When your greatest romance is a friendship, the reader never feels unloved.

This quote, from Rachel Carey, is attributed to Frances Mayes about her husband and Robert Lawton. The story has a unique twist — there is no great romantic, and there is no great friendship. Just two close friends whose interests cross in different ways. Frances Mayes said, “It’s like, when you are very close to someone, you have this feeling you have just the most intimate of friendships — your greatest romance. So when that romance — it doesn’t mean that that you’re going to love each other, but the intimacy — that’s what you have. So when your greatest romance is a friendship, it’s in no way with any disdain, and you never want to alienate the people, and that’s the way you want to live your life.”

As part of this episode of Modern Love, we asked her — and other experts who focus on relationships and building meaningful relationships — to share their sage insights and advice about how to keep that greatest romance alive. And, along with them, we asked Ali Fazal, the son of actor Dev Patel and Padma Lakshmi, to read from what he calls his “most special book of all time.”

The book is When Your Greatest Romance Is a Friendship, by Frances Mayes and Robert Lawton.

In this week’s episode of Modern Love, heard in audio form, we ask Fazal to share what is in his personal “library” of marriage advice:

Listen here: