Why is LOVE always related to the Heart -shaped or Heart symbol?


I believe the heart is the center of all vital organs of our body. Did you know that even without breathing as long as your heart is still working/beating, you have a chance to live? But my real query is, why the heart is associated as a the sign/symbol of Love? Why not any other sign or body parts?

When I first heard this question from my friend. It really made me wonder. And according to some historians, the heart-shaped symbol that represents love and adoration has been here since the existence of man.

But the icon and the real thing share nothing in common at all. The real heart is shaped like a yellow/red football, and the symbol a heart drawn in a stylized shape. Usually with the color red, which suggest blood, passion and strong emotion and associated too with romantic poetry, Valentine's day and chocolate boxes.

So this symbol doesn't even come close to the appearance of the human heart. But, it is said, that the double humps atop a stylized heart vaguely recall a male reproductive organ, head's shape, but rounded rather than pointed. Or can also depict the human female body, such as the female reproductive organ, the Sumerian cuneiform or its mound. And some maintains a resemblance to the shape of the female breasts or buttocks.

Ancient coin of the city of Cyrene~with engraved Silphium seed pod unravels the mystery of Love.
Ancient coin of the city of Cyrene~with engraved Silphium seed pod unravels the mystery of Love.

Some historians said, one possible origin, of the shape of the heart, is a seed pod. The Silphium, a type of fennel, which seeds are distinctly heart-shaped, but has been extinct for over two Millennium. It can be seen engraved on the ancient coins of the city of Cyrene.

The Greeks believed the plant was a gift from Apollo (archer-god of medicine and healing, light, truth, a bringer of death-dealing plague or also know as the sun-god in Greek Mythology). The plant appeared after a heavy rainstorm flooded the city of Cyrene. But evidence of Silphium was used much earlier in Egypt and Libya too. Because of its varied medical uses and scarcity, it was considered to be "worth its weight in denarii" during Roman times. Eventually, they harvested the plant to extinction.

And for why the seed pod possibly rank itself as the premiere symbol of love and romance? Maybe because Silphium was the main ingredient for the most highly effective natural birth-control medicine of its time. It was used as an herbal contraceptive or abortifacient. So its shape may have come to be associated with sexuality and love.

And also, the "heart" shape is formed by the back and wings of a dove, which was associated with Aphrodite, the ancient Greek Goddess of Love.


Wine and candles: Usually used with romantic settings, for intimate celebrations, anniversaries, especially if associated by other love symbols.

Rosemary: Also used as a symbol for fidelity and remembrance.

Sealed with....Love.
Sealed with....Love.
Cupid in action.
Cupid in action.

Lips: Associated with passion, kissing, and a pair of lips painted with bright red lipstick leaves a print sealed with Love.

Cupid: Roman God of Love, Eros in Greek mythology represented by a winged boy carrying a bow and arrow, with which he pierced his victim's heart causing them to fall in love.

Heart pierced by an arrow: Shot by Cupid or Eros, causing the person to fall passionately in love. And it explains the pain and pleasure of Love.

Arrow: Symbolises Strength, Penetration, Struck by Love and the deep wound or scar that Love leave.

Broken heart: Often symbolises loss of Love, spurned or rejected lover, and the pain of this. The term "heartbroken" is used for extreme sadness and grief.

Chocolate: Said to be better than flowers,~lol It has romantic connotations, gift of a lover. And not to mention the supposed aphrodisiac properties associated with it.

Beware of the Mistletoe
Beware of the Mistletoe
Passionate Love
Passionate Love
For now and eternity...
For now and eternity...

Mistletoe: During Christmas season, standing under it, gives anyone the opportunity to kiss you.

Wedding rings: Represent permanency, "until death do us part", and also for union or togetherness.

Roses: Red roses symbolise Love and Passion. White roses symbolise virginity and purity. Yellow roses symbolise jealousy and infidelity.

Jasmine: Strongly scented, white flower used as a Hindu symbol for Love.

Osram Ne Nsoroma: The Adinkra (West Africa) symbol representing love consisting of a star (the woman) and the moon (the man).

As a result of this, I think the heart-shape symbol is the best icon that can symbolise Love. And the facts brought by history, makes it more appreciated. So the next time you fall in love, give your heart the true justice it deserves.

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Comments 52 comments

bluewings profile image

bluewings 9 years ago from Milkyway

Interesting history! For me I associate love with heart because heart seems so plastic without love.In the absence of love when the heart beats ,it seems to be attempting to serve life ;while a heart in love seems to be the real purpose and functionality of a heart.I think the heart speaks the language of love best and nothing else could have justified love so much as the heart does.

Aphroditei profile image

Aphroditei 9 years ago Author

Very well said. For me too, it's like the heart lacks of purpose if it is not in love. And with Love it will depict its true functionality. And shine with so much more vitality. Hmmm, seems like I just repeated what you said.~lol Thank you Bluewings. And yes, "the heart speaks the language of love best"...(^^,)

tshirtscene profile image

tshirtscene 9 years ago

The heart symbol has a definate history behind it that is hard to trace. I prefer to go with the ancient egyptian theory of the "ab" which was believed to be the centre of good and bad within the person. It makes sense to me :). Great hub Aphoditei

Aphroditei profile image

Aphroditei 9 years ago Author

Great! I have not seen the "ab" of the Egyptian.~maybe because I was to sleepy.~lol But now, I agree too..they believed, "it was the heart and not the mind that was the seat of emotion and thought." and that Man's integrity was his heart, not his brain -- "as a man thinketh in his heart;" that God recognized what was in a man's heart."

And to add, "at death, the heart was removed with the other viscera, and placed in the separate Jar, with the hieroglyph for heart, called the AB. And the heart is balanced on the pans of the Scales against the Feather of Truth. Thoth, in the symbolic ibis-headed figure, the Guardian of the Dead, attends the Weighing."

Thank you Tshirtscene for adding this very great information to the article. Thank you. (^^,)

lordwarwizard profile image

lordwarwizard 9 years ago from Singapore

That's an interesting tidbit of info about the heart that I didn't know before this! This is a very interesting article, thank you for sharing! ;-)

Aphroditei profile image

Aphroditei 9 years ago Author

Thank Lordwarwizard! I'm glad you like it. (^^,)

maverickmonk profile image

maverickmonk 9 years ago from india

WOW!! i have never thought that this symbol has such a big history.. its a very nice to hub..thanks a lot for sharing buddy!!

Aphroditei profile image

Aphroditei 9 years ago Author

I'm glad you like the few trivia. There is much more history to the heart symbol. And thanks too buddy! (^^,)

SunSeven profile image

SunSeven 9 years ago from Singapore / India

Heart symbol is the most common symbol for love and certainly the most recognizable. Magicians and Alchemists used the Heart symbols for incantations pertaining to matters related to love and romance. They were also used in rituals with a goal to stengthen relationships. The Heart has long been recognized across cultures as being a symbol for charity, joy and compassion. Also an emblem of truth, the "Sacred Heart" of Christ is also the focus of Roman Catholic worship as a symbol of the Lord's love. As a graphic representation of an inverted triangle, this symbolizes a vessel in which love is poured or carried.

Aphroditei profile image

Aphroditei 9 years ago Author

Oh yes, when inverteded it looks like a vessel. Thank you for adding this great info too Sunsix! There is so much we can add to the heart symbol history. (^^,)

cgull8m profile image

cgull8m 9 years ago from North Carolina

Great post, heart is the number one candidate everyone will agree. Hope they could have recorded their reasonings for it, so we don't have to have any doubts about it.

cremechese profile image

cremechese 9 years ago from Paradise

This is a very good article and something I've wondered about -- the heart shape. I might add that chocolates I think are aphrodisiacal (sp? my fingers just would not stop on that word!) because chocolate releases endorphins. Or mighty endorphin power rangers.

Aphroditei profile image

Aphroditei 9 years ago Author

Thank you Cgull8m and Creme! (^^,)

oarnamav profile image

oarnamav 9 years ago from rtujrt

A great addition. I liked!

mskzalameda profile image

mskzalameda 9 years ago from Philippines

hey I didn't know about this befor I read this. great! thanks for sharing it! I love it. I heart it? he he he!

Annalene profile image

Annalene 9 years ago from Richards bay South-Africa

Who would ever have thought, that a symbol so globally used and recognized, has such a long and ancient history! Thank you for a wonderful hearty article.

Aphroditei profile image

Aphroditei 9 years ago Author

Thank you Oarnamav, Msk and Annie!

I'm glad you "heart" it. And it was my pleasure to share its heartfelt history. (^^,)

DewDropInJune profile image

DewDropInJune 9 years ago

Sis, i beleive that heart is the seat of human mind for the heart speaks for the soul....it is sometimes stronger than the brain. It seems like it has a mind of its own...agree? For sure!

Venkat profile image

Venkat 9 years ago

It is not our mind but the body which feels the emotions as sensation. The emotion of sadness or agony is felt by the painful sensation at the tips of the fingers by some people. Love is a mixture of emotions and almost all of these emotions are felt by or somewhere near the heart with the emotion of longing being the strongest. And that is why I think heart is represented as a symbol of love.

sgtwalk profile image

sgtwalk 9 years ago

Thanks for the info!!


teeray profile image

teeray 9 years ago from Canada

Interesting information about the Silphium. I have never heard of that before. I'm glad I found this hub. Educational. Thank you for writing!

Great article!

Aphroditei profile image

Aphroditei 9 years ago Author

Thank you Teeray! I'm glad you like this hub.(^^,)

J D Murrah profile image

J D Murrah 8 years ago from Refugee from Shoreacres, Texas

Good post. I enjoyed the story. I had never considered the origins of the heart shape. A timely ub for Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Aphroditei profile image

Aphroditei 8 years ago Author

Thank you Mr. JD. I'm glad you liked it. Happy Valentine's Day!!! (^^,)

chinky 8 years ago

it is so interesting with the persons like...thanks a lot...do more...

Aphroditei profile image

Aphroditei 8 years ago Author

Thank you Chinky!!! Happy Heart day!!! (^^,)

Emily 8 years ago

I have been wondering this. Thanks. I was wondering if anyone knows where I can read about the whole ancient egyptian theory of the "ab"thing.

E-mail me if you happen to know.


typeing friend 8 years ago

ok cool?

Gp 8 years ago

Very good explanation. Great article.

sarahonweb profile image

sarahonweb 7 years ago

Good interesting information ..

engagement rings 7 years ago

great info about the heart shape. I've got a lot of insights in here. thanks!

rony 6 years ago

its to ggod 4 love

KIM 6 years ago

interesting perspective

Bussy paris 6 years ago

Good and listening

Bussy paris 6 years ago

ok? cool information

gabrielle rose  6 years ago

i love the heart and well this has given me something to know about. Good job!!!!!

omg 6 years ago

this is awesome! i never knew these things be4. ur an awesome person

Ahmed Dandiya 6 years ago

so informative. i got what i was worry about...

JMile 5 years ago

This is beautiful. :) I loved it.

kayla 5 years ago

i think v tine is great

chinnu 5 years ago

i m really happy that i know that the y love is in heartsymbol

SSD 5 years ago


ANON 4 years ago


yeah right 4 years ago

because it is shaped like a woman's ass. man was inspired by his sexual urges to make the heart look like a woman's ass because that is what he worships

RAJU 4 years ago


TOMMY 4 years ago

Here is how i am going to explain why our ancestors, and us, use the heart instead of any order body part as for the symbol of love: It is human nature to relate to thing that we can feel, hear, see, or sense. So when we are in love, and see our lover - we notice that our heart starts racing. Therefore, we related that heart is the cause of love, because we can sense it and feel it...

Mo.atik 4 years ago

heart is pain of love

mukesh 4 years ago

hi i yhink that when we love someone or fell some one that time our hart bit is faster than normal that's by hart connect with love

Ajinkya kurhe 4 years ago

Heart is gift given by god and and it is controled by our mind.thaks for giving info

delfina 3 years ago

nature is the best treasure in general..............


heart 17 months ago

heart pumps to get deoxygenated blood/distribute oxygenated blood to other parts of the body..

no relations to love at all. Heart will continue to pump 2billion of a lifetime times regardless of what you feel.

It should be our brain.

changchang8 profile image

changchang8 9 months ago

Interesting. The history here is fascinating since the actual heart has such little resemblance to the heart symbol. There's some more history on the heart symbol here too: http://heartsymbol.love/history

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