Alain de Botton on Sex
We take it all completely personally.
The True Hard Work of Love and Relationships
Today, exploring the true hard work of love with writer and philosopher Alain de Botton. We could chisel them in granite. Not you, as it were; all of us, that all of us are deeply damaged people.
The great enemy of love, good relationships, good friendships, is self-righteousness. And this knowledge is very shielded from us. They sacked us without. And so we keep sacking our lovers and blowing up relationships all in pursuit of this idea of love which actually has no basis in reality. Tippett: This right person, this creature does not exist.
You are irredeemably alone. You will not be understood.
That again, that is the work of life is to reckon with what goes on inside us. And a certain kind of bravery, a certain heroic acceptance of loneliness seems to be one of the key ingredients to being able to form a good relationship. And it sounds paradoxical. Not that I think I will be single forever or want to be single forever.
Although, actually, I think I would be alright if I were, which is a real watershed.
And also what this part of - this chapter of life has taught me to really enjoy more deeply and take more seriously are all the many forms of love in life aside from just romantic love or being coupled. Do people talk to you about that? And another way of looking at love is connection. And that is, in a sense, at a kind of granular level, what love is. Love is connection. And we can take pride in how flexible our minds ultimately are about where that connection is coming.
And I think getting into a relationship with someone, asking someone to be with you is a pretty cruel thing to do to someone that you love and admire and respect because the job is so hard. Most people fail at it. And on and on the list goes. No wonder that we fail at some of the tasks and get irate with one another.
And I think sometimes, the older I get, sometimes I think one of the nicest things you can do to someone you really admire is leave them alone.
Just let them go. Let them be. And just talk about this. But again, this kind of realism or acceptance of complexity, I think, is ultimately the friend of love. There are legitimate reasons to leave a relationship. Tippett: And because we have that power, in fact - and for example, you are, in fact, arguing - as you said before, some marriages are meant to end.
Tippett: Imagining that this is the perfect one, right? Tippett: Something else you name about marriage that I feel is not often enough just named is that - we spoke a little while ago about children coming into a marriage.
And of course, children teach us so much. But also that children are hard on marriages, right?
Alain de botton dating and deception
And for - I think, on a more complicated level, if there are problems in a marriage, that can get amplified when children are there. And one of the things that romanticism does is to teach us that the great love stories should be above the mundane. So in none of the great, say, 19th-century novels about love does anyone ever do the laundry, does anyone ever pick up the crumbs from the kitchen table, does anyone ever clean the bathroom.
And yet, of course, when we find ourselves in relationships, it is precisely over these areas that conflicts arise, but we refuse to lend them the necessary prestige.
People who flirt aimlessly tend to get a bad rap. After all, if you have no intention of pursuing someone, whatís the point of pouring on the charm? Flirting does serve a purpose, though, says philosopher Alain de Botton, and believe it or not, itís a noble one. "At its best, flirting can be a. Jun 30, †∑ Deception In Dating: Are We Being Fooled Or Fooling Ourselves? "The crush is the instantaneous certainty of the location of the ideal - thereís a lot of self-deception in it", says modern-day philosopher Alain De Botton, founder of the School of Life. Alain de Botton is founder of The School of Life and has written numerous books, including Art as Therapy with John Armstrong and The News: A User's Manual, published by .
Tippett: [ laughs ] Right. That has nothing to do with. And so we need, in a way - one of the lessons of love is to lend a bit of prestige to those issues that crop up in love like who does the laundry and on what day. We rush over these decisions. Tippett: It is the stuff of life.
He would always to do this for us. She was comparing this man, her father, as a father but not as a lover. Tippett: The way he behaved toward your mother. And so one of the things we do as parents is to edit ourselves, which is lovely, in a way, for our children. Tippett: You can listen again and share this conversation with Alain de Botton through our website, onbeing.
Today, we are exploring the true hard work of love with the writer and philosopher Alain de Botton. And the other thing, of course, is politeness, which is an attempt not necessarily to say everything, to understand that there is a role for private feelings, which if they were to emerge, would do damage to everyone concerned.
And as I say, it spills out into politics as well. The truth is, more than ever before perhaps, in our world, we are in relationship. We are connected to everyone else. Their well being will impact our well being, is of relevance to our well being and that of our children.Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person - Alain de Botton - Google Zeitgeist
But we have this habit and this capacity in public to - and also, we know that our brains work this way - to see the other, to see those strangers, those people, those people on the other side politically, socioeconomically, whatever, forgetting that in our intimate lives, and in our love lives, in our circles of family and friends, and in our marriages, and with our children, there are things about the people we love the most who drive us crazy that we do not comprehend.
And yet, we find ways to be intelligent, right? To be loving - because it gets a better result. Compatibility is an achievement of love. I think this is deeply politically relevant. And if we see an atmosphere of short tempers, of selfishness, etc.
If we see charity being exercised, if we see good humor, if we see forgiveness on display, again, it will lend support to those sides of ourselves. And we should think about that as we approach, not just our personal relationships, but also our social and political relationships. These things are humiliating - little things can deeply wound and humiliate.
And most of us are just experts at being pretty strong. We know how to be strong. But I want to return a little bit to love and sex and eros and all of this.
I have to say one thing I really love and appreciate and learned from in your writing is your reflection on flirting as an art, the art of flirting, that it can be something edifying, a pleasurable gift.
Dating and Deception - Alain de Botton on Deception in Love and Controlling our Self-Image Dating and Deception - Alain de Botton on Deception in Love and Controlling our Self-Image - . February 9, Ms. Krista Tippett, host: "Compatibility is an achievement of love. It cannot be its precondition." Alain de Bottonís essay "Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person" was, amazingly, the most-read article in The New York Times in the news-drenched year of As people, and as a culture, he says, we would be much saner and happier if we reexamined our very view of love.
I think it would be such a pity if we had to drive something as important as validation and self-acceptance and a pleasant view of oneself through the gate of - rather narrow gate of sex. And flirtation is kind of an act of the imagination.
I think somewhere - you also have this lovely film, one of these School of Life films about this. If you think about - why is it exciting to kiss someone for the first time? Not because of its physical feeling, but because of what it means, the meaning we infuse. And I accept you in a way that is incredibly intimate and that would be quite revolting with anyone else. Takes delight in us.
But we feel often conflicted about it. In many situations, we can hang on on the slippery slope. The darker side of online dating is that it encourages the idea that a good relationship must mean a conflict-free relationship, and therefore, any relationship which has conflict in it, which has unhappiness and areas of tension in it, is wrong and can be terminated because we have this wonderful backup, which is alternatives.
Also, that what online dating does is it introduces you to people, but then really, the whole thrust of your thinking is - that loving is really what comes next. Silicon Valley has been incredibly interested in getting us to that first stage of meeting the person.
So we have a long way to go. And no wonder we make horrific mistakes pretty much all the time. Today, a conversation about love with writer and philosopher Alain de Botton.
Tippett: I happened to see your tweet at the end of when The New York Times released its most-read articles of the year. I wonder what that tells you about us as a species.
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And apparently, it was first by a long way. And I think that - look, first of all, it tells us that we have an enormous loneliness around our difficulties. And in a way, we need solace for the sense that we have gone wrong in an area, whatever it may be, where perfection was possible. It sounds grim. It is, in fact, enormously consoling, and alleviating, and helpful in a culture which is oppressive in its demands for perfection.
Tippett: [ laughs ] That may be your last word. What did you really not know? And that book was so wise. Ed Miliband's unmarried status, despite being a father, was one of the more surprising controversies sparked by his election. Does it matter? Generations of accumulated wisdom concerning eating and drinking, feasting and fasting are at the heart of many of the world's religions.
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Published: 31 Jan Alain de Botton's guide to art as therapy. Published: 2 Jan Art galleries should be apothecaries for our deeper selves. Alain de Botton: Museums of art should recognise the therapeutic potential of their collections and display them accordingly. Step through the lobby into the gallery of love.
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