Valentine's Day didn't start out as a holiday about hearts and flowers and roses — but can we agree, it never hurts to tell people you love them?
Whether you're looking for Valentine's Day quotes that will turn up the heat on your romance, or a funny Valentine's Day joke for your long-time love, we have you covered.
First, a quick history: St. Valentine was a Roman priest who lived during the third century and, depending on who you ask, may have been a beekeeper and also a wedding officiant who performed secret ceremonies.
We imagine he’d be pretty surprised to see how things turned out, as his feast day is now Valentine's Day, all about all the candy, splurgy dinners and, of course, those cards filled with words of love or friendship.
Quibble all you want with the more commercial side of Valentine's Day, but we couldn't agree more with this quote from Malanda Jean-Claude that Hoda Kotb shared on Instagram: "The people you love deserve to hear it."
This Valentine's Day, tell your loved one just how much you love them, with beautiful quotes from poets, writers, musicians and lovers across generations.
Need some Valentine's Day quotes for your own missive? Whether you’re aiming for something funny, catchy, dramatic or sexy, the romantic quotes below will make your Valentine’s Day card (or text, or Instagram post!) unforgettable.
- 1. Valentine’s Day is the poet’s holiday. — Ted Koosner
- 2. Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind / And therefore is wing’d Cupid blind. — William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
- 3. You can’t buy happiness but you can buy chocolate, and that’s kind of the same thing. — Author Unknown
- 4. Loving ourselves truly so we can truly love others is the real valentine, and experiencing what I’m calling a Valentine Life, is available to everyone. —Sark
- 5. Love is a rose but you better not pick it / Only grows when it’s on the vine / Handful of thorns and you’ll know you’ve missed it / Lose your love when you say the word mine. — Neil Young, “Love Is a Rose”
- 6. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. / I love thee to the depth and breadth and height / My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight / For the ends of being and ideal grace. — Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43)”
- 7. You complete me. — Cameron Crowe, "Jerry McGuire"
- 8. You’re my funny valentine / Sweet comic valentine / You make me smile with my heart. — Richard Rodgers and Hart Lorenz
- 9. Where there is love there is life. — Charles Spurgeon, The Complete Works of C.H. Spurgeon
- 10. If I had a flower for every time I thought of you … I could walk through my garden forever. ― Author Unknown
- 11. The kiss itself is immortal. It travels from lip to lip, century to century, from age to age. Men and women garner these kisses, offer them to others and then die in turn.” ― Guy de Maupassant, “A Tress of Hair”
- 12. Wanna hear your beating heart tonight / Before the bleeding sun comes alive. — Ellie Goulding, “Beating Heart”
- 13. How much better is thy love than wine! — Song of Solomon 4:10
- 14. Life is always brighter when I’m by your side. — Michelle Obama, Valentine’s Day post to Barack Obama
- 15. To me, you are perfect. — Richard Curtis, "Love Actually"
- 16. Kiss me. Kiss me as if it were the last time. — Julius Epstein, Philip G. Epstein and Howard Koch, Casablanca
- 17. Valentine’s Day is just another day to truly love like there is no tomorrow. — Roy A. Ngansop, “I Choose Nina, My Tomboy”
- 18. I love you / because no two snowflakes are alike / and it is possible / if you stand tippy-toe / to walk between the raindrops — Nikki Giovanni, “Resignation”
- 19. True love is like ghosts, which everyone talks about and few have seen. — François de La Rochefoucauld
- 20. Make me immortal with a kiss. ― Christopher Marlowe, Dr. Faustus
- 21. Love Valentine’s Day, love New Year’s Eve, love taking the SATs, just love high pressure situations and extreme expectations in general. — B.J. Novak
- 22. Never knew I could feel like this / Like I’ve never seen the sky before / I want to vanish inside your kiss / Every day I love you more and more.—Rudy Amado Perez, Kevin M. Gilbert and David Francis Baerwald, “Come What May”
- 23. Hail Bishop Valentine, whose day this is; / All the air is thy diocese, / And all the chirping choristers / And other birds are thy parishioners. — John Donne, “An Epithalamion”
- 24. O my Luve is like a red, red rose / That’s newly sprung in June; / O my Luve is like the melody / That’s sweetly played in tune.—Robert Burns, “My Love Is Like a Red, Red Rose”
- 25. I look / at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world / except possibly for the Polish Rider occasionally and anyway it’s in the Frick — Frank O’Hara, “Having a Coke with You”
- 26. If it is true that there are as many minds as there are heads, then there are as many kinds of love as there are hearts. — Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
- 27. Swoon. I’ll catch you.—Anthony Minghella & Michael Ondaatje, "The English Patient" screenplay
- 28. The heart is an arrow. It demands aim to land true.—Leigh Bardugo, "Six of Crows"
- 29. There’s a place for us, a time and a place for us / Hold my hand and we’re halfway there / Hold my hand and I’ll take you there.—Stephen Sondheim, “Somewhere (There’s a Place for Us)”
- 30. It’s your love / It just does something to me / It sends a shock right through me — Stephony Smith, "It’s Your Love" (sung by Tim McGraw)
- 31. I was in love with loving. — St. Augustine, "The Confessions"
- 32. Music I heard with you was more than music. / And bread I broke with you was more than bread. — Conrad Aiken, “Bread and Music”
- 33. Love isn’t love till you give it away. — Oscar Hammerstein, “Love Isn’t Love”
- 34. You are the sunshine of my life / That’s why I’ll always be around, / You are the apple of my eye, / Forever you’ll stay in my heart—Stevie Wonder, “You Are the Sunshine of My Life”
- 35. “One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: that word is love.” — Sophocles, "Oedipus at Colonus"
- 36. Sure there is music even in the beauty, and in the silent note which Cupid strikes, far sweeter than the sound of an instrument.— Sir Thomas Browne, Religio Medici
- 37. Who can give law to lovers? Love is a greater law to itself.—Boethius, De Consolatione Philosophiae
- 38. Love is the answer / At least for most of the questions in my heart — Jack Johnson, “Better Together”
- 39. Roses are red / Violets are blue / Over and over / I choose you.—Author Unknown
- 40. “Oh, did you expect me to play fair?” Cupid laughed. “I am the god of love. I am never fair.” — Rick Riordan, House of Hades
- 41. "The people you love deserve to hear it." — Malanda Jean-Claude
- 42. So, I close my eyes to old ends and open my heart to new beginnings." — Unknown
- 43. I tell you this / to break your heart, / by which I mean only / that it break open and never close again / to the rest of the world. — Mary Oliver, “Lead”
- 44. Even after all this time The sun never says to the earth, “You owe Me.” Look what happens with A love like that, It lights the Whole Sky. –Hafiz
- 45. You came along when everything was wrong and put a song in my heart. - James F. Hanley, "Zing Went the Strings of My Heart," sung by Judy Garland
- 46. Doubt thou the stars are fire, Doubt that the sun doth move. Doubt the truth to be a liar, But never doubt I love. —William Shakespeare
- 47. Don’t forget: I’m also just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her. — "Notting Hill"
- 48. If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart. I’ll stay there forever.” — A. A. Milne
- 49. Those who love deeply never grow old; they may die of old age, but they die young. — Arthur W. Piner
- 50. There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate. — Linda Grayson