What Does Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder Mean?

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder Meaning

Definition: You love people or things more when you are separated from them.

Origin of Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

An author named Thomas Haynes Bayly popularized this saying in his work entitled Isle of Beauty. This work, published in 1850, contained the phrase in the last line of a song. However, it is possible that the expression, or the idea behind it, existed before that.

A variation of this phrase that carries the same meaning is distance makes the heart grow fonder.

Examples of Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

absence makes the heart grow fonder quoteIn this conversation, a daughter is sad that her family vacation will keep her apart from her new boyfriend.

Daughter: Mom, I think I’ll skip this year’s summer vacation.

Mother: Why would you want to do that? We’re going to travel to Italy. You’ve never been to Europe before. You’d miss a huge opportunity.

Daughter: Well, I just started dating Chad, and I think it would hurt our relationship if I left for a few weeks. Especially because we haven’t been dating long.

Mother: The fact that you haven’t been dating long is a good reason not to miss out on a trip to Europe! Also, you know what they say. Absence makes the heart grow fonder!

Daughter: I’m not sure that is the case with Chad and me.

define distance makes the heart grow fonderIn this example, two coworkers talk about a third employee who recently retired.

Dave: Hey, where’s Ronald?

Ben: Ronald? He retired. Didn’t you know?

Dave: I didn’t know about that.

Ben: Yeah. I’m glad he’s gone. He was constantly whistling, and he never filled the paper in the printer when he used it all.

Dave: Yeah. He was annoying while he worked here, but I actually kind of miss him. I got used to his complaining and grumbling. It had become comforting to me.

Ben: Interesting. I guess absence really does make the heart grow fonder.

More Examples

This excerpt is about a television show that ended. Nine years later, they released a new season.

  • Absence makes the heart grow fonder, but nine years? Yeesh. Let’s just say a lot of pent-up affection for Gilmore Girls is spilling over as fans finally get to go back to Stars Hollow and check in with favorite TV characters after the release of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, four, 90-minute episodes on Netflix. –USA Today

This example is about two comedians who took a break from working together in order to strengthen their comedy.

  • “Absence makes the heart grow stronger, and absence also makes the creative process go stronger,” Key says. “You hear of actors who quit their life for a minute and go bag groceries for a year and pay bills so you have some other experience to draw from. –USA Today


The saying absence makes the heart grow fonder means being from someone can strengthen the affection between two people.