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

Zelda Fitzgerald

“Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold.”

– Zelda Fitzgerald

Zelda Fitzgerald on Love Quotes

Zelda Fitzgerald’s quote speaks to the profound depth of human emotion and the limitless capacity of the heart to experience love, pain, and everything in between. It suggests that the full extent of emotional capacity is immeasurable, transcending even the poetic imagination. The quote captures the ineffable nature of the human heart, highlighting its ability to hold vast and complex feelings beyond quantification.


Lucille Ball

“Love yourself first and everything falls into line.”

– Lucille Ball

Lucille Ball on Love Quotes

Lucille Ball’s quote emphasizes the importance of self-love as the foundation for a fulfilling life. It suggests that when individuals prioritize self-care and self-acceptance, they naturally align with the flow of life, experiencing greater harmony and satisfaction in their relationships and endeavors. This quote underscores the idea that cultivating a positive relationship with oneself is essential for overall well-being and success.


Victor Hugo

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

– Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo on Love Quotes

Victor Hugo’s quote encapsulates the profound joy found in feeling genuinely loved and accepted, highlighting that true happiness stems from being cherished for who we are, flaws and all. It suggests that the purest form of love is unconditional, transcending any shortcomings or imperfections. This sentiment underscores the transformative power of love to uplift and enrich one’s life, providing a deep sense of fulfillment and contentment.


Nassim Nicholas Taleb

“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

Nassim Nicholas Taleb on Love Quotes

In this quote, Nassim Nicholas Taleb draws upon the ancient Greek myth of Procrustes to convey the idea that genuine love necessitates sacrifice. By referencing Procrustes, who forced travelers to fit his bed by stretching or cutting off their limbs, Taleb suggests that love devoid of sacrifice is akin to theft or coercion. He extends this notion to all forms of love, including the love of God, implying that true love entails a willingness to give of oneself for the sake of others or for a higher purpose.


Martin Luther King Jr.

“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

Martin Luther King Jr. on Love Quotes

In this poignant quote, Martin Luther King Jr. eloquently conveys the transformative power of light and love. He suggests that darkness and hate cannot be overcome by more darkness and hate but rather by their opposites—light and love. Through this message, King emphasizes the importance of responding to adversity with compassion and understanding, highlighting the profound impact that love can have in dispelling darkness and fostering harmony.


Carl Jung

“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

Carl Jung on Love Quotes

The love conundrum is an integral fragment of the collective suffering endured by humanity, an intrinsic element of our existence. Each individual’s journey in navigating the intricacies of love constitutes a tribute demanded by the human condition itself. There is no cause for shame in grappling with its profound complexities; rather, it signifies a courageous engagement with the fundamental aspects of being human.


Elbert Hubbard

“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”

– Elbert Hubbard

Elbert Hubbard on Love Quotes

This quote by Elbert Hubbard encapsulates the essence of true friendship. It implies that a genuine friend is someone who is intimately familiar with all aspects of your personality, including your strengths, weaknesses, and idiosyncrasies. Despite being aware of your flaws and imperfections, they continue to accept and love you unconditionally. This description emphasizes the profound bond of trust, understanding, and unconditional acceptance that characterizes authentic friendship.


Lao Tzu

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”

– Lao Tzu

Love Quotes on Love Quotes

Lao Tzu’s quote beautifully articulates the reciprocal nature of love and its transformative power. It suggests that being the recipient of deep love provides inner strength, a sense of resilience, and fortitude to face life’s challenges. Simultaneously, loving someone profoundly requires courage, as it demands vulnerability, openness, and the willingness to invest emotionally without guarantees of reciprocation. This description highlights the dynamic interplay between love, strength, and courage, illustrating how love has the capacity to empower and embolden individuals in both giving and receiving.


Sigmund Freud

“We are never so defenseless against suffering as when we love.”

– Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud on Love Quotes

Sigmund Freud’s quote delves into the inherent vulnerability that accompanies the experience of love. It suggests that when we open ourselves to love, we expose ourselves to the potential for profound suffering. Love makes us susceptible to emotional pain because it involves investing our feelings and trust in another person, leaving us defenseless against the potential for disappointment, rejection, or loss. This description highlights the paradoxical nature of love, which brings immense joy and fulfillment but also leaves us vulnerable to the depths of suffering.


Leo Tolstoy

“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

Leo Tolstoy on Love Quotes

Leo Tolstoy’s quote encapsulates a fundamental aspect of genuine love – acceptance. It suggests that true love entails embracing the individuality of the person you care for, without seeking to mold them into your own idealized image. Loving someone means appreciating their unique qualities, quirks, and imperfections, rather than projecting your desires or expectations onto them. This description underscores the importance of unconditional acceptance and respect in relationships, emphasizing the beauty of loving someone for who they authentically are.


William Shakespeare

“They do not love, that do not show their love.”

– William Shakespeare, The Two Gentlemen of Verona

William Shakespeare on Love Quotes

In this quote from William Shakespeare’s “The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” the playwright highlights the notion that genuine love is expressed through actions rather than mere words. Shakespeare suggests that true affection is demonstrated through tangible gestures, deeds, and expressions of care and devotion. Those who claim to love but fail to demonstrate it through their actions are, in essence, not truly loving at all. This description underscores the importance of authenticity and sincerity in expressing love, emphasizing the belief that love is inherently tied to observable demonstrations of affection and concern.


Tony Robbins

“Whose love did you crave most? What did you feel like you had to do or be to get it?”

– Tony Robbins

Tony Robbins on Love Quotes

Tony Robbins’ quote prompts introspection into the dynamics of love and validation in our lives. It encourages individuals to reflect on whose affection or approval they have yearned for the most and the lengths they have gone to in order to attain it. This inquiry delves into the deeper layers of personal identity and self-worth, inviting exploration of the roles we may have assumed or the sacrifices we may have made in pursuit of validation or acceptance from others. By examining these dynamics, individuals can gain insight into their relationships, motivations, and the underlying drivers of their behavior.


Robert A. Heinlein

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

– Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

Robert A. Heinlein on Love Quotes

In this profound statement from Robert A. Heinlein’s “Stranger in a Strange Land,” love is depicted as a state where the well-being and happiness of another individual are inseparable from one’s own sense of fulfillment. It suggests a selfless and empathetic connection where the happiness and welfare of the beloved become paramount. This description highlights the transformative power of love, emphasizing its capacity to transcend selfish desires and foster a deep, reciprocal bond based on mutual care and concern. Ultimately, it underscores the idea that true love involves a profound interdependence and a genuine desire for the happiness and flourishing of the other person.


Ralph Waldo Emerson

“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

Ralph Waldo Emerson on Love Quotes

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quote beautifully captures the essence of true friendship beyond surface-level interactions. It suggests that the true essence of friendship lies not in external gestures or shared moments of joy, but in the profound spiritual connection that arises when someone believes in you and entrusts you with their friendship. This spiritual inspiration emanates from the mutual trust, support, and belief in each other’s character and potential. It emphasizes the transformative power of friendship, which uplifts and motivates individuals to be their best selves. This description highlights the depth and significance of genuine friendship, rooted in mutual respect, understanding, and unwavering belief in each other.


Louisa May Alcott

“Be worthy love, and love will come.”

– Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

Louisa May Alcott on Love Quotes

In this concise yet profound statement from Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women,” the author encapsulates the essence of attracting genuine love. The quote suggests that the key to experiencing love lies in being deserving of it. By embodying qualities such as kindness, honesty, and integrity, one becomes worthy of receiving love from others. This description emphasizes the idea that love is not merely a matter of chance or luck, but rather a reflection of the character and actions of the individual. It underscores the importance of self-improvement and cultivating qualities that foster meaningful connections with others. Ultimately, it suggests that by embodying love in our thoughts, words, and deeds, we create the conditions for love to manifest in our lives.


Lao Tzu

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”

Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu on Love Quotes

In Lao Tzu’s insightful words, we find a profound revelation about the dual nature of love. To be deeply loved by someone serves as a source of inner strength, providing a steadfast anchor amidst life’s storms. This love becomes a sanctuary, offering solace and resilience in times of need. Conversely, loving someone deeply demands courage – it requires vulnerability, the willingness to risk one’s heart, and the acceptance of uncertainty. Despite the potential for pain, this act of courage fosters growth, connection, and profound intimacy. Thus, Lao Tzu’s reflection illuminates the reciprocal relationship between love, strength, and courage, reminding us of the transformative power inherent in both giving and receiving love.


Helen Keller

“What we once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes a part of us.”

Helen Keller

Helen Keller on Love Quotes

Helen Keller’s poignant quote reflects on the enduring nature of love and its profound impact on our lives. It suggests that the love we experience leaves an indelible mark on our hearts and souls, becoming an intrinsic part of who we are. Even if circumstances change and we are separated from the objects of our affection, the essence of that love remains within us, shaping our thoughts, memories, and identities.

This quote speaks to the timeless and transcendent quality of deep love, highlighting how it transcends physical presence and persists beyond the bounds of time and space. It implies that the cherished memories, feelings, and connections forged through love continue to resonate within us, providing comfort, strength, and solace throughout our lives.

In essence, Helen Keller’s words remind us that love is eternal and immutable – a profound force that enriches and sustains us, even in the face of loss or change.