Hector and the Secrets of Love

Back in January, I read a book Hector and the Search for Happiness.  Not long after, I saw the film Blue Valentine (Trailer).  I had grand plans to write about both the book and film at the time.  Certain events were a little too fresh in my head at the time, time passed, and I never wrote about the book or the film.

Hector and the Search for Happiness is part of a now series of books by the French author François Lelord.  Lelord is psychiatrist who did post doctorate work at UCLA and now lives in SE Asia.  In the book, Hector is a psychiatrist who is burnt out and decides to go on a global journey to discover secrets of happiness.  But that’s all I’m going to say about that book for now.

The translation of the second book in the series, Hector and the Secrets of Love came out at the end of May.  The book begins not long after the first one ended.  Hector is happy with his work, his relationships, his love.  He’s even considering getting married.  Then his girlfriend’s boss invites him (and a few other leading psychiatrists) to a resort to ask them about love.  For Hector, there is another task…his girlfriend’s boss wants him to find a friend and colleague that has disappeared while researching love for the pharmaceutical company Hector’s girlfriend works for.

This journey is going to be a lot more complicated than Hector’s first journey, because love, as Hector often says, is complicated.

In the spirit of the first book, over the course of the book, Hector makes numerous observations about Love.  These “seedlings” are the building blocks to the five components of love (and their corresponding five components of heartache).  Below the cut, I’ve put each of the 27 seedlings of love (at least until someone tells me I have to take it down).  I don’t really think I disagree with any of these observations.  As for the components of love and heartache…for that you’ll have to read the book yourself.

Love being such a complicated thing, this book often made me sad while reading it.  But I suppose a journey to discover the secrets of love is also more prone to heartache than a journey to find the secrets of happiness.

So how is my own journey to discover the secrets of love? Well that’s its own journey…one I’m still on…I’ve been in love and lost love…and I’m still discovering how to love (both myself and someone else)…so instead of answering that question in this public space, I’ll leave you with the words of Hector at the end of his journey:

“Love is indeed complicated, difficult, sometimes painful,
but it is also the only time that our dream becomes reality…”


  • Seedling #1: Perfect love would be never having arguments
  • Seedling #2: Sometimes we argue most with the people we love the most.
  • Seedling #3: You cannot win someone’s love without a fight
  • Seedling #4: True love is not wanting to be unfaithful.
  • Seedling #5: True love is not being unfaithful (even when you want to be).
  • Seedling #6: True love is always sensing what the other wants.
  • Seedling #7: Love can be wonderful when the other senses what we want, but we must also be able to help them by expressing our desires.
  • Seedling #8: Sexual desire is essential to love. (but not always)
  • Seedling #9: Needing the other is a sign of love.
  • Seedling #10: Men’s sexual desire can create many hells.
  • Seedling #11: Love and jealousy go hand in hand.
  • Seedling #12: Passion fades after two or three years of living together.
  • Seedling #13: Passion in love can be terribly unfair.
  • Seedling #14; Women always like to dream of love even when they are already in love with someone.
  • Seedling #15: In love, if we really knew what the other person was saying maybe we wouldn’t understand them at all.
  • Seedling #16: Jealousy is inseparable from desire.
  • Seedling #17: Jealousy is a sign of attachment.
  • Seedling #18: Love means sensing immediately when the other is unhappy.
  • Seedling #19: Could love be a combination of self-interest and emotions?
  • Seedling #20: Love means still seeing the others beauty when nobody else does anymore.
  • Seedling #21: Love proves itself when put to the test.
  • Seedling #22: Love is, smiling the moment you see one another.
  • Seedling #23: Love is like a revolving door; you go round and round, but you never manage to catch up with one another.
  • Seedling #24: Nothing eases the pain of love better than focusing on a task.
  • Seedling #25: Love is the ability to dream and to know when to stop dreaming.
  • Seedling #26: Love is resisting temptation.
  • Seedling #27: You can only have one love at a time.

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