In this groundbreaking work, Marcia Millman reveals that women's romantic relationships are enacted through seven basic love stories. Based on her popular course The Sociology of Love at the University of California at Santa Cruz, a decade's worth of research, more than one hundred interviews, and examples from movies, novels, and memoirs, Millman identifies the seven love scenarios as reenactments of early experiences and efforts to change past defeats into victories. She also shows how the success or failure of each is determined by unconscious choices. Explaining the hidden needs and emotions that come into play in these love stories, Millman creates a tool for relationship guidance that women and men can use to reach the fall potential of any partnership.
Over time, most of us play out a repertoire of these seven romantic plots, but we always return to our primary love story. By learning to recognize our own pattern of love, we can understand its hidden meanings and source and avoid potential heartache. Women and men who are otherwise strong and perceptive frequently get into the wrong relationships because they don't understand the love stories they are enacting. Shattering the popular myth that most romantic problems are caused by pervasive low self-esteem or miscommunication, this essential book can help anyone succeed in finding a satisfying, lasting relationship.
Using examples from timeless and popular romantic movies such as Casablanca, Fatal Attraction, Pretty woman, and Dirty Dancing, and novels such as Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, Melissa Banks's The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing, Scott Spencer's Endless Love, and Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca, Millman clarifies the difficulties that can arise in these love stories and explains how they can be remedied.
Discovering which story we are reenacting helps us to avoid potential pitfalls and allows us to make choices that bring greater happiness. Love and relationships, in their many manifestations, can be elusive even to those in the midst of them. This book is a first step on the road to romantic fulfillment.