The Love of Alain de Botton 

This is part two chronicling Alain de Botton’s thoughts on love. If you don’t know who he is, listen to Alain de Botton on Tim Ferriss. 

On love in society. 

In this complicated world where publicly acting out is becoming increasingly common, love of self and society is being able to keep certain things private. 

In this hyperconnected age, we are developing a new relationship with the world around us, and it creates an uncertain vulnerability within. 

On making love and kissing

Making love goes deeper than physical pleasure. When you think about it, kissing someone is a very odd thing to do. What makes love exciting is the idea – the deep psychological appeal – of being wanted. A first kiss, an intimate touch, a flirting comment, are all ways of appealing to a deep desire to be desired. 

On Online dating

Online dating comes with the promise of finding the perfect partner based on algorithms and calculated matches. The dark side is that it sets an expectation of a conflict free relationship. 

It is a useful tool, until it gives unrealistic Illusions. 

Technology helps introduce people. It is naive to think that it will help develop the nuances of a relationship. 

On writing “why you will marry the wrong person” – the most read NY Times article of 2016

It’s success comes from speaking to an oft-neglected reality that it’s okay to not always be happy. That life will not always be perfect, and it’s okay to have an imperfect relationship. The article brought a much needed pessimistic realism. 

Lesson learned since writing On Love at age 23

Problems in a relationship have nothing to do with a partner being deficient. Love is something learned over time, and conflict is a side effect of that growth process. True love is not conflict free love. 

Accept the flawed humanity of you and your partner, and you’ll be better equipped to face the hard work of love. 

Full Alain de Botton interview with Krista Tippett.

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