What Are Some Examples of Similes for Love?
Similes have been used to express love in songs, poems, plays and other written materials for centuries. They’re excellent tools for conveying emotions in a beautiful way, but sometimes this literary term is confused with another method of expression: the metaphor. Although similes and metaphors are similar, a metaphor is a figure of speech that directly calls one thing something else that it literally isn’t, such as saying “Love is a poison.”
Similes that are seen in literature and other mediums can provide powerful imagery, especially when it comes to their ability to help us express the emotional depths of love — concepts that can get complicated and that we might otherwise have trouble explaining. Let’s unpack what a simile really is and look at some great similes for love.
What is a simile? While metaphors make a direct comparison — “X is Y” — similes use the words “like” or “as” to compare two things that are not alike — “X is like Y.” Writers use these figures of speech to add more depth and meaning to their words, and we also use popular similes sometimes when we speak to others. Similes often make references to nature, animals and other objects but are not meant to be taken literally.
An example of a simile used often is “as busy as a bee.” Bees are constantly flying around and pollinating plants, so saying someone is as busy as a bee means that they’re working hard or really on the move. Another great example is saying two people “fight like cats and dogs.” Cats and dogs are often portrayed as enemies who battle it out regularly. If two people fight like those animals, they probably argue quite frequently.
Similes for Love
We looked at what a simile actually is, but let’s look at what makes a good simile for love specifically. When you think of love, it can be fun, joyous and passionate. However, it’s not always easy, and things can always go in the opposite direction towards heartbreak. While someone can love another person, their love may be unrequited or it can quickly go cold.
Creating a good simile for love involves capturing these ups and downs of a romantic journey. However, you don’t want to use basic cliches. Whatever words you choose to describe love in a simile, they should be powerful and meaningful so they’re ultimately more memorable or evocative. For example, when two people are getting to know each other, someone’s heart may burn for another “like an uncontrollable, blazing fire.” However, when you experience the end of a relationship, that pain can feel utterly deflating. This simile reflects that: “Feeling heartbreak is like walking around with tiny shards of glass in your chest.”
Everyone’s life experiences, especially in love, are very different. To write a love simile of your own, think of a quality or adjective that would best describe it for you. Then come up with something else that has that same characteristic. For example, novelist Maurice Hewlett wrote a powerful simile: “Love rushed through him as a river in flood.” Floods are powerful and can overtake people quickly, much like love, which is why this use of language is an effective simile.
Simile Poem Examples
There are several examples of similes for love in popular poems, literature and music. One poem that’s often referred to for its love similes is “A, Red, Red Rose” by poet Robert Burns. In the first stanza, he wrote:
“O my Luve is like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve is like the melody
That’s sweetly played in tune…”
Burns compares his love for someone to a red rose, which people often give to their significant others to show that they care. That’s why red roses are so popular on Valentine’s Day and anniversaries. Melodies are also often beautiful and sweet, much like the writer’s love for this person.
Similes in love poems don’t just have to describe romantic love; they can also describe love in friendships or within a family. For example, poet Nicole M. O’Neal shared this simile about family in her piece, “A Family Is Like a Circle”:
“A family is like a circle.
The connection never ends,
and even if at times it breaks,
in time it always mends….”
This simile compares family to a never-ending circle that goes around and around. Just as the circle never breaks or bends, neither do relationships with family.
There are also beautiful love similes shown in popular songs. For example, in country duo Florida Georgia Line’s song “Simple,” they describe a relationship between two love interests, comparing it to a six-string guitar. Part of the song says:
“We’re just simple like a six-string
The way this world was meant to be
Like laughing love, make a lot out of a little
It’s just that simple, S-I-M-P-L-E
Simple as can be…”
A six-string guitar is the most standard type of guitar. There’s nothing extraordinary about it, but it’s great and beautiful on its own because it’s so simple. In a world where life can be complicated, many people may welcome that simple type of love.
Another popular song that has a great simile is “Stiches” by singer Shawn Mendes. It reminds us that love is not always sunshine and rainbows — that there’s a great potential for pain in love as well. This song is about a heartbreak that left the singer so hurt he’ll need stitches to heal:
“Just like a moth drawn to a flame
Oh, you lured me in, I couldn’t sense the pain
Your bitter heart cold to the touch
Now I’m gonna reap what I sow
I’m left seeing red on my own….”
Moths are known to fly towards light sources, and even though flying towards them is dangerous and could potentially lead to pain for the bugs, moths are enamored and want to explore the light. Just like the moth, Mendes was lured in by a love that was not really for him. Because he didn’t walk away, he ended up getting hurt.
All of these examples create vivid imagery that readers or listeners can relate to. Adding similes in writing or speech stretches your creativity and writing skills. When it comes to love especially, people will be able to connect even more with your work when you compare it to another thing or concept people might not normally associate with the emotion.