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The School of Life: Relationships

"With fascinating cultural context, this makes a warm, witty convincing case for casting off the legacies of Romanticism to enjoy more fulfilling relationships."

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

Refreshingly radical, practical and witty, Relationships ­— part of the Lessons for Life series from The School of Life — casts aside constricting legacies of 18th-century Romanticism to posit a new approach to relationships. That is to say, it starts from the standpoint that fostering and maintaining happy relationships is not an innate ability. Rather, love is a life skill to be learned, with practical advice shared throughout the book. 

In short, Relationships ­convincingly argues that Romanticism has been a “disaster for love”, with its narrow ideas around finding lovers who will be our soulmate, best friend, housekeeper and everything else, and the notion we should never feel attracted to anyone else. In essence, Romanticism’s unrealistic ideals sets up many folks to fail over and over again.

In its place, this book argues that when we grasp the fact that you can never find everything you need in a single person, if we accept that “the early stages of love give a misleading image of what a relationship can be like”, we could find ourselves on the road to more rewarding relationships. 

With a fascinating comparison of the differences between Romantic and Classical versions of love, Relationships will make a great gift for those who feel they’re “destined” to a pattern of doomed relationships — its honesty and fresh approach could well come as a beacon of hope.

Joanne Owen

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