We live in such a fast-paced world, where we want everything to be quick and easy - whether it is our food, our wi-fi, and sometimes, even love.
In a world that runs on Tinder, where you can browse through people the way you would browse through stuff in a store, one cannot help but wonder whether such a thing as true love even exists, or whether romantic love quotes still retain their heart-felt meaning.
Whatever happened to heart warming romances that would sweep you off your feet? Do we have a Sinatra crooning "Strangers in the Night" anymore? Whether it is the poets, the philosophers or any other artists, the idea of romantic love, and consequently, romantic love quotes, has been the muse for many a magnificent work of art. Most great art is inspired by either by great love, or by unrequited love. It is not just poets and philosophers, but scientists have done their share of study into the acts of love.
Apparently, falling in love triggers a heavy dose of serotonin and oxytocin into our blood streams.
Interestingly, scientists now believe that romantic love, just like language itself, is panhuman.
All hope is not dead. If love has blossomed in the human heart from times and cultures that have nothing in common with us, then love can definitely transcend the internet and its drastic and oft unwanted effects on our lives.
Mayhaps, a few of the self-proclaimed stalwarts of Indian culture may also do well to look at these studies that definitively prove that "Love" is not a western construct that is touted by the youth on Valentine's Day.
So whether you are a romantic at heart, or a jaded cynic who believes that true love is impossible, here are some quotes that are sure to get you thinking more about the subject of romance.
This quote by the Nigerian Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, is one of the most romantic love quotes that is sure to win your heart. What is romance, but the soul becoming sweeter and gentler? When your heart offers you the fragrance of romance that you need for your soul to grow, expand and burst to its very seams, could there be a more beautiful way to express this sentiment?
All right, let’s start with something sweet and simple. When you are in that heady rush of passion, this simple line could speak volumes to your soul. No other time in your life have you so keenly admired the twittering birds, nor so ardently adored the hues of the setting sun. Well, being in love makes everything seem so much better. It is like wearing your own brand personal of rose-tinted spectacles. Scientifically, we could say that we are definitely seeing the effects of all that dopamine running amok inside your head. So, if you have found someone who makes you feel like the vast expanse of the sky is abloom just for you, then spare no time to let them know about it with this lovely quote.
When you think about romantic love, Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnets to the Portuguese is something you should not miss out on. A deep and wondrous meditation on love and all the forms it can take, her work will transport you to a place that is expansive and full of love. Speaking of expansive, this is one of those romantic love quotes that deals with just that. When you are in love, your love and your cognition expands. It must expand, in order to comprehend and understand the subject of your affections. I am not talking about enjoying those little quirks of your significant other. I am talking about embracing all that your beloved is – both the good and the bad; everything that makes them unique.
Well, you cannot talk about romantic love quotes without looking to the Romanticists for inspiration, can you? This simple line by the tempestuous, charismatic young poet Percy Shelley is as deep as it is moving. The physical part of love is great enough, and would definitely stir something up in all of us. But you know it is incomplete on some level if you do not nurse an unquenchable flame for your significant other. Only when your souls as well as your bodies commune can the relationship feel complete. And this is exactly what Shelley has to say.
These beautiful lines by the great English poet and illustrator, William Blake, highlight the selfless nature of love. If it is selfish, if you are motivated by a desire to possess, then it is not true love. True love does not seek to please itself or even care for itself. True love knows only to give with great ease. And within despair, creates an oasis of relief and joy. If you really feel this way about someone, you should know that it does not happen very often. Let that special person how you feel about them with this heart wrenching quote.
This is one of those romantic love quotes that is a standing testament to the fact that feminism does equate to mean man hating. One of the most illustrious women of her time, Simone de Beauvoir was an existential thinker and one of the guiding lights of feminist thought. Her quote throws light on the fact that every time we trust someone to stay with us till the end, it is a gamble. Really. Every single time. But to find someone who makes you want to take such a risk is the tricky part, and what we all strive to find our lives.
John Keats was another young Romantic poet who was stolen from the world much before his prime. In his short life of twenty five years, Keats managed to pen down some of the most beautiful poetry that the English language has been witness to. Here, he speaks of his abiding desire to become one with the object of his affections; to be entwined with them, both body and soul. When we whisper sweet nothings to our beloved, Keats sees it as a marriage of voices at their birth. Could there be a more beautiful conception of pillow talk?
A lot can be said about your beloved’s name. When you hear their name, does it make your heart skip a beat? Does saying your love’s name out loud feel very right? But, according to the poet and diplomat, Octavio Paz, true love is beyond all this. To strip bare the narratives we construct around ourselves, to let go of the facade we construct around ourselves everyday; to stand before your love with naked honesty and baring those dark crevices of your soul – is true love. It is laying your soul bare and being accepted for it. It is to see your beloved’s soul and accept them with all their darkness and sorrow.
The French writer Balzac, seemingly gives us a quote that is paradoxical. Love, for him, is both the expansion and reduction of the entire world to one single being. When you are in the throngs of passion, your world, and all that matters in it, seems to have shrunk to cover just that one person. Yet, when you let go of your pride and your pain to accept someone for who they truly are, you are becoming a better person who is capable of so much more. You become someone who has enlarged themselves to encompass the entire world. And this same love is the bond that binds us to God as well – love.
If you have ever had that perfect kiss with someone, you would know what Robert Browning means here. Sometimes, a kiss can make you feel like your world will never ever get back to its original dimensions again. Your world has irrevocably been altered. When you kiss, there is no need for any words. What you need to say has already been communicated rather clearly. So, you might be wondering, what is left of the lover’s soul after a kiss? Well, nothing and everything, I would say.