“The most tempting kind of beauty has only a few angles from which it may be seen, and then not in all lights and at all times. It flirts dangerously with ugliness, it takes risks with itself, it does not side comfortably with mathematical rules of proportion, it draws its appeal from precisely those details that also lend themselves to ugliness. As Proust once said, classically beautiful women should be left to men without imagination.”—Alain de Botton (via eurotrashgirlfriend)
“If cynicism and love lie at opposite ends of a spectrum, do we not sometimes fall in love in order to escape the debilitating cynicism to which we are prone? Is there not in every coup de foudre a certain wilful exaggeration of the qualities of the beloved, an exaggeration which distracts us from our habitual pessimism and focuses our energies on someone in whom we can believe in a way we have never believed in ourselves?”—Alain De Botton, Essays In Love (chap. 2)
“Few things are as antithetical to sex as thought.
Sex is instinctive, unreflexive and spontaneous, while thought is careful, uninvolved, and judgemental.
To Think during sex is to violate a fundamental law of intercourse…”—Excerpt from Essays in Love: Chapter 5 ‘Mind and Body’ - Alain De Botton (via nellysworld)
“The difference could be grouped into categories of mature and immature love. Preferable in almost every way, the philosophy of mature love is marked by an active awareness of the good and bad within each person, it is full of temperance, it resists idealization, it is free of jealousy, masochism, or obsession, it is a form of friendship with a sexual dimension, it is pleasant, peaceful, and reciprocated (and perhaps explains why most people who have known the wilder shores of desire would refuse its painlessness the title of love). Immature love on the other hand (though it has little to do with age) is a story of chaotic lurching between idealization and disappointment, an unstable state where feelings of ecstasy and beatitude combine with impressions of drowning and fatal nausea, where the sense that one has finally found the answer comes together with the feeling that one has never been so lost. The logical climax of immature (because absolute) love comes in death, symbolic or real. The climax of mature love comes in marriage, and the attempts to avoid death via routine. For immature love accepts no compromise, and once we refuse compromise, we are on the road to some kind of cataclysm.”—Alain De Botton (via mehssimist)
“Every fall into love involves [to adapt Oscar Wilde] the triumph of hope over self-knowledge. We fall in love hoping that we will not find in the other what we know is in ourselves – all the cowardice, weakness, laziness, dishonesty, compromise and brute stupidity. We throw a cordon of love around the chosen one, and decide that everything that lies within it will somehow be free of our faults and hence lovable. We locate inside another a perfection that eludes us within ourselves, and through union with the beloved, hope somehow to maintain [against evidence of all self-knowledge] a precarious faith in the species.”—Essays in Love, Alain de Botton (via heiids)
“We invent a destiny to spare ourselves the anxiety that would arise from acknowledging that the little sense there is in our lives is merely created by ourselves.”—Alain De Botton, from my beloved copy of Essays in Love (via incuntations)
“24. There is usually a Marxist moment in every relationship, the moment when it becomes clear that love is reciprocated. The way it is resolved depends on the balance between self-love and self-hatred. If self-hatred gains the upper hand, then the one who has received love will declare that the beloved (on some excuse or other) is not good enough for them (not good enough by virtue of associating with no-goods). But if self-love gains the upper hand, both partners may accept that seeing their love reciprocated is not proof of how low the beloved is, but of how lovable they have themselves turned out to be.”—Alain de Botton, Essays in Love (via anemonehair)
“Unrequited love may be painful, but it is a safely painful, because it does not involve inflicting damage on anyone but oneself, a private pain that is as bitter-sweet as it is self-induced. But as soon as love is reciprocated, one must be prepared to give up the passivity of simply being hurt to take on the responsibility of perpetrating hurt oneself.”—Essays In Love, Alain de Botton. (via khyan)
“Every fall into love involves the triumph of hope over self-knowledge. We fall in love hoping we won’t find in another what we know is in ourselves, all the cowardice, weakness, laziness, dishonesty, compromise, and stupidity.”—(via cxestlavie)
However happy we may ever be with our partner, our love for them necessarily prevents us [unless we live in a polygamous society] from starting other romantic liaisons. But why should this constrain us if we truly loved them? Why should we feel this as a loss unless our love for them has already begun to wance? The answer perhaps lies in the uncomfortable thought that in resolving our need to love, we may not always succeed in resolving our need to long.