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8 things we learned about love from Alain de Botton

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https://www.timeout.com/melbourne/blog/8-things-we-learned-about-love-from-alain-de-botton-071316

timeout.com

8 things we learned about love from Alain de Botton
Gentle humour and delicate truths underpinned Swiss-born, British philosopher Alain de Botton's talk about love, marriage and long-term relationships at the Melbourne Town Hall last night. The everyday philosopher is in Melbourne to plug his new book The Course of Love - a fictional story about the intricacies of long-term relationships.

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Fiction has ruined love

Fiction is where we learn about love, about having a crush on someone; about the magical moment that one’s eyes meet another’s across a room and how that leads to happily ever after. 

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Love is a classroom

The Ancient Greeks had a good understanding of input vs. output in a long-term relationship. Their view was that people in relationships should alter between teacher and student, student and ...

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‘How I’m crazy’ instruction manual

Thinking we’re easy to live with is an easy mistake to make. 

We’re all broken in some way. We lack self-awareness about the many ways in which we are uniquely ma...

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We want to suffer a little bit

If you’re thinking of leaving a partner, ask yourself if things are bad because it really is all their fault? If it is: leave them. If it’s not, you may be experiencing the bitterness of life...

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Don’t be yourself

You might think that your partner is a little bit of an idiot, but you are too. 

Elevate yourself to being a loveable idiot. Compatibility is an achievement, not an a...

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“They just get me” is wrong

In the dating days, it’s comforting to know you’re on the same page without having to say all that out loud to your new beau. 

The idea that relationships can be built on th...

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Love is a skill

Alain de Botton suggests imagining your partner as a two-year-old. The logic is that we’ve learned to treat children with a degree of patience and understanding that we forget to use with our...

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Expensive weddings

Alain de Botton is all for having expensive ceremonies. 

It makes it harder for you to quit your marriage and it’s embarrassing to quit if you spent all that money. I...

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We don’t ask big questions

Big questions referring to is the meaning of life matter deeply because only with sound answers to them we can direct our energies meaningfully, but most of us get shy expressing them. -...

Philosophy = thinking for yourself

Philosophers are interested in asking whether an idea is logical–rather than simply assuming it must be right because it is popular and long-established. - Alain de Botton

Philosophers were the first therapists

Philosophers teach us to think about our emotions, rather than simply have them. By understanding and analysing our feelings, we learn to see how emotions impact on our behaviour in unexpected, counterintuitive and sometimes dangerous ways.  - Alain de Botton

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Why We Worry

The motivation for your worry often comes from past events.

Alain De Botton explains that this is due to traumatic events from our childhood that were never properly processed.

How to move on from worry

Once you recognize the source of your anxieties, you can replace worry with reflection.

“Appreciating the childhood legacy of worries, we also stand to realize that we can adapt and improve on how we respond to what alarms us.”  -- Philosopher Alain de Botton.

Alain de Botton

"One of the first things couples should do is rather than saying how perfect they are, they should say 'I'm crazy ..."

Alain de Botton

Alain de Botton

Alain de Botton

"There is a cult of romanticism. It started in the 18th century, and it basically told people that everybody has a soul mate, everybody has somebody who will cure them of all loneliness.

We make the equation that, if you love me, you are supposed to understand me even if I don't explain what's wrong. With any good relationship, unfortunately, we often have to spell out what we need. People cannot be mind readers."

Alain de Botton

Alain de Botton

"There are lovely moments in early childhood when your parent can guess pretty well what you need. In the early days of love sometimes, you will report an ecstatic feeling you have met someone who seems to understand you without you needing to speak.

So many problems of relationships (are) where we have things to say we haven't said, and we blame people and get bitter that people haven't understood what we never explained to them."

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