Quotes / Loving a Shadow

"It is but a shadow and a thought that you love."
Aragorn, The Lord of the Rings

"You almost had a date! But you got dumped at the last minute in favor of an epiphany."

…except Snape kept carrying that torch for Lily. On paper it sounds sort of beautiful, but in actuality… that’s kind of creepy. More creepy for the fact that he gave up trying to make amends, and never attempted to form a similar relationship with anyone else. He kept a specific version of her in his head, built out of childhood memories and the moments he watched her from afar, and decided that was good enough. It didn’t stop him from offering Lily and her family up to Voldemort the instant he heard a helpful prophecy regarding Harry’s birth. He backtracked, because apparently he was fine with Voldemort killing Lily’s child and husband, the people whom she loved more than anything; he was only horrified at the thought of her death. And that’s not real love—caring for someone without considering their happiness is the exact opposite of love, in point of fact. It makes them an object of your affection rather than a subject.

"It feels like long ago now… Do you remember when you said you loved me? But it was only because I loved Sasuke and you didn't want to lose to him. It's real this time, isn't it? Hinata is a good girl, you could even say she's almost too good for you."
Sakura Haruno, stating the truth about Naruto's feelings for her in The Last: Naruto the Movie

…gracing below the perfection
I saw fitting to dress you in
my actions conditioning
an immortal image of you
etched on my eyelids
"You aren’t the one for me", a poem by illusions of allusions

Who do you love?
Me or thought of me?
John Mayer, I Don't Trust Myself (With Loving You)

Kobayashi-sensei has met Satou-san, hasn't she? (…) On top of that, if she hears how completely infatuated you were with Satou-san. Then of course, she would think like that! "Inspector Shiratori is only being nice to me because I look like Satou-san! Was I just a substitute for Satou-san?"
Ai Haibara from Detective Conan, explaining why Kobayashi-sensei got mad upon learning that she was Satou's Identical Stranger. It's a Subverted Trope in the end, though.

Ruby gaped after Her. This Girl was nothing like the quiet, pleasant, melancholy soul she’d imagined. She was the complete opposite of that.

Told me how I looked to you—I wouldn't call it real—
Told me that you shouldn't talk about the way you feel
But I had another drink—and I had another think—
And I still think you're the sweetest thing.
Clouds, "Sweetest Thing"

"But what if there weren't other people? Who could judge if you were in love or if you'd just experience a crush on someone; if you just think you are in love?"
Asuka, The Second Try

"When people get caught up [in] someone's shadows and memories of them, they can't move forward. Yoosung's been sad about Rika enough, and he needs to step out of her shadows. [...] So... I hope Yoosung realizes that you are not like Rika."
Zen from Mystic Messenger, on Yoosung constantly comparing the MC to his dead cousin Rika in his route

He knew Spottedleaf was lost to him forever, and maybe always had been. But perhaps that was the reason she always haunted him; the same quality that had made him yearn for the elusive as he first ventured into the forest was the same quality that would forever seek her out.

Iago: [gushing] You are a perfect human being.
Emilia: [Her eyes widened in alarm] No, I'm not, Iago, do not saddle me with such an impossible responsibility!
Iago: May I enjoy the illusion of your perfection at least for this evening?
Emilia: Only if you promise not to punish me when you realize I'm not.''
I, Iago

Kai: I'm sorry. I never meant... I love her.
Batgirl: You don't even know her, Kai. You're in love with a memory.