I’ve recently been to the book launch event – Alain de Botton, one of my favourite opinion leaders, a modern philosopher with a melancholic outlook on life snippets of which he shares on his Twitter account, wrote a new book titled ‘The course of love’. I had to be there.
The book is about love and specifically marriage, about ‘happily ever after’. De Botton bravely probes unspoken sore points and dissects the elephant in the room. His study is akin to the encyclopaedia of love: choice of a partner, children, sex, waning desire, fear of mortality, monogamy, infidelity – nothing evades his studying eye.
Some ideas were new to me and I’ve followed him on Twitter for years. To anyone new to de Botton, the book will be a revelation. It’s extremely quotable. I emailed my husband a photograph or two of the book pages that particularly touched the nerve (on sulking and why we hurt emotionally our nearest and dearest). The main achievement of the book for me though is leaving one with the liberating feeling that they are not alone – with the final page of the book turned, and a cheeky tear wiped, you drop the burden of the big questions, you breathe out and you think, jeez, I am not the only one in this mess.
As a thank you for reading my blog, I will give away my copy of the book to one of you, dear readers – if you are in the UK (I can only post to a UK address), leave a comment to this post sharing your thoughts or struggles on/ with love, love vs happiness or this post. Writer of the best post, subjectively picked by me, will get the book.
Some quotes and points from the book that I liked:
Marriage: a deeply peculiar and ultimately unkind thing to inflict on anyone one claims to care for.
Nice people appear boring to us because we have not been treated nicely. Instead when looking for the ‘right’ partner, we look for drama, madness, familiar type of suffering.
A person can not be at once a libertine and a married Romantic: adventure, sex, passion, fun, excitement vs tenderness, routine, organisation, not being alone.
There is no answer to the monogamy dilemma. You will be unhappy and suffer either way.
Love over libido.
Knowledge at the level of the first year of the psychotherapy student may be essential to strong relationship.
Love is a skill, not just an enthusiasm.
On the right partner:
On love crushes:
On wedding vows: