It may have been observed that there is no regular path for getting out of love as there is for getting in. Some people look upon marriage as a short cut that way, but it has been known to fail. Separation, which was the means that chance offered to Gabriel Oak by Bathsheba’s disappearance, though effectual with people of certain humours is apt to idealize the removed object with others—notably those whose affection, placid and regular as it may be, flows deep and long. Oak belonged to the even-tempered order of humanity, and felt the secret fusion of himself in Bathsheba to be burning with a finer flame now that she was gone—that was all.
Thomas Hardy, Far from the Madding Crowd, Chapter V
Start with the pith of the aphorism, and then flip it around so that
it actually becomes a keen insight into human nature, and then (as if
those two achievements weren’t enough, in a single paragraph, no
less!) in the fourth sentence apply it all to one of your immortal
characters so exactly that you create an immediate secret fusion of
your reader in the character of Gabriel Oak. How breathtakingly easy
Hardy makes it look, but consider just how many lesser novels must you
trawl through for an insight into humanity—or love—that shines as
brightly as this one would even after years of refraction through your
memory’s multiple lenses.