Famous Minds On Love’s Greatest Questions

Posted by Maia Brown-Jackson

Image Credit: Krislyn Dillard

When it comes to matters of the heart, there is no right or wrong answer, only answers. Here's what the most famous authors and thinkers have had to say about love's greatest questions.  

Is love destined?

Do you think the universe fights for souls to be together?
Some things are too strange and strong to be coincidences.

― Emery Allen (poet)

"Whenever I behold someone who possesses any talent or displays any dexterity of mind, who can do or say something more appropriately than the rest of the world, I am compelled to fall in love with him."

― Michelangelo Buonarroti (artist)


Does love end?

It dies because we don't know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings.

― Anais Nin, The Four-Chambered Heart

It isn't possible to love and part. You will wish that it was. You can transmute love, ignore it, muddle it, but you can never pull it out of you. I know by experience that the poets are right: love is eternal.

― E.M. Forster, A Room with a View


Do you believe in love at first sight?

How can I approach her? What should I say? […] Maybe the simple truth would do. “Good morning. You are the 100% perfect girl for me.”

― Haruki Murakami, “On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning”

He said, I always thought the woman I’d marry would hit me easy, in a bolt of lightning, and there is not lightning there is not even thunder there is not even rain.

― Aimee Bender, Willful Creatures


Is the pain that accompanies love worth it?

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, Fear of Flying

Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn't it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means someone can get inside you and mess you up. … It's a soul-hurt, a body-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. Nothing should be able to do that. Especially not love. I hate love.

― Neil Gaiman, The Sandman, Volume 9


Do you love someone because your souls are the same?

Two souls are sometimes created together and in love before they’re born.

― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Beautiful and Damned

We’re all seeking that special person who is right for us. But if you’ve been through enough relationships, you begin to suspect there’s no right person, just different flavors of wrong. […] You’re looking for the wrong person. But not just any wrong person: the right wrong person—someone you lovingly gaze upon and think, this is the problem I want to have. I will find that special person who is wrong for me in just the right way. Let our scars fall in love. 

― Galway Kinnell (poet)


Is love enough to save you?

The love of the family, the love of one person can heal. It heals the scars left by a larger society. A massive, powerful, society.

― Maya Angelou, (author and poet)

The way you slam your body into mine reminds me I’m alive, but monsters are always hungry, darling.

― Richard Siken, Crush


In love, are you the rule or the exception?

It isn't enough for your heart to break because everybody's heart is broken now.

― Allen Ginsberg (poet)

We were the eleven o'clock news
because while the rest of the world
was going to hell we made love.

― Richard Brautigan, Loading Mercury with a Pitchfork

Maia Brown-Jackson

Maia Brown-Jackson

Maia Brown-Jackson is a recovering English major and recent transplant to Philadelphia. She tutors high school students when she’s not busy imagining life as a space pirate or internationally renowned detective. While drinking too much coffee and eating too much sugar, she’s mostly alive and learning Tumblr (http://laceandparkour.tumblr.com/) and Instagram (instagram.com/forsakendarling/).