Was your V-Day a dud? Looking for a fresh start? Check out these great books:
ATTACHED by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller
WOMEN WHO LOVE TOO MUCH by Robin Norwood is a #1 New York Times bestseller that empowers women to ask these hard questions:
- Do you find yourself attracted again and again to troubled, distant, moody men — while “nice guys” seem boring?
- Do you obsess over men who are emotionally unavailable, addicted to work, hobbies, alcohol, or other women?
- Do you neglect your friends and your own interests to be immediately available to him?
- Do you feel empty without him, even though being with him is torment?
This groundbreaking work will enable you to recognize the roots of your destructive patterns of relating and provide you with a step-by-step guide to a more rewarding way of living and loving.
FREEING YOURSELF FROM THE NARCISSIST IN YOUR LIFE by Linda Martinez-Lewi, PhD presents an in-depth and supportive plan for identifying, understanding, and dealing with high level narcissistic behavior in those close to you. Drawing on detailed profiles of famous narcissists, including Pablo Picasso, Frank Lloyd Wright, Armand Hammer, and Ayn Rand, as well as expertly rendered case studies from her private practice as a psychotherapist, Martinez-Lewi shows how to:
- understand where narcissistic behavior comes from; u learn to spot narcissistic traits, even in the early stages of relationships;
- realize why attempting to change a narcissist is fruitless; and
- protect yourself from the narcissist’s opportunism, manipulative behavior, and lack of empathy.
FREEING YOURSELF FROM THE NARCISSIST IN YOUR LIFE helps readers to liberate themselves from draining personal relationships with narcissists, and shows how to regain a sense of peace, balance, and well-being.
TALK TO ME LIKE I’M SOMEONE YOU LOVE: Flashcards for Real Life by Nancy Dreyfus features 64 written statements that hold the power to express what you wish you could say to the person you love when you can’t find the right words or tone to do so. On the back of each card are “field notes” from couples with whom therapist and author Nancy Dreyfus has worked, explaining why, when, and how to use the statement.
We asked our Twitter and Facebook followers, as well as our experts, the following question: Should women buy their boyfriend a gift? Many of you voted in our poll (below) and we received some great suggestions (including books – and, hey, we love those!).
Should women buy their boyfriend a gift or is it his job to romance her? What’s your take?
A – Hell yes! We fought for equal rights for a reason
B – Er, I never get my BF a gift. Am I a bad girlfriend?
C – Something small is nice, like a card or a tie
D – He gets his gift late in the evening, if you know what I mean…
And, survey says?
C! Most of you think something small is best, like a card or a tie, with option A coming in a close second!
Perhaps, @PardyDhillon summed up everyone’s thoughts best with her response: “Well this is the 21st century and life isn’t a Mills and Boon novel!!”
Well said. Alright, let’s get the experts to weigh in…
The Expert Take
Expert One: The Lady of “Play”
“A woman should never buy a man a Valentine’s Day gift. When it comes to relationships, many men have it too easy nowadays. They’ve lost the art of romance. We women need to set the bar higher. Men should have to work harder to enjoy our affection and, yes, sometimes that means making a trip to the mall, parting with some cash and acting like a gentleman. Anyway, the last thing a real man wants on Valentine’s Day is a card or a trinket. Let’s face it. This is the sequence of events he’s hoping for: A. He will buy you something nice. B. You will love it and he will have made you happy. C. You will thank him in that ‘special’ way. On Valentine’s Day, men should ‘buy’ and women should ‘do.’”
- Debra MacLeod, author of 50 WAYS TO PLAY
Expert Two: The “Attached” Fellow
“People like to use gender differences to explain relationship behavior all the time but attachment science positions a much more useful way of looking at our relationships: Through the lens of attachment styles—anxious, avoidant, or secure. Each matches a set of expectations, perceptions and beliefs about relationships. This is also true when it comes to gifts on Valentine’s Day. You’ll only know what is right for your partner by understanding their underlying attachment style.”
Joe received a small sketch book from his girlfriend for V day. He had absolutely no need for it. In fact, it will probably just add to the clutter in his home. However he was overjoyed. It’s the thought that counts, and it meant so much to him that she got him something. Maybe it was her way of encouraging him to pursue his love for drawing. Joanne got the exact same gift from her partner. She put it aside and didn’t think much of it. Henry also received the same gift. It was as useless to him as it was to the former two, but he read many negative things into this gift: Tamara, his wife, hadn’t put any thought into buying him the right gift, and he assumed it meant she doesn’t love him as much as he loves her. He gave her the silent treatment when they went to dinner together that night.
People like to use gender differences to explain relationship behavior all the time but attachment science positions a much more useful way of looking at our relationships: Through the lens of attachment styles. People have one of three attachment styles: anxious avoidant and secure and each matches a set of expectations, perceptions and beliefs about relationships. This is also true when it comes to gifts on Valentine’s Day. Some will be overjoyed with a small gift. But you’ll only know if your partner is one of those people and what is right for him or her by understanding their underlying attachment style.
Find out more about attachment styles. It will give you a fresh new way to understand and behave in relationships. If you’re single this V day, it will help guide you in choosing the right partner for you!
Expert Three: The Lady Who Encourages “Talk”
Option A: You don’t give a gift to establish or demonstrate your equality.
Option B: You don’t not give gifts to someone you love.
Option C: Like A, you don’t have to give a “small gift,” to not overdo it.
Option D: You don’t “give” sex as a Valentine’s Day Gift – that’s what chocolates are for.
Option C might have something to recommend it in the right spirit, the problem with the offered choices is that they are all strategic–calculated to prove: I am your equal….I am a princess….I am cool and not boy-crazy….I am sexually generous. Valentine’s Day, in my picture, should be a day about love, not strategy. You like that guy? I say give him a gift that really shows it. It could be a week without criticism, a cashmere coat, a gift certificate for a massage or a single rose.
And think of it this way: If you unabashedly give a fabulous gift from your heart, I can virtually promise you that by the end of the evening you’ll be feeling like a cool, sexually generous, highly respected Princess. Neither follow your mother’s rules nor be hell-bent on breaking them. Just let yourself love the way you have always wanted to – Valentine’s Day and every day after.
Welcome to the summer of the superhero! With THE AVENGERS starting off the summer with a billion-dollar bang, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN swinging into cinemas earlier this month, San Diego Comic-Con just behind us, and THE DARK KNIGHT RISES coming out on July 20, superheroes are now at the forefront of our popular culture.
With that in mind, here’s a question that we’ve long wondered: All that business about x-ray vision and invulnerability aside, what would our favorite superheroes be like when in a romantic relationship or on a date?
We here at Tarcher/Penguin consulted Amir Levine and Rachel S.F. Heller’s groundbreaking book on the science of adult attachment, ATTACHED, to help us decide. For example, we figured that Peter Parker (Spider-Man) would be ‘secure’, while Bruce Wayne (Batman) would be ‘avoidant’. Of course, there are plenty of other characters who fit these relationship styles! Therefore, we’re turning it over to you, our readers, to answer the question of the day:
What’s your favorite superhero’s relationship style?
For reference, here are the 3 distinct relationship behavioral styles as laid out in ATTACHED:
ANXIOUS people are often preoccupied with their relationships and tend to worry about their partner’s ability to love them back.
AVOIDANT people equate intimacy with a loss of independence and constantly try to minimize closeness.
SECURE people feel comfortable with intimacy and are usually warm and loving.
Whether you’re going stag on Valentine’s Day or dragging around a ball and chain, here are some great book ideas (or gift ideas!) to get you through the day.
If you’re single:
SEEKING HAPPILY EVER AFTER: Navigating the Ups and Downs of Being Single without Losing Your Mind by Michelle Cove is a practical road map to the challenging and ever-more-lengthy life stage known as singlehood. Packed full of informative sidebars, stories from numerous single women, and advice from an author who’s traveled this confusing road herself, this book offers readers the tools they need to be happy in every stage of singlehood.
Read an excerpt HERE.
ARE ALL GUYS A**HOLES? by Amber Madison debunks the myth that guys are sex-obsessed, commitment-phobic, beer-in-hell-serving assholes. She explains that not only do men find comfort in relationships, they fall in love faster than women, and they fall out of love harder. Just like women, they yearn for emotional connection and companionship. Drawing on the results of Madison’s nationwide survey, which she administered to more than 1,000 guys over the course of a year, she makes the case that deep down, (most) guys aren’t the jerks that everyone, including themselves, think they are.
EVERY ROSE HAS ITS THORN by Erin Bradley outlines ten “types” of guys — based on America’s most beloved and notorious rock stars — to help you decode and take charge of your dating life. Whether you’re with a “Mannish Boy” like Bret Michaels; looking to end a relationship with “Mr. Big Stuff” (i.e., the Kanye Wests of the world); or pining for a “Sweet Child o’ Mine” (Jonas Brothers, anyone?), this book helps you weigh the pros and cons of dating each type. Filled with quizzes, quirky illustrations, and a “who’s who” of rock stars for each type, this book helps readers navigate the men many of us encounter in the dating world.
Read an excerpt HERE.
If you’re taken:
BEYOND BLAME by Carl Alasko delves deep into the subject of blame, tackling why it’s so harmful and what we can do to banish it from our lives. For most of us, the urge to blame is so ingrained that we do it without thinking. This habit extends from minor situations (a spilled drink) to major ones (war, natural disaster) but, according to Alasko, even the smallest instance of blame carries consequences.
Read an excerpt HERE.
SHUT UP & DANCE by Jamie Rose is the story of how the author learned what it means to “let go” through dancing, and how it affected the way she lived and loved for the better. In a breezy style full of joie de vivre, Rose recounts her struggle with romantic relationships—from unhealthy dependency to combative independence—and how the principles of great partner dancing opened her eyes to all the things she had been doing wrong.
Read an excerpt HERE.
TALK TO ME LIKE I’M SOMEONE YOU LOVE: Expanded & Updated by Nancy Dreyfus highlights the power of written messages to defuse tension and put an end to conflict, offering both sound advice and more than 100 “flashcards for real life” that can be utilized in the heat of the moment. Witnessing the life-changing power of these flashcards in her own therapy sessions, Dreyfus brings this one-of-a-kind relationship tool, along with her extensive and insightful “field notes,” to a broader audience.
Read an excerpt HERE.
ATTACHED by Amir Levine, M.D. and Rachel Heller – Though many relationship guides tell us how to date, what games to play or how to behave in marriage, few address these questions head on and provide answers based on the latest scientific research. However, that’s exactly what psychiatrist and neuroscientist Dr. Amir Levine and social-organizational psychologist Rachel Heller offer in their accessible and groundbreaking book. Combining facts and clear analysis with engaging personal stories from over 100 interviewees, ATTACHED is a fascinating read for anyone with an interest in the “why” behind their actions and relationships.
Read an excerpt HERE.
There are many telltale signs that indicate when you’ve met someone avoidant. Arthur Conan Doyle coined the term “smoking gun” in one of his Sherlock Holmes detective novels. A smoking gun has since become a reference for an object or a fact that serves as conclusive evidence of not just a crime but any type of undeniable proof. We like to call any signal or message that is highly indicative of avoidance a smoking gun:
• Sends mixed messages—about his/her feelings toward you or about his/her commitment to you.
• Longs for an ideal relationship—but gives subtle hints that it will not be with you.
• Desperately wants to meet “the one”—but somehow always finds some fault in the other person or in the circumstances that makes commitment impossible.
• Disregards your emotional well-being—and when confronted, continues to disregard it.
• Suggests that you are “too needy,” “sensitive,” or “overreacting”—thus invalidating your feelings and making you second-guess yourself.
• Ignores things you say that inconvenience him or her—doesn’t respond or changes the topic instead.
• Addresses your concerns as “in a court of law”— responding to the facts without taking your feelings into account.
• Your messages don’t get across—despite your best efforts to communicate your needs, he or she doesn’t seem to get the message or else ignores it.
Note that it is not specific behaviors that threaten to become smoking guns but rather an emotional stance—an ambiguity about the relationship that goes hand in hand with a strong message that your emotional needs are not so important to him or her. He or she may say the right things at times, but his/her actions tell a different story.
Purchase ATTACHED on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Indiebound.
But this year, forget quick fixes to help ignite your love life for one day out of the year. See below for some very simple tips from ATTACHED author Amir Levine that can help you rekindle your love—and keep it that way, every day.
People often vow to make their relationships better around Valentines Day. This usually entails elaborate plans, expensive gifts and extravagant dates and getaways. Couples try to “spice things up” with sexy lingerie or exotic vacations, but the results are short-lived at best or downright disappointing at worst. And to top it all off, they spend a lot of hard-earned money in the process.
With such high expectations from one event, it is no wonder we can’t live up to the hopes and fantasies we created around them. Instead, try reconnecting with your partner in a much more economic and effective way, every day. Scientific findings reveal different and much simpler strategies that are more likely to bring you the results you’re looking for.
Here are some very simple tips that can help you rekindle your love—and keep it that way.
- Sit at the corner table at a restaurant. Find a way to spend some time super-close to your partner—so close that you’re touching. Research findings shows that when we snuggle up to our mate, oxytocin is released. This hormone and neuropeptide, also termed the “cuddle hormone” strengthens attachment and trust. By being really close to your partner, you’re getting your oxytocin boost—and you’re enhancing your relationship all at the same time. Other ways to get that oxytocin boost:
- When you’re watching TV together, give the recliner seat a pass and snuggle up close to your partner on the sofa instead.
- Linger in bed a bit longer on Sunday mornings. The ipad can wait. Your emails are beckoning, but give everything else a pass for just a few minutes longer. Trust us, this is more important!
- Spend at least two hours alone together every a week. It really doesn’t matter where. The important part is that you have no distractions—kids, technology, or work. Paradoxically, the more secure you feel in a relationship, the more you should follow this tip because it’s easier to lose track of one another when all’s well and your attention is directed outwards: to work, children, and hobbies. Don’t forget to refill that well you’re drawing your vitality from.
OUT TODAY: Attached, The Jefferson Bible, Patience, The Prosperous Heart, Solving the Communion Enigma, and The Prosperity Bible
Though many relationship guides tell us how to date, few address the “why?” factor of relationships. That’s exactly what psychiatrist and neuroscientist Dr. Amir Levine and psychologist Rachel Heller offer in their accessible and groundbreaking book, ATTACHED: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How it Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love, now available in paperback.
Combining facts and clear analysis with engaging personal stories from over 100 interviewees, ATTACHED is a fascinating read for anyone with an interest in the “why” behind their actions and relationships.
In 1803 (and continuing for nearly two decades), Thomas Jefferson began one of the boldestreligious experiments in American history: cutting and pasting the teachings of Jesus Christ, as recorded in the Bible, into one compact statement.
This hardcover replica of THE JEFFERSON BIBLE restores to print a handsome, immensely accessible version of Jefferson’s manifesto as it was published for general readers in 1940.
Patience. It’s one of those qualities that people so often say they lack, and invariably find in short supply. One constantly hears cries of “I don’t have the patience for this!” or “I’m losing my patience.” Whether it is with our families, our co-workers, or ourselves, patience so often seems to abandon us when we need it most. But what if we could carve out a pathway to becoming more patient every day?
That is the very task author and Buddhist teacher Allan Lokos addresses with his new book, PATIENCE: The Art of Peaceful Living . Combining practical techniques and inspirational profiles, this unique book offers an in depth, yet accessible learning experience that touches all aspects of one’s life.
In celebration of the 20th anniversary of her beloved international bestseller, The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron has penned an all-new creativity program book that deals with this very concern: THE PROSPEROUS HEART: Creating a Life of “Enough” (Tarcher/Penguin hardcover, January 2012).
Prosperity isn’t a fiscal bottom line, Cameron asserts. Rather, “prospering is something we can do, right now, today, no matter how much money we have.” To aid us in cultivating a prosperous heart, Cameron outlines an original 12-week program that addresses “the money question,” offering a new set of concrete tools and strategies to help usA practical and inspiring must-read, THE PROSPEROUS HEART shows readers how to develop a satisfying life that is both highly creative and financially sound.
In 1987, Whitley Strieber changed the way we look at the universe with the publication of Communion, a bestselling account of his terrifying abductions and close encounters with extraterrestrials. Not only did his reports fascinate readers worldwide, they popularized the picture that we now think of when we envision extraterrestrials – the bauble-headed stick figures with enormous oval eyes that Strieber refers to as The Grays.
In Solving the Communion Enigma: What is To Come, Strieber revisits his own encounters with The Grays, and examines the myriad ways they fit into a larger story of unexplained phenomena around the world; crop circles, mutilated livestock, mysterious aerial objects, abductions, and more. This book offers both a new look at some very personal, strange encounters, a big-picture view of the perplexing world today, and the world we’ll be inhabiting in the not-so-distant future. A must-read for anyone interested in the fate of mankind.
Great minds in every generation have sought to answer the question, “How can I become wealthy?” Some tackled the question practically; others spiritually, or philosophically. Whatever their approach, people throughout the ages have listened, waiting for the insight that might change their lives.
Now in paperback, THE PROSPERITY BIBLE culls all that insight into one, inclusive volume. It presents readers with some of the best money-making secrets of all-time from legendary writers and experts like Benjamin Franklin, Napoleon Hill, P.T. Barnum, Wallace D. Wattles, and Ernest Holmes.
With 19 beloved classics in this convenient and affordable work, THE PROSPERITY BIBLE is an invaluable addition to the libraries of anyone looking to increase their wealth and better their lives.
Dr. Amir Levine, co-author of Attached, shared 12 reasons why you could still be single with CBS News online.
1. You play hard to get. You may end up with a date, but they’ll be the wrong person for you.
2. You fall for gender stereotypes. While we assume men are afraid of commitment and women are more needy, these negatives affect both genders.
3. You’re fixated on your ex. After a relationship ends, you choose only to remember the good things – creating an ideal that no new partner can measure up to.
Read the other 9 reasons in the gallery on CBSNews.com
From Time.com, Healthland
By Maia Szalavitz
February 13, 2011
People tend to think of “attachment” and “bonding” as the subjects of child psychology, but in fact, these factors are just as important to adult health and happiness. So what defines the healthy adult relationship — is there such a thing as too “clingy” or “dependent?” — and can people change in order to find lasting love?
With studies showing again and again that our relationships are critical to our long-term mental and physical health, researchers are increasingly turning their attention to the nature of adult connections. In their new book Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How it Can Help You Find — and Keep — Love, psychiatrist and neuroscientist Amir Levine and co-author Rachel Heller explore the topic. And just in time for Valentine’s Day, they offer a new perspective on how to find the right partner.
What are attachment styles and what characterizes them?
There are three major attachment styles: anxious, avoidant and secure. [To find out yours or your partner's style, take this quiz.] Around 20% of people are anxiously attached. Anxious people need to be close; they love to be intimate. They are very preoccupied with relationships, and very sensitive to small cues of threat in a relationship. Let’s say their partner is going to the airport — it’s anxiety provoking for the relationship. They would start to worry if they didn’t hear from their partner soon. It’s almost like they have a very sensitive alarm system.
What about avoidant?
About 25% of people are avoidant. Avoidant people want to be in relationships — because we’re all programmed to get attached to other people — but something strange happens when they get close to a person. They are uncomfortable with too much closeness. They keep their partners at arm’s length and constantly try to negotiate intimacy and closeness. They see it as something that interferes with their independence.
They make up 54%, the majority, of the population. Securely attached people are warm and loving and love to be close, but they don’t have a sensitive alarm system. They don’t get preoccupied with the relationship; they don’t mind things so much. They have a talent for being in relationships. If they’re going to the airport and you’re anxious, they would call you before you even think about calling them.
The avoidant person would hit ignore and think, “Oh, she’s calling again,” and you end up yelling at each other. You can see what kind of a different life you would have with someone secure.
[By knowing about attachment styles], you actually have way to go about finding the right person.