- Le prix d'Amour, c'est seulement Amour, ... Il faut aimer si l'on veut être aimé. This famous quote, written by Honoré d' Urfé, can be translated as follows: The price of love is only love, ... one must love if one desires to be loved.
- En sa beauté gît ma mort et ma vie. Written by Maurice Scève, this quote literally translates to: In her beauty rests (both) my death and my life. You can make this into a phrase to tell someone directly that you love them by replacing the "sa" (her) with "ta" (your) so that it reads "in YOUR beauty."
- L'amour fait les plus grandes douceurs et les plus sensibles infortunes de la vie. This line by Madeleine de Scudéry is less of a direct romantic saying and more of an abstract line about love. It translates to: Love is responsible for the greatest pleasures and the worst problems in life. This quote is a good one to use at a melancholic moment, such as when being separated from a loved one.
- Je serai poète et toi poésie. This line from François Coppée is a very romantic and simple line. It means: I'll be a poet, and you'll be poetry. This is a great inscription for a card or on another gift. Alternatively, say it in person at a heartfelt moment.
- Aimer, ce n'est pas se regarder l'un l'autre, c'est regarder ensemble dans la même direction. This famous quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is almost as famous as his quotes from Le petit prince. This quote means: Love does not consist in looking at each other, but rather in, together, looking in the same direction.
Generic Romantic Sayings
The literary French romantic sayings are quite serious. There are also more general romantic sayings that you can use to sign off a letter or to make a more simple statement. For example, when giving flowers, you can simply write a short phrase on a tag attached to the bouquet and sign it, or not. While these phrases are not necessarily attributable to a a single author, they can have a very big impact when uttered or written in a fitting context.
- Pour toujours et à jamais: "Forever and for always" - this phrase can be used on its own or can be written after saying je t'aime, changing the expression into "I'll love you forever."
- Amour de ma vie: "Love of my life," this is a common phrase for expressing that someone is perfect for you. Often the word amour is replaced by the word for woman or man so that it reads: (you are) the man/woman of my life. This may sound a bit strange in English, but in French it is somewhat equivalent to saying that someone is your soul mate (âme-sœur).
- Toujours dans mon cœur: "Always in my heart." Again, this phrase can be used as an inscription on its own or you can make it into a sentence. For example: Tu es toujours dans mon cœur (You are always in my heart) or Je voulais que tu saches que tu es toujours dans mon cœur (I wanted you to know that you are always in my heart).
- Vous et nul autre: A bit old-fashioned because it uses "vous" instead of "tu." This line means: You and no other. You can modernize it by saying Toi et nul autre.
- À toi, pour toujours: A great way to end a letter or to sign a card, this translates to: Forever yours, and makes a big impact in French.
- On n'aime que ce qu'on ne possède pas tout entier.
We love only what we do not wholly possess.
Il n'y a qu'un bonheur dans la vie, c'est d'aimer et d'être aimé.
There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved.
Other famous French quotes on the subject of love are as follows:
Il n'est rien de réel que le rêve et l'amour.
Nothing is real but dreams and love, from Le Coeur innombrable, IV, Chanson du temps opportun by Anna de Noailles.
- En amour, écrire est dangereux, sans compter que c'est inutile''
In love, writing is dangerous, not to mention pointless, from Le Demi-Monde by Alexandre Dumas Fils
- Si tu m'aimais, et si je t'aimais, comme je t'aimerais!
If you loved me, and if I loved you, how I would love you!, from Toi et moi, Epigraphe by Paul Geraldy
- L'on est bien faible quand on est amoureux.
One is very weak when one is in love, from La Princesse de Montpensier by Madame de Lafayette
- L'amour fait les plus grandes douceurs et les plus sensibles infortunes de la vie.
Love makes life's sweetest pleasures and worst misfortunes, from Choix de pensées de l'amour by Madeleine de Scudery