The commercialized Valentine’s Day presents a neatly Photoshopped image of modern romance that sets an impossible standard for even the most loving couple. Hallmark greeting cards sing trite stanzas about soul mates and eternal love. Meanwhile, all of the commercials for chocolate, perfume and creepily gargantuan teddy bears somehow seem to be conspiring to undermine our own awkward fumbling love lives.
However, we contend that these famous writers’ musings on romance will make even greatest cynic appreciate the complexities, the sorrows and, ultimately, the incomparable joys of love:
1. Love isn’t easy, but it can be transformative.
“Love can change a person the way a parent can change a baby: awkwardly, and often with a great deal of mess.”
― Written by Lemony Snicket in his novel, Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can’t Avoid.
2. You have more love to give than you could ever know.
“Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold.”
― Written by Zelda Fitzgerald in her novel, Save Me The Waltz. She is shown above with her husband, the acclaimed author F. Scott Fitzgerald.
“The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.”
― Written by Oscar Wilde in his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray.
4. Love is the greatest gift and the greatest sacrifice.
“In the flush of love’s light we dare be brave, And suddenly we see that love costs all we are and will ever be. Yet, it is only love which sets us free.”
― Written by Maya Angelou in her poem, Touched By An Angel.
5. Finding love takes luck.
“I wish I had more friends, but people are such jerks. If you can just get most people to leave you alone, you’re doing good. If you can find even one person you really like, you’re lucky. And if that person can also stand you, you’re really lucky.”
― Written by Bill Watterson, author and artist of Calvin & Hobbes.
6. When real love hits, it shouldn’t make you feel weak.
“Don’t ever think I fell for you, or fell over you. I didn’t fall in love, I rose in it.”
― Written by Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morison in her novel, Jazz.
7. When you love somebody, their goofiest quirks become their most endearing.
“It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realize just how much you love them.”
― Written by author Agatha Christie in her book, An Autobiography.
8. Love is more meaningful than almost anything else.
“It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like, so long as somebody loves you.”
― Written by Roald Dahl in his children’s book, The Witches.
9. Be grateful for all the love you find, be it platonic or romantic, lifelong or merely temporary. That love is ultimately what gives your life value.
“A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.”
― Written by author Kurt Vonnegut in his novel, The Sirens of Titan.
Even if your disgust with Valentine’s Day has reached its seasonal peak and the mere sight of Sweetheart candies make you nauseated, it’s hard to feel quite as cynical after reading these masters of language describe what is truly the most remarkable human emotion.