Love is not blind; that is the last thing that it is. Love is bound; and the more it is bound the less it is blind.

G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

The monstrosity of sexual intercourse outside marriage is that those who indulge in it are trying to isolate one kind of union (the sexual) from all the other kinds of union which were intended to go along with it and make up the total union. The Christian attitude does not mean that there is anything wrong about sexual pleasure, any more than about the pleasure of eating. It means that you must not isolate that pleasure and try to get it by itself, any more than you ought to try to get the pleasures of taste without swallowing and digesting, by chewing things and spitting them out again.

C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

For human beings, the more powerful need is not for sex per se but for relationship, intimacy, acceptance, and affirmation.

Rollo May, Love and Will

Sex is a wonderful symbol of intimacy. But as we know, symbols can be empty of real meaning.

Kathleen R. Fischer and Thomas N. Hart, Promises to Keep

The pain then is part of the pleasure now. That's the deal.

Joy Davidman in Shadowlands, on the eventual death of one partner in marriage

Marital love is more than eros. It has to do with how you treat each other when dishes need to be washed or garbage taken out, when misunderstandings arise and when one has transgressed against the other. Love is not the desire to be united with the other, but action on behalf of the other, and constancy in pursuit of his or her well-being.

Miroslav Volf, in The Christian Century

The reality is then that sex must not be depended upon to initiate intimacy. It can only grow out of it.

Elaine Storkey, The Search for Intimacy

It takes a long time for people to recognize their soul-mates when they have too limited an idea of who they are themselves.

Theodore Zeldin, An Intimate History of Humanity

Love … consists in this, that two solitudes protect and border and salute each other.

Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

Peter Lombard observed that Eve was not taken from Adam's head, because she was not intended to be his ruler, nor from his feet either, because she was not intended to be his slave, but from his side, precisely, because she was intended to be his companion.

Eileen Power, Medieval People

Good Food, the company of a good friend, what more could anyone desire?

Carol Shields, Unless: a Novel

Article continues below

Related Elsewhere

For more articles on relationships, marriage, sex, and love see our Valentine's Day page, our Sexuality and Gender or Family archives, our sister publication Marriage Partnership, or our website's Singles channel

Past Reflections columns include:

Mountaintop Spirituality (January 23, 2003)
Word Made Flesh (December 20, 2002)
Desert Springs (November 25, 2002)
Matters of the Mind (October 16, 2002)
Bumper stickers (August 6, 2002)
Preaching (July 18, 2002)
Prayer (June 24, 2002)
Suffering and Grief (May 20, 2002)
Writers and Words (April 18, 2002)
Crucifixion (March 28, 2002)
God's Mission (February 13, 2002)
On Enemies (January 8, 2002)
Life After Christmas (December 26, 2001)
Love & Marriage (November 13, 2001)
The Word of God (October 22, 2001)
Leadership (October 11, 2001)
Suffering (September 13, 2001)
Change (August 14, 2001)
Living Tradition (July 18, 2001)
Sacred Spaces (June 11, 2001)
Friendship (May 17, 2001)

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.