What to text your Valentine? Borrow the very best love quotes from literature
The right thing to write, depending on the week you're having
Not everyone is blessed with eloquence. But even those that are know the value of a literary bon mot sent, especially in the name of love.
Don't wrack your brain thinking of the perfect thing to say this Valentine's Day. The best writers of all time are miles of ahead you and every foot measured in perfect prose. Dip into literature and send your Valentine the right text, at just the right time.
Here are the ideal Valentine's Day texts to send no matter what season of love you find yourself in this February.
When you're still in those early stages of deep infatuation and are okay with laying it all on the line so your Valentine knows exactly what's up:
"He stepped down, trying not to look long at her, as if she were the sun, yet he saw her, like the sun, even without looking."
— Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
Pro-tip: Follow up with sunglasses emoji, if you need to leverage this with a little humour. Or the wine glass emoji and advise that it be consumed with the strong cheese you just fired their way.
When you've just had the quintessential "you never tell me you love me" fight, but you really do love them:
"If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more."
— Jane Austen, Emma
Pro-tip: Follow up with "P.S. I love you."
If you've got mixed feelings about a recent break up with someone who always managed to annoy the crap out of you:
"Dare I say I miss him? I do. I miss him. I still see him in my dreams. They are nightmares mostly, but nightmares tinged with love. Such is the strangeness of the human heart."
― Yann Martel, Life of Pi
Pro-tip: Only send this one if you want to rekindle that love/hate flame. Actually, maybe just send this one to an understanding pal instead.
If you've just written your Valentine a really crappy love song on guitar and had the foolishness and/or guts to play it for them:
"Every lover is, in his heart, a madman, and, in his head, a minstrel."
— Neil Gaiman, Stardust
Pro-tip: Make sure your Valentine understands that you will never pen another garbage love song for them ever again, unless of course they were into it in which case record your entire love canon in time for next year's V Day.
If your anniversary falls on V Day or you've just recently met at the local coffee shop to have your worlds shifted as you both fell madly, deeply in love:
"When we meet those we fall in love with, there is an aspect of our spirit that is historian, a bit of a pedant who reminisces or remembers a meeting when the other has passed by innocently…"
― Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient
Pro-tip: Send the date, time and place of your very first encounter so they know your inner historian was paying attention.
If you've just parted ways amicably, and you're simply thankful for their love and the time shared, regardless:
"You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I'm grateful."
— John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
Pro-tip: This one is a bit tricky. Best to send it when you're really emotionally ready to and they're emotionally ready to receive it.
For that platonic pal who's been avoiding the world of late by spending most of their days becoming one with their sofa and is probably in need of a tough-love V Day kick in the butt:
"Get drunk, Austin, have a love affair. It would be a tragedy to die and discover that you hadn't completely used up your body."
― Jane Urquhart, The Underpainter
Pro-tip: Follow up with an invitation to go grab a drink - better yet, show up and force your fave sofa slug to shower and then drag them out.
For that Valentine you can always just sit quietly with no matter what (also great for the Valentine that's been hinting aggressively at the fact that you never talk anymore):
"Conversation in its true meaning isn't all wagging the tongue; sometimes it is a deeply shared silence."
― Robertson Davies, The Rebel Angels
Pro-tip: Remind them that a moment of silence with them is an emotional exchange worthy of any dialogue-heavy chinwag sesh.
For a lover who is bummed neither of you had time for that morning quickie:
"Sex is like a drink, it's bad to start brooding about it too early in the day."
― Margaret Atwood, Oryx and Crake
Pro-tip: Make sure it's clear your schedule is open this evening...
If your Valentine has been fighting a cold and is feeling just a little unworthy and gross:
"Every atom of your flesh is as dear to me as my own: in pain and sickness it would still be dear. Your mind is my treasure, and if it were broken, it would be my treasure still…"
—Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
Pro-tip: Follow up with running your little sicky a bath and making them some chicken noodle soup.
For the Valentine that's sad they couldn't afford to take you on a very expensive vacation:
"I don't want sunbursts or marble halls, I just want you."
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of the Island
Pro-tip: Have yourselves a fine staycation, on the sofa or on the town.
For any moms or dads wanting to send a little V Day text to their cherished cubs who've just left home for the first time:
"I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living,
my baby you'll be."
― Robert Munsch, Love You Forever
Pro-tip: You're fine. Continue being an adorable parent.
For the Valentine you just made out with until your lips were chapped, and you want to do it again:
"The conversation of kisses. Subtle, engrossing, fearless, transforming."
― Alice Munro, Runaway
Pro-tip: Make it clear you still feel the need to "practice" because you're a perfectionist.
For the Valentine couple who just moved in together but still can't manage to get enough of each other:
"He never wanted to be away from her. She had the spark of life."
― Alice Munro, The Bear Came Over the Mountain
Pro tip: Send it from the kitchen when they're in the dining room.
For that Valentine you know you simply can't be with anymore, lest you both go quite mad (can be sent playfully steeped in irony, of course):
"Flirting with madness was one thing; when madness started flirting back, it was time to call the whole thing off."
— Rohinton Mistry, A Fine Balance
Pro-tip: Make sure you know whether or not you're sending this in irony or quite literally. Make sure they know too.
For you and the Valentine who are in it for life, no matter what, even though it's been really, really challenging lately:
"I wish I knew how to quit you."
― Annie Proulx, Brokeback Mountain
Pro-tip: Follow it up with "but I likely wouldn't, even if I did"...
For the Valentine that makes you want to up your game and be a better human (or when you know you've royally effed up recently):
"All I want is to deserve you. Tell me what to do. Show me how to behave. I'll do anything you say."
― Choderlos de Laclos, Dangerous Liaisons
Pro-tip: Depending on where you are in your conflict, a straight forward "I'm sorry" may serve here as well.
The ultimate Valentine's day text for the serious couple that are ready to take it down the aisle:
"Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be."
― Robert Browning, Rabbi Ben Ezra
Pro tip: When they look up from their phone, you'd better be on one knee with a ring box in your hand.