Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Meaning of “Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder”

The phrase ‘Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder’ is a complete sentence. It means that when a person is absent for a longer period, you wish meeting him or her very much. It also means that you miss the person if they are far from you. You realize how much you love that person, and the desire to see them often increases. This phrase is mostly used in romantic situations.

Origin of “Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder”

The very earliest form of this proverbial saying has been found in Elegies of Sextus Propertius, a Roman poet. The following sentence is similar to the phrase: “Always toward absent lovers love’s tide stronger flows.” However, its modern version has been found in The Pocket Magazine of Classic and Polite Literature in 1832 in which it goes as; “’Tis absense, however, that makes the heart grow fonder.”

Its current version has been attributed to Thomas W. Robertson’s play Caste: An Original Comedy in Three Acts published in 1867 in which it has been stated as “absence makes the heart grow – stronger” and then the song of Arthur Gillespie made it famous as “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”

Examples in Literature

Example #1

Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder by Harley White

Out of sight is out of mind…
Fly-by-nights say so, although
Multitudes of people find
That distance makes the missing grow.

When united heart to heart,
Couples amorous concur
Neither wants to be apart
From one another, him or her.

Husbands, wives, all those who share
Timeless vows— not to squander—
Know that, if they truly care,
Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Love should not be thought of tritely
Or be crushed by grasping tightly.
It’s a feeling honored rightly.
Lovers never take it lightly.

Poets, songsters through the ages,
Dramatists for scenic stages,
Novelists, the saints, and sages
Have devoted endless pages…

Yet still in bemusement ponder
Why— their flights of wonder wander
High above love’s bluest yonder—
Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Harley White, a Californian based American poet, has states that when you are away from the person you love, you become fond of him. Although she has used this saying in different words after each stanza, the meaning of the whole poem is that when a person lives away from you, you love them more and desire for their presence. The actual phrase “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” has been given as a title as well as a refrain in two stanzas.

Example #2

Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder by Harry Warren and Joe Young and Sung by Dean Martin

If you should leave me
I know it would grieve me
So honey please remember
Absence makes the heart grow fonder
For somebody else

I love you dearly
I’m yours sincerely
But honey please remember
Absence makes the heart grow fonder
For somebody else

When the cat’s away the mice will play
I don’t say I will but still I may
I may be blue away from you
And then again I may be gay

When I get fretful I get forgetful
So honey please remember
Absence makes the heart grow fonder
For somebody else

When the cat’s away the mice will play
I don’t say I will but still I may
I may be blue away from you
And then again I may be gay

When I get fretful I get forgetful
So honey please remember
Absence makes the heart grow fonder
For somebody else
For somebody else

This popular lyric has been written by Harry Warren and Joe Young and sung by Dean Martin. The singer reminds his beloved in this beautiful lyric that if she is going to leave him, it means a lot for him as it would make him love her even more. Two lines “So honey please remember / Absence makes the heart grow fonder” becomes a refrain in this part of the lyric which reverberates this saying as the central theme of the lyric.

Example #3

Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder by Emily Zola

This story by Emily Zola shows the life of a French couple bearing the brunt of the Franco-Prussian War. Jacques Damour marries Felicie, a Parisian lady from whom he had two children. However, he is recruited in the army and sent to the front. Later, he escapes and returns home after facing difficulties for a few years. He comes to know that Felicie has already married another person. This confrontation reminds him that though the distance should have made her love him more, it turns out to him that he is now a stranger. The title here is suitable for Jacques situation as he missed her during his deployment.

Examples in Sentences

Example #1: Theodore looked at the picture of his wife and said, ‘Mia’s absence makes my heart grow fonder. I wish she were here.

Example #2: “It’s ironical that he is missing his dead mother, which feels like her absence makes his heart grown fonder. He didn’t visit her when she was alive.”

Example #3: “His sad face seems a classic case of absence makes the heart grow fonder as he recalls the girl we met in the last years camp.”

Example #4: “I never really cared for my sister, but now that she’s moved to another city, her absence makes my heart grow fonder.”

Example #5: “He always claims that absence makes the heart grow fonder but finds to be true he has been plotting revenge on her.”