Keeping The Love You Find, Part One.
If you are a subscriber, you know that recently I started reading a book called “Keeping the Love you Find” by Harville Hendrix, Ph.D. He is also the New York Times Bestselling author of “Getting the Love You Want” and “Giving the Love that Heals”. It seems to be taking me quite awhile to read and actually comprehend the book, no surprise here given the title. 🙂
This was the first post about this book http://www.match-works.com/blog/you-can-be-right-or-you-can-be-in-a-relationship/
Here’s what I have learned so far. This book is not written for couples only, it is geared to help singles too. Harville states that “it is not your fault if you have not found lasting love, but it is your responsibility to do what needs to be done to find it”. He says that ” it is not something to feel bad about, it’s something to understand and do something constructive about .” He also points out that it is important for us to accept responsibility for what is happening in our lives and that we need to grow from within if we wish to grow and mature in this area.
Harville writes “if you are serious about having a full and lasting love relationship, you have to get serious about being single”. There are essentially four things you must do to prepare yourself before your partner comes along.
1. Educate yourself about relationships
2. Educate yourself about yourself
3. Train yourself in the skills of relationships
4. Do what you can to change the behaviours and character defenses that are stopping you from keeping the love that you find
He swears that it is “your mission as a single person” and that “if you do this you will have no problem finding a mate and in all likelihood that mate will be more able to make a commitment and less likely to frustrate you than the person you will pick or who will pick you before you do your homework”. Okay now you’re talking about something that I can understand, or least want to . 🙂
He suggests that you step back from the mate search for now and by that he does not mean that you shouldn’t date, or live with someone. On the contrary he states that current relationships are ideal training ground for the real thing. But postpone marriage until you get your singlehood right this time, “becoming a conscious single is the preparation for the journey of marriage”.
Harville makes a very good point in Chapter 2 that “we have bought the idea that unhappy people should not have to stay in unhappy marriages”. “We have given credence to the idea that when trouble comes you should just change partners, when the truth is that the way that you are living with that person must be changed”. ” Rather than getting rid of the partner and keeping the problem you should get rid of the problem so that you can keep the partner”. HMMM he may just have something here!
“Divorce may allow people to escape bad marriages, but until we take steps to ensure good marriages, to facilitate individual happiness and fulfillment, until we learn what we are about, we will continue to have desperate singles, joyless marriages, troubled children and a society more dysfunctional by the decade“.
Ok I want to stop this pattern, guess that means I will have to continue to forage through this book. Stay tuned. The journey has just begun. 🙂