, though it may not impress the neighbors as being very much.
— Zora Neale Hurston
The closer I’m bound in love to you, the closer I am to free.
— Indigo Girls, song lyric
I would rather live and love where death is king than have eternal life where love is not.
— Robert G. Ingersoll
Love is like the measles, all the worse when it comes late.
— Douglas Jerrold
Everybody can be great… because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. you only need a heart full of grace. a soul generated by love.
— Martin Luther King, Jr.
Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it.
Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it.
Hatred darkens life; love illumines it.
— Martin Luther King, Jr.
Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. the foundation of such a method is love.
— Martin Luther King, Jr.
Sometimes, only one person is missing, and the whole world seems depopulated.
— Alphonse de Lamartine, Premifres mÚditations poÚtiques
To love someone deeply gives you strength. Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage.
— Lao Tzu
Love is the flower of life, and blossoms unexpectedly and without law, and must be plucked where it is found, and enjoyed for the brief hour of its duration.
— D. H. Lawrence
Love one another and you will be happy. It’s as simple and as difficult as that.
— Michael Leunig
Love gives itself; it is not bought.
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
An act of love that fails is just as much a part of the divine life as an act of love that succeeds, for love is measured by fullness, not by reception.
— Harold Loukes
To love another person is to see the face of God.
— Lyric from Les Miserables
For the memory of love is sweet, though the love itself were in vain. And what I have lost of pleasure, assuage what I find of pain.
— Lyster
Love is what happens to men and women who don’t know each other.
— W. Somerset Maugham
Love is an emotion that is based on an opinion of women that is impossible for those who have had any experience with them.
— H. L. Mencken
Love is the delusion that one man or woman differs from another.
— H. L. Mencken
Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.
— H. L. Mencken
Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who would want to live in an institution.
— Henry Louis Mencken
Love cures people, both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it.
— Dr. Karl Menninger
Age does not protect you from love but love to some extent protects you from age.
— Jeanne Moreau
The most terrible poverty is loneliness and the feeling of being unloved.
— Mother Teresa
We can do no great things; only small things with great love.
— Mother Teresa
Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.
— Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Love is the idler’s occupation, the warrior’s relaxation, and the sovereign’s ruination.
— Napoleon
Love is an emotion experienced by the many and enjoyed by the few.
— George Jean Nathan
True, we love life, not because we are used to living, but because we are used to loving. There is always some madness in love, but there is also always some reason in madness.
— Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, First Part: On Reading and Writing
I love a hand that meets my own with a grasp that causes some sensation.
— Samuel Osgood
Great affection is often the cause of violent animosity. The quarrels of men often arise from too great a familiarity.
— Saskya Pandita
Le coeur a ses raisons dont le cerveau ne sait nul. T: ‘The heart has its reasons, of which the mind knows nothing.’
— Blaise Pascal, Pensées
To be able to say how much love, is love but little.
— Petrarch
We cannot really love anybody with whom we never laugh.
— Agnes Repplier
Love is like the measles. The older you get it, the worse the attack.
— Mary Roberts Rhinehart
For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of our tasks; the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation.
— Rainer Maria Rilke
This is the miracle that happens every time to those who really love; the more they give, the more they possess.
— Rainer Maria Rilke
The bottom line is that (a) people are never perfect, but love can be, (b) that is the one and only way that the mediocre and vile can be transformed, and (c) doing that makes it that. We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love.
— Tom Robbins
Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward together in the same direction.
— Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Wind, Sand, and Stars, 1939
The lover knows much more about absolute good and universal beauty than any logician or theologian, unless the latter, too, be lovers in disguise.
— George Santayana
In endowing us with memory, nature has revealed to us a truth utterly unimaginable to the unreflective creation, the truth of immortality….The most ideal human passion is love, which is also the most absolute and animal and one of the most ephemeral.
— George Santayana, Reason in Religion
If you wished to be loved, love.
— Seneca
Love and stoplights can be cruel.
— Sesame Street, U.S. children’s television show
Absence from those we love is self from self – a deadly banishment.
— William Shakespeare
Down on your knees, and thank heaven, fasting, for a good man’s love.
— William Shakespeare, As You Like It
If thou remember’st not the slightest folly / That ever love did make thee run into, / Thou hast not loved.
— William Shakespeare, As You Like It
Let me not to the marriage of true minds / Admit impediments. Love is not love / Which alters when it alteration finds / Or bends with the remover to remove. / O, no! it is an ever-fix’d mark / That looks on tempests and is never shaken.
— William Shakespeare, Sonnet XVI
Love is merely a madness.
— William Shakespeare
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind; And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.
— William Shakespeare
Love sought is good, but given unsought is better.
— William Shakespeare
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? / Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
— William Shakespeare, Sonnet XVIII
The course of true love never did run smooth.
— William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
To be wise and love Exceeds man’s might; that dwells with the gods above.
— William Shakespeare
Your heart’s desires be with you.
— William Shakespeare
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind; And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.
— William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act i. Sc. 1.
Love is a gross exaggeration of the difference between one person and everybody else.
— George Bernard Shaw
The fickleness of the women I love is only equalled by the infernal consistency of the women who love me.
— George Bernard Shaw
First love is only a little foolishness and a lot of curiosity: no really self-respecting woman would take advantage of it.
— George Bernard Shaw
Soul meets soul on lovers lips.
— Percy Bysshe Shelley
Trouble is a part of your life, and if you don’t share it, you don’t give the person that loves you enough chance to love you enough.
— Dinah Shore
One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: that word is love.
— Sophocles
Love is stronger than justice.
— Sting
We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.
— Jonathan Swift
The greatest pleasure of life is love.
— William Temple
I hold it true whate’er befall;
I fell it when I sorrow most;
‘Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.
— Alfred, Lord Tennyson, In Memoriam, 1850, line 27, stanza 4
The first duty of love is to listen.
— Paul Tillich
If love is the answer, could you rephrase the question?
— Lily Tomlin
Love seems the swiftest, but it is the slowest of growths. No man or woman really knows what perfect love is until they have been married a quarter of a century.
— Mark Twain
Thirty-years-old, sweet as a rose, every petal of her paper thin.
— U2
I love you ’cause I need to, not because I need you. I love you ’cause I understand that god has given me your hand; It holds me in a tiny fist, and still I need your kiss.
— U2, from Luminous Times
Omnia vincit Amor; et nos cedamus Amori. T: ‘Love conquers all; Let us too yield to Love.’
— Virgil
Infatuation is when you think that he’s as sexy as Robert Redford, as smart as Henry Kissinger, as noble as Ralph Nader, as funny as Woody Allen, and as athletic as Jimmy Conners. Love is when you realize that he’s as sexy as Woody Allen, as smart as Jimmy Conners, as funny as Ralph Nader, as athletic as Henry Kissinger, and nothing like Robert Redford–but you’ll take him anyway.
— Judith Viorst
Love is much nicer to be in than an automobile accident, a tight girdle, a higher tax bracket, or a holding pattern over Philadelphia.
— Judith Viorst
Love is the same as like except you feel sexier.
— Judith Viorst
Love is a canvas furnished by Nature and embroidered by imagination.
— Voltaire
The opposite of love, I have found, is not hate, but indifference.
— Elie Weisel
Beware you be not swallowed up in books! An ounce of love is worth a pound of knowledge.
— John Wesley
Life is one fool thing after another where as love is two fool things after each other.
— Oscar Wilde
To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.
— Oscar Wilde
Who, being loved, is poor?
— Oscar Wilde
Yet each man kills the thing he loves, / By each let this be heard, / Some do it with a bitter look, / Some with a flattering word. / The coward does it with a kiss, / The brave man with a sword!
— Oscar Wilde, The Ballad of Reading Gaol
There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning.
— Thornton Wilder
To love is to place our happiness in the happiness of another
— Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibnitz
Miracles occur naturally as expressions of love. The real miracle is the love that inspires them. In this sense everything that comes from love is a miracle.
— Marianne Williamson
Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn. The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and prejudices and the acceptance of love back in our hearts. Love is the essential reality and our purpose on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life. Meaning does not lie in things. Meaning lies in us.
— Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love
Why art thou silent! Is thy love a plant / Of such weak fibre that the treacherous air / Of absence withers what was once so fair?
— William Wordsworth, Miscellaneous Sonnets, III
You can’t buy love, but you can pay heavily for it.
— Henny Youngman
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. {2} If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. {3} If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. {4} Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. {5} It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. {6} Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. {7} It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. {8} Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. {9} For we know in part and we prophesy in part, {10} but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. {11} When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. {12} Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. {13} And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
— Bible, 1 Corinthians 13 NIV

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