Selections from The Psychology of Romantic Love
Posted 28 January 2006 - 09:26 PM
"...All life -by its very nature- entails a struggle, and struggle entails the possibility of defeat; we desire and find pleasure in seeing concrete instances of successful life as confirmation of the fact that successful life is possible. It is, in effect, a metaphysical experience..."
Basic Similarities and Complementary Differences:
"So here, in the area of vital similarities, we have the foundation of passionate romantic attraction. We are drawn to consciousnesses like our own.
But our picture if we stopped here, would be incomplete. It is not a literal mirror-image of ourselves we are seeking. The foundation of the relationship lies in basic similarities. The excitement of a relationship lies, to an important extent, in complementary differences."
For many people it is frightening to ask, "Do I admire my partner." It seems less frightening to ask, "Do I love my partner? Do I desire my partner? Do I have a pleasant time with my partner?" To ask, "Do I admire my partner?" is to risk discovering that I am bound to him or her more by dependency than admiration, more through immaturity of fear or "convenience" than genuine esteem.
The Courage to Love:
"In my experience a great deal of the so-called war of the sexes is a result of a fear of rejection, abandonment, or loss. Often men and women experience great resistance to owning how much they need each other, how important the opposite sex is for the enjoyment of life and the fulfillment of their own masculine or feminine potentialities. Often there is almost hatred of the fact that we need the opposite sex as much as we do."
It is my hope that the above selections will spur comment and lead others to read this outstanding book
Posted 28 January 2006 - 11:57 PM
We are fortunate that two of Nathaniel's three lecture series have been published as books: the romantic love lectures and thepsychology lectures (in The Psychology of Self-Esteem. While it's great that his Basic Principles of Objectivism lectures are still available in audio format (as CDs, yet!), it would be even greater if they could be transcribed and sold as a book -- or even loose-leaf along with the CDs, for study purposes.
Posted 29 January 2006 - 04:04 PM
Yes, this one is a must read for me. Those were very valid points you brought up about psychological visability, simiarlity with complementary differences, admiration and the courage to love. The one other point would probably be complete honesty and open communication. Being able to completely trust your partner and allowing them to see who you really are really helps the love grow.
For the first time in my life I feel that I have found exactly the right partner. I couldn't imagine not having this person in my life. This helps me understand why. It helps to identify these things as what was making it right. It is wonderful to actually have someone that you love so completely and wanting to say those words "till death do we part," and really mean it from the heart.
Posted 02 February 2006 - 08:37 AM
I'm happy for you and Michael. True love is a beautiful thing to behold. You will really like Nathaniel's book. It was written at a time when he had just gotten over the death of Patrecia. It is terrifically insightful, instructive, heartfelt and sincere.
Posted 07 April 2006 - 08:48 PM
The ideas of admiration and selfishness are key messages to think about when pondering the thoughts posed in the subtitle of the book:
- What love is
- Why love is born
- Why it sometimes grows
- Why it sometimes dies
Here is a short piece from The Pyschology of Romantic Love (pb pg. 169)
Love and Selfishness
Of all the nonsense written about love, none is more absurd than the notion that ideal love is selfless. What I love is the embodiment of my values in another person; properly understood, love is a profound act of self-assertion.
To love selfishly does not mean to be indifferent to the needs and interests of the partner. To say it once more: When we love, our concept of our self-interest expands to embrace the well-being of our partner. That is the great compliment of love: To declare to another human being that his or her happiness is of selfish importance to ourselves.
It would hardly be a compliment to tell a person we love that his or her well-being is not of selfish interest to us. To love is to see myself in you and to wish to celebrate myself with you. This is hardly unselfish. Yet it is the very essence of love.
If I accept and respect you, it is not selfless. If I honor your integrity, it is not selfless. If I care about your thoughts and feelings, if I hold you in my arms, if I stroke and caress you, if I love you as I love my own life—it is not selfless.
And when we who are in love have the wisdom to spend time together alone…doing nothing as the word doing is normally understood…just being together, just sharing our feelings, our fantasies, our longings…sharing that voyage into that self, using each other as a guide, a facilitator, a mirror, a sounding board for the exploration of the self…making of love a pathway to self-discovery, making of love a vehicle for personal growth, making of love a doorway to personal evolution—is this not the noblest and most exalted expression of intellectual selfishness?
To love selflessly is a contradiction in terms.
This book is brilliant and a must read for every couple. I know it really gives a unique perspective on the topic of love. Althought the book is cuurrently out of print, you can order autographed copies through this link to Nathaniel Branden's website at www.nathanielbranden.com. Here is the description of the book from his site and here are a few words he said about the book.
"This book is about my own love for love, he writes, my love for the experience and adventure that love offers. For all those who long for love and yet wonder whether their dreams are attainable, The Psychology of Romantic Love shows the way to translate dreams into reality."
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