The Course of Love – Alain de Botton

Published by: Penguin
Pages: 222
Date released: 26/01/2017
Date read: 30/04/2021

Modern love is never easy. Society is obsessed with stories of romance, but what comes after happily ever after?

This is a love story with a difference. From dating to marriage, from having kids to having affairs, it follows the progress of a single ordinary relationship: tender, messy, hilarious, painful, and entirely un-Romantic. It is a love story for the modern world, chronicling the daily intimacies, the blazing rows, the endless tiny gestures that make up a life shared between two people. Moving and deeply insightful, ‘The Course of Love’ offers us a window into essential truths about the nature of love.

It’s taken me a while to get round to it, but I’ve finally finished reading The Course of Love by Alain de Botton.

Alain doesn’t beat around the bush when it comes to painting love, marriage and parenthood in all it’s dark and light glory. There’s no sugar coating the harshness that comes with real-life love.

Falling in love and being in love, getting married and having a family – these are all marvellous, wonderful, exciting, beautiful things.

Staying in love, working hard on a marriage, feeling like equals, raising a family, keeping a sense of ‘you’ after becoming a parent – these are all difficult, tiring, frustrating things.

The light does not make the dark any harder; the dark does not make the light any less bright.

It’s important to remember that the love stories we read about in novels and watch in films, are not real. The honeymoon period very rarely lasts throughout an entire lifetime, but that’s not to say what follows is bad. These are stories concocted just so show the light.

It is fine to aim for that kind of love, but in real life, it’s safe to say that the course of true love never did run smooth.

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