Not since Thomas Moore's Soul Mates has a major thinker redefined our most basic human emotion. What can we expect from romantic love? Stephen A. Mitchell revitalizes our dreams, while recognizing the pitfalls we face, in this groundbreaking ...
reaking examination of the major components of romantic lovesex, idealization, aggression, self-pity, guilt, and commitment. Common wisdom has it that love is fragile and unreliable, but Mitchell argues that romance doesn't actually diminish in long-term relationshipsit becomes increasingly dangerous. What we regard as the transience of love is really risk management: segregating love and desire, keeping mundane reality in the foreground, and limiting expectations to curtail dependency. Bringing to bear thirty years of clinical practice, Mitchell offers fresh and practical advice that runs the gamut of romantic experiences, from avoiding a humdrum relationship to idealizing a future soul mate to feeling nostalgic over lost loves. He shows that love can endure, if only we become aware of our self-destructive efforts to protect ourselves from its risks.