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"The True Hard Work of Love and Relationships"

Valentine’s Day in a pandemic has even more potential to be fraught with challenges than usual. Some of you may be struggling to find ways to make new romantic connections during this time, and some may be feeling the frayed nerves of TOO. MUCH. CONNECTION. ALL. THE. TIME. Still others may be put off by the holiday—or by the idea of love—altogether. No matter what camp you’re in (or even if you’re doing just fine!), Krista Tippett’s interview with Alain de Botton, author of the most-read New York Times essay of 2020, “Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person,” offers insights into how our expectations of love itself may be the very thing that gets in the way of enjoying our relationships.

“So often we blame our lovers, we don’t blame our view of love,” de Botton suggests. “There is no such thing as a perfect match, but however well-matched, every couple will encounter these problems; that love is something we have to learn and we can make progress with, and that it’s not just an enthusiasm, it’s a skill, and it requires forbearance, generosity, imagination, and a million things besides.”

“And the more generous we can be towards that flawed humanity, the better chance we’ll have of doing the true hard work of love.”

Check out the rest of the On Being interview here. And may it inspire you be generous, compassionate, gentle, and kind with yourselves and those you love on Valentine’s Day and every day.

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