The Future of Love: The Power of the Soul in Intimate Relationships

Daphne Rose Kingma, Author
Daphne Rose Kingma, Author Doubleday Books $19.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-385-49083-2
Reviewed on: 12/29/1997
Release date: 01/01/1998
After more than two decades as a psychotherapist, relationship counselor and author (Finding True Love, etc.), Kingma suggests turning away from issues of the personality to those of the soul in loving relationships. She spends a lot of time criticizing ""traditional"" marriage (""suffocates the individual vivid soul"") and the nuclear family (""intense focus and neurosis""), but she eventually does include them among the many possibilities of ""soulful relationships."" While her overall message of acceptance for, and celebration of, the many varieties of love seems perfectly sound, it's questionable whether a majority of American adults today would view ""multiple-person relationships, relationships that defy age or gender boundaries, or embody astonishing emotional or spiritual acrobatics"" as ""failures or aberrations."" Kingma offers comfort for the occasional pangs of concern over not having fulfilled the myth of get-married-and-live-happily-ever-after, but her discussions of ""relaxing boundaries"" and forgiveness could be problematic for those facing issues of addiction or abuse. Her implication that changing the ""forms"" of relationships makes them ""illumined"" is debatable, moreover. Her most valuable contribution here seems to be her discussion of the ""ten qualities of a soulful relationship"": self-awareness, aliveness, realism, honesty, generosity, empathy, forgiveness, thanksgiving, consecration and joy. As she wisely makes clear, these soulful attributes can be present, or not, in myriad forms of relationship. (Mar.)
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