The philosopher and creator of The School of Life. The question we should ask on an early date is, “How are you crazy? I’m crazy like this…” The real work of love that is in the stumbling and evolving, skill and surviving — not in the falling. The joy of flirting.
What if the first question we asked on a date were, “How are you crazy? I’m crazy like this”? Philosopher and writer Alain de Botton’s essay “Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person” was one of the most-read articles in The New York Times in recent years. As people and as a culture, he says, we would be much saner and happier if we reexamined our very view of love. Nowhere do we realistically teach ourselves and our children how love deepens and stumbles, survives and evolves over time, and how that process has much more to do with ourselves than with what is right or wrong about our partner. The real work of love is not in the falling, but in what comes after.
Alain de Botton is the founder and chairman of The School of Life. His books include “Religion for Atheists,” “How Proust Can Change Your Life,” and the novel “The Course of Love.”