7 Quotes from Charles Bukowski on Why Romance Sucks

7 Quotes from Charles Bukowski on Why Romance Sucks

Charles Bukowski, manic scribe of the American nightmare, was a poet, short story writer and novelist whose work focussed on the ordinary lives of society’s misfits. The alcoholics, the bums, the working girls, these are the heroes of Bukowski’s work.

A prolific writer who published over sixty books in his lifetime and found fame later in his career, Charles Bukowski was not so lucky in love. His long-time lover Janet Cooney Baker drank herself to death; his first marriage to Barbara Frye lasted just three years; he endured a tumultuous relationship with poet and sculptor Linda King and he spent the majority of his later life engaged in on-off affairs with women he seemed to barely like.

Read on for 7 quotes from Charles Bukowski on why romance sucks and you’re better off staying single.

1) “The female loves to play man against man. And if she is in a position to do it, there is not one who will resist.”

– Charles Bukowski


Even the wry, world-weary Bukowski was unable to resist ‘the female’ who loves, apparently, to play man against man. All good material, though.

2) There are women who can make you feel more with their bodies and their souls, but these are the exact women who will turn the knife into you right in front of the crowd. Of course, I expect this, but the knife still cuts.

– Charles Bukowski


The female of the species is more deadly than the male. I suspect every single occasion Bukowski felt like he had been ‘knifed’ made it into one of his poems, stories or novels.

3) “Real loneliness is not necessarily limited to when you are alone.”

– Charles Bukowski


A loneliness shared with a drunk old bum is a loneliness halved?

4) “Of course it’s possible to love a human being if you don’t know them too well.”

– Charles Bukowski


This makes me feel kind of sad.



From the story, The Captain is Out to Lunch and the Sailors Have Taken Over the Ship these words may have come out of the mouth of one of Bukowski’s characters but I think Bukowski meant them with all his heart.



The title of the novel this is taken from, Love is a Dog From Hell, sums up Bukowski’s feelings towards the female species at the time.



A mantra for every singleton in the world. Do not covet thy neighbour because thy neighbour is getting yelled at as soon as he gets home.


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