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Alain de Botton on love: Admit you're crazy up front

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https://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-12/philosopher-alain-de-botton-on-love-admit-you-are-crazy/7588040

abc.net.au

Alain de Botton on love: Admit you're crazy up front
Updated July 12, 2016 06:59:01 Is there really such a thing as a soulmate? Should your partner be able to sense what is up without you needing to spell it out? Are arguments always a sign our relationship isn't working? And can Brexit be likened to a really bad breakup?

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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 like this, how are you crazy?'.

Most of the time we make discoverie...

Alain de Botton

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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.

...

Alain de Botton

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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 m...

Alain de Botton

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Alain de Botton

"Love gives us a ringside seat on somebody else's flaws. You will spot things that need to be mentioned.

The romantic view is to say 'If you loved me, you wouldn't criticize me'.

Alain de Botton

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Alain de Botton

"We are obsessed (in popular culture) with beginnings of love, the magic meet-cute we call it, or the end of love, the tragic undoing and death and whatnot. But you want to focus on t...

Alain de Botton

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Alain de Botton

"Never believe anything is below you as a topic of discussion.

Often people insist their way is the way and refuse to have a discussion because they think it is not serious."

Alain de Botton

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

The cultural backdrop

For most of recorded history, people got married for logical pragmatic sorts of reasons.

Since around 1750, we have been living in an era in the history of love that we can call Romanticism w...

The Romantic template

  • Romanticism tells us that a long-term marriage can have all the excitement of a love affair.
  • Romanticism proposed that true love must mean an end to all loneliness.
  • Romanticism believed that choosing a partner should be about letting oneself be guided by feelings, rather than practical considerations.
  • Romanticism believes that true love is synonymous with accepting everything about someone.

The Romantic script is delusional

It's normative points include:

  • we should meet a person of extraordinary inner and outer beauty and immediately feel a special attraction to them, and they to us
  • we should understand one another intuitively
  • we don’t need an education in love
  • we should have no secrets and spend constant time together
  • we should raise a family without any loss of intensity
  • our lover must be our soulmate, best friend, co-parent, co-chauffeur, accountant, household manager and spiritual guide

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The Relationship Scorecard

This is when you and your partner continue to blame each other for past mistakes made in the relationship instead of solving the current problem.

Deal with issues individually unless they ...

Dropping “Hints”

It shows that you two are not comfortable communicating openly and clearly with one another. 

State your feelings and desires openly. And make it clear that the other person is not necessarily responsible or obligated to them but that you’d love to have their support.

Holding the Relationship Hostage

For example, if someone feels like you’ve been cold to them, instead of saying, “I feel like you’re being cold sometimes,” they will say, “I can’t date someone who is cold to me." 

It’s crucial for both people in a relationship to know that negative thoughts and feelings can be communicated safely to one another without it threatening the relationship itself. 

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Plato on love

The ancient Greek philosopher Plato argued that the highest form of love was brotherly love or platonic love.

The industrial age changed romance

For most of human history, there was no time for romance. Marriages were arranged by families and were a purely economic arrangement designed to promote the survival and prosperity of both extended families.

It wasn’t until the industrial age that things began to change. They didn't have to rely so heavily on family connections any more. Consequently, the economic and political components of marriage ceased to make sense.

"Happily ever after" ideal

The economic realities of the 19th century mixed with the idea from the Enlightenment about the pursuit of happiness. The result was the Age of Romanticism.

People became economically independent and love (or emotions) became valued in society. These ideals of love have been heavily promoted and marketed during the 20th century.

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