We are not saps—at least we don't think we are. And yet, sometimes, when the mood strikes, we can't help but look to our literary forefathers (and mothers) for tangible wisdom on that most intangible of things. Below, we've shared some of our favorite quotes on love, relationships and the pursuit of shared happiness. When you can't find the words, we think these will more than suffice.
"We are all fools in love." —Jane Austen, Pride & Prejudice
"Make sure you marry someone who laughs at the same things you do." —J.D. Salinger, "A Girl I Knew"
"This is what happened in love. One of you cried a lot and then both of you grew sarcastic." —Lorrie Moore, Like Life
"Life is not a harvest. Just because you have an apple doesn’t mean you have an orchard. You have an apple. Put a fence around it. Once you have put a fence around everything you value, then you have the total circle of your heart." —Sheila Heti, How Should a Person Be?
"Love loves to love love." —James Joyce, Ulysses
"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, "In Search of a Majority"
"Love must wait; it must break one's bones." —James Salter, Light Years
"Happiness quite unshared can scarcely be called happiness; it has no taste." —Charlotte Brontë
"And now you are and I am and we're a mystery which will never happen again." —E.E. Cummings
"I am not going to be so American as to say that all love demands some sacrifice. It doesn't. But I think that love will be truer and more permanent in which self-sacrifice has been extracted." —Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier
"Then I met Linda and the sun rose. I can't find a better way to express it. The sun rose in my life. At first, as dawn breaking on the horizon, almost as if to say, this is where you have to look. Then came the first rays of sunshine, everything became clearer, lighter, more alive, and I became happier and happier, and then it hung in the sky of my life and shone and shone and shone." —Karl Ove Knausgård, My Struggle: 2
"When there is no love, not only the life of the people becomes sterile but the life of cities." —Elena Ferrante, My Brilliant Friend