The course of love: A novel to help your love life
In the rush of giddiness that followed getting engaged, and the excitement of pinning ideas to wedding boards on Pinterest, it’s easy to forget that what all this is gearing Ben and I up for is a marriage.
It’s one of those things you can’t really know and understand until you’re in it, but that hasn’t stopped me from trying 😆
I’m diving into the theme in many nerdy ways, but one of my favourites has been Alain de Botton’s latest book, The Course of Love. In it, the mind behind The School of Life explores what happens after the happy ever after. As de Botton puts it in the book:
“Marriage: a hopeful, generous, infinitely kind gamble taken by two people who don’t know yet who they are or who the other might be, binding themselves to a future they cannot conceive and have carefully omitted to investigate.”
So yes, not exactly sonnets at sunset, but I loved it. A story “about modern relationships and how to survive them” the book explores the day-to-day, warts and all reality of sharing a life together. (The Valentines card PDF download they released to accompany the book made me laugh.)
You can watch an illustrated trailer for the book above.
It’s insightful, heartfelt, funny and beautifully written. I found myself regularly elbowing Ben in bed and interrupting his reading to share passages with him.
Other explorations on this theme:
- Elbow’s Little Fictions left me teary-eyed the first time I heard it. A gorgeously gritty ode to the ups and down of love that opens with the lines: “A muffled battle cry across the kitchen table”. Worth a listen.
- A surprising marriage tip.
- Great advice in this post on why your wedding day won’t be the best day of your life.
- Another lovely piece from Erin: Love & Trash (“With every bag he ties, double knots, slings around his shoulder, I hear I love you”).
- Crowd-sourcing marriage advice from 300 couples who have been married for decades.
- The This Modern Love podcast features diverse, interesting, wonderfully written explorations of love, and they recently did a wedding season themed episode.
- I first picked it up six years go, but Spousonomics is still one of the best books on relationships I’ve ever read.