I first heard of Mr. Wilde when I was in elementary school, and although I read some of his short stories in high school as well, it wasn’t until my university years that I completely fell in love with his literary style and wit.

The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Importance of Being Earnest are actually among my all-time favorites!

Since you are reading this article, I’m sure you’re a fan, too, so welcome to my collection of 140 Oscar Wilde love quotes! As you’ll notice, I selected the most legendary quotes on love and life from his different works.

Some of them will certainly make you laugh hard, bring a tear to your eye, and some will probably take you back to your college years… Whatever happens, I’m sure you’ll even want to reread your favorite Oscar Wilde masterpieces!

So, shall we start?

10 Best Oscar Wilde Love Quotes

I’ll kick things off with my 10 favorite Oscar Wilde love quotes:

1. “Who, being loved, is poor?” ― Oscar Wilde

Who, being loved, is poor

2. “When one is in love, one always begins by deceiving one’s self, and one always ends by deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance.” ― Oscar Wilde

3. “Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship.” ― Oscar Wilde

4. “A kiss may ruin a human life.” ― Oscar Wilde

5. “Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary.” ― Oscar Wilde

Best Oscar Wilde love quote and Oscar's portrait.

6. “Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and a richness to life that nothing else can bring.” ― Oscar Wilde

7. “For one moment our lives met, our souls touched.” ― Oscar Wilde

8. “When you really want love, you will find it waiting for you.” ― Oscar Wilde

9. “The worst of having a romance of any kind is that it leaves one so unromantic.” ― Oscar Wilde

10. “You don’t love someone for their looks, or their clothes, or for their fancy car, but because they sing a song only you can hear.” ― Oscar Wilde

You don't love someone for their looks

Brilliant Oscar Wilde Quotes About Love

Check out these brilliant quotes on love:

1. “The very essence of romance is uncertainty.” ― Oscar Wilde

Brilliant quote on love by Oscar Wilde and his portrait.

2. “Men always want to be a woman’s first love. That is their clumsy vanity. We women have a more subtle instinct about these things. What (women) like is to be a man’s last romance.” ― Oscar Wilde

3. “Women are meant to be loved, not to be understood.” ― Oscar Wilde

4. “One should never trust a woman who tells one her real age. A woman who would tell one that would tell one anything.” ― Oscar Wilde

5. “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” ― Oscar Wilde

Brilliant Oscar Wilde on love and his portrait.

6. “You are more to me than any of them has any idea; you are the atmosphere of beauty through which I see life; you are the incarnation of all lovely things… I think of you day and night.” ― Oscar Wilde

7. “Memory is the diary we all carry about with us.” ― Oscar Wilde

8. “I see when men love women. They give them but a little of their lives. But women, when they love, give everything.” ― Oscar Wilde

9. “When a woman marries again, it is because she detested her first husband. When a man marries again, it is because he adored his first wife. Women try their luck; men risk theirs.” ― Oscar Wilde

10. “Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.” ― Oscar Wilde

Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go

11. “I don’t like compliments, and I don’t see why a man should think he is pleasing a woman enormously when he says to her a whole heap of things that he doesn’t mean.” ― Oscar Wilde

12. “Friendship is far more tragic than love. It lasts longer.” ― Oscar Wilde

13. “Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is the same.” ― Oscar Wilde

14. “Women defend themselves by attacking, just as they attack by sudden and strange surrenders.” ― Oscar Wilde

15. “Never marry at all, Dorian. Men marry because they are tired, women, because they are curious: both are disappointed.” ― Oscar Wilde

Men marry because they are tired, women, because they are curious both are disappointed

16. “I really don’t see anything romantic in proposing. It is very romantic to be in love. But there is nothing romantic about a definite proposal. Why, one may be accepted. One usually is, I believe. Then the excitement is all over. The very essence of romance is uncertainty. If ever I get married, I’ll certainly try to forget the fact.” – Oscar Wilde

17. “Oh! I don’t think I would like to catch a sensible man. I shouldn’t know what to talk to him about.” ― Oscar Wilde

18. “The only way a woman can ever reform a man is by boring him so completely that he loses all possible interest in life.” ― Oscar Wilde

19. “I am sick of women who love one. Women who hate one are much more interesting.” ― Oscar Wilde

20. “A man’s face is his autobiography. A woman’s face is her work of fiction.” ― Oscar Wilde

A man's face is his autobiography

21. “The error all women commit. Why can’t you women love us, faults and all? Why do you place us on monstrous pedestals? We have all feet of clay, women as well as men; but when we men love women, we love them knowing their weaknesses, their follies, their imperfections, love them all the more, it may be, for that reason. It is not the perfect, but the imperfect, who have need of love. It is when we are wounded by our own hands, or by the hands of others, that love should come to cure us – else what use is love at all? All sins, except a sin against itself, Love should forgive. All lives, save loveless lives, true Love should pardon. A man’s love is like that. It is wider, larger, more human than a woman’s. Women think that they are making ideals of men. What they are making of us are false idols merely. You made your false idol of me, and I had not the courage to come down, show you my wounds, tell you my weaknesses. I was afraid that I might lose your love, as I have lost it now.” ― Oscar Wilde

22. “If you want to be a doormat, you have to lay yourself down first.” ― Oscar Wilde

23. “I like persons better than principles, and I like persons with no principles better than anything else in the world.” ― Oscar Wilde

24. “Love is a gross exaggeration of the difference between one person and everybody else.” ― Oscar Wilde

25. “If you are not long, I will wait for you all my life.” ― Oscar Wilde

If you are not long, I will wait for you all my life

26. “How can a woman be expected to be happy with a man who insists on treating her as if she were a perfectly normal human being.” ― Oscar Wilde

27. “Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.” ― Oscar Wilde

28. “A bore is someone who deprives you of solitude without providing you with company.” ― Oscar Wilde

29. “Every woman is a rebel, and usually in wild revolt against herself.” ― Oscar Wilde

30. “I like men who have a future and women who have a past.” ― Oscar Wilde

I like men who have a future and women who have a past

Legendary Oscar Wilde Love Quotes

Depending on different characters, perspectives on love may vary. Let’s read these legendary quotes as well:

1. “The mystery of love is greater than the mystery of death.” ― Oscar Wilde

The mystery of love is greater than the mystery of death

2. “Hearts are made to be broken.” ― Oscar Wilde

3. “A man can be happy with any woman as long as he does not love her.” ― Oscar Wilde

4. “We women, as someone says, love with our ears, just as you men love with your eyes, if you ever love at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

5. “One should always be in love. That’s the reason one should never marry.” ― Oscar Wilde

One should always be in love

6. “Always! That is a dreadful word. It makes me shudder when I hear it. Women are so fond of using it. They spoil every romance by trying to make it last forever. It is a meaningless word, too. The only difference between a caprice and a life-long passion is that the caprice lasts a little longer.” ― Oscar Wilde

7. “She lives the poetry she cannot write.” ― Oscar Wilde

8. “My dear boy, no woman is a genius. Women are a decorative sex. They never have anything to say, but they say it charmingly. Women represent the triumph of matter over mind, just as men represent the triumph of mind over morals.” ― Oscar Wilde

9. “My dear fellow, the truth isn’t quite the sort of thing one tells to a nice, sweet, refined girl. What extraordinary ideas you have about the way to behave to a woman!” ― Oscar Wilde

10. “Ah! The strength of women comes from the fact that psychology cannot explain us. Men can be analyzed, women… merely adored.” ― Oscar Wilde

The strength of women comes from the fact that psychology cannot explain us

11. “Women love us for our defects. If we have enough of them, they will forgive us everything, even our intellects.” ― Oscar Wilde

12. “I think it’s very healthy to spend time alone. You need to know how to be alone and not be defined by another person.” ― Oscar Wilde

13. “A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.” – Oscar Wilde

14. “Women, as some witty Frenchman once put it, inspire us with the desire to do masterpieces and always prevent us from carrying them out.” ― Oscar Wilde

15. “I have always been of opinion that a man who desires to get married should know either everything or nothing.” ― Oscar Wilde

I have always been of opinion that a man who desires to get married should know either everything or nothing

16. “My dear boy, the people who love only once in their lives are really the shallow people. What they call their loyalty, and their fidelity, I call either the lethargy of custom or their lack of imagination.. Faithfulness is to the emotional life what consistency is to the life of the intellect ––– simply a confession of failures. Faithfulness! I must analyse it some day. The passion for property is in it. There are many things that we would throw away if we were not afraid that others might pick them up. But I don’t want to interrupt you. Go on with your story.” ― Oscar Wilde

17. “Then I feel, Harry, that I have given away my whole soul to someone who treats it as if it were a flower to put in his coat, a bit of decoration to charm his vanity, an ornament for a summer’s day.” ― Oscar Wilde

18. “The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and richness to life that nothing else can bring.” ― Oscar Wilde

19. “Women have a wonderful instinct about things. They can discover everything except the obvious.” ― Oscar Wilde

20. “Long engagements give people the opportunity of finding out each other’s character before marriage, which is never advisable.” ― Oscar Wilde

Long engagements give people the opportunity of finding out each other's character before marriage, which is never advisable

21. “She knew nothing but she had everything he had lost.” ― Oscar Wilde

22. “A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone’s feelings unintentionally.” ― Oscar Wilde

23. “How else but through a broken heart may Lord Christ enter in?” ― Oscar Wilde

24. “She is all the great heroines of the world in one. She is more than an individual. I love her, and I must make her love me. I want to make Romeo jealous. I want the dead lovers of the world to hear our laughter, and grow sad. I want a breath of our passion to stir dust into consciousness, to wake their ashes into pain.” ― Oscar Wilde

25. “Everyone is worthy of love, except him who thinks that he is. Love is a sacrament that should be taken kneeling.” ― Oscar Wilde

Everyone is worthy of love, except him who thinks that he is

26. “Some kill their love when they are young, and some when they are old; some strangle with the hands of Gold: the kindest use a knife, because the dead so soon grow cold.” – Oscar Wilde

27. “Some love too little, some too long, some sell and others buy; some do the deed with many tears, and some without a sigh: for each man kills the thing he loves, yet each man does not die.” – Oscar Wilde

28. “You have killed my love. You used to stir my imagination. Now you don’t even stir my curiosity. You simply produce no effect. I loved you because you were marvelous, because you had genius and intellect, because you realized the dreams of great poets and gave shape and substance to the shadows of art. You have thrown it all away. You are shallow and stupid.” ― Oscar Wilde

29. “What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.” ― Oscar Wilde

30. “People are afraid of themselves, nowadays. They have forgotten the highest of all duties, the duty that one owes to oneself.” – Oscar Wilde

People are afraid of themselves, nowadays

Oscar Wilde On Love And Relationships

Find relatable and witty quotes on love and relationships right here:

1. “Where there is no love, there is no understanding.” ― Oscar Wilde

Quote on relationship and Oscar Wilde's portrait.

2. “It is only shallow people who require years to get rid of an emotion. A man who is master of himself can end a sorrow as easily as he can invent a pleasure. I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.” ― Oscar Wilde

3. “Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. Second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience.” ― Oscar Wilde

4. “Love is a sacrament that should be taken kneeling, and Domine non sum dignus should be on the lips and in the hearts of those who receive it.” ― Oscar Wilde

5. “There seemed to be something tragic in a friendship so coloured by romance.” ― Oscar Wilde

There seemed to be something tragic in a friendship so coloured by romance

6. “Plain women are always jealous of their husbands. Beautiful women never are. They are always so occupied with being jealous of other women’s husbands.” ― Oscar Wilde

7. “She was a curious woman, whose dresses always looked as if they had been designed in a rage and put on in a tempest. She was usually in love with somebody, and, as her passion was never returned, she had kept all her illusions. She tried to look picturesque, but only succeeded in being untidy.” ― Oscar Wilde

8. “A passion for pleasure is the secret of remaining young.” ― Oscar Wilde

9. “One should always be a little improbable.” ― Oscar Wilde

10. “Love is easily killed.” ― Oscar Wilde

Love is easily killed

11. “Ultimately the bond of all companionship, whether in marriage or in friendship, is conversation, and conversation must have a common basis, and between two people of widely different culture the only common basis possible is the lowest level.” ― Oscar Wilde

12. “I never change, except in my affections.” ― Oscar Wilde

13. “I wonder who it was that defined man as a rational animal. It was the most premature definition ever given. Man is many things, but he is not rational.” ― Oscar Wilde

14. “Life is not complex. We are complex. Life is simple, and the simple thing is the right thing.” ― Oscar Wilde

15. “Most people live for love and admiration. But it is by love and admiration that we should live.” ― Oscar Wilde

Most people live for love and admiration

16. “There is always something ridiculous about the emotions of people whom one has ceased to love.” ― Oscar Wilde

17. “Deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance.” ― Oscar Wilde

18. “I adore simple pleasures. They are the last refuge of the complex.” ― Oscar Wilde

19. “It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible…” ― Oscar Wilde

20. “The amount of women in London who flirt with their own husbands is perfectly scandalous. It looks so bad. It is simply washing one’s clean linen in public.” ― Oscar Wilde

The amount of women in London who flirt with their own husbands is perfectly scandalous

21. “The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself, with desire for what its monstrous laws have made monstrous and unlawful.” ― Oscar Wilde

22. “The aim of life is self-development. To realize one’s nature perfectly – that is what each of us is here for.” ― Oscar Wilde

23.”One can always be kind to people about whom one cares nothing.” ― Oscar Wilde

24. “When the Gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers.” ― Oscar Wilde

25. “Crying is for plain women. Pretty women go shopping.” ― Oscar Wilde

Crying is for plain women

26. “Women have a much better time than men in this world; there are far more things forbidden to them.” ― Oscar Wilde

27. “The most terrible thing about it is not that it breaks one’s heart – hearts are made to be broken — but that it turns one’s heart to stone.” ― Oscar Wilde

28. “Music makes one feel so romantic – at least it always gets on one’s nerves – which is the same thing nowadays.” ― Oscar Wilde

29. “I am tired of myself tonight. I should like to be somebody else.” ― Oscar Wilde

30. “I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.” ― Oscar Wilde

I have the simplest tastes

Oscar Wilde On Love And Life

Some of these are quotes I live by. Find loads of marvelous words on love and life in general below:

1. “Nothing spoils romance so much as a sense of humor in the woman.” ― Oscar Wilde

Nothing spoils romance so much as a sense of humor in the woman

2. “Yet each man kills the thing he loves by each let this be heard, some do it with a bitter look, some with a flattering word. The coward does it with a kiss. The brave man with a sword.” ― Oscar Wilde

3. “Whenever a man does a thoroughly stupid thing, it is always from the noblest motives.” ― Oscar Wilde

4. “There is no sin except stupidity.” ― Oscar Wilde

5. “I can resist anything except temptation.” ― Oscar Wilde

Wilde quote on life and Oscar's portrait.

6. “I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is never of any use to oneself.” ― Oscar Wilde

7. “Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is by far the best ending for one.” ― Oscar Wilde

8. “There are moments when one has to choose between living one’s own life, fully, entirely, completely – or dragging out some false, shallow, degrading existence that the world in its hypocrisy demands.” ― Oscar Wilde

9. “Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about.” ― Oscar Wilde

10. “The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it.” ― Oscar Wilde

The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it

11. “There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.” ― Oscar Wilde

12. “Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people we personally dislike.” ― Oscar Wilde

13. “All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does, and that is his.” ― Oscar Wilde

14. “You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit.” ― Oscar Wilde

15. “It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.” ― Oscar Wilde

It is absurd to divide people into good and bad

16. “After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.” ― Oscar Wilde

17. “Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” ― Oscar Wilde

18. “Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them.” ― Oscar Wilde

19. “A good friend will always stab you in the front.” ― Oscar Wilde

20. “Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.” ― Oscar Wilde

Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live

21. “Everything in the world is about s*x, except s*x. S*x is about power.” ― Oscar Wilde

22. “We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell.” ― Oscar Wilde

23. “You can never be overdressed or overeducated.” ― Oscar Wilde

24. “I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.” ― Oscar Wilde

25. “Some things are more precious because they don’t last long.” ― Oscar Wilde

Some things are more precious because they don't last long

26. “There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.” ― Oscar Wilde

27. “Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.” ― Oscar Wilde

28. “Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic.” ― Oscar Wilde

29. “The truth is rarely pure and never simple.” ― Oscar Wilde

30. “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” ― Oscar Wilde

Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Oscar Wilde On Life

Here are some more amazing perspectives on life by Mr. Wilde. Let’s take a look:

1. “I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.” ― Oscar Wilde

I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability

2. “Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.” ― Oscar Wilde

3. “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” ― Oscar Wilde

4. “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ― Oscar Wilde

5. “Experience is merely the name men gave to their mistakes.” ― Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde life quote and his portrait.

6. “Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.” ― Oscar Wilde

7. “Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.” ― Oscar Wilde

8. “A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.” ― Oscar Wilde

9. “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” ― Oscar Wilde

10. “Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.” ― Oscar Wilde

Man is least himself when he talks in his own person

Final Thoughts

No other author made me rethink life and love like Mr. Wilde. His wit, brilliant style and unforgettable characters continue to fascinate me to this day.

Finally, thank you for visiting us and reading my list of 140 Oscar Wilde love quotes! I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did while making it!

Stay tuned for more brilliant content.

Until next time!

140 Oscar Wilde Love Quotes That Are Absolutely Genius


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