Expressing Love: Easier in Fiction Than in Real Life?

Valentine’s Day is coming up, and I started thinking about how difficult it can be to communicate love. Of course we love our family and friends, but do we talk a lot about how much they mean to us?

We know a casual “I love you” tossed out while leaving for work isn’t enough. And yet we often hesitate to put our love into meaningful words, taking refuge in silent hugs. (Not that there’s anything wrong with hugs, mind you. I wouldn’t want to live without those!)

Maybe this is why I enjoy how love is portrayed in fiction. All the best aspects of love come out in a good story. (And I don’t just mean romantic love, although I admit to watching the Colin Firth version of Pride and Prejudice more times than is probably healthy.)

Heroes in fantasy and sci-fi stories are expected to show courage in the face of evil. So it’s not surprising that they are also brave enough to express their true feelings. There are so many places in my favourite films where this happens.

There are the characters who demonstrate their selflessness:

As you wish.

– Westley to his true love Buttercup, The Princess Bride

And there are the characters who don’t hesitate to tell others how much they love them:

I am glad you are here with me. Here at the end of all things, Sam.

– Frodo Baggins to his companion Samwise Gamgee at Mount Doom, Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Best of all, there are the characters who recognize that love is a partnership, and that we need to support each other:

You take care of me, Simon. You’ve always taken care of me. My turn.

– River Tam to her injured brother Simon Tam in the face of overwhelming odds, Serenity

This Valentine’s Day, I want to let all my loved ones know how glad I am that they are in my life. It’s definitely time to say it out loud.

And to all my dear readers, I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day with your own loved ones.

I leave you with one of my favourite expressions of love from xkcd:

xkcd everything


Happy Valentine’s Day! What’s your favourite moment of love in fiction? What expressions of love do you think are wonderful?

26 thoughts on “Expressing Love: Easier in Fiction Than in Real Life?

  1. Oh, of course I can’t think of a specific example right now, but I’m sure some will come to me. For example, I always enjoy fiction where a woman will do anything to save her child. I’m thinking of some of the stories that involve women trying to escape an oppressive situation, like in Khaled Hosseini’s “A Thousand Splendid Suns.” The women in that book did some pretty brave things to protect their children, all in the name of love.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I find that my reaction to fiction about mothers and children changed dramatically from pre-child to post-child. Now I feel like I want to protect all children. There’s nothing like that motherly love. You’re right, there are some beautiful examples of that in fiction!

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  2. I remember watching “A little Princess”. The reunion of father and daughter was so emotional in the movie.
    Such, moments of love expressed in the form of fiction or showed in the form of movie leave a great impact:)

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  3. It’s strange that I’ve come across your post today as I was just thing about Mrs Winterbourne (which seems to portray all kinds of love), Sabrina (for romantic love), and in sci-fi land, it would have to be The Fifth Element! It’s hard to choose just one! Leenna πŸ˜€

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  4. I think in fiction, it would have to be where Denys tells Karen that she’s ruined being alone for him in Out of Africa. It’s an unexpected way of revealing the depth of feeling and dependency upon another person.
    And there is not one day that passes, where if I find myself face to face with one of my children, that I do not grab them by both ears and look into their eyes and express my love for them. I’m truly corny that way. They’re used to it.
    Happy heart day, Sue. Hope yours was worthy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a wonderful example, Shelley. And I’m glad that your children will never doubt that you love them! I’m sure someday they will be thankful (rather than roll their eyes and fidget, which I’m sure happens sometimes.) Happy heart day to you, too! I spent it with my nearest and dearest, and that’s what matters to me.


  5. Happy Belated Valentine’s day Sue!

    Love is a intriguing feeling. We need to nurture it well so it can grow. And how to express it… So many ways as the examples you and your readers wrote. This days I believe humanity really needs more loving people so we can make all sentient beings happier and care more for our home (planet Earth).


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