It is often said that the Greeks had three different words for three kinds of love. But no matter what type of love we happen to be talking about, love is a powerful force. It is the thing that launched 1,000 ships on to destroy Troy, the thing that motivates a man to defend his homeland in battle or to develop innovative technologies and ideas.

But while we often talk about love, we rarely stop to think about what we mean when we use the word. And while the people in the quotes below might talk about love differently, none of the truths they observe about love are mutually exclusive. So what we are left with is a multi-faceted view of love, with each quote enriching our understanding of love.

Arguably, the most important love is the love one has for oneself. There is precious little that one can fully achieve in life without a love of the self, the very bedrock of love for others, of love for one’s community and one’s fellow man.

Understanding the nature of love will help one to better practice love as an act in their lives. It is in this spirit that we present the following quotes from some of the great minds of human history about what love is, why it is important and how one can demonstrate it.

Quotes About Love, Its Power, and the Importance of Platonic Love

Love Quotes (0)“Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold.”

– Zelda Fitzgerald

Love Quotes (1)“Love yourself first and everything falls into line.”

– Lucille Ball

Love Quotes (2)“The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.”

– Victor Hugo

Love Quotes (3)“Love without sacrifice is theft (Procrustes). This applies to any form of love, particularly the love of God.”

– Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Skin in the Game

Love Quotes (4)“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

– Martin Luther King Jr., Strength to Love

Love Quotes (5)“The love problem is part of mankind’s heavy toll of suffering, and nobody should be ashamed of having to pay his or her tribute.”

– Carl Jung

Love Quotes (6)“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”

– Elbert Hubbard

Love Quotes (7)“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”

– Lao Tzu

Love Quotes (8)“We are never so defenseless against suffering as when we love.”

– Sigmund Freud

Love Quotes (9)“When you love someone, you love the person as they are, and not as you’d like them to be.”

– Leo Tolstoy, Fruits of Culture

Love Quotes (10)“They do not love, that do not show their love.”

– William Shakespeare, The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Love Quotes (11)“Whose love did you crave most? What did you feel like you had to do or be to get it?”

– Tony Robbins

Love Quotes (12)“Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.”

– Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

“The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, not the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Love Quotes (13)“Be worthy love, and love will come.”

– Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

Quotes About Romantic Love

Love Quotes (14)“Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back. Those who wish to sing always find a song. At the touch of a lover, everyone becomes a poet.”

– Plato

Love Quotes (15)“The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.”

– Blaise Pascal

Love Quotes (16)“We are all fools in love.”

– Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Love Quotes (17)“Marriage is a young man’s disaster and an old man’s comfort.”

– Robert Heinlein

“Love has something to do with recognition, We can be fascinated by the unknown, we can be attracted by it, but love is something that grows, slowly, in an atmosphere of trust.”

– Peter Høeg, The Quiet Girl

“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,

I love you directly without problems or pride:

I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to love,

except in this form in which I am not nor are you,

so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,

so close that your eyes close with my dreams.”

– Pablo Neruda

Love Quotes (18)“Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.”

– Aristotle

Love Quotes (19)“It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.”

– Friedrich Nietzsche

Love Quotes (20)“Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary.”

– Oscar Wilde

Love Quotes (21)“To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.”

– Mark Twain