Roundup of the best feminist love and wedding quotes

How great is it that marriage has become less traditional and more inclusive - especially for those of us who haven’t always been seen and heard by our legal system? Gone are the days when marriage was likely to happen in a church, between and man and a woman, before having children (no hating if that’s what you want, though!). If the institution of marriage hadn’t changed, I certainly would not have gotten married myself.

I read all these quotes about love and marriage before getting married to center and remind myself that above all, the most radical and important thing we can do is to love ourselves and each other. I also remembered my very wise younger self, who had no desire to get married, only a desire to find a lasting love.

"You think he belongs to you because you want to belong to him. Don't. It's a bad word, 'belong.' Especially when you put it with somebody you love. Love shouldn't be like that." - Toni Morrison, quote from Song of Solomon

"Why would I be worried about intimidating people? The kind of man who would be intimidated by me is not a man I am interested in." - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 

"Each suburban wife struggles with it alone. As she made the beds, shopped for groceries, matched slipcover material, ate peanut butter sandwiches with her children, chauffeured Cub Scouts and Brownies, lay beside her husband at night — she was afraid to ask even of herself the silent question: 'Is this all?'" - Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique

"If any female feels she needs anything beyond herself to legitimate and validate her existence, she is already giving away her power to be self-defining, her agency." - bell hooks, quote from Feminism is for Everybody

"Loving does not at first mean merging, surrendering, and uniting with another person … Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distance exists, a marvelous living side-by-side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of seeing each other as a whole before an immense sky.” — Rainer Maria Rilke

"It's not responsibility to be beautiful. I'm not alive for that purpose. My existence is not about how desirable you find me." — Warsan Shire

This last one is a personal favorite - it was actually read by my brother at my wedding!

“To love is not to possess,
To own or imprison,
Nor to lose one’s self in another.
Love is to join and separate,
To walk alone and together,
To find a laughing freedom
That lonely isolation does not permit.
It is finally to be able
To be who we really are
No longer clinging in childish dependency
Nor docilely living separate lives in silence,
It is to be perfectly one’s self
And perfectly joined in permanent commitment
To another–and to one’s inner self.
Love only endures when it moves like waves,
Receding and returning gently or passionately,
Or moving lovingly like the tide
In the moon’s own predictable harmony,
Because finally, despite a child’s scars
Or an adult’s deepest wounds,
They are openly free to be
Who they really are–and always secretly were,
In the very core of their being
Where true and lasting love can alone abide.”

- James Kavanaugh