"A Candle Loses Nothing By Lighting Another Candle" - Father James Keller

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Review of “The Selfish Path to Romance: How to Love with Passion & Reason, Inspired by the Ideas of Ayn Rand” by Edwin A. Locke & Ellen Kenner

I found this book to be very challenging in the sense that it not only challenges the concepts of love and marriage many of us have been taught, but it also challenges one to be a better person as well in order to build a new idea of a healthy relationship.  I personally love self-help books with exercises, and this book did not disappoint. I like the practical application that the questions at the end of each chapter provided. So thought provoking, I felt the book would be applicable to a wide audience. Married people, happily or not, can obviously benefit. At the same time, I wished I would have had this book long before that special person came along. I believe it would prove invaluable for the single person to learn of themselves and of love before it comes along. Even as a romance writer, the book gave me new ways to contemplate the fictional relationships I create.

I was impressed by the amount of research apparent in this book. It made the knowledge shared sound. At the same time, it was easy to understand with a wealth of new information, not a recap of the old by a long shot!  But, don’t get me wrong, while the book is easy to understand, it is not a light read. The ideas presented are in depth and make you analyze yourself in new ways. The easy to identify with couple examples given throughout the book further each point too. There is really just so much in this book, I wouldn’t know where to begin to summarize it! And, I won’t try. What I will do is encourage you to buy it!

The concepts are wonderful like finding a passion for life and finding harmony between reason and emotion. What stands out to me, having read it and looking back? Let me give you one example from early in the book, as I hate to give too much away. The authors took the idea of putting someone else above yourself and showed how this can lead to giving up your own values and loosing your identity. Mine statement is an over-simplification of all they taught here, but it was freeing and made such sense once you gave the idea a chance. In fact, they talked about becoming imprisoned by a ‘perfect’ life feeling a hypocrite and resenting those who rob you of all your time and energy. The authors instead radically speak of selfish, egotistical love where both partners know who they are and support each others goals and desires. I think my own marriage is an example of how this is true. As a book writer married to a song writer, we are both each other’s biggest fans. And, I know I would not be where I am today without the undying support of my husband for my work, and I hope I do the same for him.

Beyond that, many words and phrases stick out to me: secure, firm sense of identity, value yourself, introspection, being egotistic in picking a partner who is good for us, ever-changing emotions are allowed, trade and earned, finding oneself is important to a successful relationship, explore your values, genuine happiness as a productive and meaningful life with a partner, etc… One of my favorite lines is “Selfless people cannot have self-esteem, because they have no self to esteem.”

The back of this book says “A thought-provoking and objective guide to finding and nurturing rational relationships.” And, that is exactly what this book is. It gives you the tools, no matter how unconventional they may sound at first, to build a solid relationship, one that endures. Isn’t that what we all want? Personally, I consider myself lucky to have experienced ‘love at first sight’ (which the book calls ‘a first impression that proves accurate’) and married a man who has become my best friend. After 15 wonderful years of marriage and counting, I know we will both benefit from having this book, building upon what we have and thriving still in years to come.

Book Description:
Too much of what most of us have learned about how to find and sustain love is misguided and ends in heartbreak. Lasting passionate romance is not the result of luck, chemistry, trial and error, or fleeting emotions. Rather, a successful romance can be yours when you are guided by rational principles, identify the causes of your emotions, and proactively and constantly work on nurturing your relationship. This is explored in depth in The Selfish Path to Romance.

Love is not about sacrifice. Real, lasting romance comes to partners who have self-esteem, are clear about asserting their needs and their worth, and develop virtue and moral character in themselves. As novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand wrote, “It is one’s own personal, selfish happiness that one seeks, earns, and derives from love.”

Authors Edwin Locke and Ellen Kenner, psychologists and expert presenters of
Rand's writings and ideas, were inspired to build on her understanding that love depends on reason, egoism, introspection, and moral character.

The Selfish Path to Romance
 offers a mindful, rational alternative for those who are serious about finding and sustaining a lifetime romance. Be prepared to have your preconceptions challenged and your mind opened to new and unconventional ideas. 

Click Here To Purchase at Amazon 

Check back tomorrow to read about the inspiration behind this book!

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In accordance with the new FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, Kiki Howell of An Author's Musings, would like to advise that in addition to purchasing my own books to review, I also receive books, and/or promotional materials, free of charge in return for an honest review, as do any guest reviewers.