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” You’ll go, “Mm-mm.” And the reason is they should be able to read through the bathroom panel into your soul and know what’s wrong. And yet, of course, when we find ourselves in relationships, it is precisely over these areas that conflicts arise, but we refuse to lend them the necessary prestige. It’s just two people delighting in awakening one another. I think that it’s not so much that sex is everywhere; it’s that psychological dynamics are everywhere, even in sex. And I accept you in a way that is incredibly intimate and that would be quite revolting with anyone else. And anyone who comes along and says, “You know, it’s normal that you are suffering. And through much effort, I pursued her and eventually married her and discovered something very surprising. And it requires forbearance, generosity, imagination, and a million things besides.
There’s no arguments as vicious as when two people are arguing about something, but both of them think the argument is trivial. And so often, we think of sex as just a sort of pneumatic activity, but really, it’s a psychological activity. It’s like we’re trying to inflate somebody else’s mouth. I’m allowing you into my private space as a way of signaling, ‘I like you.’” And what really — we call it getting “turned on,” but what we’re really, as it were, excited by is that someone accepts us with remarkable — in all our… Life is suffering,” is doing a quite unusual thing in our culture, which is so much about optimism. It is, in fact, enormously consoling, and alleviating, and helpful in a culture which is oppressive in its demands for perfection. And we must fiercely resist the idea that true love must mean conflict-free love, that the course of true love is smooth. The course of true love is rocky and bumpy at the best of times.
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He started exploring computer dating in the late sixties at University where he met his first wife.
His pioneering research, on the skills of the most effective online daters, was carried out using the research methodology of NLP known as ‘Behavioural Modelling”.
As people, and as a culture, he says, we would be much saner and happier if we reexamined our very view of love. So, the acceptance of ourselves as flawed creatures seems to me what love really is. But his chosen technique is distinctive: to call Kirsten materialistic, to shout at her, and then, later, to slam two doors.”  By the time we’ve humiliated someone, they’re not going to learn anything. But it’s interesting that you mention your children and children generally because I think — it sounds eerie, but I think that one of the most — one of the kindest things that we can do with our lover is to see them as children. If we start by accepting that of course we’re only just holding it together, and in many ways, really quite challenging people — I think if somebody thinks that they’re easy to live with, they’re by definition going to be pretty hard and don’t have much of an understanding of themselves. Tippett: Well, by the time they tell us, we’re dismissing what they say anyway. So we’re left with a bubble of ignorance about our own natures. If you expect that your lover must understand everything about you, you will be — well, you’ll be furious pretty much all the time.
Nowhere do we realistically teach ourselves and our children how love deepens and stumbles, survives and evolves over time, and how that process has much more to do with ourselves than with what is right or wrong about our partner. So we have this ideal of what love is and then these very, very unhelpful narratives of love. Love is at its most necessary when we are weak, when we feel incomplete, and we must show love to one another at those points. The only conditions — as we know with children, the only conditions under which anyone learns are conditions of incredible sweetness, tenderness, patience. But the problem is that the failures of our relationships have made us so anxious that we can’t be the teachers we should be. And not to infantilize them, but when we’re dealing with children as parents, as adults, we’re incredibly generous in the way we interpret their behavior. I think there’s a certain wisdom that begins by knowing that of course you, like everyone else, is pretty difficult. Our parents don’t tell us, our ex-lovers — they knew it, but they couldn’t be bothered to tell us. And often, you can be way into your 40s before you’re starting to get a sense of, “Well, maybe some of the problem is in me.” Because of course, it’s so intuitive to think that of course it’s the other person. There are islands and moments of beautiful connection, but we have to be modest about how often they’re going to happen. If I can be indiscreet on air, my wife used to say to me, in the early days of our marriage, she sometimes would say to me things like, “My father would never have said something like” — I would say something, or it’s not my turn to make the tea or something. He would always to do this for us.” And then I had to point out that there was really a — she wasn’t comparing like with like. And so one of the things we do as parents is to edit ourselves, which is lovely, in a way, for our children. Today, we are exploring the true hard work of love with the writer and philosopher Alain de Botton. Tippett: I’d like to go a slightly different place with all of this. And I think if we just try and explore the world “political,” “political” really means “outside of private space.” And we’re highly socialized creatures who really take our cues from what is going on around us. And we need to build a world that recognizes that if somebody goes “mm-hmm” rather than “this” or “thanks” rather than “yes” or whatever it is, this can ruin our day.
de Botton: Well, I think what’s striking is that our idea of what love is, our idea of what is normal in love is so not normal. We don’t need people to be perfect is the good news. Tippett: It’s a lot to ask, but it’s so — it’s also — it’s sounds reasonable, right? And sometimes, we bring to adult relationships some of the same hope that a young child might’ve had of their parent. Because what’s fascinating about sulking is that we don’t sulk with everybody.  When people always say, “Communicate,” we have to be generous towards the reasons why we don’t. There’s a beautiful video that I’ve shared that’s out there. But if, when you’re really being honest, if you ask yourself, “Why am I in pain? You’re preserving the peace and the good nature of the republic, and it’s absolutely what you should be doing.” Ms. And I guess — I’ve been having this conversation with a lot of people this year. Their well being will impact our well being, is of relevance to our well being and that of our children. And you have this phrase, a “good flirt.” So would you describe what a “good flirt” is? de Botton: Well, if you think about what flirtation is, in many ways, flirtation is the attempt to awaken somebody else to their attractiveness. We think we’re sort of — we’re late comers to the party.