When my partner travels for business, I write a little love note and tuck it into his suitcase to discover when he unpacks. I want to remind him how much I love him when we’re apart.
I do my best to write from the heart; I am a writer for goodness sakes! But sometimes, I just need a little help finding the right words to express the myriad of emotions: love, lust, gratitude, grace, vulnerability, and friendship.
So, I turn to the experts on love: poets and philosophers, authors and therapists, and a variety of wise pop culture idols.
Once, when my partner went on a two-week trip overseas, I copied dozens of love quotes onto index cards and tucked them in between underwear, dress shirts, and slacks. Thousands of miles away from home, it connected us in a magical way that sometimes lovers need to manage the pain of separation.
I am guessing that you are a lot like me: you want to remind the one you love — as well as yourself — that love is worth the struggle and delight, the pain and the pleasure. Because, no matter the political climate, time period, or place, a favorite topic for rumination is love. Many believe it’s the true meaning of life.
When I went in search of some favorite quotes on love and romance to share here, I discovered similar threads of thought from the ancient Greeks to Modern Day Icons were in line with each other. From Plato to Dolly Parton….Mr. Rogers to Rumi….Julia Child to John O’Donohue, the lovers of love agree: Love is fabulous. It’s worth the struggle. These 41 inspirational quotes about love prove it.
Love demands of you accept feelings of vulnerability if you desire the full gamut of the human experience. That in order to fully love, you must lean into grace to accept others for who they are. Most importantly, in order to love, the biggest requirement is that you must love yourself.
Here are 41 inspirational love quotes from famous — and infamous — men and women through the ages:
1. Love is risky.
“Better to put your heart on the line, risk everything, and walk away with nothing than play it safe. Love is a lot of things, but ‘safe’ isn’t one of them.” ― Mandy Hale
2. You can find love in the darkness.
“We don’t fall in love with people because they’re good people. We fall in love with people whose darkness we recognize. You can fall in love with a person for all of the right reasons, but that kind of love can still fall apart. But when you fall in love with a person because your monsters have found a home in them ― that’s the kind of love that owns your skin and bones. Love, I am convinced, is found in the darkness. It is the candle in the night.” ― C. Joybell C.
3. Love is like cooking.
“I think careful cooking is love, don’t you? The loveliest thing you can cook for someone who’s close to you is about as nice a Valentine as you can give.” ― Julia Child
4. Love is freedom to be yourself.
“To me, obligation is not love. Letting someone be open, honest and free — that’s love. It’s got to come natural and it’s got to be real.” — Dolly Parton
5. You can’t change the person you love.
“The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise, we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.” ― Thomas Merton
6. You create your own love.
“Love is a canvas furnished by nature and embroidered by imagination.” ― Voltaire
7. Love is power.
“When we know love matters more than anything, and we know that nothing else REALLY matters, we move into the state of surrender. Surrender does not diminish our power, it enhances it.” ― Sara Paddison
8. Don’t run away from it.
“You know quite well, deep within you, that there is only a single magic, a single power, a single salvation… and that is called loving. Well then, love your suffering. Do not resist it, do not flee from it. It is only your aversion to it that hurts, nothing else.” ― Hermann Hesse
9. Allow yourself to feel it.
“You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.” ― Mary Oliver
10. Be brave.
“My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.” ―Maya Angelou
11. Vulnerability is key.
“Any love makes us vulnerable. Whatever we love will give the gift of pain somewhere along the road. But who would live sealed in spiritual cellophane just to keep from ever being hurt? There are a few people like that. I’m sorry for them. I think they are as good as dead.” ― Gladys Bagg Taber
12. Love unconditionally.
“Love isn’t a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun like struggle. To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and