11 Cynical Proverbs About Love From Around the World

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Sure, love is wonderful, but sometimes it can be…complicated. Cultures all over the world have captured the hard lessons of love in the tiny, polished nuggets of wisdom we call proverbs. These 11 cynical proverbs about love won't make you feel warm and fuzzy, but they show that everyone, everywhere, has had it bad at some point.

1. Polish

First love is like a snake; if it doesn't destroy you, it will paralyze you.

2. German

You can suffer without love, but you can't love without suffering.

3. Avar, Russian Caucasus

Yield to the desires of your body, then endure the disasters that follow.

4. Hausa, Nigeria/Niger

When the heart gives orders, the body becomes its slave.

5. Russian

Love has wings on its shoulders; matrimony has crutches under its arms.

6. Punjabi, India

There are a thousand miseries in one love.

7. Italian

He that marries for love, dies miserably of anger.

8. Russian

Love is like a nettle that stings badly.

9. Spanish

Love is like soup, the first mouthful is very hot, and the ones that follow become gradually colder.

10. Malagasy, Madagascar

Love is like seaweed: you go to her, she leaves you, you leave her, she follows you.

11. Arabic

The promises of the night, made of butter, melt when the first sunrays appear.

Source: Never Marry a Woman With Big Feet: women in proverbs from around the world. Mineke Schipper. Yale University Press, 2003.