Love Demystified: Strategies for a Successful Love Life began in 1985 on my one-semester sabbatical because I wanted to present the scientific basis of loving relationships.
There was an explosion of research articles on loving relationships in journals until 1975 when U.S. Senator William Proxmire gave a Golden Fleece Award to The National Science Foundation for spending $84,000 on a study on love. He reasoned that:
“I object to this not only because no one—not even the National Science Foundation—can argue that falling in love is a science; not only because I’m sure that even if they spend $84 million or $84 billion they wouldn’t get an answer that anyone would believe. I’m also against it because I don’t want the answer.”
I believe that 200 million other Americans want to leave some things in life a mystery. And, right on top of the things that we don’t want to know is why a man falls in love with a woman and vice versa.
This spurred me on to bring the latest scientific research to the public. Furthermore, I wanted to present this research in a user-friendly format.
After I finished the book, which then was titled, “Love Life,” an agent began trying to find a publisher for it. However, he died suddenly and I then let life (work, child-care, aging parent care, etc.) interfere. I stuffed the manuscript into a box where it eventually landed in my garage.
Fast forward 30 years: Standing in my garage, looking up at all the boxes piled high on shelves, I realized that, when I’m gone, my son will come in and throw everything in the dumpster. So, I began a campaign to clean out the garage.
Among Christmas cards from long ago, and lecture notes that are now hopelessly outdated, I found the lost manuscript. As I skimmed through its 185 pages, my 30 years older and more experienced brain realized that this manuscript was not the best. Yet, my editorial self could not let it go.
I realized I had been continuing to read journal articles and books that presented research on love and I was even using some of this material in my lectures. So, I began rewriting the manuscript, bringing it up-to-date with the latest scientific evidence. And, then I rewrote it and rewrote it, finding my voice and the best way to relate to my audience along the way.
I again was spurred on by recent events. At that time, a book on love started to hit the nonfiction best-seller list. But, that book was written by a pastor and it presented opinion, not science. Similarly, most of the websites giving relationship advice contained only opinions. A book on scientific evidence about love was very much needed.
The challenge was to make reading this book entertaining, while also making it something a general audience could relate to. To flesh out the scientific findings, I included lively case studies from my private practice. To increase reader involvement, I included many self-assessments that could also be shared with one’s partner.
On a personal note, my husband and I recently celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. Some of the evidence-based advice I wrote about was tested in our relationship to see if it really worked.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Love Demystified: Strategies for a Successful Love Life is attractive to readers in any stage of a loving relationship—finding a new love, fixing a current relationship, or loving again after a loss.
Often, what is known about love comes from either the Internet or from experience, which just deepens love’s mysteries. What you need, instead, are evidence-based tips and techniques to navigate the perilous road of love even before you get on it (or too far along it). Drawing on cutting-edge psychological research, this book shows you how to spot the bumps along the way to a happy love life, and how to either avoid or repair them. Through self-assessments, interactive activities, and vignettes, it gives you the tools you need to get through many difficult times in loving.
Love Demystified: Strategies for a Successful Love Life is available from the publisher, BookLocker.com, as well as from Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com, and many other stores. If purchasing from BookLocker, use this discount code when checking out to get 10% off: Backstory
Beverly B. Palmer, Ph.D., is a professor emeritus of psychology at California State University, Dominguez Hills and a clinical psychologist in private practice in Torrance, California. Her recently released, Love Demystified: Strategies for a Successful Love Life, provides scientifically-based tips on how people meet, fall in love, create love, fall out of love, and love again.
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