If Love Could Think
Using Your Mind to Guide Your Heart
By Alon Gratch
(Harmony, Paperback, 9781400098163, 256pp.)
Publication Date: October 31, 2006
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A groundbreaking book about why the one thing we all fear—ambivalence—is the one thing we must accept to find lasting love.
If Love Could Think is an entertaining and practical book that addresses with warmth and intelligence the age-old question relevant to any stage of a relationship: why does love go wrong, and what can we do to make it right?
After many years of treating patients with relationship problems, psychologist Alon Gratch has identified seven common patterns of failed love. These patterns include, for example, narcissistic love, when a person has so idealized the partner and the relationship that they can’t possibly continue to measure up; one-way love, when a person loves someone who doesn’t return that love; triangular love, when a third party, be it a mother, an affair, or a job is involved in the relationship; and forbidden love, the kind of relationship that is generally off-limits, such as when a teacher dates a student. In If Love Could Think, Gratch shows us that all of these patterns stem from one fundamental problem—our own ambivalence.
With his trademark combination of depth and humor, and using many individual stories as engaging examples, Gratch walks us through the ways we get stuck in these patterns. In each case we are looking for perfect or ideal love. Every pattern creates an obstacle so we don’t have to face our own ambivalence about the relationship or the other person. But humans aren’t perfect, so no matter how wonderful love can be, there is no such thing as pure love. Ambivalence implies the existence not only of love but also of anger, disapproval, or disappointment. As Dr. Gratch shows, there are really only two choices: accept ambivalence as part of any loving relationship, or continue to repeat the patterns of illusory love. Happily, using a simple yet powerful three-step approach, If Love Could Think helps readers to use their own minds to break these patterns of failed relationships and find real and lasting love.
Alon Gratch, Ph.D., is the author of If Men Could Talk: Translating the Secret Language of Men, which has been published in more than twenty countries. He has written for various publications, including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. A New York–based clinical psychologist and lecturer, Dr. Gratch has presented his work in many academic settings, including the medical schools of Harvard and Columbia.
“If you’ve been having trouble making love work in your life, Gratch’s If Love Could Think is a must read before you go into therapy.” —Mira Kirshenbaum, author of The Weekend Marriage and Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay
“Alon Gratch is a brilliant simplifier. His schema in this book is both original and thoroughly convincing—not to mention practical and potentially life–saving.” —Edward M. Hallowell, M.D., author of Connect and Human Moments
Praise for If Men Could Talk
“Gratch . . . [tells] each clinical anecdote in a moving, compelling way.” —Olga Silverstein, author of The Courage to Raise Good Men
“Gratch skillfully explores the roots of men’s most painful feelings. . . . In doing so, he displays a broad knowledge of literature, history, and popular culture . . . as well as a rigorous and nimble approach.” —Elle
“Follows in the tradition of John Gray’s Mars and Venus series and Deborah Tannen’s You Just Don’t Understand.” —Publishers Weekly