When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their mouth.

Billy, age four
From Breathing Together, edited by Richard Kehl

This was the boy I loved. A little bit messy. A little bit ruined. A beautiful disaster. Just like me.

Michelle Hodkin

Many people when they fall in love look for a little haven of refuge from the world, where they can be sure of being admired when they are not admirable, and praised when they are not praiseworthy.

Bertrand Russell

I don’t have a love life. I have a like life.

Lorrie Moore

Like everybody who is not in love, he thought one chose the person to be loved after endless deliberations and on the basis of particular qualities or advantages.

Marcel Proust

You must not try to make love definite. It is the divine accident of life. If you try to be definite and sure about it and to live beneath the trees, where soft night winds blow, the long hot day of disappointment comes swiftly and the gritty dust from passing wagons gathers upon lips inflamed and made tender by kisses.

Sherwood Anderson

Four years later, it’s so hard for me to tap into the well of desperate emotion the relationship unleashed in me. I’d spent my entire life getting my kicks from various esoteric hobbies . . . and quality time with my nuclear family, but here he was. My only pleasure. I told him I hoped we would die at the same time in the mouth of a lion.

Lena Dunham

Being in love, he often felt, was like having a bird caught in his hair.

Laurie Colwin

I was festering about something she hadn’t done, or that she’d done, or that in my opinion she should have done, or that she might do if I didn’t say something. I also knew we had made it through a day and I probably didn’t need to say anything to fuck that up. Let me put it this way: There was absolutely no reason for me to say anything other than to start a fight. I was just one of those sick people who doesn’t know if someone loves them unless the other person is crying.

Marc Maron

What are man and woman if not members of two very different and warring tribes? Yet decade after decade, century after century, they attempt in marriage to reconcile and forge a union. Why? I don’t know. Biological imperative? Divine law? Or just a desire to connect to that mysterious other? In any case, it’s always struck me as a hopeful thing.

From the TV show Northern Exposure

Our marriage license turned out to be a learner’s permit.

Joan Rivers

We are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love. It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love a changed person.

W. Somerset Maugham

A million light years and a million more / would not give time enough to store / that small second of eternity / when I took you in my arms / and you took me in yours

Jacques Prévert

Your life will have a kind of perfection, although you will not be a saint. The perfection will consist in this: you will be very weak and you will make many mistakes; you will be awkward, for you will be poor in spirit and hunger and thirst for justice. You will not be perfect, but you will love. This is the gate and the way. . . . There is nothing greater than love. There is nothing more true than love, nothing more real.

Eberhard Arnold

I could hear my heart beating. I could hear everyone’s heart. I could hear the human noise we sat there making, not one of us moving, not even when the room went dark.

Raymond Carver

What the world really needs is more love and less paperwork.

Pearl Bailey

To expect too much compassion from yourself might be a little destructive of your own existence. Even so, at least make a try, and this goes not only for individuals but also for life itself. It’s so easy. It’s a fashionable idiocy of youth to say the world has not come up to your expectations. “What? I was coming, and this is all they could prepare for me?” Throw it out. Have compassion for the world and those in it.

Joseph Campbell