all-text cover.

The Couples Workbook: Homework to Help Love Last

by The School of Life Author and Alain de Botton Editor

Love is a skill, not just an emotion—and in order for us to get good at it, we have to practice, as we would in any other area we want to shine in. Many of us expect our romantic relationships to be like fairy tale romances; but realistically, after a heady and passion-filled start, we end up in unions that are a confusing tangle of hope, distance, boredom, loyalty, and betrayal. Here is a workbook containing the very best exercises that any couple can undertake to help their relationship function optimally, exercises to foster understanding, patience, forgiveness, humor, and resilience in the face of the many hurdles that invariably arise when you try to live with someone else for the long term. Couples are guided to have particular conversations, analyze their feelings, explain parts of themselves to one another, and undertake rituals that clear the air and help recover hope and passion. The goal is always to unblock channels of feeling and improve communication. Not least, doing exercises together is—at points—simply a lot of fun. The notion of exercising is well understood in many areas; we should grant that it applies equally to love. No one can be intuitively good at relationships. We all need to do some homework to become the best partners and couples we can be.