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This is from the introduction to the forthcoming book. You can find additional excerpts here.
It’s the one thing that universally unites and connects us.
We are not united by national origin, gender, politics, ethnicity, and the like. Not universally. The one thing that unites us universally is this:
Any poem about love in any language still translates the same experience. Be it Rumi or Pablo Neruda: Love. It does not matter where your lover came from or whether you have the same birth language - or even speak the same language. Or what color they are. We can fall in love with anyone from any place from any religion of cultural background - at any time.
We’ve all experienced some version of it.
Perhaps, for you, it was the rush of the chemical attraction; they touched your hand and the electricity was… unforgettable. Or maybe - for you - it wasn’t the chemistry. Maybe it was the feeling of finally being home. Or maybe it was finally feeling that familiarity - as if you've known someone for years and years even though you just met them.
But then at some point - sometimes sooner, sometimes later - when these feelings (many of which we discover are Illusions and projections) are dispelled, and the person begins to behave in ways that disappoint, confound, or even anger us, and we begin to question the connection that we have with them and - at times - perhaps even our own judgment.
Or, as my mother once quipped: the thing that you used to find cute now annoys you.
Inevitably we come face-to-face with how many assumptions we've made. How we have built our entire relationship and levels of trust as well as our desires about the future on these assumptions. And in our pain and confusion, we often make grave errors that only make matters worse and tragically make our future in that relationship - or the next - even worse than that.
Ah … the distortions of heartbreak.
Most of us do not know how to set ourselves up for success in the beginning - we start dating based on chemistry and attraction or availability - not on aligned values. We do not know how to have the conversations to set a baseline for what we will agree on - what our agreed foundation is - heck, some people wait so long to have these conversations that they are not even sure if they are monogamous or both dating other people … months into dating.
These are conversations that need to be had sooner rather than later. And some people know that, but they don’t know how to have those conversations.
Or when conflict arises that we lack the tools to navigate the situation in a way that feels successful, let alone connective and satisfying to both of you.
Or when it stalls we don't know how to keep it alive, sexy, and have it continue to inspire and uplift - to bring out the best in us.
Or when it ends we have no constructive way to deal with the grief, the self-doubt, the anger, and no capacity to deal with feelings of betrayal or loss … or .. confusion.
Some of us at that point in the process immerse ourselves so deeply into the process and into the feelings of loss that we may even think that we are destined to repeat the cycles - and perhaps some of you have that do not work and lock fundamental workability.
This book strives to solve most of the avoidable challenges and problems that arise in all three stages of relationships and provides structures and tools to assist you in working through the unpredictable - and in some cases unforeseeable - problems that arise.
In the beginning: how to avoid unwarranted bliss and the inevitable crash - disappointment and even, how to avoid mediocrity in the middle or simply being in a habit rather than in a relationship, how to deal with anger fear jealousy all those things that can arise and create conflict in that middle stage. And of course, the confusion, anger, and grief that can arise when it ends if it ends and how to set yourself up for Success without vilifying the other person and how to reclaim your power if you've lost yourself in the relationship.
As so many of us have friends who want to comfort us. But they rarely challenge us in our pain and while we blame.
Many of the tools and approaches offered to you in this book aren't just mindsets - how you relate to yourself and your experience and how you approach the world - but equally as important - communication structures and practices to implement.
I am writing this book because - frankly - I have likely made more mistakes and had more failures most likely than you have.
But I've also endeavored to always learn from them. Because failure is the best teacher. And create distinctions from which you can avoid those mistakes if you apply them. I've gone to the edge of experience and found out what works and what does not work.
And I am here, back from the edge, to report.
That, and I am a die-hard, gushy hearted romantic. Admittedly this is a difficult book for a self-proclaimed romantic to write.
Many of the things I will suggest herein don't seem romantic at all. But it will help you to avoid the heartbreak of an all-too sensitive and vulnerable heart.
As a romantic: I hope this book will save you pain and help you experience more happiness than you would have otherwise.
I hope you experience ever-increasing levels of joy, depth, and intimacy. That you can relate with each other. That you can love even more freely - knowing that the structures are there to catch you should you fall.
And love again, even more deeply.