With Valentine’s Day just days away, you, like many others, may be looking for the perfect way to celebrate and express your love. Look no further than here. As the world prepares for this year’s observance of the commemoration established by Pope Gelasius way back in 500 AD to honor Christian martyrs of the name “Valentine,” many great minds pondered the concept of love through research, words, music, and books. So we spent our time combing through history to find the best words to mingle perfectly with today’s modern cupids, hearts, chocolates, flowers, and cards. Use any of the following 12 Very Best, Most Romantic Valentine’s Day Quotes Of All Time to let that special someone know just how much they mean to you. Or to just impress the hell out of your date. Either way, here you go:
1. “I don’t pretend to know what love is for everyone, but I can tell you what it is for me; love is knowing all about someone, and still wanting to be with them more than any other person, love is trusting them enough to tell them everything about yourself, including the things you might be ashamed of, love is feeling comfortable and safe with someone, but still getting weak knees when they walk into a room and smile at you.” Unknown (but some soul in the universe deserves a hell of a lot of credit for putting it out there. That’s deep.)
2. “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.” Jal?l ad-D?n Muhammad Balkh? (better known as Rumi)
How can a 13th century Persian Muslim gifted in the fine arts of poetry, theology, law, and Sufi mysticism cut through the flesh to transcend hearts to absolute purity? We don’t know but the timelessness of Rumi’s mission is seemingly permanent in a world where little is. Magic.
3. “There is no remedy for love but to love more.” Henry David Thoreau, who coincidentally had written this in his journal during early November 1840.
The details are hard to uncover but lore has it Thoreau was inspired after a certain John proposed to a woman named Ellen. Here’s a tip: throw that in your arsenal the next time you land a hot date, consider taking the step, or plunge into a proposal. Swoon.
4. “Wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.” Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
A New York Times Bestseller penned during 1988 as an Portuguese allegory has touched the lives of countless. With over 30 million copies sold worldwide, the story of Santiago, a quest, and that fuzzy glow which warms readers’ hearts has been translated into 65 different languages. Coelho’s heavy weight title as a Guinness World Record holder and history making author has held firm for 25 years (which coincidentally is longer than most romances. Wink. Wink.)
5. “So it’s not gonna be easy. It’s gonna be really hard. We’re gonna have to work at this every day, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, for ever, you and me, every day.” Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook
If you need a good cry, sit down and read this “inspired by true events” story written by a North Carolinan lawyer turned author in 1996. It’s a gift to even diehard skeptics as Sparks wrote The Notebook about his wife’s grandparents. Yes, people still can fall in love. Yes, it can last a lifetime. Sparks’ story is the proof. But if you can read it and not cry, you may as well just curl up and die the soulless death you deserve. The 2004 film adaptation will leave you balling too. And ladies, here’s a warning: Ryan Gosling’s smokin’ hotness doesn’t stymie the tears. Have your tissues handy.
6. “I have lots of things to teach you now, in case we ever meet, concerning the message that was transmitted to me under a pine tree in North Carolina on a cold winter moonlit night. It said that Nothing Ever Happened, so don’t worry. It’s all like a dream. Everything is ecstasy, inside. We just don’t know it because of our thinking-minds. But in our true blissful essence of mind is known that everything is alright forever and forever and forever. Close your eyes, let your hands and nerve-ends drop, stop breathing for 3 seconds, listen to the silence inside the illusion of the world, and you will remember the lesson you forgot, which was taught in immense milky way soft cloud innumerable worlds long ago and not even at all. It is all one vast awakened thing. I call it the golden eternity. It is perfect. We were never really born, we will never really die. It has nothing to do with the imaginary idea of a personal self, other selves, many selves everywhere: Self is only an idea, a mortal idea. That which passes into everything is one thing. It’s a dream already ended. There’s nothing to be afraid of and nothing to be glad about. I know this from staring at mountains months on end. They never show any expression, they are like empty space. Do you think the emptiness of space will ever crumble away? Mountains will crumble, but the emptiness of space, which is the one universal essence of mind, the vast awakenerhood, empty and awake, will never crumble away because it was never born.” Jean-Louis “Jack” Kerouac, The Portable Jack Kerouac
The hippie, Beat generation iconoclastic one and only Jack Kerouac is remarkably a rambling literary genius. People either love his poetry and novels or hate them – there’s no inbetween. Beyond the anarchic unconventionality of his critical “attacks” on convention, Kerouac was an alcoholic who drank himself to an early grave. We all love tragedies. If your sweetie’s a total dork inspired by the realms of possibility beyond the flesh and flash of culture, chances are he or she will be smitten with this quote. So raise a glass of red wine (it’s good for your heart), recite some Kerouac, and have a little fun. Yolo!
7. “Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic ‘til I’m gathered safely in
Life me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove
Dance me to the end of love.” Leonard Cohen
If you’re not big on high quality music, you may not be familiar with the words of this 1984 song by the legendary musicianship of Leonard Cohen. Rather the Charles Bukowski of song, this diddy was penned after Cohen discovered string quartets often played near crematoria at Nazi death camps. Before you judge Cohen as a darksided bastard, wait since no one wants to be reminded of the horrors of fate. The brightside is that in an interview about the song, Leonard offered that due to the inherent “beauty there of being the consummation of life, the end of this existence and the passionate element in that consummation. But, it is the same language that we use for surrender to the beloved, so that the song – it’s not important that anybody knows the genesis of it, because if the language comes from that passionate resource, it will be able to embrace all passionate activity.” Now grab your Valentine, light up some candles, and do some slow dancing.
8. “Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love.” Albert Einstein
We don’t need to be German theoretical physicists to know without one shred of doubt that gravity always wins. But as the brilliant, Nobel Prize winning scientist behind the general theory of relativity, that E=mc2 formula, and the law of the photoelectric effect, when Einstein tackled issues of the heart, he took a stellar, witty approach. Magnificent for explaining what faith and science can’t truly prove, eh?
9. “At the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet.” Plato
Who could possibly argue with a man who was mentored by Socrates and taught Aristotle? Just shut up and kiss after you scribble this in the Hallmark card tucked in a festive bouquet.
10. “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, — I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! —and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.”
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
As one of the most English poets during the romantic Victorian era, Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s massively popular legacy as one of the world’s most prominent female authors is as eternal as her love for her craft and her husband, Robert. After writing her first poem at the age of twelve, her faith, wisdom, and skill led to her notoriety as one of the best sonnet writers of all time. Especially since the theme of her most popular work was inspired by her marriage. Knock the socks off of your sweetheart by reciting this poem. You won’t regret it.
“Though I command languages both human and angelic – if I speak without love, I am no more than a gong booming or a cymbal clashing. And though I have the power of prophecy, to penetrate all mysteries and knowledge, and though I have all the faith necessary to move mountains – if I am without love, I am nothing. Though I should give away to the poor all that I possess, and even give up my body to be burned – if I am without love, it will do me no good whatever. Love is always patient and kind; love is never jealous; love is not boastful or conceited, it is never rude and never seeks its own advantage, it does not take offence or store up grievances. Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but finds its joy in the truth. It is always ready to make allowances, to trust, to hope and to endure whatever comes. Love never comes to an end. But if there are prophecies, they will be done away with; if tongues, they will fall silent; and if knowledge, it will be done away with. For we know only imperfectly, and we prophesy imperfectly; but once perfection comes, all imperfect things will be done away with. When I was a child, I used to talk like a child, and see things as a child does, and think like a child; but now that I have become an adult, I have finished with all childish ways. Now we see only reflections in a mirror, mere riddles, but then we shall by seeing face to face. Now I can know only imperfectly; but then I shall know just as fully as I am myself known. As it is, these remain: faith, hope and love, the three of them; and the greatest of them is love.” 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13
Regardless of your religious beliefs or lack there of, the punch of the Bible’s 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13 is solid enough to permeate events from weddings to funerals and everything in between. Even the more open minded Atheists can find meaning in this passage if they think hard enough. Open your mind, open your eyes, open your heart, and open your arms. Your life in this flesh is short. Nights are long. Embrace the fact that love is the most powerful force this universe. Then apply it in everything you do. Now get on with your work and life. And remember though Cupid is sometimes stupid (he was just a toddler you know!) his arrows never fall short of his target.
Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours!