Love is a beautiful feeling, isn’t it? Makes you want to climb up the clouds and steal all the stars in the night sky for the romantic love of your life. I have always believed there are as many symbolic expressions of love as there are people in the world. Each person loves differently, in their own distinct way. In my quest to express the depth of my emotions for a significant other, I wondered what the new and ancient symbols of love are.
The most famous love symbol, as we all know, is a red heart. From Roman goddesses to Greek mythology to Tarot card reading to cultural symbolisms, love is known in various ways. Some people consider their wedding or engagement ring as one of the unconditional love symbols. My personal symbol for unconditional love is poetry.
Poetry is my way of showering love upon the person I am smitten with — from their personality to their behavior to every little detail that makes them the way they are and how they make me feel. Would you believe me if I said I have written more than 300 poems about and for one person? Let’s find out about universal love symbols and other obscure and unexplored symbols of love that people have used and have been using for centuries to convey their love for someone.
16 Beautiful Symbols Of Love With Their Meanings
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A bouquet of fresh red roses and the red heart emoji aren’t the only symbols for unconditional love. As a matter of fact, different civilizations and cultures use different beautiful symbols of love to convey this emotion. Beyond the traditional love symbols in the world, there are some that are lesser known and represent passionate feelings. Read along with this hopeless romantic to find out about the other symbols:
No, not the Apple iPhone. I am talking about the forbidden apple, the fruit, which Adam took a bite of and it got stuck in his throat. The Greeks have honored apples as the ancient symbols of love. It’s said that they attract sexual pleasure. People in ancient Greece used to believe if you threw an apple at the woman you liked, then you were confessing your love for her. In fact, golden apples were given to Aphrodite by Paris of Troy as a love symbol.
If the woman reciprocated the other’s feelings, she would catch the apple, or at least attempt to. Apple represents temptation, prosperity, and fertility. It used to be a custom or a wedding night myth for the bride to eat an apple to ensure her sexual desire and fertility to reproduce offspring.
Swans exude a mesmerizing amount of grace, charm, and beauty. Their appearance is straight out of a fairy tale. Their elegance, body structure, elongated necks, and their posture, everything about them is bewitching. In Greek mythology, the Greek goddess Aphrodite is known as the goddess of love. She is often depicted as riding a swan. Similarly, Venus is known as the Roman goddess of love.
Swans are depicted as one of the Greek love symbols of love and loyalty. Their intertwined necks symbolize the connected mind, body, and soul of two soulmates. Swans are also among the rare monogamous species. Swans mate with only one partner for life. That should tell you a lot about undying devotion, love, and loyalty. When two of them come together and form the shape of a heart, that sight makes one of the most romantic universal symbols.
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We have all heard the term “struck by Cupid’s arrow” used to refer to the process of falling in love. Cupid, the baby in a diaper with wings carrying a golden bow and arrows, is the son of Venus, the goddess of love.
In Roman mythology, Cupid is best known as the god of desire, affection, and erotic love. All the feelings related to love are evoked with the golden arrow of the Cupid that is known to pierce people’s hearts. In today’s popular culture, Cupid is one of the widely known symbols of love and is commonly associated with Valentine’s Day. He is sometimes blindfolded in paintings, which is a symbolic way of saying love is blind.
4. The harp
The belief that harps represent love traces its roots to Europe. It is one of the Celtic symbols of love as its origin can be traced back to the ancient Celts who used to play the harp with lyrical poetry. It is known as the bridge of love that connects heaven and Earth in Celtic culture.
The strings of the harp are believed to form a ladder, which symbolizes our ascent to higher states of love. The harp is one of the devout things that symbolize love in the Bible. It is said that King David played the harp to the Lord himself to express his undying devotion and love.
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5. The ankh
This is an ancient Egyptian symbol for love. It is also known as crux ansata or the ‘the key of everyday life’ or ‘the Christian cross of life.’ These days, the ankh has become a fashion accessory but it has an abundance of historical significance. It symbolizes fertility. People usually wear the ankh when they are expecting a new baby.
Some scholars have argued that the loop on top symbolizes the female genitalia while the elongated line represents the masculine counterpart, the penis. Hence, one of the eccentric symbols of love as those two sacred units come together to form a union. The crossbar represents children that come from their union of unconditional love.
I am a huge Potterhead. Ever since I saw Harry and Cho Chang share their first kiss under the mistletoe, I have wondered what implications it brings. This tradition of finding yourself under the green leafy plant and going in for a kiss has existed long before it was popularized by pop culture and TV series.
Popular during Christmas time, this act of kissing under the mistletoe originates from Norse mythology and also finds a mention in a 1720 poem. Mistletoe represents love, fertility, and vitality, which makes it one of the special and mysterious symbols that represent love.
The Claddagh is one of the well-known symbols of love in ancient Irish culture. Its design includes a hand, heart, and crown. The heart represents love. The crown represents loyalty and the two clasped hands represent friendship. It is a dazzling symbol of everlasting love.
There are specific ways of wearing a Claddagh ring. If you are single and looking for love, then you wear it on the right hand with the heart on the ring pointing away from you. If you are in love, then wear it on your left hand with its heart pointing in.
8. Two doves
Doves don’t just represent peace but are also one of the earnest symbols of love. They are elegant and attractive-looking birds with unique personalities. Out of all different types of doves, the white one is most commonly used to symbolize love. That’s why when we see two people getting touchy-feely with one another, we tend to use the term ‘lovey-dovey.‘
Doves produce a gentle cooing sound and the way they take flight is subtle and beautiful. The reason that they are known as one of the true love symbols is that, like swans, they too mate with only one partner for life. The male dove is known to be extremely caring of its partner.
Related Reading: Do I Love Her? 30 Signs That Surely Say So!
9. Maple leaf
I have lost count of the number of movies where maple leaf is scattered and sometimes shown flying in the breezy air as a metaphorical and symbolic way of saying love is about to bloom between two people. The maple leaf has been linked with fertility and the joy of giving birth to a child.
It is one of the most beautiful and widely used true love symbols in Japan and ancient Chinese culture. Like the sweet sap from its tree, which essentially produces maple syrup, maple leaf is considered to bring the sweetness and wonders of love in one’s life.
Let’s all thank one of the most famous love dialogues in The Fault In Our Stars for bringing infinity to our attention. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities, right? And how many of us have used the phrase “to infinity and beyond” without knowing what it means? The infinity symbol is one of the pleasing and artistic symbols of love which represents the forever and endless kind of love.
The symbol of infinity is associated with eternal life, love, and everlasting commitment. Thanks to its elegant and beautiful design, it has become a trending choice for jewelry design and tattoos.
I always try to impress people on dates by saying my first name means heaven and my second name means seashell. And then I would go on to say that their experience of loving me would be nothing short of heavenly and precious. Now getting back to one of the well-known love symbols, in Greek mythology, you will always see Aphrodite holding a seashell.
As the hard casing of the shell protects the pearl, the lovers tend to be protective of each other. It signifies the protective nature of true romance.
Related Reading: 13 Simple Ways To Win A Woman’s Heart
This beautiful white flower is very famous in the Hindu religion as a symbol of love. It is widely believed that the jasmine flower comes from the foothills of the Himalayas, which is considered sacred ground in India.
Jasmine is one of the divine flower symbols of love, warmth, positivity, and sensuality. There are many depictions of Hindu goddesses wearing jasmine garlands around their necks. The white petals represent love, peace, and purity. Similarly, eight petal flowers also represent love.
13. Love knot
Since ancient times, the love knot or the lover’s knot is a recurring theme in jewelry designs. The symbolism behind it is that of binding. When you tie a knot, you are bound with them forever. It is a metaphor of a person’s commitment. It is one of the Celtic symbols of love.
That’s why when two people are getting married we say, “They are tying the knot.” It’s also an important love symbol in Hindu wedding ceremonies and rituals that signifies a fruitful relationship. Love knots in themselves represent an unbreakable pledge.
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The Kokopelli symbolizes healing, courtship, fertility, love, and music. Kokopelli is the fertility God of the Hopi tribe. Its symbol resembles an insect-like spirit. It’s a hunchbacked grasshopper playing a wooden flute.
The Kokopelli plays a part in Hopi rituals by playing the love flute and attracting a maiden. Ancient legends have recognized this as one of the unique symbols of long-lasting and enduring love. It is mostly seen in pottery, cave art, and folklore originating from a thousand years ago.
15. Rose quartz
Crystals have been used in many cultures all over the world. Rose quartz is best known for being the stone of unconditional love. It is known to emit a strong vibration of love, joy, and emotional healing.
It is also known as the love stone. Due to its relevance in Greek Mythology’s Aphrodite, it is to this date commonly referred to as an aphrodisiac. Some believe it has healing properties. If you are single and looking for love, then a rose quartz will draw the love you seek.
Do you know what’s one of the most frequently used emojis in my keypad? No surprise there. It’s the red heart. The most widely recognized and one of the most popular symbols of love. The red heart is used everywhere, from text messages to cakes to clothing. Hearts represent everlasting love. On the other hand, broken hearts represent love that didn’t make it till the end of time.
The heart shape looks like two scallops on top with a V-shaped pointer at the bottom. Some say that the shape of the heart is a stylized portrayal of human anatomy. The curved shape of breasts, buttocks, or female genitalia. Over time, its shape has remained intact. It’s the ultimate eternal symbol of love.
Apart from these, some other symbols to express your feelings in a romantic relationship include:
- Three-leaf clover
- A captured ladybird
- Traditional jewelry pieces passed down for generations
- Pink stones
- Conch shell
- Diamonds in wedding rings
- Lotus flower
- Two hands clasped together
- Two birds with their beaks touching
- Seven arrows striking a red heart
- Love is one of the deepest emotions a human experiences. It is more often than not represented using various symbols
- For Native Americans, their wedding ring is one of the things that symbolizes love
- In Irish folklore, the Claddagh is one of the symbols that represents love
- For poets, a poem is a love metaphor and greater than all the other true love symbols
Love and affection have been depicted in various meanings and ways. Love is complex and sometimes it gets messy because human relationships need to be taken care of with a lot of honesty by two lovers. But let’s never twist how love is supposed to make us feel – secure, valued, and revered. Love abundantly and love with every fiber of your being. Above all, make sure you indulge in self-love every now and then.
This article was updated in April 2023.