quotes about what love is

120 Timeless Quotes About What Love Is

What is love? This four-letter word can send people into an endless swirl of emotions, from happiness and comfort to pain and sorrow. Whether you’re an incurable romantic, a skeptic or somewhere in between, there are certain things that we all agree on: Love is oh so real. It’s complicated yet simple, intangible yet powerful—so inspiring that possibly the greatest minds have dedicated some of their most profound thoughts as musings about what it really means. To help us discover its depths even deeper and perhaps answer our own questions about this mysterious emotion, we will share 120 timeless quotes about what love truly is!

What Is Love Quotes

Here are the most powerful ‘what is love’ quotes that will make you fall in love all over again.

  • What is love? It’s not empathy, nor kindness. Empathy takes two, the one who hurts and the one who empathizes. Kindness takes two, the one who gives and the one who takes. But love takes just one. The two get together into one. They don’t separate. The “I” and the “you” disappear. I LOVE MEANS I DISAPPEAR.
    ― Nikos Kazantzakis
  • Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. ― Louis de Bernières, Corelli’s Mandolin
  • What is love? Love is when your heart has a raging boner. ― Oliver Markus Malloy
  • Love. What is it truly? Love is a spiritual state, an intangible, often insatiable need to put one’s needs above your own. To provide peace, stability, and smiles to those who have made the long transition from your mind to your heart. ― Bella Vespira
  • Love is the hardest habit to break, and the most difficult to satisfy. — Drew Barrymore
  • Love is missing someone whenever you’re apart, but somehow feeling warm inside because you’re close in heart. — Kai Knudsen
  • What is love? It is the morning and the evening star. — Sinclair Lewis
  • Maybe that’s what love is. Having someone who guides you through different experiences, coaxes you to try new things but still makes you feel safe. ― Wally Lamb
  • Love is when he gives you a piece of your soul that you never knew was missing. — Torquato Tasso
  • Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war, love is a growing up. — James Baldwin
  • It is love, not reason, that is stronger than death. — Thomas Mann
  • Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get—only with what you are expecting to give—which is everything. — Katharine Hepburn
  • Love doesn’t make the world go ’round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile. — P. Jones
  • If I know what love is, it is because of you. — Herman Hesse
  • Love is a two-way street constantly under construction. — Carroll Bryant
  • Love is something sent from heaven to worry the hell out of you. — Dolly Parton
  • Love is energy of life. — Robert Browning
  • Love is all, it gives all, and it takes all. — Soren Kierkegaard
  • Love is like the wind—you can’t see it, but you can feel it. — Nicholas Sparks
  • Love is when the other person’s happiness is more important than your own. — H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
  • Love is always bestowed as a gift – freely, willingly and without expectation. We don’t love to be loved; we love to love. — Leo Buscaglia
  • Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own… Jealousy is a disease, love is a healthy condition. The immature mind often mistakes one for the other, or assumes that the greater the love, the greater the jealousy. — Robert A. Heinlein
  • Love is the greatest refreshment in life. — Pablo Picasso
  • Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place. — Zora Neale Hurston
  • Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. — 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
  • The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more, that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds. And that’s what you’ve given me. That’s what I’d hoped to give you forever. – Nicholas Sparks
  • To love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides. – David Viscott
  • Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand. – Mother Teresa
  • Love is like a tree: it grows by itself, roots itself deeply in our being, and continues to flourish over a heart in ruin. The inexplicable fact is that the blinder it is, the more tenacious it is. It is never stronger than when it is completely unreasonable. – Victor Hugo
  • Love is a decision, it is a judgment, it is a promise. If love were only a feeling, there would be no basis for the promise to love each other forever. A feeling comes, and it may go. How can I judge that it will stay forever when my act does not involve judgment and decision. – Erich Fromm
  • 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, like a river, will cut a new path whenever it meets an obstacle. – Crystal Middlemas
  • One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: that word is love. – Sophocles
  • Love is the voice under all silences, the hope which has no opposite in fear; the strength so strong mere force is feebleness: the truth more first than sun, more last than star. ― e. e. cummings
  • Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being in love which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. ― Saint Augustine
  • You know it’s love when all you want is that person to be happy, even if you’re not part of their happiness. ―
    Julia Roberts
  • Love is a choice you make from moment to moment. ― Barbara De Angelis
  • Love is the ability and willingness to allow those that you care for to be what they choose for themselves without any insistence that they satisfy you. ― Wayne Dyer
  • 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
  • Love is not what the mind thinks, but what the heart feels. ― Greg Evans
  • Love is a force more formidable than any other. It is invisible – it cannot be seen or measured, yet it is powerful enough to transform you in a moment, and offer you more joy than any material possession could. ― Barbara De Angelis
  • Love is an adventure and a conquest. It survives and develops, like the universe itself, only by perpetual discovery. ― Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

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definitions of love quotes

Definitions of Love Quotes

These quotes will inspire you to understand love better, and maybe even find love in your life.

  • Love is not an obsession or a delusion. Love exists in longing and appreciation. ― Debasish Mridha
  • Love is the power of a wise man. It is a net for a lover. It is a tool for a clever man. Love is a song for a singer. ― Debasish Mridha
  • Love is insanity, apparently. ― Corey Ann Haydu
  • Love is inconvenient. Love is untidy. Love is relentless, ruthless, and rapacious. Done well, it’s hilarious, playful, and redemptive. ― Regina Barreca
  • Love is a more powerful force than magic. You can trick the mind and even the heart but never the soul. When a person is not free to love with their soul, that is not love, and that is why a love spell can never truly work. ― Nikki Jefford
  • Love is a state of Being. Your love is not outside; it is deep within you. — Eckhart Tolle
  • Love is like a virus. It can happen to anybody at any time. — Maya Angelou
  • Love is not just looking at each other, it’s looking in the same direction. — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  • Love is an untamed force. When we try to control it, it destroys us. When we try to imprison it, it enslaves us. When we try to understand it, it leaves us feeling lost and confused. Paulo Coelho
  • Love is not about possession. Love is about appreciation. — Osho
  • Love is a game that two can play, and both win. — Eva Gabor
  • Love is the whole thing. We are only pieces. — Rumi
  • Love is the only gold. — Alfred Lord Tennyson
  • Love is a canvas furnished by nature and embroidered by imagination. — Voltaire
  • Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning, a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature, and our love becomes as coals, deep burning and unquenchable. — Bruce Lee
  • Love is the only reality, and it is not a mere sentiment. It is the ultimate truth that lies at the heart of creation. — Rabindranath Tagore
  • Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new. — Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won’t adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is sign on as its accomplice. – Tom Robbins
  • Love is, above all, the gift of oneself. — Jean Anouilh
  • Love is not a feeling of happiness. Love is a willingness to sacrifice. — Michael Novak
  • Love is everything it’s cracked up to be. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. —
    Erica Jong
  • Everyone admits that love is wonderful and necessary, yet no one agrees on just what it is. — Diane Ackerman
  • Love is like Pi: natural, irrational, and very important. — Lisa Hoffman
  • Love is but the discovery of ourselves in others, and the delight in the recognition. — Alexander Smith
  • For true love is inexhaustible; the more you give, the more you have. And if you go to draw at the true fountainhead, the more water you draw, the more abundant is its flow. — Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • Love is a promise; love is a souvenir, once given never forgotten, never let it disappear. – John Lennon
  • Love is not about how many days, months, or years you have been together. It’s all about how much you love each other every day. – Anonymous
  • 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
  • Infinite love is the only truth. Everything else is illusion. – David Icke
  • Love is the best thing in the world and the thing that lives the longest. –  Henry Van Dyke
  • Love is the difficult realization that something other than oneself is real. – Iris Murdoch
  • Love rules the court, the camp, the grove, And men below, and saints above: For love is heaven, and heaven is love. – Walter Scott
  • Ultimately love is everything. – M. Scott Peck
  • Love grows by giving. The love we give away is the only love we keep. The only way to retain love is to give it away. – Elbert Hubbard
  • Love is not love until love’s vulnerable. – Theodore Roethke

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quote about what love is

More Quotes that Express the True Meaning of Love

These meaning of love quotes from famous authors and philosophers will inspire you to reflect on the importance of love in your life and help you to find true happiness.

  • Love, real love, the kind that you fall in, isn’t like Corinthians. The “suffereth long” and “is kind” nonsense. It’s like the Song of Solomon. It’s jealousy and fire and floods. It’s everything that consumes. ― Julie Anne Long
  •  To love means to commit oneself without guarantee, to give oneself completely … Love is an act of faith, and whoever is of little faith is also of little love. — Eric Fromm, On Loving
  • True love does have the power to redeem, but only if we are ready for redemption. Love saves us only if we want to be saved. — Bell Hooks
  • But love has no uttermost, as the stars have no number and the sea no rest. — Eleanor Farjeon
  • True love comes quietly, without banners or flashing lights. If you hear bells, get your ears checked. — Erich Segal
  • True love is like ghosts, which everyone talks about, and few have seen. — François de la Rochefoucauld
  • There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment. — Sarah Dessen, The Truth About Forever
  • Where love rules, there is no will to power; and where power predominates, there love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other. — Carl Jung
  • Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone – we find it with another. —Thomas Merton
  • Love is like war: easy to begin but very hard to stop. — H. L. Mencken
  • Pure love is a willingness to give without a thought of receiving anything in return. — Peace Pilgrim
  • Love is like a beautiful flower which I may not touch, but whose fragrance makes the garden a place of delight just the same.  — Helen Keller
  • Immature love says: ‘I love you because I need you.’ Mature love says, ‘I need you because I love you. – Erich Fromm
  • Love is the answer to everything. It’s the only reason to do anything. If you don’t write stories you love, you’ll never make it. – Ray Bradbury
  • Love is an act of faith. — Erich Fromm
  • There is a madness in loving you, a lack of reason that makes it feel so flawless. — Leo Christopher
  • I finally understood what true love meant…love meant that you care for another person’s happiness more than your own, no matter how painful the choices you face might be. – Nicholas Sparks
  • To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will be wrong and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable. – C.S. Lewis
  • 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
  • Love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward together in the same direction. – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • It takes courage to love, but pain through love is the purifying fire which those who love generously know. We all know people who are so much afraid of pain that they shut themselves up like clams in a shell and, giving out nothing, receive nothing and therefore shrink until life is a mere living death. – Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Love isn’t something you find. Love is something that finds you. – Loretta Young
  • 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
  • Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit. – Peter Ustinov
  • There is no remedy for love but to love more. – Henry David Thoreau
  • Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness. – Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.
  • When your happiness is someone else’s happiness, that is love. – Lana Del Rey
  • 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
  • True love is deemed to be the most tender of our emotions, as even the blind and deaf know; but I know, what few believe, that true friendship is more tender still. – August von Platen-Hallermunde
  • Love is like a beautiful flower which I may not touch, but whose fragrance makes the garden a place of delight just the same.– Helen Keller
  • Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and a richness to life that nothing else can bring. – Oscar Wilde
  • Love is a springtime plant that perfumes everything with its hope, even the ruins to which it clings. – Gustave Flaubert
  • Our first and last love is self-love. – Christian Nestell Bovee
  • Love is the total absence of fear. Love asks no questions. Its natural state is one of extension and expansion, not comparison and measurement. – Gerald Jampolsky


Final Thoughts

As we’ve seen from these spine-tingling quotes, there is no single definition of love – it looks different for everyone. What’s certain is that love is a powerful force that drives us to our highest heights of joy and deepest pits of sorrow. Those who risk opening themselves up to the beauty and terror of it know that sometimes it can be difficult but frequently fulfilling. We can learn to let go and allow ourselves to love fully by being honest about our emotions and allowing people to show their affection in return. Ultimately, what matters most is following your heart as you discover what being ‘in love’ truly means for you. So if you’re feeling uncertain or scared, remember these words: take life by storm—listen carefully, be wise with your decisions, get lost in moments of happiness, and most importantly appreciate every love story you experience, even if it doesn’t end the way you’d like. Let your journey lead you from darkness into light, and courageously follow your heart toward discovering true and lasting love.

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