A fine romance indeed: Great minds on why love isn't always grand
Quotes from times when authors, actors, scientists and more took their rose-coloured glasses off
If you're not a romantic at heart, this time of year can be a slog of overly positive ads and messaging. If you're single, it can feel like you're missing out. But whether you're consciously uncoupled or just a cynic, you're not alone. In fact, throughout history many famous words have been written about the downsides of love — the struggle, the loneliness, and the irrationality of it all. Here are some thoughts to help you stay sane.
Authors, poets, essayists
"Romantic Love is only an Illusion. A story one makes up in One's Mind about Another Person
- Virginia Woolf
"When one is in love, one always begins by deceiving one's self, and one always ends by deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance."
- Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
"Love is only the dirty trick played on us to achieve continuation of the species."
"If you are afraid of solitude then don't get married!"
- Anton Chekhov
"…she'll go and fall in love, and there's an end of peace and fun, and cozy times together."
- Louisa May Alcott
If you are not enough for yourself
You will never be enough
For someone else
- Rupi Kaur
"Along with the idea of romantic love, she was introduced to another — physical beauty. Probably the most destructive ideas in the history of human thought. Both originated in envy, thrived in insecurity, and ended in disillusion."
- Toni Morrison
you fit into me
like a hook into an eye
a fish hook
an open eye
- Margaret Atwood
"If you want to sacrifice the admiration of many men for the criticism of one, go ahead, get married."
"Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your hearth or burn down your house, you can never tell."
"Marriage is a great institution, but I'm not ready for an institution."
- Mae West
Scientists, philosophers, thinkers
"Love is a grave mental disease."
"A scientific man ought to have no wishes, no affections — a mere heart of stone."
- Charles Darwin
"Independence I have long considered as the grand blessing of life, the basis of every virtue; and independence I will ever secure by contracting my wants, though I were to live on a barren heath."
- Mary Wollstonecraft
"We are all more intelligent than we are capable, and awareness of the insanity of love has never saved anyone from the disease."
- Alain De Botton
"Believe me, there is no such thing as great suffering, great regret, great memory…Everything is forgotten, even great love."
- Albert Camus
Eva Voinigescu is a freelance journalist and producer. She writes about health and science, careers, and culture.