George Bernard Shaw quotes on relationships

George Bernard Shaw had some interesting views on relationships. He had respect for women and could see that they were undervalued in society. However, his own marriage was far from ordinary as it was never consumated leading to Shaw having several affairs. Here are some of the best quotes from George Bernard Shaw on relationships:

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A man ought to be able to be fond of his wife without making a fool of himself about her.
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Marriage: When two people are under the influence of the most violent, most insane, most delusive, and most transient of passions, they are required to swear that they will remain in that excited, abnormal, and exhausting condition continuously until death do them part.
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George Bernard Shaw quote. First love is only a little foolishness and a lot of curiosity Image copyright Ireland Calling

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What God hath joined together no man shall put asunder: God will take care of that.
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If women were particular about men’s characters, they would never get married at all.
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She has mischievous moments in when she wishes she could get him alone on a desert island…

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Women upset everything. When you let them into your life, you find that the woman is driving at one thing and you’re driving at another.
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When you loved me I gave you the whole sun and stars to play with. I gave you eternity in a single moment, strength of the mountains in one clasp of your arms, and the volume of all the seas in one impulse of your soul.
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Marriage is to me apostasy, profanation of the sanctuary of my soul, violation of my manhood, sale of my birthright, shameful surrender, ignominious capitulation, acceptance of defeat.
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George Bernard Shaw quote. Image copyright Ireland Calling

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The perfect love affair is one which is conducted entirely by post.
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The fickleness of the women I love is only equalled by the infernal constancy of the women who love me.
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Love is a gross exaggeration of the difference between one person and everybody else.

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Like all young men, you greatly exaggerate the difference between one young woman and another.
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A broken heart is a very pleasant complaint for a man in London if he has a comfortable income.
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A love affair should always be a honeymoon. And the only way to make sure of that is to keep changing the man; for the same man can never keep it up.
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=George Bernard Shaw quote. Image copyright Ireland Calling

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The test of a man or woman’s breeding is how they behave in a quarrel.
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Beauty is all very well at first sight; but whoever looks at it when it has been in the house three days?
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Marriage is an alliance entered into by a man who can’t sleep with the window shut, and a woman who can’t sleep with the window open.

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Marriage is popular because it combines the maximum of temptation with the maximum of opportunity.
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There is no subject on which more dangerous nonsense is talked and thought than marriage.
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Those who talk most about the blessings of marriage and the constancy of its vows are the very people who declare that if the chain were broken and the prisoners left free to choose, the whole social fabric would fly asunder. You cannot have the argument both ways. If the prisoner is happy, why lock him in? If he is not, why pretend that he is?
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Illustration of George Bernard Shaw quote. Image copyright Ireland Calling

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Marriage is the most licentious of human institutions–I say the most licentious of human institutions: that is the secret of its popularity.
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The confusion of marriage with morality has done more to destroy the conscience of the human race than any other single error.
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What is virtue but the Trade Unionism of the married?

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Read about George Bernard Shaw’s life and career

George Bernard Shaw quotesMore on George Bernard Shaw


Quotes Cartoon illustration of shamrocks. Image copyright Ireland Calling

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