IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU: The Practical Guide to Romantic Love by Roger with Karen Levine Callahan

IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU: The Practical Guide to Romantic Love

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Some shrewd--if not particularly profound--psychologizing on the art of sustained romantic love. Callahan, a Beverly Hills therapist, focuses on three major points: such love is indeed conditional (and should be); the commitment it engenders is one of intention rather than of fact (you might divorce later, but at the moment you pronounce the words, you intend for it to be forever); many of us suffer from a fear of romantic love--which, taken to extremes, constitutes an ""amoro-phobia."" Only a parent's love for a child, Callahan stresses, should be unconditional; the consolation: ""Having someone love you precisely because of what you say and think and believe is more secure than having someone love you despite what you say and think and believe."" Of course, that means you can lose a treasured partner when the conditions are no longer mutually acceptable; and Callahan is wise enough to realize that jealousy of your partner's new love is normal rather than neurotic (so long as the loss doesn't plunge you into despair). The self-help audience will find the varieties of amoro-phobia explained, along with some platitudes to print on index cards and tuck away for moral support. For example: if you suffer from the ""Nice-to-Meet-You-Let's-Get-Married"" impulse, you might want to carry cards that say ""Go slow"" or ""Don't squander potential partners; they don't grow on trees."" Trite as some of this may seem, it's also true to life. As a myopia-chaser, the book does have a place.

Pub Date: Feb. 14th, 1981
Publisher: A & W