The Pont des Arts will never be the same, but these French quotes will keep the love alive.
Romantic loving is a rollercoaster ride of ecstasy and agony. It throws us up into the clouds in one moment, and the next it pushes us over the edge and into the abyss. Falling in love feels like we have found our other half. Yet, romance is, unfortunately, as insecure as a love lock on a Parisian bridge.
Two Parisian existential philosophers and lovers — Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre — knew this all too well. Love philosopher Skye Cleary shares her favorite quotes from these great minds:
1. “To love is never just to love since it is also to will to love, and … to love in spite of oneself, to allow oneself to be overcome by one’s love.” —Jean-Paul Sartre
2. “We belong to this earth. Now I can see the truth … I love you on this earth of ours. Love me, do!” —Simone de Beauvoir
3. “This is the basis for the joy of love when there is joy; we feel that our existence is justified.” —Jean-Paul Sartre
4. “If I were proud of anything in my life, it would be of our love. I feel we have to tell to each other as many things as we can, so we are not only lovers, but the closest of friends at the same time.” —Simone de Beauvoir
5. “You stand there, you look at them, you touch them, you are warm, you are full of light, and you are not myself. It’s intolerable. I cannot understand why we are still two people. I should like to become you, and still remain myself.” —Jean-Paul Sartre
6. “I take on a shape and an existence only if I first throw myself into the world by loving, by doing.” —Simone de Beauvoir
7. “There is no love apart from the deeds of love; no potentiality of love other than that which is manifested in loving.” —Jean-Paul Sartre
8. “Authentic love must be founded on reciprocal recognition of two freedoms. For each of them, love would be the revelation of the self through the gift of the self and the enrichment of the universe.” —Simone de Beauvoir
9. “Here is an original structure of authentic love … to unveil the Other’s being-within-the-world … to rejoice in it without appropriating it; to give it safety in terms of my freedom, and to surpass it only in the direction of the Other’s ends.” —Jean-Paul Sartre
10. “The state of emotional intoxication allows one to grasp existence in one’s self and in the other, as both subjectivity and passivity. The two partners merge in this ambiguous unity; each one is freed of his own presence and achieves immediate communication with the other.” —Simone de Beauvoir
11. “I know that I shall never again meet anything or anybody who will inspire me with passion. You know, it’s quite a job starting to love somebody. You have to have energy, generosity, blindness. There is even a moment, in the very beginning, when you have to jump across a precipice: if you think about it you don’t do it. I know I’ll never jump again.” —Jean-Paul Sartre
12. “Love and action always imply a failure, but this failure must not keep us from loving and acting. For we have not only to establish what our situation is, we have to choose it in the very heart of its ambiguity.” —Simone de Beauvoir