The True Hard Work of Love and Relationships

On Being is a podcast that takes up the big questions of meaning with scientists and theologians, artists and teachers. Each week there is a new discovery about the immensity of our lives.

Host, Krista Tippett interviews Alain de Botton, author of “The Course of Love” and New York Times top read article Why you will marry the wrong person, about the true hard work of love and relationships.

Alain de Botton challenges us to reexamine our definition of love, calling into question our tendency to blame our partner for any shortcomings or failure in the relationship instead of investigating our own flaws as the potential cause to many issues.

Alain goes on to say that we live amongst love narratives that don’t adequately mirror our reality, and by receiving such “contrasting stories” we end up in relationships where we assume the other person will just know what we are thinking or what is wrong with us by “reading our minds.” Therefore, self identifying the issues you bring to a relationship, or “what type of crazy” you are before adventuring into your next romance, can minimize these problems.

He also states that, unfortunately, the human race is burdened by the ongoing reality of existential loneliness, and the idea of love distracts us from that. However, if you rather “heroically accept” your loneliness is the key to a good relationship.

Alain discusses topics of singleness and marriage, the mindset to have a healthy relationship, and dynamics in all relations.

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