Today marks the release of the paperback edition of Everything I Know About Love. Written by Dolly Alderton, it reads much like her column in The Sunday Times; the book deals with various issues surrounding men, dates, dating apps.. But in the end, the book ends up as an extraordinary love letter to female friendship. This got me thinking, while reading the book: just what can we learn from it?
1. Women are incredibly intuitive; go against that at your own mercy. (See ‘Lemington spa’.)
2. Drinking excessively is dangerous and reckless; early stories in the book are often based round this, almost as a device. (And a lot of the stories are retrospectively funny!)
3. Time does come to pass. We all grow up in the end.
4. Nostalgia was originally diagnosed as a sickness; see the new chapter marked ‘Thirty’.
5. Take this with you everywhere you go: “keep it as close to you as you can.” The love of family, friends, that all-encompassing-enveloping feeling is all around us.
6. Female friendships are extraordinary, and can be incredibly powerful, as well as influential.
7. You should always be honest with yourself. There’s a particularly searing chapter where Dolly writes about being in therapy; this I think is the lesson I needed to hear most of all, perhaps.
8. Stationery has a certain allure. It also can hold fragments we need later on; after all, that’s how this book came about! *Makes note to self to carry a notebook in my handbag at all times.*
9. We become our best selves when we’re with or around the people who love us-page eighty eight.
10. “Mates before dates” is the overriding message of the whole book, I think.
11. Being loved-or to be loved-does not excuse anyone who says “I prefer you with..” “I prefer you without..” “You could do without..” That’s not love.
12. Working in an environment that makes you feel constantly ashamed will leave you with low self esteem.
13. Grief doesn’t fade. We find ways to live without the people we love; it doesn’t necessarily mean we no longer miss them.
14. Self care matters. Always.
15. Try not to bottle up your thoughts and feelings; it could potentially be toxic. But be kind and diplomatic when saying what you think.
Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton is out now. Click here to buy.