Love has caught the imaginations of artists, writers, and thinkers alike. Discover some of their most inspiring and insightful observations.
What do Renaissance painters, Greek philosophers, and country artists all have in common? An obsession with the subject of love, of course. Throughout centuries of human existence, it has been at the centre of our attention and thoughts. You only have to take a look at the music charts at any given moment to see how often the word “love” actually occurs.
The “L” word.
Sometimes, we just can’t find the answers we are looking for, and on such occasions, it becomes prudent to turn to the words of others. This following list of 20 inspiring love quotes covers a number of related aspects—from its qualities and benefits to the more practical issues of married love and love as it evolves with age. The sources of these quotes are equally diverse: John Lennon, Lao Tzu, Van Gogh, St. Augustine, and so on.
What they all have in common, however, is an innate and enlightened understanding of the subject that we would all do well to take heed of.
#1 “Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing, and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.” -Ann Landers
#2 “Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your Creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen… yourself, right now, right down here on Earth.” -Bradley Whitford
#3 “We’ve got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant. You can’t just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it’s going to get on by itself. You’ve got to keep watering it. You’ve got to really look after it and nurture it.” -John Lennon
#4 “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” -Lao Tzu
#5“I am happier when I love than when I am loved. I adore my husband, my son, my grandchildren, my mother, my dog, and frankly, I don’t know if they even like me. But who cares? Loving them is my joy.” -Isabel Allende
#6 “A man reserves his true and deepest love not for the species of woman in whose company he finds himself electrified and enkindled, but for that one in whose company he may feel tenderly drowsy.” -George Jean Nathan
#7 “Love feels no burden, thinks nothing of trouble, attempts what is above its strength, pleads no excuse of impossibility; for it thinks all things lawful for itself, and all things possible.” -Thomas A. Kempis
#8 “Love is the crowning grace of humanity, the holiest right of the soul, the golden link which binds us to duty and truth, the redeeming principle that chiefly reconciles the heart to life, and is prophetic of eternal good.” -Petrarch
#9 “Love is a really scary thing, and you never know what’s going to happen. It’s one of the most beautiful things in life, but it’s one of the most terrifying. It’s worth the fear because you have more knowledge, experience, you learn from people, and you have memories.” -Ariana Grande
#10 “What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.” -Saint Augustine
#11 “Friends can help each other. A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself—and especially to feel. Or, not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. That’s what real love amounts to—letting a person be what he really is.” -Jim Morrison
#12 “There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.” -Washington Irving
#13 “True love is eternal, infinite, and always like itself. It is equal and pure, without violent demonstrations: it is seen with white hairs and is always young in the heart.” -Honore de Balzac
#14 “Unconditional love really exists in each of us. It is part of our deep inner being. It is not so much an active emotion as a state of being. It’s not ‘I love you’ for this or that reason, not ‘I love you if you love me.’ It’s love for no reason, love without an object.” -Ram Dass
#15 “Some think love can be measured by the amount of butterflies in their tummy. Others think love can be measured in bunches of flowers, or by using the words ‘for ever.’ But love can only truly be measured by actions. It can be a small thing, such as peeling an orange for a person you love because you know they don’t like doing it.” -Marian Keyes
#16 “When you love a man, he becomes more than a body. His physical limbs expand, and his outline recedes, vanishes. He is rich and sweet and right. He is part of the world, the atmosphere, the blue sky, and the blue water.” -Gwendolyn Brooks
#17 “Love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well.” -Vincent Van Gogh
#18 “Loving others always costs us something and requires effort. And you have to decide to do it on purpose. You can’t wait for a feeling to motivate you.” -Joyce Meyer
#19 “In our life there is a single color, as on an artist’s palette, which provides the meaning of life and art. It is the color of love.” -Marc Chagall
#20 “When you’re in love, you never really know whether your elation comes from the qualities of the one you love, or if it attributes them to her; whether the light which surrounds her like a halo comes from you, from her, or from the meeting of your sparks.” -Natalie Clifford Barney