Loving Bravely Book Summary - Loving Bravely Book explained in key points
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Loving Bravely summary

Alexandra H. Solomon

Twenty Lessons of Self-discovery to Help You Get the Love You Want

4.4 (224 ratings)
30 mins
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    Loving Bravely
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    To truly love another, you must first understand yourself.

    Meet Alexia. At 26 years old, this young woman is starting to get into the swing of adult life. She’s got a good job, a nice apartment, and a stable group of friends. But her love life is faltering. She’s always dating men that leave her frustrated. One is too clingy, the next is aloof, another only cares about work.

    Now, it’d be easy to say these men are simply duds. But Alexia bears some responsibility as well. After all, she’s the one picking them. If Alexia wants to forge a more fulfilling match, she’ll have to examine her own beliefs and behaviors about love. 

    The process of discovering how and why we love others is called relational self-awareness. And it’s fundamental to any successful partnership.

    The key message here is: To truly love another, you must first understand yourself. 

    Every relationship is a collaboration between two people; each partner contributes their own unique mix of qualities. When you date someone, you confront that person’s personality, habits, and expectations about love. But your character and quirks also shape the union. In order to build a strong and stable pairing, you have to understand your own personality, needs, and desires – you must have relational self-awareness.

    Cultivating relational self-awareness often means looking backward. We learn a lot about love as children. Specifically, we learn from watching our parents and experiencing our own family dynamics. These early experiences shape how we approach intimacy as adults. If you had cold, distant parents, you might settle for a partner who is neglectful – or you might overcompensate and desire unrealistic levels of attention. 

    Of course, these patterns aren’t permanent. You can consciously adjust them with introspection and effort. One technique the author recommends is the name-connect-choose method. To practice this, first identify which relationship patterns you’ve learned from your parents. Next, consider how these early lessons may inform your current behaviors. Then, with this insight, actively work to overcome the habits you find harmful. 

    When you reflect deeply on yourself and your history, you can start to better understand your core issues. Core issues are the personal vulnerabilities or soft spots that guide our intimate relationships. Your core issues may include a fear of abandonment, need for approval, or a recurring distrust of others. These can be difficult to confront, but once you do, you’ll be more able to grapple with their effects. We’ll look at some proactive ways to approach these issues in the next blink.

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    What is Loving Bravely about?

    Loving Bravely (2017) is a primer on finding love through introspection and self-discovery. This guide to love teaches invaluable lessons about how to build relationships that actually last.

    Best quote from Loving Bravely

    Your past is still with you – and always will be – and it shapes the lens through which you experience the present moment.

    —Alexandra H. Solomon
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    Who should read Loving Bravely?

    • Lonely hearts looking for love
    • True romantics seeking lasting relationships
    • Anyone curious about the psychology of attachment

    About the Author

    Alexandra H. Solomon, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and an assistant professor of psychology at The Family Institute at Northwestern University. A sought-after expert on topics of love and romance, her work has appeared in O, the Huffington Post, and the Atlantic.

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