Slo Mo: A Podcast with Mo Gawdat

SLO MO REWIND: Alain de Botton on How to Keep Your Partner Happy

November 18, 2023 Mo Gawdat / Alain de Botton Episode 272
Slo Mo: A Podcast with Mo Gawdat
SLO MO REWIND: Alain de Botton on How to Keep Your Partner Happy
Show Notes Chapter Markers

Continuing our love and relationships series, we revisit my chat with the incredible Alain de Botton. 

One of the most listened episodes on Slo Mo, I and the British-Swiss philosopher, Alain de Botton, dive deep into one of my favorite topics: Love.

Alain de Botton is a philosopher and writer of essayistic books that have been described as a "philosophy of everyday life." He’s written on love, travel, architecture and literature. His books have been bestsellers in 30 countries and have sold millions of copies. Alain also started and helps to run a school in London called The School of Life, dedicated to a new vision of education. His latest book, published in September 2019, is a collection of essays written for The School of Life, titled The School of Life: An Emotional Education.

I love talking about love, just as much as I'm happy to discuss happiness. Alain's body and scope of work is so vast, I decided to focus this conversation entirely on love, sex, and relationships. I'm so glad I did.

We will revisit:

  • What is love? Alain's definition of love: 'when two people meet in their raw condition.'
  • How the opposite extreme of love is Loneliness, not Hatred.
  • How Life is a desperate emergency, and if we can just admit that, things open up.
  • Why Christianity gives a privileged role to those who suffer
  • One of the most honest takes on sex you'll ever hear
  • How we're always trying to get our life as close as possible to our true reality
  • If we're all imperfect, doesn't that make imperfection perfect?
  • How we've replaced happiness with "fun" just as we've replaced love with "romance"
  • The contradictions in love and how they're only glaring because they violate a script or story we expect from our relationship
  • How we shouldn't be held accountable for what we feel, but rather the actions we take based on those feelings.
  • Reinterpreting the typical disaster scenario in a relationship when one partner cheats on another.
  • Humanity's transition from demonizing sex to trying to understand it
  • The differences (or lack thereof) between male and female in love and sex
  • Sexual fetishes and their unique place in couple connections
  • Undertakers and nurses as beacons of acceptance
  • The game of life is trying to find connections
  • The ironic outcome of jealousy's intentions
  • How to keep your partner faithful
  • Alain's love advice to my daughter
  • Coping with the feeling of being rushed into marriage as a woman
  • What "God is love" really means
  • Seeing your partner as an Adorable Idiot rather than just a regular idiot

Connect with Alain de Botton on Twitter @alaindebotton and alaindebotton.com

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Don't forget to subscribe to Slo Mo for new episodes every Saturday. Only with your help can we reach One Billion Happy #onebillionhappy

Alain's definition of love
How the opposite extreme of love is Loneliness, not Hatred.
How Life is a desperate emergency, and if we can just admit that, things open up.
Why Christianity gives a privileged role to those who suffer.
One of the most honest takes on sex you'll ever hear
How we're always trying to get our life as close as possible to our true reality
If we're all imperfect, doesn't that make imperfection perfect?
How we've replaced happiness with "fun" just as we've replaced love with "romance"
The contradictions in love and how they're only glaring because they violate a script or story we expect from our relationship
How we shouldn't be held accountable for what we feel, but rather the actions we take based on those feelings.
Reinterpreting the typical disaster scenario in a relationship when one partner cheats on another
Humanity's transition from demonizing sex to trying to understand it
The differences (or lack thereof) between male and female in love and sex
Sexual fetishes and their unique place in couple connections
Undertakers and nurses as beacons of acceptance
The game of life is trying to find connections
The ironic outcome of jealousy's intentions
How to keep your partner faithful
Alain's love advice to my daughter
Coping with the feeling of being rushed into marriage as a woman
What "God is love" really means
Seeing your partner as an Adorable Idiot rather than just a regular idiot