The Arc of Love: How Our Romantic Lives Change Over Time by Aaron Ben-Ze'ev
Is love best when it is fresh? For many, the answer is a resounding "yes." The intense experiences that characterize new love are impossible to replicate, leading to wistful reflection and even a repeated pursuit of such ecstatic beginnings. Aaron Ben-Ze'ev takes these experiences seriously, but he's also here to remind us of the benefits of profound love--an emotion that can only develop with time. In The Arc of Love, he provides an in-depth, philosophical account of the experiences that arise in early, intense love--sexual passion, novelty, change--as well as the benefits of cultivating long-term, profound love--stability, development, calmness. Ben-Ze'ev analyzes the core of emotions many experience in early love and the challenges they encounter, and he offers pointers for weathering these challenges. Deploying the rigorous analysis of a philosopher, but writing clearly and in an often humorous style with an eye to lived experience, he takes on topics like compromise, commitment, polyamory, choosing a partner, online dating, and when to say "I love you." Ultimately, Ben-Ze'ev assures us, while love is indeed best when fresh, if we tend to it carefully, it can become more delicious and nourishing even as time marches on.