Why We Love

No tools, no shelter, and no map

We worship serendipity at our own peril.

This is the argument made in Alain de Botton’s The Course of Love, which deconstructs the cultural norms, Romantic expectations, and messy realities of loving and living with another human being.

Love is not an intuition or epiphany; it is a skill, a daily practice that is profoundly unintuitive.

And yet, we treat love as an instinct, perhaps because we are so prone to finding ourselves in love’s initial stage that we refer to it “falling.” That rush of infatuation, as natural as gravity. As thrilling as diving from a plane, as terrifying.

And then we are on the Earth, and we have no tools, no shelter, and no map.

Imagine if we took advantage of twelve years of adolescent attention in school and directed a large portion of it toward learning how to navigate the magnificent and melancholy terrain of relationships. A course on love, if you will.

Wouldn’t that take the Romance out of love?

Yes, exactly.