Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. . . . You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life. . . . They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. 

Neil Gaiman, The Sandman

The easiest kind of relationship for me is with ten thousand people. The hardest is with one.

Joan Baez, folk singer

People are like cities: we all have alleys and gardens and secret rooftops and places where daisies sprout between the sidewalk cracks, but most of the time all we let each other see is a postcard glimpse of a floodlit statue or a skyline. Love lets you find those hidden places in another person, even the ones they didn’t know were there, even the ones they wouldn’t have thought to call beautiful themselves.

Hilary T. Smith, Wild Awake

I didn’t fall in love, I rose in it.

Toni Morrison, Jazz

I am like a man who has seen in his mind’s eye the glories of this existence, but had wandered through endless corridors, looking into empty rooms, till suddenly you unlocked the gate to the real world.

Walter Lippmann, to his wife, Helen Byrne Armstrong

I married her for the wrong reason — because it was safe. I believed at that time that people got married when they had that moment, when they’re looking at themselves in the mirror and say, “Holy shit. I’m going to compromise my dreams, get fat, sick, old, and die. I kind of want to have someone around for that.” You don’t want to be sixty, fat, sick, and alone, saying to your reflection, “Look at me. I’m a fat failure.” No, you kind of want someone around to say, “It’s OK, baby. You look great. Let’s go get some Tasti D-Lite, cowboy.”

Marc Maron

Strike an average between what a woman thinks of her husband a month before she marries him and what she thinks of him a year afterward, and you will have the truth about him.

H.L. Mencken

Nearly all marriages, even happy ones, are mistakes: in the sense that almost certainly (in a more perfect world, or even with a little more care in this very imperfect one) both partners might have found more-suitable mates. But the real “soul-mate” is the one you are actually married to.

J.R.R. Tolkien

Marriage is a shared political consciousness which can lead to greater joint efforts in building Socialism and increasing production.

Chinese Youth Fortnightly

I love being married. It’s so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.

Rita Rudner

Marriage is so tough, Nelson Mandela got a divorce! Nelson Mandela spent twenty-seven years in a South African prison — got beaten and tortured every day for twenty-seven years, and did it with no fucking problem. Made to do hard labor in hundred-degree South African heat for twenty-seven years, and did it with no problem. He got out of jail after twenty-seven years of torture, spent six months with his wife, and said, “I can’t take this shit no more!”

Chris Rock

I can love you unconditionally. I cannot live with you unconditionally.

Priscilla Dean

Married people suffered and rejoiced over and over and over and over again. Marriage was a trench dug by time, a straight furrow, the mighty oak that has grown year after year after year from a tiny acorn. Lovers were, by comparison, little scratches in the ground.

Laurie Colwin, “Swan Song”

There have been times when I’ve been so angry or so hurt that I thought my love would never recover. And then, in the midst of near despair, something has happened beneath the surface. A bright little flashing fish of hope has flicked silver fins and the water is bright and suddenly I am returned to a state of love again — till next time.

Madeleine L’Engle

The problem with marriage is that it ends every night after making love, and it must be rebuilt every morning before breakfast.

Gabriel García Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera

There are always those perfect times with the people we love, those moments of joy and equality that sustain us later on. . . . These moments are the foundation upon which we build the house that will shelter us into our final years, so that when love calls out, “How far would you go for me?” you can look it in the eye and say truthfully, “Farther than you would ever have thought was possible.”

Ann Patchett