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 quote on love


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

– Zelda Fitzgerald


Lucille Ball quote on love


“Love yourself first and everything falls into line.”

– Lucille Ball


Victor Hugo quote on love


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

– Victor Hugo


Nassim Taleb quote on love


“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


MLK Jr. quote on love


“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


Carl Jung quote on love


“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


Elbert Hubbard quote on love


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

– Elbert Hubbard


Lao Tzu quote on love


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

– Lao Tzu


Sigmund Freud quote on love


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

– Sigmund Freud


Leo Tolstoy quote on love


“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


W. Shakespeare quote on love


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

– William Shakespeare, The Two Gentlemen of Verona


Tony Robbins quote on love


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

– Tony Robbins


Robert Heinlein quote on love


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

– Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land


Ralph Waldo Emerson quote on love


“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


Louisa Alcott quote on love


“Be worthy love, and love will come.”

– Louisa May Alcott, Little Women


Elbert Hubbard quote on love


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

Elbert Hubbard