How to Love: Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart

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Dr. Gordon Livingston’s books have resonated with readers as universally and deeply as earlier books by M. Scott Peck, Rollo May, and Erich Fromm. Now, Gordon Livingston—a physician of the human heart, a philosopher of human psychology—offers an urgently needed meditation on who best (and who best not) to love—and how best to love. Dr. Livingston’s primary focus in this new book is on helping us to recognize in ourselves and in others constellations of character traits and what those traits imply both with ...
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Overview


Dr. Gordon Livingston’s books have resonated with readers as universally and deeply as earlier books by M. Scott Peck, Rollo May, and Erich Fromm. Now, Gordon Livingston—a physician of the human heart, a philosopher of human psychology—offers an urgently needed meditation on who best (and who best not) to love—and how best to love. Dr. Livingston’s primary focus in this new book is on helping us to recognize in ourselves and in others constellations of character traits and what those traits imply both with regard to compatibility and future conduct. As in his previous books, here are Dr. Livingston’s trademark gifts—an unerring sense of what is important, and what Elizabeth Edwards has characterized as “his unapologetic directness and his embracing compassion”—again deployed to provide readers everywhere with a much-needed alternative to the trial-and-error learning that makes wisdom such an expensive commodity.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Baltimore Sun, 5/31/09
“Livingston writes clearly, knowledgeably and with a wry humor as he discusses personality types to avoid (narcissists are No.1), virtues to look for and to inculcate in ourselves (flexibility ranks high) and ways to improve relationships (try reciprocal kindness)…A must-read.”

Boston Globe,, 6/7/09
“As gracefully written as Erich Fromm’s classic The Art of Loving, How to Love recognizes the things in love that last, and may alter the way you look at others and yourself.”

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780738212807
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 5/26/2009
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.38 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Meet the Author


Gordon Livingston, MD, is a psychiatrist and writer whose three previous books—Only Spring; Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart; and And Never Stop Dancing—have been published in more than 22 countries. He lives and works in Columbia, Maryland.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

First deserve, then desire xiii

Oh, how powerfully the magnet of illusion attracts xxv

1 A Man Is Known by the Company He Avoids

Don't blame the mirror for your own reflection 5

Fear is the prison of the heart 25

Always borrow from a pessimist; he won't expect to be paid back 34

No hell is private 51

Against boredom the gods themselves fight in vain 55

The best of compasses does not point to true north 61

We cannot direct the wind but we can trim the sails 64

Life is rarely as simple as we would have it 69

We flatter ourselves if we believe that our character is fixed 75

What is essential is invisible to the eye 80

The first duty of love is to listen 85

When all is said and done, more is said than done 88

2 People to Cherish

The Essential Virtues 95

Kindness 98

Optimism 103

Courage 108

Loyalty 114

Tolerance 118

Honesty 122

Beauty 126

Humor 132

Flexibility 136

Intelligence 138

3 It Is Not the Answer That Enlightens but the Question

The most dangerous food to eat is a wedding cake 143

The gods too are fond of a joke: the role of chance in human affairs 148

Love will make you forget time and time will make you forget love 152

Any landing you can walk away from is a good landing 158

Falling in love with love is falling for make-believe 164

Experience: Test first, lesson later 169

The trouble with parents is that by the time they are experienced they are unemployed 173

If it weren't for marriage, men and women would have to fight with total strangers 179

Beware of those who are sure they are right 185

Money can't buy happiness; it can, however, rent it 187

Ideas are easier to love than people 192

If you were arrested for kindness, would there be enough evidence to-convict? 196

About the Author 205

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 25, 2009

    A splendid book!

    I intend to give copies of this book to anyone contemplating marriage, partnership, "hooking up" or whatever term might be used when considering joining in loving companionship with another human being. In his characteristic straight forward, no-nonsense manner, the author lets us know that we all have the ability to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to selecting a person with whom to share our lives--and then gives us the qualities we should avoid like the plague as well as the qualities we should seek out and cherish. An excellent book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 1, 2009

    This book is fantastic

    I read this book and loved it, it has changed the way I make choices about relationships. I have so far bought 15 copies for friends who need to learn why their life keeps going in circles or nowhere at all. Buy it, read it, love it and then start loving in a much better way.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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