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Am J Psychoanal. 1982 Fall;42(3):253-63.

Love: addiction or road to self-realization, a second look.


One aspect of self-realization is to work on constructive intimate relationships in which another person adds to the richness of our existence and expands our horizons. The other person is not a substitute for our self-development nor someone who can make up for our developmental deficits. (Or if this is the case, at least one should become aware of it, since such a relationship is most likely not completely free of some contamination from the past.) When we are in touch with our active, striving, self-realizing self, we have the freedom and choice to "love." Loving implies that we can accept the person for what and who he is, apart from our compulsive needs from him. Certain needs are real and if not met, the relationship is not gratifying. Sharing warmth, caring, affection, and mutual growth as individuals as well as a couple are aspects of a constructive relationship. Hopefully, we will also expand our horizons to include friendships (outside marriage), relationships between equals, whether of the same sex or not, which include intimacy, loyalty, sharing that is unconditional and unselfish. Though it has been said that friendship, in the true sense of the word, is the most singularly uncultivated capacity in American social relations, when we do achieve it, it can add tremendously to our existence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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