Early on Brontë describes Catherine and Heathcliff’s love “She was too fond of Heathcliff. The greatest punishment we could invent for her was to keep her separate from him: yet she got chided more than any of us on his account” (33). Love is a reoccurring theme and conflict throughout the novel. For Catherine and Heathcliff separation from each other was always the harshest punishment, their love was true, and they cared for each other as if they were family. However their love seems to thrive during times of drama and distress, which makes it questionable as to how their love would last under peaceful circumstances. Catherine and Heathcliff are soul mates that grew up together and do not have the social ability to get close to anyone other then each other. They do not have a romantic relationship because they are too young to experience love at a mature level. When Catherine is twelve she travels to Thrushcross Grange to become “proper”, while she is there she meets Edgar and at the age of fifteen the two become engaged. This is when Heathcliff runs away from Wuthering Heights, for he believes that Catherine and Edgar’s love is false. This accusation by Heathcliff is true, Catherine decides to marry Edgar based on the financial support he can provide coming from a higher social class then Heathcliff. In volume two, chapter one, Catherine’s health is degrading and the idea of death appears many times, she says, “How many years do you mean to live after I am gone?” and “I wish I could hold you, till we were both dead” (160). Choosing between Heathcliff and Edgar is difficult for Catherine, she explains, “You and Edgar have broken my heart, Heathcliff!” (160). Catherine is saying how her heart is split in two between health cliff and Edgar. Heathcliff and Catherine's love is unique in that it is on a higher spiritual level then any other love between other characters in the novel.
Catherine has a desire to be "the greatest woman of the neighborhood"(pg) as she exclaims. She believes the way to do this is to marry Edgar Linton. However her and Edgar’s love is superficial. Catherine tells Nelly that she has accepted his proposal, but does not seem satisfied with her decision, she says, “I accepted him, Nelly; be quick, and say whether I was wrong! Say whether I should have done so – do!”(68). This implies that Catherine is not confident in her judgment, and needs the reassurance of her servant. This is strange because most people would not make the commitment to marry someone while they still have doubts on whether they are truly in love with that person. Nelly starts to understand that Catherine’s love for Edgar is untrue and asks her if she actually “loves” him. Catherine’s response merely suggests that no woman could resist him, but this just conveys that he is desirable because of his outward appearance and status. Catherine’s love for Edgar is the same as any other woman’s love for him would be, she is attracted to him but it is a strongly materialized marriage. Edgar, however, associates Heathcliff with the lower class servants. This makes Catherine unhappy and only makes her love Heathcliff more. Catherine and Edgar’s love is not a romantic type, but Catherine still wants to be with him so she can rise economically and help Heathcliff fund himself and climb in social stature, after all he is still an orphan who owns no land and has no family ties. Catherine loves Heathcliff so much that even while she is married with Edgar she will