Breaking Hearts: The Two Sides of Unrequited Loveby Roy F. Baumeister, Roy F. Baumeister, Sara R. Wotman
Throughout history, unrequited love has inspired ballads, arias, poetry, drama, and literature. Almost always, however, the tale of the "star-crossed lovers" has been told from the point of view of the heartbroken pursuer. This illuminating new work explores unrequited love from both sides--that of the aspiring and eventually brokenhearted lover, and more unusually, that of the beloved, unwilling rejector. Based on systematically collected first-person accounts, Breaking Hearts shows how radically different and often contradictory the two experiences actually are.
Blending scientific research with vivid narrative, the book utilizes current psychological theories about relationships, interdependence, attachment, and communication to provide careful analysis of the sometimes amusing and often heartrending stories people tell about their love lives. The central focus is the subjective experience: what it feels like to love someone who does not love you in return, and what is it like to be pursued by someone whose attentions you wish to discourage. Demolishing past theories about human fulfillment coming from loving or being loved, this valuable counterweight to traditional studies explores the other, darker side of love to show that it is the mutuality of affection that is crucial to happiness.
Bella DePaulo, Ph.D., University of Virginia
"This book is a rich and enlightening account of the experience of unrequited love, and should be of interest not only to scientists who study close relationships, but also to the general public." Caryl E. Rusbult, Ph.D., University of North Carolina
"The topic of unrequited love is an intriguing one that has caused much interest lately since the film, Fatal Attraction, and the several cases of stalking that have received public attention. This book offers the first systematic attempt to uncover the patterns of unrequited love and it is a good example of what a psychological analysis of important social issues can contribute to their solution." Steve Duck, Ph.D., University of Iowa
Meet the Author
Baumeister received his PhD in experimental social psychology from Princeton University in 1978. Since then, his research career has taken him to the University of California at Berkeley, to the University of Texas at Austin, to the Max-Planck-Institute in Munich, Germany, and to Case Western Reserve University, where in 1992 he was awarded the Elsie B. Smith Professorship in Liberal Arts. The recipient of an American Psychological Association award for his first book, he has authored over 100 publications and numerous articles in professional journals and scholarly volumes.
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