Every New Years, people around us seem to pop up rings and wedding vows. But do they know what love is? Here, some of this planet's most successful writers tell us what they think.
"Love is like a fever which comes and goes quite independently of the will. … there are no age limits for love."
"There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket — safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell."
"Love can change a person the way a parent can change a baby — awkwardly, and often with a great deal of mess."
"Nothing is mysterious, no human relation. Except love."
"What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love."
"Love is kind of like when you see a fog in the morning, when you wake up before the sun comes out. It’s just a little while, and then it burns away… Love is a fog that burns with the first daylight of reality."
"Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness."
"Love is an untamed force. When we try to control it, it destroys us. When we try to imprison it, it enslaves us. When we try to understand it, it leaves us feeling lost and confused."
"Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind."
"Love, n. A temporary insanity curable by marriage."
"What is love but acceptance of the other, whatever he is."
"Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get — only with what you are expecting to give — which is everything."