Romantic love is not a natural phenomenon but an invention of culture.
[Ch. 1 "Romantic Love is a Hoax!
Emotional Programming to 'Fall in Love' " p. 22]
ON THE MEANING OF "AUTHENTICITY"
To become more Authentic
means to emerge from our original existence,
to become more focused, centered, integrated, and purposeful,
more self-directing and self-creating.
As we move toward greater Authenticity, we leave behind extrinsic rewards:
We are no longer controlled by approval, acceptance, status, or money.
Instead, we choose to center our lives around comprehensive projects
—purposes we consider intrinsically worth pursuing.
[Ch. 2 "Loving from Authenticity" p. 25]
ON LOVE'S DEGENERATION INTO EXPECTATIONS AND OBLIGATIONS
How strange it
seems that love,
which should be the most free and voluntary of all human relationships,
so often becomes a means of security and a source of obligation.
Why does love so easily degenerate into patterns, habits, rights, duties,
responsibilities, obligations, burdens, demands, & possessiveness?
turns into clinging dependence
when we are insecure within ourselves
—lonely, inadequate, needy, deficient at our deepest levels of being.
Maybe we become possessive when we cannot stand alone.
[Ch. 3 "Loving in Freedom:
Choice & Flexibility instead of Security & Obligation" p. 41]
ON LOVE AS A FREE, CREATIVE PROJECT
Our love is a
unique creation of the two of us.
If we are becoming more Authentic, love does not arise
from biological urges overwhelming us
nor from cultural traditions possessing us
nor from supernatural powers using us as their playthings.
Both of us are free persons, continually re-inventing ourselves.
And in this phase of our lives, we are writing our stories together.
Each morning we must reaffirm our projects-of-being.
Our projects cannot re-start themselves.
We must bring them back to life—or let they die away with yesterday.
Love is one of
these ever-fresh projects.
Today we must love in a new way if we are growing persons.
Yesterday can add little to what is happening between us today.
We may have pleasant memories, but memories alone are not enough.
Sad would our relationship be if we had only beautiful memories.
[Ch. 3 "Loving in Freedom:
Choice & Flexibility instead of Security & Obligation" p. 42]
ON THE EXISTENTIAL VISION OF THE HUMAN PERSON
however, takes a very different view of human life.
Instead of assuming a fixed 'human nature' with given qualities and needs,
existentialism describes the human person as open, creative, & free
—full of potentialities rather than possessed by drives.
[Ch. 4 "Loving without Needing:
Seven Pre-Existing Needs and How to Transcend Them" p. 49]
ON PRE-EXISTING NEEDS vs. EMERGENT VALUES
Which comes first,
love or need?
Do our inner deficiencies and hungers drive us to search for satisfiers
or does our wonder and appreciation for the persons we love
emerge out of actual loving experiences together?
Probably we used to believe that innate needs were primary,
that before we would even think of beginning a relationship,
we must have a need for it—"Why else would anyone love?"
But perhaps we have discovered that the best gifts of love
emerge unexpectedly in real encounters with actual persons.
We had our pre-existing needs when we were still lonely individuals,
but the emergent values only appeared as the result of active loving.
[Ch.4 "Loving without Needing:
Seven Pre-Existing Needs and How to Transcend Them" p. 50]
ON THE CAUSE AND PREVENTION OF JEALOUSY
in human relationships because of
comparison, competition, and the fear of being replaced.
It is easy to see why jealousy often arises in relationships
that involve only the physical and psychological dimensions
—because comparison and competition are almost unavoidable
when we think of people in terms of their bodies and personalities.
But if we become more Authentic, we move beyond jealousy
because we love from the depths of our self-creating uniqueness.
[Ch. 5 "Loving without Jealousy:
As We Become More Authentic, Jealousy Disappears" p. 79]
ON MARRYING 'FOR LOVE'
Sometimes people marry
at a crisis-point in their relationship:
They say, "Either we break up now or we get married."
Marriage is supposed to resolve their interpersonal tensions permanently.
If there is any reason more absurd than getting married for 'love',
it is getting married because love is already disappearing!
[Ch. 10 "Loving without Marrying" p. 190]
ON LOVE vs. SECURITY
Thru the institution
of marriage we seek a dependable life-companion,
someone who will always be there, no matter what other changes may occur.
We want the assurance of always having another warm body in bed.
We seek significance in someone's eyes, stable relatedness, secure love.
But unfortunately, "secure love" is usually a contradiction in terms:
If a relationship is settled and secure—flowing thru its patterns—
then the predictable routine of living together often replaces love.
And if the relationship is loving—free, open, fresh every morning—
there is no need for assurances of security and permanence,
no need for an unchangeable contract,
no need to pickle love in the vinegar of marriage.
[Ch. 10 "Loving without Marrying" p. 191]
ON LIVING APART TO KEEP LOVE FREE
So, if we want our
love always to be a free giving of selves
rather than routine patterns and habitual expectations,
we might have separate households for the routine parts of our lives
and come together for special times of significant sharing.
This could free our relationships from assumptions and routines,
enabling us to renew our love every time we come together.
[Ch. 11 "Living in Separate Households" p. 217]
All quotations revised January 2003.
They now correspond with the fifth edition of of this book,
which is called New Ways of Loving:
How Authenticity Transforms Relationships.
If you wish to quote any of these selections,
this is the proper way to cite them:
James Park New Ways of Loving:
How Authenticity Transforms Relationships
(Minneapolis, MN: www.existentialbooks.com, 2003—5th edition) p. xxx
For an outline of New Ways of Loving, <——click here.
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