• "To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance."
  • "You don’t become completely free by just avoiding to be a slave; you also need to avoid becoming a master."
  • "(T)he heroic summons — namely, to lift off the intimate other the unfinished business of my own life. This I call heroic because it asks me to assume a burden much larger than feels comfortable. It asks that we outgrow the dependent part that is covertly eager to have someone take care of us. So we seek, unconsciously, to convert our partners into the good parent, the one who takes the task of self-esteem, of personal accountability, the responsibility for meeting most of our own needs, off our shoulders."
  • "There is no love that's so right as admiration-based love."
  • "There are plenty of failed marriages where the parties are still together."
  • "I tell my kids: don't date a girl you want.  Date a girl who wants you.  She'll treat you better."
  • "Be a good ender."
  • "Get to rejection quickly."
  • "Love is given, not received."
  • "Invest in those who invest in you."
  • "Choose a woman who chooses you."
  • "Invest and then test."
  • "The heart decides, the head rationalizes."
  • "Just as in matters of seduction, people lend the most to those who need them the least."
  • "Non-attachment doesn’t mean you don’t care. It means that you consciously work at being equally okay with every possible outcome."
  • “When you’re single you date other singles.  And when you’re a couple you date other couples.”
  • "Raising children: we are the stewards of their sovereignty."
  • "Behind every criticism, there’s often a wish."
  • "Love longs for closeness; desire thrives on distance."
  • "Don’t we all know why Brian Stevenson held on? Once his feet were off the ground, he was caught in a loss aversion loop from which the last chance to escape was always already gone. The transition from lending a hand, to holding on for dear life, to the soaring realization that the holding on may have been a fatal mistake probably took no more than a few seconds, but I’d bet that every one of those seconds Stevenson was thinking: “I should’ve let go before. It’s too late now.” Haven’t we all been caught in such traps? Who hasn’t been in a situation that seemed to make sense at the time, but that ultimately made no sense at all? Who hasn’t been mired in a toxic relationship with someone we love too much to leave right now, tonight?"
  • "What I found was that the number one most important issue that came up to these couples was trust and betrayal. I started to see their conflicts like a fan opening up, and every region of the fan was a different area of trust. Can I trust you to be there and listen to me when I’m upset?"
  • "We are not merely on a quest to be happy. We are on a quest to suffer in ways that feel familiar, and this radically undermines our capacity to find a good partner."
  • “The ability of a couple to soothe one another, to make the relationship a port in a storm, instead of another storm in people’s lives, is absolutely critical.”
  • "Our partners aren’t uniquely damaged. We just know them a lot better than the exciting stranger. Our partner suffers from the disadvantages of incumbency: of having been in our lives for so long that we have had the opportunity to be patiently introduced to the full range of their inadequacies. Our certainty that we might be happier with another person is founded on ignorance, the result of having been shielded from the worst and crazier dimensions of a new character’s personality—which we must accept are sure to be there, not because we know them in any detail, but because we know the human race."
  • "This is what can make unrequited love so vicious. By denying us the chance to grow close to the beloved, we cannot tire of them in the cathartic and liberating manner that is the gift of requited love. It isn’t their charms that are keeping us magnetized; it is our lack of knowledge of their flaws."
  • "The cruelty of unrequited love isn’t really that we haven’t been loved back; rather that our hopes have been aroused by someone who can never disappoint us, someone whom we will have to keep believing in because we lack the knowledge that would set us free."
  • "When we spot apparent perfection, we tend to blame our spectacular bad luck for the mediocrity of our lives, without realizing that we are mistaking an asymmetry of knowledge for an asymmetry of quality: We are failing to see that our partner, home, and job are not especially awful, but rather that we know them especially well. The corrective to insufficient knowledge is experience."
  • "Marriage is a giant inhibitor of impulse set up by our conscience to keep our libidinous, naive, desiring selves in check. What we are essentially buying into by submitting to its dictates is the insight that we are (as individuals) likely to make very poor choices under the sway of strong short-term impulses. To marry is to recognize that we require structure to insulate us from our urges. It is to lock ourselves up willingly, because we acknowledge the benefits of the long-term: the wisdom of the morning after the storm."
  • "Crushes are often misplaced ambition."
  • “There are three components of a relationship are: attraction, love, and compatibility.  We’re taught that love is incredibly rare.  It’s not.  If you spend enough time with someone, you’ll come to love them in some way.  Compatibility is the rare one.”
  • "Hate is not the opposite of love.  The opposite of love is indifference."
  • "When working, surround yourself with people more successful than you.
    When playing, surround yourself with people happier than you."
  • "You want to be free and open while meeting a lot of people, until you meet the right one."
  • "'Trying' is the biggest mistake you can make early on in a relationship. It sets a false expectation you will eventually tire of."
  • "Merge hearts before merging bodies."
  • “The biggest mistake men make is trying to get a girl to like him.”