I found this book to be very challenging in the sense that it not only challenges the concepts of love and marriage many of us have been taught, but it also challenges one to be a better person as well in order to build a new idea of a healthy relationship. I personally love self-help books with exercises, and this book did not disappoint. I like the practical application that the questions at the end of each chapter provided. So thought provoking, I felt the book would be applicable to a wide audience. Married people, happily or not, can obviously benefit. At the same time, I wished I would have had this book long before that special person came along. I believe it would prove invaluable for the single person to learn of themselves and of love before it comes along. Even as a romance writer, the book gave me new ways to contemplate the fictional relationships I create.
I was impressed by the amount of research apparent in this book. It made the knowledge shared sound. At the same time, it was easy to understand with a wealth of new information, not a recap of the old by a long shot! But, don't get me wrong, while the book is easy to understand, it is not a light read. The ideas presented are in depth and make you analyze yourself in new ways. The easy to identify with couple examples given throughout the book further each point too. There is really just so much in this book, I wouldn't know where to begin to summarize it! And, I won't try. What I will do is encourage you to buy it!
The concepts are wonderful like finding a passion for life and finding harmony between reason and emotion. What stands out to me, having read it and looking back? Let me give you one example from early in the book, as I hate to give too much away. The authors took the idea of putting someone else above yourself and showed how this can lead to giving up your own values and loosing your identity. Mine statement is an over-simplification of all they taught here, but it was freeing and made such sense once you gave the idea a chance. In fact, they talked about becoming imprisoned by a `perfect' life feeling a hypocrite and resenting those who rob you of all your time and energy. The authors instead radically speak of selfish, egotistical love where both partners know who they are and support each others goals and desires. I think my own marriage is an example of how this is true. As a book writer married to a song writer, we are both each other's biggest fans. And, I know I would not be where I am today without the undying support of my husband for my work, and I hope I do the same for him.
Beyond that, many words and phrases stick out to me: secure, firm sense of identity, value yourself, introspection, being egotistic in picking a partner who is good for us, ever-changing emotions are allowed, trade and earned, finding oneself is important to a successful relationship, explore your values, genuine happiness as a productive and meaningful life with a partner, etc... One of my favorite lines is "Selfless people cannot have self-esteem, because they have no self to esteem."
The back of this book says "A thought-provoking and objective guide to finding and nurturing rational relationships." And, that is exactly what this book is. It gives you the tools, no matter how unconventional they may sound at first, to build a solid relationship, one that endures. Isn't that what we all want? Personally, I consider myself lucky to have experienced `love at first sight' (which the book calls `a first impression that proves accurate') and married a man who has become my best friend. After 15 wonderful years of marriage and counting, I know we will both benefit from having this book, building upon what we have and thriving still in years to come.
My wife and I found this book tremendously helpful and intimacy-promoting. It gave us the full context for a proper relationship, and showed us what it is that we already do well somewhat naturally that makes our romance grow so well, and the key areas that we can improve. Basically, this gives us a systematic and motivational approach to a long and fulfilling marriage, and thus allows us to be confident in what we are doing and not think that somehow just time will add up and we will find ourselves in a mediocre marriage.
I highly recommend this book for any couple or even any single person. All the advice they gave to individuals, I could have used when I was single, and it was my doing most of the recommended things on my own accord that made me more lovable and my relationship with my wife possible.
I only wish there were such a book for raising children.
Dr. Edwin Locke and Dr. Ellen Kenner say that nothing could be further from the truth. Their book, The Selfish Path to Romance: How to Love with Passion and Reason (publication date: February 14, 2011), shatters the relationship myths we've absorbed for years. The book is inspired by the ideas of author and philosopher Ayn Rand, who created the Objectivist philosophy of rational self-interest and who penned the best-selling novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. By applying Rand's ideas to relationships, The Selfish Path to Romance offers a rational alternative for those who are serious about finding and sustaining a fulfilling, passionate romance.
The Selfish Path to Romance teaches us that love is not about sacrifice or subduing who we really are and what we really want. Real, lasting romantic love comes when you are certain about your values, your needs, and your worth. Ayn Rand herself put it best when she said, "One gains a profoundly personal, selfish joy from the mere existence of the person one loves. It is one's own personal, selfish happiness that one seeks, earns, and derives from love."
Love cannot last when we need others to validate our self-worth. Dr. Locke and Dr. Kenner use their expertise of Rand's philosophy and their decades of psychological work to show us how being rationally selfish is the best way to succeed at finding and keeping love. It's important to first develop self-esteem and self-love because having a firm sense of yourself actually makes you more lovable to others. The authors also explain the importance of moral character and how to look for and evaluate potential soul mates who also value their own needs and happiness.
Pairing two selfish partners actually helps love thrive, since neither partner is looking for self-fulfillment from the other. Rather, since they each already have a strong sense of self-worth, their relationship becomes a balance of mutual respect and support instead of an unbalanced power struggle of unhealthy co-dependency and unresolvable conflict, with one or both partners seeking personal validation from the other. Selfish partners make each other feel visible (not validated) by recognizing the virtues and values in each other. This visibility is essential to lasting romantic love.
Dr. Locke and Dr. Kenner include information on how to communicate individual needs, nurture romance, and resolve conflicts in ways that will keep the relationship thriving. They also explain how partners can best cope should they find they need to end their relationship. Filled with case studies that illustrate both successful and unsuccessful relationships as well as exercises for readers to complete and lists of helpful resources, The Selfish Path to Romance is an invaluable guide for anyone who wants to find and keep a new relationship or improve and sustain the one they have without losing themselves.
Edwin A. Locke is a well-published and internationally known scholar with fifteen years of clinical experience and is Dean's Professor of Leadership and Motivation (Emeritus) at the University of Maryland. He is a frequent guest speaker at conferences on the topic of goal-setting and is a guest lecturer at the Ayn Rand Institute. He earned his doctorate at Cornell University and his BS from Harvard University.
Ellen Kenner is a licensed clinical psychologist in Rhode Island and host of a syndicated radio talk show, The Rational Basis of Happiness. She has led many workshops on the topic of romance and has taught psychology on the university level. She earned her doctorate from the University of Rhode Island and her BA from Brown University.
The Selfish Path to Romance: How to Love with Passion and Reason, Inspired by the Ideas of Ayn Rand by Edwin A. Locke and Ellen Kenner
Publication Date: February 14, 2011
Platform Press (an imprint of Winans Kuenstler Publishing)
Paperback; $16.95; ISBN: 978-0-982411-75-9
For information, contact:
Winans Kuenstler Publishing: Raquel Pidal, Editorial Director