Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships

( 22 )

Overview

The bestselling author of Hold Me Tight presents a revolutionary new understanding of why and how we love, based on cutting-edge research.

Every day, we hear of relationships failing and questions of whether humans are meant to be monogamous. LOVE SENSE presents new scientific evidence that tells us that humans are meant to mate for life. Dr. Johnson explains that romantic love is an attachment bond, just like that between mother and child, and shows us how to develop our "love ...

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Overview

The bestselling author of Hold Me Tight presents a revolutionary new understanding of why and how we love, based on cutting-edge research.

Every day, we hear of relationships failing and questions of whether humans are meant to be monogamous. LOVE SENSE presents new scientific evidence that tells us that humans are meant to mate for life. Dr. Johnson explains that romantic love is an attachment bond, just like that between mother and child, and shows us how to develop our "love sense"—our ability to develop long-lasting relationships. Love is not the least bit illogical or random, but actually an ordered and wise recipe for survival. LOVE SENSE covers the three stages of a relationship and how to best weather them; the intelligence of emotions and the logic of love; the physical and psychological benefits of secure love; and much more. Based on groundbreaking research, LOVE SENSE will change the way we think about love.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Helen Fisher
…Johnson has hit upon a core aspect of human nature. The brain circuitry for attachment most likely evolved over four million years ago as our forebears inched onto the open plains of Africa and females began to need partners to help protect them and provide for them as they carried their helpless young. Attachment lives deep in primordial pathways in the brain. And Johnson's impressive work at commandeering this brain system to rehabilitate failing partnerships is an important contribution to those lost in the thicket of unhappy pair-bonding.
Publishers Weekly
11/18/2013
The bestselling author of Hold Me Tight makes an admirable attempt at exploring relationship dynamics through contemporary psychology and neuroscience, but the results at times are thin. . The first few sections, for example, are devoted to legitimizing emotions through facts and experiments, but despite piling up lots of data, Johnson rarely puts it to use in her analyses of some of the most common relationship problems couples face. She breaks down partner types into three categories: “secure, anxious, and avoidant.” Johnson deciphers the relationships of those who fall under these categories, encouraging those feeling insecure that they in fact can become stable partners, though it often feels like a partner is being blamed for their category diagnosis. She believes wholeheartedly in the flexibility of relationships and their vital role in a successful life, reaffirming the success of her own form of relationship therapy called Emotional Focused Therapy. As readers are slowly introduced to the specifics of this method, Johnson tries to convey its power and efficacy through stories of former patients. Unfortunately, the dialogue is too stilted to pass for real conversations. Nevertheless, the examples are varied and general enough to serve as conversation starters for those in need of relationship help. Agent: Miriam Altshuler, Miriam Altshuler Literary Agency. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
"This book is an absolute must for anyone who wants to understand how Love Makes Sense. Sue Johnson covers all the new science, and she has led the scientific field in helping us all understand love and how to repair an ailing relationship. The book is a real page-turner, an easy read that will enlighten all of us who want to build a lasting and secure bond filled with romance and passion. We need no longer wander around in the darkness, stumbling from one disastrous relationship to another. Read this book and learn how to create a life that is a safe haven for love." —John M. Gottman, PhD, author of What Makes Love Last?

"A life-changing book! Dr. Johnson elucidates the science of love, convincingly demonstrating the underlying emotional logic of relationships. In an entertaining way, she gives us practical, down-to-earth examples and exercises to help us develop our 'love sense.' It will enrich the lives of all who read it." —Richard Lannon, MD, coauthor of A General Theory of Love

"You won't find a better book combining wonderful insight, practical wisdom, and the latest science of relationships. Plus the passion of a psychologist intent on making the world safe for the kind of intimacy we all long for." —William J. Doherty, PhD, author of Take Back Your Marriage

"Sue Johnson, the developer of Emotion Focused Couple Therapy, has written a powerful book on the science of securely bonded marriages. Dr. Johnson's very human and inspiring approach to relationships will keep the reader mesmerized." —Barry McCarthy, PhD, author of Rekindling Desire

"Sue Johnson sees no contradiction in viewing love as biology and poetry, physiology and romance. For her, love is the hard won endowment of our evolutionary history and a source of hope a world of uncertainty and danger. With this book, Sue reveals that love is scientifically understandable. She emerges not only as a world authority on love's repair, but also on its underlying, neural, physiological and psychological structure."—James Coan, PhD, Professor of Clinical Psychology and Director of the Virginia Affective Neuroscience Laboratory at the University of Virginia.

"In Love Sense, Dr. Sue Johnson creates fascinating and enlightening connections between cutting-edge research, professional applications of research in marital therapy, and scores of apt case examples and engaging exercises for people who struggle with relationship difficulties. Besides being an excellent researcher, theorist, and clinician, Johnson has a unique gift for inspiring and motivating other therapists and nonprofessional readers. With genuine enthusiasm and admirable clarity, she shows how emotion-focused therapy, guided by attachment theory and research, can heal troubled relationships while benefiting society more generally. This is a wonderful, uplifting, energizing book."—Phillip R. Shaver, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, University of California, Davis; Past President, International Association for Relationship Research

Kirkus Reviews
2013-11-04
A self-help book from a clinical psychologist promoting a model of treatment called Emotionally Focused Therapy. Johnson (Clinical Psychology/Alliant International Univ.; Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love, 2008, etc.), one of the founders of EFT in the 1980s, credits her approach to couples therapy to the theories concerning attachment patterns in infants developed by psychiatrist John Bowlby decades earlier. In the first part of the book, the author argues that through clinical studies, laboratory experiments and applied therapies, science has now revealed that love, vital to our existence, is not only understandable, but also repairable. In other words, love makes sense, hence the title. In a chapter on the brain, Johnson looks at research into the neurochemistry of love, especially the so-called cuddle hormone, oxytocin. In another, on the body, she examines the connection between attachment and sexuality. In the second part of the book, the narrative's core, Johnson shows EFT in action, with the author, a practicing couples therapist, presenting the cases of various distressed couples in therapy who are learning how to recognize their attachment issues, understand their emotions, and work to repair and enhance their relationships. All chapters conclude with exercises for readers to try either alone or with a partner. In the third part, Johnson offers readers a sweet love story with a happy ending and then broadens her perspective to a view of love in the 21st century. It is, she opines optimistically, a time when a growing awareness of humanity's interdependence on this small planet is leading people to find ways to connect and cooperate--or as the author would put it, to love and be loved. A readable combination of research findings and case studies, filled with good cheer and practical advice.
PhD Harville Hendrix
Praise for HOLD ME TIGHT:

"A much-needed message to all couples and therapists, and I recommend it to all."

PhD John Gottman
"Dr. Johnson's superb science, humor, and clinical wisdom are finally accessible to us all. I couldn't pick a smarter, warmer, and more real guide for this journey."
PhD Barry McCarthy
"A truly revolutionary, breakthrough book...the most important, valuable book for couples published in the twenty-first century."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316133760
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 12/31/2013
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 42,905
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Sue Johnson is a clinical psychologist and Distinguished Research Professor at Alliant International University in San Diego, CA. The developer of Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy, she is a recognized leader in the new science of relationships. Dr. Johnson is the author of Hold Me Tight and other numerous books and articles, and has trained thousands of therapists in North America and around the world. She divides her time between Ottawa, New York, and San Diego.

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Read an Excerpt

Love Sense

The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships


By Sue Johnson

Hachette Audio

Copyright © 2013 Sue Johnson
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-316-13376-0


CHAPTER 1

Love: A Paradigm Shift

I believe in the compelling power of love. I do not understand it. I believe it to be the most fragrant blossom of all this thorny existence.

—Theodore Dreiser


My memories are full of the sounds and sights of love:

The ache in my elderly grandmother's voice when she spoke of her husband, gone nearly fifty years. A railway signalman, he had courted her, a ladies' maid, for seven years on the one Sunday she had off each month. He died of pneumonia on Christmas Day after eighteen years of marriage, when he was forty-five and she just forty.

My small enraged mother flying across the kitchen floor at my father, a former naval engineer in World War II, who stood large and strong in the doorway, drinking her in with his eyes, and she, seeing me, stopping suddenly and fleeing from the room. She left him after three decades of slammed doors and raised fists when I was ten. "Why do they fight all the time?" I asked my granny. "Because they love each other, sweetie," she said. "And watching them, it's clear that none of us knows what the hell that means." I remember saying to myself, "Well, I won't do this love thing, then." But I did.

Telling my first great love, "I refuse to play this ridiculous game. It's like falling off a cliff." Weeping just months into a marriage, asking myself, "Why do I no longer love this man? I can't even pinpoint what is missing." Another man smiling quietly at me, and I, just as quietly, leaning back and letting myself plunge into the abyss. There was nothing missing.

Sitting, years later, watching the last of the ice finally melting on our lake one morning in early April and hearing my husband and children walking through the woods behind me. They were laughing and talking, and I touched for a moment the deepest joy, the kind of joy that was, and still is, entirely enough to fill up my heart for this lifetime.

Anguish and drama, elation and satisfaction. About what? For what?


Love can begin in a thousand ways—with a glance, a stare, a whisper or smile, a compliment, or an insult. It continues with caresses and kisses, or maybe frowns and fights. It ends with silence and sadness, frustration and rage, tears, and even, sometimes, joy and laughter. It can last just hours or days, or endure through years and beyond death. It is something we look for, or it finds us. It can be our salvation or our ruin. Its presence exalts us, and its loss or absence desolates us.

We hunger for love, yearn for it, are impelled to it, but we haven't truly understood it. We have given it a name, acknowledged its force, cataloged its splendors and sorrows. But still we are confronted with so many puzzles: What does it mean to love, to have a loving relationship? Why do we pursue love? What makes love stop? What makes it persist? Does love make any sense at all?

Down through the ages, love has been a mystery that has eluded everyone— philosophers, moralists, writers, scientists, and lovers alike. The Greeks, for instance, identified four kinds of love, but their definitions, confusingly, overlap. Eros was the name given to passionate love, which might or might not involve sexual attraction and desire. In our day, we are equally bewildered. Google reported that the top "What is" search in Canada in 2012 was "What is love?" Said Aaron Brindle, a spokesman for Google, "This tells us about not only the popular topic for that year ... but also the human condition." Another website, CanYouDefineLove.com, solicits definitions and experiences from folks around the globe. Scroll through the responses and you'll agree with the site's founders that "there are just as many unique definitions as there are people in the world."

Scientists try to be more specific. For example, psychologist Robert Sternberg of Oklahoma State University describes love as a mixture of three components: intimacy, passion, and commitment. Yes, but that doesn't solve the riddle. Evolutionary biologists, meanwhile, explain love as nature's reproductive strategy. In the grand abstract scheme of existence, this makes sense. But for illuminating the nature of love in our everyday lives, it's useless. The most popular definition is perhaps that love is ... a mystery! For those of us—and that is almost all of us—who are trying to find it or mend it or keep it, this definition is a disaster. It robs us of hope.

Does it even matter whether we understand love?

If you had asked that question as recently as thirty or forty years ago, most of the world would have said, "Not really." Love, despite its power, wasn't considered essential to daily life. It was seen as something apart, a diversion, even a luxury, and oftentimes a dangerous one at that (remember Romeo and Juliet and Abelard and Heloise?). What mattered was what was necessary to survive. You tied your life to your family and your community; they provided food, shelter, and protection. Since the earliest conception of marriage, it was understood that when you joined your life to another's, it was for eminently practical reasons, not emotional ones: to better your lot, to acquire power and wealth, to produce heirs to inherit titles and property, to create children to help with the farm and to care for you in your old age.

Even as life eased for growing numbers of people, marriage remained very much a rational bargain. In 1838, well into the Industrial Revolution, naturalist Charles Darwin made lists of the pros and cons of marriage before finally proposing to his cousin Emma Wedgwood. In favor, he noted, "Children ... Constant companion, (& friend in old age) ... object to be beloved & played with ... better than a dog anyhow ... a nice soft wife on a sofa with good fire, & books & music ... These things good for one's health." Against it, he wrote, "perhaps quarreling—Loss of time.—cannot read in the Evenings ... Anxiety & responsibility—less money for books &c ... I never should know French,—or see the Continent—or go to America, or go up in a Balloon, or take solitary trip in Wales—poor slave."

We don't have Emma's list, but for most women the top reason to marry was financial security. Lacking access to schooling or jobs, women faced lives of punishing poverty if they remained unwed, a truth that continued well into the 20th century. Even as women gained education and the ability to support themselves, love didn't figure too highly in choosing a mate. When asked in 1939 to rank eighteen characteristics of a future spouse or relationship, women put love fifth. Even in the 1950s, love hadn't made it to first place. I am reminded of my aunt, who, when she found out that I had a "man in my life," advised me, "Just make sure he has a suit, dear"—code for "Make certain he has a steady job."

In the 1970s, however, love began heading the list in surveys of what American women and men look for in a mate. And by the 1990s, with vast numbers of women in the workforce, marriage in the Western world had completely shifted from an economic enterprise to, as sociologist Anthony Giddens calls it, an "emotional enterprise." In a 2001 U.S. poll, 80 percent of women in their twenties said that having a man who could talk about his feelings was more important than having one who could make a good living. Today, both men and women routinely give love as the main reason to wed. And indeed, this is increasingly the case around the world; whenever people are free of financial and other shackles, they select a spouse for love. For the first time in human history, feelings of affection and emotional connection have become the sole basis on which we choose and commit to a partner. These feelings are now the primary basis for the most crucial building block of any society, the family unit.

A love relationship is now not only the most intimate of adult relationships, it is also often the principal one. And for many it is the only one. The American Sociological Review reports that since the mid-1980s, the number of Americans saying that they have only their partner to confide in has risen by 50 percent. We live in an era of growing emotional isolation and impersonal relationships. More and more, we dwell far from caring parents, siblings, friends, and the supportive communities we grew up in. And more and more we live alone. According to the latest U.S. census, more than thirty million Americans live solo, compared with just four million in 1950. We toil for longer hours and at more remote locations requiring lengthy commutes. We communicate by e-mailing and texting. We deal with automated voices on the telephone, watch concerts performed by holograms of deceased artists (such as rapper Tupac Shakur), and soon we will be seeking assistance from holographic personnel. At New York City–area airports, travelers were recently introduced to a six-foot-tall, information-spouting AVA, short for airport virtual assistant, or avatar.

Loneliness researcher John Cacioppo, a psychologist at the University of Chicago, contends that in Western societies, "social connection has been demoted from a necessity to an incidental." As a result, our partners have been forced to fill the void. They serve as lover, family, friend, village, and community. And emotional connection is the only glue in this vital, unique relationship.

So yes, understanding the nature of love absolutely does matter. Indeed, it is imperative. Continued ignorance is no longer an option. Defining love as a mystery beyond our grasp and control is as toxic to the human species as is poison in our water. We must learn to shape our love relationships. And now, for the first time, we can, thanks to an unheralded revolution in the social and natural sciences that has been under way for the past twenty years.


A Revolution

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines revolution as "a fundamental change in the way of thinking about or visualizing something: a change of paradigm." And that is exactly what has happened to adult love in the field of social sciences. Two decades ago, love didn't get much respect as a topic of study. No emotion did. René Descartes, the French philosopher, associated feelings with our lower animal nature and thus considered them something to be overcome. What marked us as superior animals was our ability to reason. Cogito ergo sum—"I think, therefore I am," he famously proclaimed.

Emotions were not rational and therefore suspect. And love was the most irrational and suspect of all, thus not a fit subject for scientists, the supreme rationalists. Scan the subject index of professor Ernest Hilgard's exhaustive historical review Psychology in America, published in 1993; you won't find the word love. Young researchers were routinely warned off the topic. I remember being told in graduate school that science does not deal with nebulous, soft indefinables, such as emotion, empathy, and love.

The word revolution also means "an uprising." Social scientists began to recognize that much of their work was not addressing public concerns about the quality of everyday life. So a quiet movement, without riots or bullets, began in campus laboratories and academic journals, challenging the orthodox adherence to studies of simple behaviors and how to change them. New voices began to be heard, and suddenly, in the 1990s, emotions emerged as legitimate topics of inquiry. Happiness, sorrow, anger, fear—and love—started appearing on the agenda of academic conferences in a multitude of disciplines, from anthropology to psychology to sociology. Feelings, it was becoming apparent, weren't random and senseless, but logical and "intelligent."

At the same time, therapists and mental health professionals began adjusting their frame of reference in dealing with relationship issues, especially romantic ones. For years they had focused their attention on the individual, believing that any turmoil could be traced back to a person's own troubled psyche. Fix that and the relationship would improve. But that wasn't what was happening. Even when individuals grasped why they acted a certain way and tried to change, their love relationships often continued to sour.

Therapists realized that concentrating on one person didn't give a complete picture. People in love relationships, just as in all relationships, are not distinct entities, acting independently; they are part of a dynamic dyad, within which each person's actions spark and fuel reactions in the other. It was the couple and how the individuals "danced" together that needed to be understood and changed, not simply the individual alone. Researchers began videotaping couples recounting everyday hurts and frustrations, arguing over money and sex, and hassling over child-rearing issues. They then pored over these recordings, hunting for the critical moments of interaction when a relationship turned into a battlefield or wasteland. They kept an eye open, too, for moments when couples seemed to reach harmonious accord. And they looked for patterns of behavior.

Interest in emotions in general, and love in particular, also surged among "hard" scientists as advances in technology refined old tools and introduced new ones. A major hurdle to investigations had always been: How do you pin down something as vague and evanescent as a feeling? Or, as Albert Einstein lamented: "How on earth are you ever going to explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love?"

The scientific method depends not only on observation and analysis but also on measurable, reproducible data. With the arrival of more sensitive tests and assays, neurobiologists launched inquiries into the chemistry of emotions. But the big push came with the advent of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Neurophysiologists devised experiments that peer into the brain and actually see structures and areas lighting up when we are afraid, or happy, or sad—or when we love. Remember the old public service announcement showing an egg frying in a pan while a voice intones, "This is your brain on drugs"? Now we have films that actually do capture "This is your brain on love."

The result of all this ferment has been an outpouring of fresh knowledge that is coalescing into a radical and exciting new vision of love. This new love sense is overthrowing long-held beliefs about the purpose and process of romantic love as well as our sense of the very nature of human beings. The new perspective is not only theoretical but also practical and optimistic. It illuminates why we love and reveals how we can make, repair, and keep love.

Among the provocative findings:

• The first and foremost instinct of humans is neither sex nor aggression. It is to seek contact and comforting connection.

The man who first offered us this vision of what we now call attachment or bonding was an uptight, aristocratic English psychiatrist, not at all the kind of man you would expect to crack the code of romantic relationships! But John Bowlby, conservative and British, was nevertheless a rebel who changed the landscape of love and loving forever. His insights are the foundation on which the new science of love rests.

Bowlby proposed that we are designed to love a few precious others who will hold and protect us through the squalls and storms of life. It is nature's plan for the survival of the species. Sex may impel us to mate, but it is love that assures our existence. "In uniting the beloved life to ours we can watch over its happiness, bring comfort where hardship was, and over memories of privation and suffering open the sweetest fountains of joy," wrote George Eliot.

This drive to bond is innate, not learned. It likely arose as nature's answer to a critical fact of human physiology: the female birth canal is too narrow to permit passage of big-brained, big-bodied babies that can survive on their own within a short time after birth. Instead, babies enter the world small and helpless and require years of nurturing and guarding before they are self- sustaining. It would be easier to abandon such troublesome newborns than raise them. So what makes an adult stick around and assume the onerous and exhausting task of parenting?
(Continues...)


Excerpted from Love Sense by Sue Johnson. Copyright © 2013 Sue Johnson. Excerpted by permission of Hachette Audio.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 15, 2014

    Just finished this compelling book by Dr. Sue Johnson which pres

    Just finished this compelling book by Dr. Sue Johnson which presents a revolutionary paradigm regarding adult romantic love relationships.  She skewers the notion that dependence is weakness.
    The book is filled with scientific insights and new research that challenge outdated notions about love.  Sue demystifies adult love.  I think this would be a helpful book for any couple, newlyweds to folks together for years.  And also for any therapist who wants to understand couple's distress and help them.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2014

    Amazing! You can truly understand the why's and how's of romanti

    Amazing! You can truly understand the why's and how's of romantic love.
    That's what this book does.
    Dr. Johnson outlines why we love, what makes us love and how to keep love thriving. She draws from compelling research, her own and many others from other disciplines, and makes love clear and easy to understand.
    This is a must read for every person who wants less stress, more connection and more overall well being - why? Because being healthy and happy is dependent on our relationships, especially adults closest relationship, the one with the person we love.
    Thank you Dr. Johnson for this amazing book and compiling research in a way that is easy to read and truly makes sense out of love. 
     

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2014

    As a couples and family therapist I find Dr. Sue Johnson's books

    As a couples and family therapist I find Dr. Sue Johnson's books a must read for all my clients. It helps them understand from an attachment perspective what is missing from the relationship and how to find it again. How to recover our lost passion for each other even after a long term marriage where we have "hurt" each other. Putting into contact why we react so intensely to the one we love the most. Her examples bring to life real life issues, patterns and desires we all share in committed relationships. Dr. Johnson also shows us that there is still hope if we are willing to work together to rekindle love again.
    Dr. Sue gets it! She helps us feel normal even in times of great distress. The books are down to earth, clear, and easy to read.       

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2014

    You mean to tell me love isn't just about luck? This book is bri

    You mean to tell me love isn't just about luck? This book is brilliant -  well written &  relatable for everyone, whether you're a professional or layperson. It is for anyone who is either in love, ever been in love and wants to understand love and relationships. It was hard to put down.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 12, 2014

    Wow. What a great book. I actually got it on audio and was delig

    Wow. What a great book. I actually got it on audio and was delighted that the author herself read it...she's got this great English accent and has wonderful energy as she reads it...so preferable to some of the "professional readers" that have bored me to apathy.
    Dr. Johnson seems to present an entirely different "paradigm" about love and relationships. Rather than pathologizing (i.e. "you're so codependent and needy") she seems to normalize our need for one another, as a basic human wiring. This just makes a lot of sense to me, and according to Dr. Johnson, now science is validating it...fascinating!
    This is a game-changing book for anyone in relationship (i.e. all of us?!) I thoroughly enjoyed it and am passing it along to friends and family.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 12, 2014

    What remarkable research in the field of relationships. I think

    What remarkable research in the field of relationships. I think the reason I appreciate Sue’s work so much is it is not just gimmicky advice. She clearly explains, in a reader- friendly way, what the current research on love tells us. She demonstrates what we know about love and how it makes sense. And she provides real, conversational examples of couples that find their way out of disconnection to a safe and lovingly attached relationship. The examples she uses really are inspirational. They are just normal people, like you and me, who have found the answers and made it work. I purchased the audio book and the hard copy. Some audio books are so painful to listen to, but Sue’s soothing voice made my driving kids to and fro much more pleasant. It was actually really cool – I would arrive somewhere and have her words so fresh in my mind that I found them making an instant impact. While I like the hard copy to highlight and refer back to, I would highly recommend the audio version. I think there is something really powerful about hearing her tone and expressions. Overall, I would recommend this to everyone who wants to improve any relationship.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2014

    This is a great book and really puts the power of feelings/emoti

    This is a great book and really puts the power of feelings/emotions into a context that helps one better understand his/her experiences and what drives him/her. The audio book, which is read by the author, is a wonderful route to go on this too.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2014

    I thought I knew quite a bit about Love Relationships and yet on

    I thought I knew quite a bit about Love Relationships and yet on reading this I gained a whole new perspective not only on what love really is in relationships but also what makes it really hum.  Sue Joohnson is a very humourous and passionate author and you can really tel she knows her stuff.  This book is such a breath of fresh air.  Heaps of good stories with research and evidence backing up - instead of just a bunch of personal theories and good ideas. 

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2014

    How wonderful that we now have real science on love and a compre

    How wonderful that we now have real science on love and a comprehensive book that puts it all together for us.  Folks have been writing about love and relationships for years but it doesn't mean they know what they were writing about until now.  This has real science backing it up and it is written in a way that's engaging and informative.  I cannot think of anyone who wouldn't benefit from this book and the wisdom and heart it has to offer.  

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2014

    This book is an incredible gift to all who care about relationsh

    This book is an incredible gift to all who care about relationships! Consider this your one stop shopping to a
    user friendly guide to attachment research; a compassionate understanding of our human, stuck places; and 
    a crystal clear journey from frustration and despair to mutually satisfying and durable relationships. This is a book 
    to be celebrated and shared.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2014

    This book is brilliant. Readable, thorough, and getting right to

    This book is brilliant. Readable, thorough, and getting right to the heart of the matter, Sue Johnson's book meets up to its title---It makes sense of love!  She pulls together the research and brings it to life with examples of couples who struggle in the ways we all struggle--because it IS a universal experience--and then provides hope and very clear alternatives for how to get out of the struggle. If more people read this book, and implemented some of the basic concepts, the divorce rate could very well go down!!!


    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 12, 2014

    My partner and I read this book together.  Very helpful for us b

    My partner and I read this book together.  Very helpful for us both, the author shows that as adult romantic partners, we are meant to be emotionally close.  It's ok for me to rely on him and for my partner to rely on me.  Such a liberating idea when you are raised with the idea that being vulnerable is weak (for him) or being too needy (for me.

    We are both grateful to the author, that we are meant "to feel and feel with," and that it is our first instinct to "see contact and comforting connection," fits for us.  Being emotionally vulnerable with your spouse is not "co-dependent," it's normal and good for us.  We found that the book brought us closer together (we read it five months ago) and we both refer to it's wise words often.
    Thank you to Dr. Johnson for this great read.  I only wish that policy makers, movie and T.V. writers, and others in influential positions would read this and help get the word out!  Why isn't Sue Johnson on "Soulful Sunday" or "Ellen"!!!  

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 12, 2014

    Sue Johnson does an excellent job of helping us to understand th

    Sue Johnson does an excellent job of helping us to understand the "WHY" of our couples' needs for connection and security. It is a FABULOUS book for those who want to understand why love DOES make sense and why we are so affected when connection is threatened. I use the research for her book to help my couples feel validated in their struggles and to understand how it is that they have such a HUGE impact oneach other. This book will help couples and therapists alike. It is very readable and yet based on solid research. LOVED IT!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2014

    This is the best book on love relationships that I've seen in a

    This is the best book on love relationships that I've seen in a long time.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 14, 2014

    Dr. Johnson does it again and helps make sense of this mystery w

    Dr. Johnson does it again and helps make sense of this mystery we call love!  As a couples' therapist, I love the examples she shares of couples who are stuck in the devastating cycles that can hijack a marriage!  As a wife, I have learned so much about my own relationship and how it almost always goes back to attachment!  This is a great book for anyone who wants to understand love better and be able to love more fully!  I HIGHLY recommend it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2014

    What a brilliant book! I was so impressed with how much research

    What a brilliant book! I was so impressed with how much research and important information was given in such a fluid, easy to read manner. As a couples therapist, I also recommend the book to my patients, and they liked it. It helps improve their understanding about the couples therapy work, and better engage in the process.
    I highly recommend the book for professionals and for everybody who are in a relationship, or want to understand relationships better.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 13, 2014

    As a Clinical Psychologist and Couples Workshop Leader, I am alw

    As a Clinical Psychologist and Couples Workshop Leader, I am always looking for excellent relationship books to share with my clients, colleagues,
    workshop couples and friends.  Dr Sue Johnson's newest book, "Love Sense" brings the latest research findings about relationships,
    love, attachment and romance to the public.

     "Love Sense" is based on the leading scientific findings and is very engaging, easy to read, personable, accessible, informative,
     interesting and encouraging.  We liked "Love Sense" so much that we gave a complimentary copy to every couple in our Valentine's Day "Hold Me Tight 
    Workshop" for Couples in San Francisco.  So YES,  we recommend "Love Sense"and "Hold Me Tight" to all of our individual clients and couples too.   

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 13, 2014

    I couldn't put this book down. It was fascinating to learn more

    I couldn't put this book down. It was fascinating to learn more about the mystery of love and also to unravel some of that mystery. Sue has a great way of sharing her journey to understanding more about loving relationships and how we can achieve them. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 11, 2014

    My wife asked if we could read this together after seeing the au

    My wife asked if we could read this together after seeing the author on MindBodyGreen, a web based program she likes. Well, she has foisted many a relationship book on me in the past. And honestly, I didn't want to read it. But then she played a bit of Sue Johnson talking from the show. I said I'd give it a try. And from the start, it was a pleasant surprise. As a scientist and engineer, facts matter. Touchy feely has never been for me. My wife is always saying "You're not emotionally available." And you know, I just shut right down every time.

    Reading this book, for the first time, I understand why she says that and why I never understood what she meant. Guys, I recommend this read. It gives us permission to need our wives emotionally too. And since reading it, the two of us have grown closer after 28 years of what now seems like wasted time emotionally. Hard book to sum up in one review. But suffice it to say, Sue is right, emotional dependence is not a weakness or something to hide. Learning to be vulnerable with Peggy has made such a difference in a short time. I highly recommend this book to any couple. We have given this book now to two young couples as engagement presents, an investment in their futures!

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  • Posted August 26, 2014

    Sue Johnson's new book Love Sense is revolutionary. As a marriag

    Sue Johnson's new book Love Sense is revolutionary. As a marriage and family therapist who works with lots of couples, I can say with
    certainty that the "new science of love" has the ability to heal relationships of all kinds. This book has furthered and deepened my
    understanding of attachment bonds and how romantic love can be established and maintained through creating emotional safety
    between partners. I love all the research Sue cites and how securely attached people live longer, stronger, and more satisfying lives
    than those who live in emotional isolation. We are created for emotional connection with others. Every mental health professional and
    anyone who wants to have  a deeper connection with loved ones should read this book--it will change the way you view relationships!
    Highly recommended!!

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