Saturday Mar 11, 2023

Love Stoic Love - What can the Stoics teach us about love?

On the occasion of Valentine's Day and Brittany Polat's new online course on Stoic Love, we invite you to join us as we explore what the Stoics can teach us about love. We'll talk about self-love, love of others and the world, and love of wisdom. (See chapters/timestamps below)


Email hello@kathrynkoromilas and let me know if this episode resonated. I love mail and I respond to everyone.

A special Stoic Salon Podcast episode on love. We'll talk about the foundations of Stoic love, how to start loving yourself, how to show compassion and cultivate goodwill, and how to love wisdom. 

Recorded on Tuesday 14th February 2023. 


  • Brittany Polat is the author of Journal Like a Stoic and founder of Stoicare
  • Kathryn Koromilas is the host of The Stoic Salon Podcast and writes the Stoic State of Mind newsletter. 


00:00 Welcome to the Stoic Salon Podcast & musical intro
00:13 Valentine's day edition & introducing Brittany Polat
02:00 Kathryn asks Brittany, What is Love?
03:00 Falling in love / reason / what to look for when falling in love / Jane Austen & moral exemplars vs modern romantic comedy movies/novels
11:09 Create a space to reason before jumping in / how do we communicate about reasoned love in a world that values spontaneous, stormy falling in love
13:00 If we were falling in love again, Brittany suggests an approach
16:05 Wedding vows and the promises we make when we and our partners will change
20:20 Falling in love as fulfilling a need?
24:40 Alain de Botton's definition of love; generosity to partner
26:20 Brittany suggests a Stoic daily practice to deal with a partner's seemingly negative behaviour, Brittany's apple
29:20 When is the right time for a relationship to end, breaking promises / Alain de Botton's 'love is admiration for strength and also tolerance for weakness,' / Brittany adds shared values
31:45 Shakespeare's sonnet 116 "Love is not love when it alters when it alteration finds"
33:33 Do we 'bear love to the end of doom?' Do we stay or go?
39:00 Another tip for enduring love and the ups and downs - humour
40:00 We can't control if others love us but we can love
41:55 Self-examination in a loving relationship
42:00 Virtue, not a moral duty to love but it's a potential we can cultivate 
46:30 Sam Harris Waking Up app - meta meditation, thinking about a person as a child
47:30 Brittany's Stoic Love course
51:50 Pragma, love of duty and reason
54:10 Falling in love with yourself? Self-love always, not contingent on external things, scope for being proud of self for flourishing
56:45 Plato's Symposium and Diotima's love ladder with beauty and truth at the top of the ladder/ what's the ultimate Stoic love?
59:46 Brittany's Stoic Valentine's Day card message

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