Lessons in Love

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

No, this is not yet another clichéd post on romance, relationships, marriage, etc. But we are creatures of habit, and there is no harm in dedicating a day to make your loved one feel special or make them smile. Besides, Valentine’s Day can be a great social equaliser: people of all sexual orientation celebrate it, take the opportunity to say it out loud. What’s to hate? So here I am, with my own dedication to the day of love.

Modern love is complicated, and needs a lot more than just mutual attraction and a promise to be there for your partner, come what may. I thought it would be a great idea to put together a collection of wonderful reads on the subject. I found these write-ups profound. Some are uncomfortable truths. I hope you like them. But mostly, I’m hoping you find them insightful, and that they help you find new ways to look at love, at how you give and receive love. I’ll leave you with the collection now. Click/tap the titles to read them.

John Steinbeck on Falling in Love: A 1958 Letter – Brain Pickings

The Nobel Laureate and renown author responds to his teenage son’s confession of having fallen in love. He puts a positive spin on the idea, with the gentleness of a loving parent. His words hold true even today.

What Romance Really Means After 10 Years of Marriage – The Cut

Long-married romance is not the romance of watching someone’s every move like a stalker, and wanting to lick his face but trying to restrain yourself. It’s not even the romance of “Whoa, you bought me flowers, you must REALLY love me!” or “Wow, look at us here, as the sun sets, your lips on mine, we REALLY ARE DOING THIS LOVE THING, RIGHT HERE.” That’s dating romance, newlywed romance. You’re still pinching yourself. You’re still fixated on whether it’s really happening. You’re still kind of sort of looking for proof. The little bits of proof bring the romance. The question of whether you’ll get the proof you require brings the romance. (The looking for proof also brings lots of fights, but that’s a subject for another day.)

So what is long-married romance? You’ll need to read to find out 🙂

The Secret to Marriage Is Never Getting Married – The New York Times

Deep observations on long-term relationships and how a marriage-obsessed society views live-in couples, coupled with lots of wit.

The 12-Hour Goodbye That Started Everything – The New York Times

Hearts and minds can be as opaque as a rain forest; only small pieces of them are ever visible. And I realized this, too: You can’t contain the people you love. You can’t contain your own love, either.

A moving story about a woman working through her break up, and the golden nugget of wisdom she is offered by her therapist (I’m not sharing that here, as that would be a spoiler).

What Is a Man For? – The New York Times

Marry out of want, not need, says Karen Rinaldi, who found her happily-ever-after, after two divorces. She delves into the politics of marriage, changing gender roles, and her recipe for the perfect marriage.

Happy reading! 🙂

P.S. I know I’ve shared three NYT links, but their Modern Love column has the best essays on the topic.

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