I had the pleasure of watching a talk by Alain de Botton last night at the Sydney Opera House (big shout out to my sister for organising the tickets). He was there to discuss his new novel, “The Course of Love“. There were many revelations for me about being in a long-term relationship. I felt myself nodding to pretty much everything he said and immediately wanting to buy a ticket for my husband and friends (alas, he was only talking for two nights). It all made so much sense and I think most people in relationships could benefit from hearing his way of thinking. This excerpt from a recent piece he wrote for The New York Times sums up a key thought he has on long-term relationships: “The person who is best suited to us is not the person who shares our every taste (he or she doesn’t exist), but the person who can negotiate differences in taste intelligently — the person who is good at disagreement. Rather than some notional idea of perfect complementarity, it is the capacity to tolerate differences with generosity that is the true marker of the “not overly wrong” person. Compatibility is an achievement of love; it must not be its precondition.” Certainly not the romantic idea we’ve long associated with love and marriage but definitely a more accurate one. Read more about Alain de Botton and his books and other ventures here and you can now watch the talk here (runs for around 70 min).