The Best Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes About Love

Find comfort, insight, and inspiration for your journey through love.

Collage with a headshot of Ralph Waldo Emerson and antique scrolls/paper

Ralph Waldo Emerson was a celebrated American essayist, lecturer, and poet who lived in the 19th century. His Victorian-era thoughts and ideas continue to inspire people, and his quotes are widely used and recognized.

Here are some of his most prized love quotes, which offer wisdom and insight into the complexities of love, relationships, and the human experience. Whether you are searching for inspiration, comfort, or just a little pick-me-up, these Ralph Waldo Emerson quotes might resonate with you.

I appeal from your customs. I must be myself. I cannot break myself any longer for you, or you. If you can love me for what I am, we shall be happier. If you cannot, I will still seek to deserve that you should. I must be myself. I will not hide my tastes or aversions.

——Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays “Self Reliance” (1841)

Give all to love; Obey thy heart.

——Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ralph Waldo Emerson: The Major Poetry

In the sublimest flights of the soul, rectitude is never surmounted, love is never outgrown.

——Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance, the Over-Soul, and Other Essays

If with love thy heart has burned; If thy love is unreturned; Hide thy grief within thy breast, Though it tear thee unexpressed.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, “To Rhea.” Delphi Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson

Love, and you shall be loved.

——Ralph Waldo Emerson, Top Essays

Dear to us are those who love us… but dearer are those who reject us as unworthy, for they add another life; they build a heaven before us whereof we had not dreamed.

——Ralph Waldo Emerson, Delphi Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson

All mankind love a lover.

——Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays “Love” (1841)

The reason why all men honor love is because it looks up, and not down; aspires and not despairs.

——Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Prose Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson

The affirmative of affirmatives… is love.

——Ralph Waldo Emerson, Delphi Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emersons

He who is in love is wise and is becoming wiser, sees newly every time he looks at the object beloved, drawing from it with his eyes and his mind those virtues which it possesses.

——Ralph Waldo Emerson, A Year with Emerson: A Daybook

No love can be bound by oath or covenant to secure it against a higher love.

——Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays and Lectures

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