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On Learning to Separate Romantic Love from Happiness ‹ Literary Hub

Carrie Jenkins on Love, Polyamory, and Living Publicly

By Carrie Jenkins, August 26, 2022

from article…

When I set out to write a book about love in 2017, I was not happy. I was pretty sad. But I was still in love, or at least so I thought. All the messages from the culture around me were telling me what they had always told me: that being in love was about being happy. Being happy ever after. Happy with someone. Happy together.

I had questions. What if I’m not happy? What if I’m sad—or worse, depressed? Does that mean I’m no longer in love? Am I now unloving? Unlovable? I desperately hoped the answer to the last two was “no.” And I strongly suspected that was the answer.

Even though I wasn’t happy, and didn’t know when, how, or even whether I would become happy in the future, I didn’t seriously doubt that I was in love with my partners. So instead, like any good logician, I questioned the other assumption: the one about how being in love means being happy.