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Quotations about love and marriage

Updated on August 7, 2015
Colleen Swan profile image

A lover of the written word Colleen has a Master's degree in English literature and enjoys finding unique and poignant quotes

The charm displays itself

Quote by LA Rochefoucauld
Quote by LA Rochefoucauld | Source

Poignant extracts

From the book; Why My Third Husband will be a Dog by Lisa Scottoline:

“My advice to you is to find the love in your life, because it’s all around you, and if you can't find it, make it yourself. … Adopt a dog and love it. Buy it a pretty collar and walk it around the block. A cat works too; cats like pretty colors, even though they're too proud to say so. The thing about love is that we can't control whether we get it, but we can control whether we give it. Your heart doesn't know whether it loves a man, a TV show or a guppy. … All your heart knows is that it is full and happy, and you will feel alive and human.”

This is an enigmatic extract from the Fables of Fontaine, translated by Sir Edward Marsh:

In love all things are a mystery. His arrows, quiver, torch, and his childish age: not in a day will any sage the secrets of his love descry; nor to expound the whole will I essay, but only tell in my own way.

Michael Hutchison quoted by Katy Hutchinson in her book: Walking after Midnight:

A gentle zephyr caresses every strand that is the fabric of my soul. Painlessly it pierces my heart reaching to the core of my being igniting a flame that envelopes me not scorching not consuming bringing passion to every cell that is me. It is the tenderest of death, awakening me to life giving me reason to be a man. It is your smile.

The past and the regrets

Braydon Muggeridge
Braydon Muggeridge | Source

From the book: Anything Goes: a Biography of the Roaring Twenties:

I do not believe in marriage; it is not for me. I am selfish. No, not selfish; for I have sacrificed everything for love. I am independent-freedom comes before anything. I am a gypsy.

Voicing her joy in her love for poet Harry Crosby, Polly, dubbed by him “Caress” Peabody wrote: Once one has known rapture, security is not enough.

In the beginning the flame amore burns brightly

Corneille | Source

From the book: A Terrible Liar by Hume Cronyn:

Stage and screen stars Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy sustained a long marriage, ended by the death of Ms. Tandy. During their courting days, Cronyn asked a great deal about Ms. Tandy’s previous romances and relationships. One evening, enjoying a walk, during which his queries persisted, Ms. Tandy stopped almost in mid-step to tell him, in essence:

“Whoever I am or will be has been molded, in part, to some degree, by every relationship I have had. Now that we are together, I am happy to be committed to you, but only on the basis that these questions stop straightaway and forever.” Cronyn did as she asked, and their marriage seems to have been a delightful sharing of passion on both a personal and emotional level.

Christine Marlowe wrote:

“What changes will come about us as we grow older? The only example I know of is that of my father; he changed with age and my mother grew to dislike him. Although anxiety gnaws me; I fear I must throw it all to chance, in hope that we learn to love each other’s changes and cherish what once was.”

David Pike Watts in a letter to his nephew artist John Constable:

A Cure for Love: Take a grain of sense, half a grain of prudence, a dram of understanding, one ounce of patience, a pound of resolution, and a handful of dislike, intermix them and fold them in the alembic of your brain for twenty-four hours.

The joining of Kate and William

Wedding day, Kate and William
Wedding day, Kate and William | Source

Relationship advice

Ernest Locke wrote:

Royal weddings often result in splendid affairs.

The Islamic leader Muhammad advised his followers regarding marriage:

Do not look for wealth or beauty, as these will last only a short time, and then you will be left with nothing. Look for piety and faith, and you will get everything, including beauty and wealth with it.

Gideon Bandon wrote:

A woman who feels the need to start a family will, nearly always find some way of so-doing. Thus, if a man with whom she has been intimate for some while creates a series of pretext for delays, the woman is likely to move onto someone she cherishes less, but who is eager to marry or, at any rate, form a lasting union with her, encompassing children. This is logical in evolutionary terms, in that nature impels every species to self-perpetuate.

Adore each others differences

Paul Geraldy
Paul Geraldy | Source

Edna St Vincent Millay

In her most private diary, she wrote of her final husband who had become her shield against the encroaching realm of reality: “Things I must do for Eugene if I truly love him: speak in a voice with no hint of pain.”

Once established as a poet in demand, she compared publishers vying for her work with suitors competing for her affection: she said: “Although I reject their proposals, I enjoy their advances.”

From the book: Cleopatra’s Nose by Judith Thurman: Poet Edna St. Vincent Millay once declared, “I could never have married the kind of person with whom I would have had to settle down. My husband is responsive to my every mood. That’s the only way I can live and be what I am.”

Bridal disappointment

Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde | Source

Oscar Wilde

When one is in love one begins by deceiving one’s self, and one, ends by deceiving others.

A man can be happy with any woman, as long as he does not love her.

Each man kills the thing he loves, be each let this be heard; some do it with a bitter look and some a flattering word. The coward does it with a kiss, and the brave man with a sword.

The only difference between a caprice and a lifelong passion is that the caprice last a little longer.

Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Before we passionately desire anything which another enjoys, we should examine as to the happiness of its possessor.

All the passions make us commit faults; love makes us commit the most ridiculous ones.

There are two sorts of constancy in love; the one comes from the constant discovery in our beloved of new grounds for love, and the other comes from making it a point of honor to be constant.

True love is like ghosts, which everybody talks about and few have seen.

When we are in love we often doubt that which we most believe.

What could have been; is locked forever in our dreams

Marylyn Covina
Marylyn Covina | Source

The enigmatic

All passions that suffer themselves to be relished and digested are but moderate. Montaigne

Death is a challenge. It tells us not to waste time. It tells us to tell each other right now that we love each other. Leo F. Buscaglia

To write a good love letter, you ought to begin without knowing what you mean to say, and to finish without knowing what you have written. Rousseau

Half our standards come from our first masters, and the other half from our first loves. Santayana

We are ordinarily so indifferent to people that when we have invested one of them with the possibility of giving us joy or suffering, it seems as if he must belong to some other universe. Marcel Proust

Love is the admiration and the cherishing of the amiable qualities of the beloved person, upon the condition of you being the object of their action. Samuel Taylor Coleridge

A life without love and without the pressure of the beloved is nothing but a mere lantern show. We draw out slide after slide swiftly tiring of each and pushing it back to make haste for the next. Goethe

Where love finds the soul he neglects the body and only turns to it in idleness as to an afterthought. Its best allurements are the nuts and figs of the repast. Walter Savage Landor

A benevolent man extends his love from those that he loves to those he does not love. A ruthless man extends his ruthlessness from those he does not love to those he loves. Anon

Often the thing we pursue most passionately is but a substitute for the one thing we really want and cannot have. Eric Hoffer

We might ask ourselves when we say I love you whether we mean the person is worthy of being loved or we ourselves have a loving nature. Anon

Additional values

Elizabeth Bowen
Elizabeth Bowen | Source

Measuring adoration

When love comes so strong, there is no right or wrong; your love is your love. Lyric: West Side Story

He does not love me for my birth, nor for the lands so broad and fair, he loves me for my own true worth. Alfred Lord Tennyson

Few people have ever seriously wished to be exclusively rational. The good life which most desire is a life warmed by passions and touched with the ceremonial grace which is impossible without some affectionate loyalty to traditional forms and ceremonies. Joseph Wood Krutch

No one can achieve serenity until the glare of passion is past the meridian. Cyril Connolly

In love quarrels, a man goes off on stilts and comes back on his knees. Source: Nathaniel Hawthorne

The absolute value of love makes life worthwhile, and so makes man’s strange and difficult situation acceptable. Arnold Toynbee

A mighty pain to love it is, but of all the pains the greatest pain is to love, but love in vain. Abraham Cowley

Surely there is more to the hand of love; it reaches through generations and attaches itself to every touch and every shared object. Suzanne Eliot

We should measure affection, not like youngsters by the ardor of its passion, but by its strength and constancy. Cicero

The tie of matrimony endures all wrongs and insults

William Dean Howells
William Dean Howells | Source

Unhappy with the larger existence

A Life by Elia Kazan:

Long-time womanizer Elia Kazan, having been constantly unfaithful to his first wife, continued his philandering during his second marriage. Consequently, his second wife soon came to detest him, despite the fact of her having been one of his primary mistresses during his first marriage. Still, he did not divorce his second wife. Instead, he used their marriage, long over in all but name, as a pretext for failing to become constrained by later involvements.

Theodore Dreiser by Richard Lingeman:

In case a man has married a woman in one state or plane of his life and finds at forty or fifty that he has risen above that state, supposing the woman that he married at twenty no longer represents the spirit or interests of his larger existence, that she is neither beautiful nor intellectual, has not kept pace with him in his upward progress, what does that man owe that woman?

I, Tina by Tina Turner:

In this 1987 memoir, she recounts that, during her marriage to singer Ike Turner, she was always treated as his subordinate. One manifestation of this consisted of his behavior during their frequent flights to various concert venues. Booking three seats, Turner would lie with his head in the lap of one female employee, his torso in the middle seat, and his feet on his wife’s lap. Thus, during every flight, Tina’s lap served as Ike’s foot rest. Finally, to his surprise, she refused. This rebellion sparked her escape from what she had, for some time, viewed as a degrading union.

Nora by Brenda Maddox:

One late afternoon, Nora Joyce, wife of writer James Joyce, groused to a guest that Joyce had not spoken one word to her during the entire day. In his own defense, Joyce retorted, “What can I say to a woman I've been married to for more than 30 years?”

Percy Shelley wrote:

A system could not well have been devised more studiously hostile to human happiness than marriage.

Intelligent and humorous

One woman boasted every man proposes to me the second he meets me, to which another lady retorted yes, but what does he propose. Pope Brock

My mother always used to say the secret of a good marriage is where the wife is slightly more intelligent than the man, but the man doesn't realize it. Charles Collingwood

A woman who marries a man who cheats on his wife has married a man who cheats on his wife. Anonymous

Before going to war say one prayer, before going to sea say two prayers, before getting married say three. Anonymous

Maybe the difference between first marriage and second marriage is that the second time at least you know you are gambling. Elizabeth Gilbert

When the divorced man marries a divorced woman there are four minds in the bed. Terence Bolt

All weddings, except those with shotguns in evidence, are wonderful. Liz Smith

The selfish side of those beloved

Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own. Robert A Heinlein

As selfishness and complaint pervert and cloud the mind; so love with its joy clears and sharpens the vision. Helen Keller

Love has features which pierce all hearts, he wears a bandage which conceals the faults of those beloved. He has wings, he come quickly and flies away the same. Voltaire

Unrequited: We forever hope

In love, unlike most other passions, the recollection of what you have had and lost is always better than what you can hope for in the future. Stendhal

Love is never lost. If not reciprocated, it will flow back and soften and purify the heart. Washington Irving

She had never loved him, she had only loved the way he loved her. Myra Sims

When your face appeared over my crumpled life, at first I understood only the poverty of what I had. Then, its particular light on woods, on river, on the sea, became my beginning and the color of world. Yevtushenko

The angel is fantasy and truth

Jorge Luis Borges
Jorge Luis Borges | Source

My angel

Wesley changed my life. He was my teacher, my companion, my child, my playmate, my reminder of God. Sometimes I actually wondered if he was an angel who had been sent to live with me to help me through the alone times ... My last prayer is that we will be reunited in the after-life, that he is with God now, and that God is taking care of him. source: Wesley the owl: the remarkable love story of an owl and his girl by Stacey O'Brien.

Which of these is the most important characteristic you look for in a partner?

See results


Famous one liners

  • Love sought is good, but given unsought is better. Shakespeare
  • Can one desire too much of a good thing. Shakespeare
  • If you’d be loved, be worthy to be loved. Ovid
  • The fragrance always remains in the hand that gives the rose. Heda Bejar
  • Give all to love; obey thy heart. Emerson
  • To love another person is to see the face of God. Victor Hugo
  • To love is to listen; to listen is to love. Joanne Hull
  • Make us, not fly to dreams, but moderate desire. Matthew Arnold
  • I Love, I Lose, I Weep, I Love Again. Carol E Branting
  • When I'm not near the girl I love, I love the girl I’m near. Finian’s rainbow
  • Be of love, a little, more careful than of everything. E.E Cummings
  • We may give without loving, but we cannot love without giving. Bernard Meltzer
  • The process of love to marriage is like wine to vinegar. Byron
  • The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost. G.K. Chesterton
  • A man in a passion rides a horse that runs away with him. Thomas Fuller

I hope you enjoyed these quotes and extracts.

© 2013 Colleen Swan


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    • CrisSp profile image


      6 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Such delightful read!

      My favorite part: "As selfishness and complaint pervert and cloud the mind; so love with its joy clears and sharpens the vision."- Helen Keller

      Voting up, pinning and sharing!

    • Colleen Swan profile imageAUTHOR

      Colleen Swan 

      6 years ago from County Durham

      Thank you for the up and share, happy you enjoyed these.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 

      6 years ago from Texas

      Michael Hutchison quoted by Katy Hutchison: Walking after Midnight:

      This one touched my heart and soul. At first I thought it was going to be the song, by the late Patsy Cline, which I have always loved.

      Voted up, U/A/B/I, and shared.

    • Thomas Swan profile image

      Thomas Swan 

      6 years ago from New Zealand

      A very beautiful and meaningful set of quotes. I especially liked the "terrible liar" and the enigmatic quotes.


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