Selflessness. It should be the basis of every relationship. If a person truly cares about you, they’ll get more pleasure from the way they make you feel, rather than the way you make them feel.
What kills a relationship between two people is precisely the lack of challenge, the feeling that nothing is new anymore. We need to continue to be a surprise for each other.
The sadistic person is as dependent on the submissive person as the latter is on the former; neither can live without the other.
The mother-child relationship is paradoxical and, in a sense, tragic. It requires the most intense love on the mother’s side, and yet this very love must help the child to grow away from the mother, and to become fully independent.
The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.
The girls I dream of are the gentle ones, wistful by high windows or singing sweet old songs at a piano, long hair drifting, tender as apple blossom. But a girl who goes into battle beside you and keeps your back is a different thing, a thing to make you shiver. Think of the first time you slept with someone, or the first time you fell in love: that blinding explosion that left you crackling to the fingertips with electricity, initiated and transformed. I tell you that was nothing, nothing at all, beside the power of putting your lives, simply and daily, into each other’s hands.
Secretly, I still get proud of the ways Rosie and I loved each other. We had no one else to learn from—none of our parents were shining examples of relationship success—so we learned this from each other: when someone you love needs you to, you can get a hold of your five-alarm temper, get a hold of the shapeless things that scare you senseless, act like an adult instead of the Cro-Magnon teenager you are, you can do a million things you never saw coming.