“Love is blind” is a popular and well-known idiom that reaches back to at least the early 1400s, but likely earlier. The idiom is easy to understand and is capable of conveying a great deal when used in plays, poems, stories, and in everyday conversation.
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Meaning of “Love is blind”
“Love is blind” is a direct idiom, one that clearly refers to the way that love blinds the lover to certain truths. It is used to refer to the fact that men and women often lose sight of reality or the true nature of their beloved when they’re consumed by love. One might not see the cruel, untidy, or distasteful things that the person they love does because they are so caught up in the “loved” image of this person. The idiom can be used at any time, anywhere, to refer to any type of relationship that exhibits this factor.
When to Use “Love is blind”
The phrase “love is blind” is so commonly used that it can practically be used in any conversation with fellow English speakers. One will more likely find it around friends, family, and close colleagues, but due to its long use, it could also appear in more formal works.
One might use the phrase to remind a friend or family member that they aren’t seeing the truth of their lover’s actions, or one might hear it themselves as they pursue a relationship that’s clearly unhealthy.
The phrase is also used to quickly pass judgment on another’s relationship. By saying “love is blind” without knowing the details of how two people feel about one another is an easy way to dismiss the complexities of relationships.
Example Sentences With “Love is blind”
- You know what they say, love is blind.
- Have you seen Richard and Margie? I guess love really is blind.
- Anna, you have to come to your senses. Love doesn’t have to be blind!
- He is really proving that love is blind.
- I wish they’d stop telling me that love is blind, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with my relationship.
Why Do Writers Use “Love is blind”
Writers use the phrase “love is blind” in order to convey something commonly believed by broad swaths of the population—that love has the ability to blind those involved with one another’s truths. It is easy to use this phrase in conversations within plays, poems, short stories, novels, and novellas. It does not need an explanation, nor will there likely be any English speaker who comes upon it and is confused by what’s being said.
The words ‘love is blind” may evoke different experiences for different readers as well. To some, it might feel like a more romantic saying as if love transcends all boundaries. But to others, the phrase might feel disconcerting, as if someone is being tricked and their love is being taken advantage of.
Origins of “Love is blind”
Like most idioms, the exact origin of “love is blind” is unknown. Some have looked as far back as the writings of Plato for the exact course. He wrote, as translated by Benjamin Jowett, “The lover is blinded about the beloved, and prefers his own interests to truth and right” in 731. Plato condemns this kind of love, which is a kind of bonded friendship because if one loves another, they are untruth. Only loving themselves as friends are an extension of one’s own life.
“Love is blind” was first noted clearly in Geoffrey Chaucer’s ‘The Merchant’s Tale’, a part of ‘The Canterbury Tales’, published in 1405. It reads:
For loue is blynd alday and may nat see.
There is another good example of the phrase in use in William Shakespeare’s Two Gentlemen of Verona. The lines are spoken by Speed read:
Because Love is blind. O, that you had mine eyes, or your own eyes had the lights they were wont to have when you chid at Sir Proteus for going ungartered!
Yet another example can be found in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. These lines are spoken by Jessica to Lorenzo:
For I am much ashamed of my exchange.
But love is blind, and lovers cannot see
The pretty follies that themselves commit,
For if they could Cupid himself would blush
To see me thus transformèd to a boy.
In these examples, Shakespeare’s characters are using the idiom exactly as its used today, something that often changes over time. Read more of Shakespeare’s works.
- “Pull yourself together.”
- “Benefit of the doubt.”
- “Comparing apples to oranges.”
- “A blessing in disguise.”
- “A dime a dozen.”
- “The best of both worlds.”