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How to Be an Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving Paperback – June 18, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Approaching the study of relationships from a psychotherapist's perspective is How to Be an Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving. Teacher and writer David Richo gives practical and spiritual exercises for couples and singles who want to have mature and lasting relationships. Emphasizing paying attention and letting go, Richo gently and compassionately coaches readers on what he calls the five A's: attention, acceptance, appreciation, affection and allowing. His book, which proposes "letting go of ego," will help those seeking personal transformation in their relationships. (June)
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"Well-constructed and thought-provoking."—Spirituality & Health
"An inspiring and highly practical guide to effective relationships."—Kathlyn Hendricks, coauthor of Conscious Loving and The Conscious Heart
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Top Customer Reviews
I picked this book up in the middle of the night after waking from an anxiety attack about what was happening in my very new "relationship" with a woman whom I had fallen head over heals for, at age 59, and who had just told me she needed space and I needed to deal with some of my issues before we could continue. This book was sitting in her kitchen -- her therapist had recommended she read it -- and I started reading random chapters hoping it would put me back to sleep. Hours later, I realized I had to buy this book because it resonated so clearly and deeply with me.
I have read John Kabat-Zinn's books about mindfulness, and have made periodic, albeit less than whole-hearted attempts at meditating and other forms of mindfulness, but this book put it in a context which had immediacy and urgency to me. It literally helped snap me out of the "ether". Part of its appeal/resonance is its broad inclusions of different forms of pyschological practices mixed with spiritual insights and a lot of sound personal observation of us mortal human beings.
After numerous years of therapy and self-help/self-therapy, this book made me take ACTION to genuinely change, and it has helped me see how/where I need to change, and given me the assurance and comfort to believe that we can indeed change ourselves (though people under 30 might not be able to appreciate this as much until they've had more life experiences to be able to discern the patterns of their life). I have mentioned this book to everyone I know who might be interested, including a few former therapists/counselors. I'm sure I'll be keeping this book close by for a long time.
Yet I give this book a four-star rating because, when Richo does get around to offering specific, practical advice, it is outstanding. Particularly helpful are the author's thoughts on how introverts and extroverts receive and express love differently. I am currently in what I would consider an extrovert-introvert relationship, and I plan to consult this table over and over as a reminder. Another high point is the author's discussion of fear of abandonment and fear of engulfment. In fact, my attention heightened every time I encountered a table in the book, because putting information in a table forced the author to be succinct and boil things down to the key points - which I think he perceives more acutely than any author I've seen so far.
When I looked back at the reviews on this site after reading the book (as I did before purchasing the book), I wondered if I was crazy for not being happier with the book than I was. I suspect that for a reader who understands the word "mindful" as connotative of Zen "mindfulness" and is looking for a book that looks at relationships through this lens, this is exactly the book that he/she has been looking for. Personally, I came away from this book feeling like I had to wade through a lot in order to get to the part that was really helpful for me. But the part that was helpful was very good, and I'm not sure I would have gotten it from any other book.
I recommend this book for anyone who is inexperienced in love (or possessed of a lot of negative experiences and looking for help) and wants a thorough exploration of the various phases of a romantic relationship - and doesn't mind a fairly wordy writing style.