Howard is an avid short story reader who likes to help others find and understand stories.
This page collects some well known, short love stories. They're not genre love stories, as in the romance type, but they all deal with love in some way.
I hope you find an interesting new story to read here.
The Lady With the Dog by Anton Chekhov
Dmitri Gurov has been vacationing in Yalta for the past two weeks without his wife. He notices a new woman in the area who people refer to as "the lady with the dog". She seems to be on her own, as well. Gurov has been unfaithful to his wife many times. He knows that his affairs bring problems and complications, but seeing a new attractive woman makes him forget about this. He wants to make the acquaintance of "the lady with the dog".
About Love by Anton Chekhov
The frustrated love of Pelagea, a beautiful young woman, leads Alehin to tell the story of his own experience. After University, he returned to the family estate to work off his father's debt. He tried to maintain his cultured tastes, but eventually he was living much like a servant. He was elected an honorary justice of the peace. This brought him into town and back in contact with cultured people. The vice president of the court, Luganovitch, invited him to dinner. Alehin was attracted to his wife, Anna.
Read About Love
True Love by Isaac Asimov
Milton Davidson is a computer programmer, the most capable one in the world. He creates a personal program, whom he calls Joe, and adds it to the Multivac-complex. Milton is looking for true love. He gives the assignment to Joe, ordering him to access the information on every human. He wants Joe to eliminate all the humans who don't meet certain requirements until there is only one left—his perfect match and true love.
Read True Love
I'm going to have true love and you're going to help me. I'm tired of improving you in order to solve the problems of the world. Solve my problem. Find me true love.
— Isaac Asimov
What is This Thing Called Love? by Isaac Asimov
Captain Garm and Botax are observing the two specimens they've taken from the planet below. Garm wonders if this species is even worth studying. So far, they're not impressive—they communicate with sound waves, they don't have a color-patch, and they look like two different species rather than just one. Particularly perplexing is how this species reproduces. Botax has discovered some of what is involved, but they need to know more.
The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
Della has only been able to save less than two dollars for her husband Jim's Christmas present. She's distraught as she wanted to get him something really nice, something worthy of being owned by him. Before going out shopping, she looks in the mirror at her long, beautiful hair.
Read The Gift of the Magi
Old Love by Jeffrey Archer
William and Phillipa meet in their freshman year in university. Each is a star student, confident that this will continue. They hate each other instantly. They throw themselves into their studies, each trying to get the better of the other. They quickly pull ahead of the other students, but they're neck and neck with each other. In their second year, their mutual loathing only increases.
Read Old Love
Some people, it is said, fall in love at first sight but that was not what happened to William Hatchard and Philippa Jameson. They hated each other from the moment they met.
— Jeffrey Archer
Love in the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Val, half Russian and half American, is a seventeen-year-old in Cannes who's eager for love. There's lots of love around him, both reproachless and illicit, but nothing is happening for him. When he goes to accompany his parents on a yacht, he finally meets someone. She's also looking for love. They talk for a while, gradually getting closer.
Read Love in the Night
Yours by Mary Robison
Allison brings pumpkins to the back porch. Clark, her husband, is relaxing there on a glider. They've only been married four months and Clark is much older. They're going to carve some pumpkins for the kids to see. On the table is a letter from Clark's married daughter. She tells Clark he's being cruelly deceived and that he's a fool.
Regret by Guy de Maupassant
Monsieur Saval is a sixty-two-year-old bachelor, and his days are somber. He thinks of how empty his life has been—he's had no adventures or satisfaction, he hasn't even married. As he sits in front of the fire, he thinks of his secret love, Madame Sandres, a married friend. If only she had been single when they met. He's loved her since the first day he saw her.
He had not even been loved. No woman had reposed on his bosom, in a complete abandon of love. He knew nothing of the delicious anguish of expectation, the divine vibration of a hand in yours, of the ecstasy of triumphant passion.
— Guy de Maupassant
Marriage is a Private Affair by Chinua Achebe
Nnaemeka hasn't written to his father yet to tell him about his engagement. He wants to wait until he goes home to visit, six weeks from now. He's from the Ibo tribe, but now lives in the city. His fiancé, Neke, wants everyone to share their happiness immediately. She's used to the ways of the city, and doesn't understand how anyone could object to their union. Nnaemeka's father has recently written, informing him that he's found him a suitable wife.
Read Marriage is a Private Affair (PDF Pg. 5)
Helen O'Loy by Lester del Rey
Phil, a doctor, remembers Helen, a beautiful robot that he and his old roommate, Dave, put together. She was an upgrade on their previous model. Before activating her, Phil got called away by his work. When he returns three weeks later, he notices there's something wrong with Dave. Helen is sad, which Phil isn't used to from a robot. She says Dave is sick of her.
Read Helen O'Loy
Fedora by Kate Chopin
Fedora, an unmarried woman of thirty, decides she will be the one to pick up Miss Malthers at the train station. She has an ideal in mind for a man, but she's never found it. She has known Young Malthers since he was fifteen. He's twenty-three now, and she suddenly notices that he's a man. She thinks of him often and seeks his company when she can.
Fedora had too early in life formed an ideal and treasured it. By this ideal she had measured such male beings as had hitherto challenged her attention, and needless to say she had found them wanting.
— Kate Chopin
The Chaser by John Collier
Alan nervously enters a shop on Pell Street. He's greeted by an old man. Alan is looking for a concoction that has extraordinary effects. The proprietor sells a few mixtures that are very expensive. Alan is looking for something more affordable. He's heard that the old man sells a love potion that is very effective.
Read The Chaser
The Pace of Youth by Stephen Crane
Stimson stands in a corner at a fair where he owns the merry-go-round. He's glowering at the young man operating the merry-go-round. He's been smiling at the ticket-girl, Stimson's daughter. The young man and the girl pack a lot of meaning into their wordless exchanges.
Read The Pace of Youth
In Another Country by David Constantine
Mrs. Mercer notices her husband doesn't look his best. He tells her they've found the girl he told her about—Katya. Mrs. Mercer doesn't remember any Katya and claims he never told her anything. Mr. Mercer clarifies that it's his Katya, and she was found in the ice. It affects him deeply, but there's nothing he can do.
Read In Another Country
What worried Mrs Mercer suddenly took shape. Into the little room came a rush of ghosts. She sat down opposite him and both felt cold. That Katya, she said.
— David Constantine
Bullhead by Leigh Allison Wilson
The narrator's mother likes telling the story of her true love. When she was a teenager in Tennessee, she loved the boy next door. In the midst of a local emergency, she was able to get some time alone with this boy.
The Steadfast Tin Soldier by Hans Christian Andersen
A young boy gets a box of tin soldiers for his birthday. He sets them all up. They're all alike, except for one that is missing a leg. Among the other toys on the table is a beautiful paper doll in the doorway of a castle. She's holding a ballet pose, and appears to only have one leg. The tin soldier wants her to be his wife. The jack-in-the-box has other plans.