114 Timeless True Love Quotes To Remind You What Really Matters In Life

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True love quotes are great for keeping things fresh. That's why when my partner travels for business, I always write a little love note and tuck it into his suitcase for him to discover as he unpacks. I want to remind him how much I love him even when we’re apart.

I do my best to write from the heart, but sometimes I find myself needing a little help finding exactly the right words to express the myriad of emotions I feel about him and our life together: love, lust, gratitude, grace, vulnerability, friendship, and so on.

In such moments, I turn to the best experts on love — poets, philosophers, authors, therapists, and a variety of wise pop culture idols — and sift through the most inspirational true love quotes I can find.

Once, when my partner went on a two-week trip overseas, I copied dozens of inspiring love quotes onto index cards and tucked them in various places between his underwear, dress shirts, and slacks. Thousands of miles away from home, each time he found one, it connected us in that magical way lovers sometimes need to help them manage the pain of separation.

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I'm guessing that you are a lot like me: you sometimes want to remind the one you love, as well as yourself, that true love is worth the struggle and delight, the pain and the pleasure. Because no matter the political climate, time period, or place, a favorite topic for rumination is love, so much so that many believe it's the most meaningful aspect of life.

When I went in search for some of my favorite quotes about love and life recently, I discovered that similar threads of thought written about by sources ranging from ancient Greek philosophers to modern-day icons aligned with each other.

From Plato to Dolly Parton, Mr. Rogers to Rumi, Julia Child to John O'Donohue — lovers of love agree: true love is fabulous, and it's worth the struggle.

If you desire to experience the full gamut of the human experience, allowing yourself to love demands that you allow yourself to be vulnerable. In order to love fully, you must lean into the grace and accept others for who they are. And, perhaps most importantly, in order to love, the biggest requirement is that you must love yourself as well.

110 Most Meaningful True Love Quotes Of All Time

1. "Better to put your heart on the line, risk everything, and walk away with nothing than play it safe. Love is a lot of things, but 'safe' isn’t one of them." ― Mandy Hale

2. “A true relationship is with someone who accepts your past, supports your present, and encourages your future." — Michelle Yeoh

3. “True love is like ghosts, which everyone talks about and few have seen.” — François de La Rochefoucauld

4. "We don't fall in love with people because they're good people. We fall in love with people whose darkness we recognize. You can fall in love with a person for all of the right reasons, but that kind of love can still fall apart. But when you fall in love with a person because your monsters have found a home in them ― that's the kind of love that owns your skin and bones. Love, I am convinced, is found in the darkness. It is the candle in the night." ― C. Joybell C.

5. “You’re not looking for perfection in your partner. Perfection is all about the ego. With soulmate love, you know that true love is what happens when disappointment sets in – and you’re willing to deal maturely with these disappointments.” — Karen Salmansohn

6. “True love stories never have endings.” – Richard Bach

7. "I think careful cooking is love, don't you? The loveliest thing you can cook for someone who's close to you is about as nice a Valentine as you can give." ― Julia Child

8. “Real love means loving-kindness and compassion, the kind of love that does not have any conditions.” — Nhat Hanh

9. “We simply can’t abandon ship every time we encounter a storm in our marriage. Real love is about weathering the storms of life together.” — Seth Adam Smith

10. "To me, obligation is not love. Letting someone be open, honest, and free — that's love. It's got to come natural and it's got to be real." — Dolly Parton

11. "The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise, we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them." ― Thomas Merton

12. “True love is choosing the many things a person did right rather than the one thing he did wrong. True love does not keep the record of wrongs.”

13.  “If he can’t handle you at your worst then he does not deserve you at your best. Real love means seeing beyond the words spoken out of pain, and instead seeing a person’s soul.” — Shannon L. Alder

14. "Love is a canvas furnished by nature and embroidered by imagination." ― Voltaire

15. “Love is a two-way street constantly under construction.” — Carroll Bryant

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16. “True love is usually the most inconvenient kind.” — Kiera Cass

17. "When we know love matters more than anything, and we know that nothing else really matters, we move into the state of surrender. Surrender does not diminish our power, it enhances it." ― Sara Paddison

 

18. “True love comes quietly, without banners or flashing lights. If you hear bells, get your ears checked.” — Erich Segal

19. “I saw that you were perfect, and so I loved you. Then I saw that you were not perfect and I loved you even more.” — Angelita Lim

20. "You know quite well, deep within you, that there is only a single magic, a single power, a single salvation... and that is called loving. Well then, love your suffering. Do not resist it, do not flee from it. It is only your aversion to it that hurts, nothing else." ― Hermann Hesse

 

21. “Real love is accepting other people the way they are without trying to change them.” — Don Miguel Ruiz

 

22. “I don't need the whole world to love me. I just need one person. You know this person well: it's you!”

23. "You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves." ― Mary Oliver

24. “And in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make.” — Paul McCartney

25. “Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand.” — Mother Teresa

26. "My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return." ― Maya Angelou

27. “Love, having no geography, knows no boundaries.” — Truman Capote

28. “Don’t settle… wait for the one who treats you like an investment; not a test drive. Someone who inspires you to be at your best… One who looks beyond your outer beauty and falls in love with your soul.” —  Steve Maraboli

29.  "Any love makes us vulnerable. Whatever we love will give the gift of pain somewhere along the road. But who would live sealed in spiritual cellophane just to keep from ever being hurt? There are a few people like that. I'm sorry for them. I think they are as good as dead." ― Gladys Bagg Taber

30. “Love and electricity are one in the same, my dear. If you do not feel the jolt in your soul every time a kiss is shared, a whisper is spoken, a touch is felt, then you're not really in love at all.” — C. J. Franks

31.  “No one ever fell in love gracefully.” — Connie Brockway

32. "Love isn’t a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun like struggle. To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now." ― Fred Rogers

33. “So, I love you because the entire universe conspired to help me find you.” — Paulo Coelho

RELATED: 150 'I Love You' Quotes That Perfectly Describe Life With Your True Love

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

35. "A lover cannot be chosen a la smorgasbord. A lover has to be chosen from soul-craving. To choose just because something mouthwatering stands before you will never satisfy the hunger of the soul-self. And that is what the intuition is for; it is the direct messenger of the soul." ― Clarissa Pinkola Estés

36. “Love is a friendship set to music.” — Joseph Campbell

37. “When love is not madness, it is not love.” — Pedro Calderón de la Barca

38."Our humanity comes to its fullest bloom in giving. We become beautiful people when we give whatever we can give: a smile, a handshake, a kiss, an embrace, a word of love, a present, a part of our life ... all of our life." ― Henri Nouwen

39. "Perhaps love is the process of my leading you gently back to yourself." ― Antoine de Saint-Exupery

 

40. “When you’re falling in love, you never notice it until you’ve already hit the ground.” — Terry Mark

41.  “Sometimes love means letting go when you want to hold on tighter.” — Melissa Marr

42. "Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need — a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends, worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog, and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing." ― Jerome K. Jerome

43.  “If a thing loves, it is infinite.” — William Blake

44. “I have decided to stick to love; hate is too great a burden to bear.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

‎45. "When love awakens in your life, in the night of your heart, it is like the dawn breaking within you. Where before there was anonymity, now there is intimacy; where before there was fear, now there is courage; where before in your life there was awkwardness, now there is a rhythm of grace and gracefulness; where before you used to be jagged, now you are elegant and in rhythm with your self. When love awakens in your life, it is like a rebirth, a new beginning." ― John O'Donohue

 

46. “Where there is love there is life.” — Mahatma Gandhi

47. “You know it’s love when all you want is that person to be happy, even if you’re not part of their happiness.” — Julia Roberts

48. "We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love." ― Dr. Seuss

49. “You can’t blame gravity for falling in love.” — Albert Einstein

50. “And remember, as it was written, to love another person is to see the face of God.” — Les Miserables

51. "Relish love in your old age! Aged love is like aged wine; it becomes more satisfying, more refreshing, more valuable, more appreciated and more intoxicating!" ― Leo Buscaglia

52. "Love is something eternal; the aspect may change, but not the essence." — Jeff Zinnert

53. "Once you have drunk from the water of unconditional love, no other well can satisfy your thirst. The pangs of separation may become so intense that seeking the affection of the Beloved becomes an obsession." ― Ram Dass

54. "Loving can cost a lot but not loving always costs more, and those who fear to love often find that want of love is an emptiness that robs the joy from life." ― Merle Shain

55. "Love can be hard. Love requires you to be kind when you are angry, patient when you feel anxious, compassionate when you judge others, caring when you feel apathetic, trust when you've been wronged, let go when you want to hold on, know that the other person is you, take risks when you're scared, to always see the lesson and never look back once you've decided." ― Jackson Kiddard

56. "Love is energy: it can neither be created nor destroyed. It just is and always will be, giving meaning to life and direction to goodness... Love will never die." — Bryce Courtney

57. "Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength while loving someone deeply gives you courage." — Lao Tzu

58. "We may tell ourselves that love is not really available. But the deeper truth is that we don't entirely trust it, and therefore have a hard time fully opening to it or letting it all the way into us. This disconnects us from our own heart, exacerbating our sense of love's scarcity." ― John Welwood

59. "Love looks not with eyes, but with the mind." — William Shakespeare

60.  "Love is of all passions the strongest, for it attacks simultaneously the head, the heart and the senses." — Lao Tzu

61. "We are desire. It is the essence of the human Soul, the secret of our existence. Absolutely nothing of human greatness is ever accomplished without it. Not a symphony has been written, a mountain climbed, an injustice fought, or a love sustained apart from desire. Desire fuels our search for the life we prize." ― John Elderidge

62. "The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or even heard but must be felt with the heart." — Helen Keller

RELATED: 40 Sweet Love Quotes That Will Make You Believe In Love

63. "Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead." — Oscar Wilde

64. "Much healing can occur through the sexual act with a person you love and trust if the two of you can stay with each other during your most vulnerable moments. You enter into a sacred space, this unknown territory, from which you’ll emerge into new and unexpected states of being." ― Alexandra Katehakis

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65. "The art of love is largely the art of persistence." — Albert Ellis

66. "The more one judges, the less one loves." — Honore de Balzac

67. "Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin, as self-neglecting." ― William Shakespeare, "Henry V"

68. "Love is not only something you feel; it is something you do." — David Wilkerson

69.  "I think the perfection of love is that it's not perfect." — Taylor Swift

70. "Love is the free exercise of choice. Two people love each other only when they are quite capable of living without each other but choose to live with each other." ― M. Scott Peck

71. "Life without love is like a tree without blossoms or fruit." — Khalil Gibran

72.  "You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams." — Dr. Seuss

73. "You can’t substitute material things for love or for gentleness or for tenderness or for a sense of comradeship. Money is not a substitute for tenderness, and power is not a substitute for tenderness." ― Mitch Albom

74. "Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope." — Maya Angelou

75. "All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt." — Charles Schulz

76. "Love comes when manipulation stops; when you think more about the other person than about his or her reactions to you. When you dare to reveal yourself fully. When you dare to be vulnerable." ― Dr. Joyce Brothers

77.  “Love is when the other person’s happiness is more important than your own.” — H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

78. “Life is the flower for which love is the honey.” — Victor Hugo

79. "For one human being to love another; that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation." ― Rainer Maria Rilke

80. “To love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides.” — David Viscott

81. “We are born of love; Love is our mother.” — Rumi

82. "The choice to follow love through to its completion is the choice to seek completion within ourselves. The point at which we shut down on others is the point at which we shut down on life." ― Marianne Williamson

83. "Loving yourself…does not mean being self-absorbed or narcissistic, or disregarding others. Rather it means welcoming yourself as the most honored guest in your own heart, a guest worthy of respect, a lovable companion." ― Margo Anand

84. "In dreams and in love there are no impossibilities" — Janos Arany

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85. "Love is quivering happiness." — Kahlil Gibran

86. "Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them—we can only love others as much as we love ourselves." ― Brené Brown

87. “Don’t settle for a relationship that won’t let you be yourself.” — Oprah Winfrey

88. “The greater your capacity to love, the greater your capacity to feel the pain.” — Jennifer Aniston

89. "When your life is nearly over, you will regret it if you look back and recall too many nights when you made excuses instead of making love." ― Barbara Cooper

90. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

91. “Love is absolute loyalty. People fade, looks fade, but loyalty never fades. You can depend so much on certain people; you can set your watch by them. And that’s love, even if it doesn’t seem very exciting.” — Sylvester Stallone

92. "You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have truly lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love." ― Henry Drummond

 

93. “Love is blind. It will take over your mind. What you think is love, is truly not. You need to elevate your mind.” — Eve

94. "Immature love says: 'I love you because I need you.' Mature love says 'I need you because I love you.'" — Erich Fromm

95. "Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back. Those who wish to sing always find a song. At the touch of a lover, everyone becomes a poet." ― Plato

96. "True love cannot be found where it does not exist, nor can it be denied where it does." — Torquato Tasso

97.  "Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit." — Peter Ustinov

98. "Life is short, Break the Rules. Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably And never regret anything. That makes you smile." ― Mark Twain

99. "Love is a game that two can play and both win." — Eva Gabor

100. "To love is to admire with the heart; to admire is to love with the mind." — Theophile Gautier

101. "You don't need to justify your love, you don't need to explain your love, you just need to practice your love. Practice creates the master." ― Miguel Ruiz

 

102. "Come live in my heart, and pay no rent." — Samuel Lover

103. “The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.” — Morrie Schwartz

104. "To the people who love you, you are beautiful already. This is not because they’re blind to your shortcomings but because they so clearly see your soul. Your shortcomings then dim by comparison. The people who care about you are willing to let you be imperfect and beautiful, too." ― Victoria Moran

105. “If I know what love is, it is because of you.” — Herman Hesse

106. “When we are in love we seem to ourselves quite different from what we were before.” — Blaise Pascal

107. "The minute I heard my first love story I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don't finally meet somewhere. They're in each other all along." ― Rumi

108. “The way to love anything is to realize that it may be lost.” — Gilbert K. Chesterton

109. “The only thing we never get enough of is love; and the only thing we never give enough of is love.” — Henry Miller

110. "Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it's cracked up to be. That's why people are so cynical about it. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more." — Erica Jong

111. "True love is not a strong, fiery, impetuous passion. It is, on the contrary, an element calm and deep. It looks beyond mere externals, and is attracted by qualities alone. It is wise and discriminating, and its devotion is real and abiding." — Ellen G. White

112. “True love is eternal, infinite, and always like itself. It is equal and pure, without violent demonstrations: it is seen with white hairs and is always young in the heart.” — Honore de Balzac

113. “There are going to be days when you're undone, stressed out, tired spent. And I'll still love you just as much in those moments as I ever have, maybe even a little more, because it'll mean you let me get close enough to know the real you. That's all I want.”— Leo Christopher

114. "True love, to me, is when she's the first thought that goes through your head when you wake up and the last thought that goes through your head before you go to sleep."— Justin Timberlake 

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Debra Smouse is a life coach and author who has been published in Time, Huffington Post, MSN, Psychology Today, and more.