So you've chosen a Valentine's Day gift, you've bought a new lipstick, and you've booked a table at your loved one's favorite restaurant — but the hard part is yet to come. What on earth are you supposed to write in the card? How are you supposed to condense all your swirling feelings into something coherent?
Some people are born talented writers; most of us are not. Some mornings, I struggle even to write a grocery list (don't pretend you don't relate) — so how are we supposed to harness the world's most complicated and powerful emotion and get it down on paper? It's an impossible task — but luckily, we don't have to, because there are already so many beautifully written love notes on the pages of our favorite books. I mean, it would just be plain inefficient to start from scratch; why reinvent the wheel?
So before you head out on your Valentine's date this February 14, don't forget to scribble down some words of adoration to give to your love. These are the words of Jane Austen, of Henry James, and of Charles Dickens; these are words that have survived through the decades and are still every bit as powerful today. They're the perfect way to tell somebody special how you feel. (And hopefully, your date won't notice that you didn't actually write them yourself.)
1"You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how.”
— Margaret Mitchell, Gone With the Wind
2"When you fall in love, it is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake, and then it subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots are to become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the desire to mate every second of the day. It is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every part of your body. No ... don't blush. I am telling you some truths. For that is just being in love; which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over, when being in love has burned away. Doesn't sound very exciting, does it? But it is!"
— Louis de Bernières, Captain Corelli's Mandolin
3"If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more."
— Jane Austen, Emma
4“You and I, it’s as though we have been taught to kiss in heaven and sent down to earth together, to see if we know what we were taught.”
— Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago
5“It has made me better loving you."
— Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady
6"Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be."
— Robert Browning, Rabbi Ben Ezra
7"If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you."
— A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh
8“I've never had a moment's doubt. I love you. I believe in you completely. You are my dearest one. My reason for life.”
— Ian McEwan, Atonement
9“If I were to live a thousand years, I would belong to you for all of them. If we were to live a thousand lives, I would want to make you mine in each one.”
— Michelle Hodkin, The Evolution of Mara Dyer
10“Do I love you? My god, if your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches.”
— William Goldman, The Princess Bride
11"I have a million things to talk to you about. All I want in this world is you. I want to see you and talk. I want the two of us to begin everything from the beginning."
— Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood
12"I wish you to know that you have been the last dream of my soul."
— Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
13"You are all the colors in one, at full brightness."
— Jennifer Niven, All the Bright Places
14"You know all those things we've promised and hoped and dreamed — well, I meant it all, every word."
— Robert Fulgham, The Beginning to End