Personal ad: 'We'll learn to love each other' -6/20/02
cmfce at smartmarriages.com
Thu Jun 20 12:59:15 EDT 2002
subject: Personal ad: 'We'll learn to love each other'-6/20/02
from: Smart Marriages
Personal ad: 'We'll learn to love each other'
By Karen S. Peterson
June 20, 2002
Robert Epstein, editor in chief of Psychology Today, says he's overwhelmed
by the reaction to his published request for a woman who will learn to love
him and will write a book with him about intentionally falling in love with
a given partner.
"I have hundreds of letters from women wanting to do it or wishing me well,"
Epstein, 48, says. " I can't screen all this stuff. I'm literally asking
friends and family to help me out."
More than 300 women have responded. Several book publishers are salivating,
he says. He has a development offer from a TV network to create a reality
series on how to actively choose to fall in love with someone. And he is
fending off those who think he's " crazy," including his own mother.
In the June issue of his magazine, Epstein ran an editorial seeking a woman
who would date him exclusively, go to various types of couples' counseling
in order to get to truly know each other, then " fall deeply in love " by
the end of a mutually negotiated time -- say, maybe six months. Marriage
would be a good outcome, he says.
" This isn't a publicity stunt," he wrote. " It's a serious, albeit
small-scale challenge to a vexing myth," that there is but one person for
each of us with whom we will live happily ever after. He seeks " an
alternative to the silly myths that ruin so many lives."
About 60% of the world's marriages are not for love, he says. They are
arranged. Nobody knows how many of these couples eventually fall in love
with each other, but he speculates " about half."
One can learn to love, he says. And those who do have a better chance at
success than those who " start out with a burst of passion and end up with
Epstein is not a man given to frivolous ventures. He has published more than
80 scholarly and scientific articles, written 11 books and is director
emeritus of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies. He earned his Ph.D.
in psychology from Harvard University.
But still, he is casting his lot with reality TV. Is he not at the edge of a
slippery slope? He responds that the TV exposure will help get his message
across: Singles motivated to find a spouse can learn to love a chosen
His fantasy, he says, is that many couples would sign an agreement pledging
to a number of goals, including " to know each other deeply; to be able to
communicate with each other effectively; to be able to express our thoughts
and feelings to each other; to be aware of each other's needs and wants and
to know how to satisfy " them. They would agree to see a " love therapist "
at least weekly and read fiction and non-fiction books on love.
His book, due in fall of 2003, will demonstrate how he and his lady
succeeded and " how you can, too."
Epstein will share with his winning lady an important piece of information
he does not mention in his June editorial: married before, he has four
children who live with him part time. Learning to put that all together will
be part of his great " experiment."
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