With February raising questions and conversations about love – how we find it, keep it, and what it actually is – Label volunteer, Olivia Connelly, explores the non-fiction book Conversations on Love by Natasha Lunn and its meditations on love.
Conversations on Love is a non-fiction book that delivers an array of different perspectives on what love really is. It includes interviews with guests such as Dolly Alderton the author of Ghosts and Everything I know about love, two best selling novels.
For me, I love how honest and realistic the book was on love as it did not sugar coat the reality and hardships of how hard all forms of relationships are, ranging from friendships to romantic relations. In each section, Lunn interviews different people on love which ranges from Philippa Perry on ‘falling in love slowly’, Dolly Alderton on ‘vulnerability’, Stephen Grosz on accepting change and many more insightful conversations. Being a student at university, I greatly value my friendships and feel I have made lifelong friends here. Lunn’s section on friendship with Candice Carty-Williams was extremely insightful and reiterates how the love between friends is not always straightforward with thoughts of rivalry and envy. Lunn explains how when her friends were having babies, she felt resentful as she had been through numerous miscarriages. Therefore, she felt unworthy. Yet, their conversation, which feels like you are sitting in the room with them, demonstrates how we need to be honest with our friends and make an effort with them, letting go of our ego to reach out to friends to remind them we are still there for them no matter how separate we may feel at times.
Furthermore, Lunn highlights how an absence of romantic love does not mean that your life is loveless as love can be found so easily in anything, even such as cooking. I think this book is good for any age group but especially good for young people and university students. It is an honest guide on the realities of love as, in this modern age, we are overshadowed by the fakery of social media and how love is portrayed there. It helped me after my breakup to realise what was important and that love is all around us, and there are many more love stories to be found in life. I definitely appreciate my family and friends a lot more as the love between these two is extremely valuable. The book sets you up for your journey of love without having unrealistic expectations about it. This is not to say that love isn’t amazing, but it teaches you to always love yourself as that is who is most important at the end of the day.
Whenever I read a book I always highlight key quotes I loved so here are a few I resonated with:
It doesn’t mean pretending to not want to meet a partner but ‘it means being brave enough to hope for what you want, but wise enough to know that life is not one love story, but many.’
The search for love is ‘Looking inwards to understand yourself, to be curious about your needs and desires and gifts and flaws, to develop generosity and self-compassion. Then looking outwards to use the power those things give you to love people, and the life you are living too.’
What Lunn wishes she knew about love: ‘To be calmer about the whole process. And that things would work out or they wouldn’t, and even then, that would be fine too.’