Nicholas Sparks is one of America’s foremost authors, a sensitive observer of relationships who has written some of the most romantic, rustic, and realistic portrayals of love at all phases of life. The film adaptation of his novel Nights in Rodanthe, starring Richard Gere and Diane Lane, is in theaters Sept. 26.
Today he shares with us what he has learned through his many years of being a writer, a loving husband, and a father of five.
• “Love is possible, and falling in love often happens when you least expect it and you’re not looking for it.”
• “Above all, love is defined by what you do as opposed to what you say. Because in every life, there’ll be happiness and sorrow, joy and pain. And often it’s the support that is expressed through action that is most meaningful in both the highs and lows of life.”
• “People can love you, even with your imperfections. And that’s a very liberating thing.”
• “Too often, too much emphasis is placed on words as opposed to actions. It’s one thing to say you love somebody five times a day, and then you leave. Well, you’re defined by the action you’ve done at the very end, regardless of what you’ve said.”
• “Love is defined by what you give as opposed to what you receive. In relationships, you’re defined by the way you treat another person, by the way you sacrifice for another, by the way you give to another. And when that comes from both parties, the result is a very solid relationship.”
• “Love is defined by little things, medium things, and big things. It’s not everything the other party wants. Sometimes it’s everything the other person can give.”
• “One of the most important things you can teach your children is to have a happy marriage or to have a happy relationship.”
• “Without love, you have nothing!”
• “There are only two major emotions in life. You’ve got love and you’ve got fear. If you don’t have love to counterbalance that fear, you have nothing, because you have no balance in your life, and you’ll never, ever find satisfaction.”
• “Can you fall in love quickly? Absolutely. I met my wife, and the very next day I knew she was right for me. And I told her we would get married.”
• “I think you’ve got to be attracted at least in some way. It doesn’t have to be physical: it could be emotional, or mental, or spiritual. But there has to be some attraction, or it’s just not going to work.”
• “You can’t tell your partner everything. And I don’t know that you should want to know everything. Some things are meant just for you and God.”
• “You have to make time for each other. Even a little bit of time, on a regular basis. You have to go out and reconnect.”
• “The most important thing if you want a long and happy marriage is to choose well in the first place.”