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An existential-phenomenological approach to understanding the experience of romantic love Lecovin, Karen Eve 1990

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AN EXISTENTIAL-PHENOMENOLOGICAL APPROACH TO UNDERSTANDING THE EXPERIENCE OF ROMANTIC LOVE by KAREN EVE LECOVIN B.G.S., Simon Fraser U n i v e r s i t y , 1984 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Co u n s e l l i n g Psychology We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the re q u i r e d standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August, 1990 © Karen Eve Lecovin, 1990 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of Counselling Psychology The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada DE-6 (2/88) A b s t r a c t The purpose of t h i s e x i s t e n t i a l - p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l study was t o i n v e s t i g a t e the meaning of a romantic l o v e experience. S i x a d u l t co-researchers discussed t h e i r romantic l o v e experience w i t h the researcher. The co-researchers were asked t o r e c a l l the time before, d u r i n g , and a f t e r the love experience. Two i n t e r v i e w s were conducted. The i n i t i a l i n -depth i n t e r v i e w s were tape-recorded and t r a n s c r i b e d . The t r a n s c r i p t s were analyzed according t o the method o u t l i n e d by C o l a i z z i (1978). Twenty-two themes were e x p l i c a t e d from the t r a n s c r i p t s . These were w r i t t e n i n t o an exhaustive d e s c r i p t i o n of a romantic love experience. The e s s e n t i a l s t r u c t u r e of the experience was c u l l e d from the exhaustive d e s c r i p t i o n . The t r a n s c r i p t s , the themes, the exhaustive d e s c r i p t i o n and the e s s e n t i a l s t r u c t u r e were v a l i d a t e d by the co-researchers. The d e s c r i p t i o n of a romantic l o v e experience i s a s t a r t i n g p o i n t both f o r f u t u r e research and f o r the development of appropriate c o u n s e l l i n g techniques t o be used w i t h c l i e n t s who are romantic by d i s p o s i t i o n or by s i t u a t i o n . i i i T a b l e o f C o n t e n t s Page ABSTRACT i i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS V I . INTRODUCTION H i s t o r y 1 Modern P e r i o d . 5 S i g n i f i c a n c e o f t h e Study 6 Purpose o f t h e Study 8 D e f i n i t i o n s 10 I I . REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE T a b l e 1 - Models o f Romantic Love 13 The C u l t u r a l Model Assumptions o f t h e C u l t u r a l Model 14 The L i m e r e n t Model Assumptions o f t h e C u r r e n t Model 19 The C h e m i c a l Model Assumptions o f t h e Che m i c a l Model 24 The A d d i c t i o n Model A s s u m p t i o n s o f t h e A d d i c t i o n Model 27 Romantic Love and t h e C l i n i c i a n s 31 Freud Assumptions o f Fr e u d 32 Froitira Assumptions o f Fromm 34 Maslow Assumptions o f Maslow 37 Branden Assumptions o f Branden 41 S o c i a l S c i e n t i s t s and Romantic Love Assumptions o f t h e S o c i a l S c i e n t i s t s . . . . 44 iv C r i t i q u e 51 I I I . METHOD Method 55 Co - R e s e a r c h e r s . 57 S e l e c t i o n o f C o - r e s e a r c h e r s 57 Demographic I n f o r m a t i o n 57 Ph e n o m e n o l o g i c a l I n t e r v i e w 58 A n a l y s i s o f P r o t o c o l s 60 IV. RESULTS A p p l i c a t i o n o f Themes 62 Themes 65 C l u s t e r s o f Themes 77 Three Phases o f a Romantic Love E x p e r i e n c e . . . . 78 Concept o f V i e w i n g E x h a u s t i v e D e s c r i p t i o n . . . . 79 E x h a u s t i v e D e s c r i p t i o n 80 Concept f o r V i e w i n g t h e E s s e n t i a l S t r u c t u r e . . . 88 E s s e n t i a l S t r u c t u r e 88 V. DISCUSSION T h e o r e t i c a l I m p l i c a t i o n s 93 L i m i t a t i o n s o f t h e Study 98 I m p l i c a t i o n s f o r C o u n s e l l i n g 101 I m p l i c a t i o n s f o r F u t u r e R e s e a r c h . . . 103 SUMMARY 104 BIBLIOGRAPHY 106 APPENDIX A: L e t t e r o f I n t r o d u c t i o n and Consent. . . . 121 APPENDIX B: P r o t o c o l s 122 V Acknowledgements I wish t o express a p p r e c i a t i o n t o my co-researchers f o r t h e i r w i l l i n g n e s s t o share t h e i r romantic lov e experiences w i t h me. I a l s o wish t o express s p e c i a l thanks t o L a r r y Cochran f o r h i s h e l p f u l guidance. A warm thank-you t o s p e c i a l f r i e n d s Susan Landau, Pamela B i e l a , H a r r i e t t Wolfe, and L i l l i a n Maurice f o r t h e i r support and encouragement. F i n a l l y , thank you t o my f a m i l y f o r p r o v i d i n g me the space t o complete t h i s t h e s i s . 1 CHAPTER 1: I n t r o d u c t i o n What is this thing called love This funny thing called love Just who can solve its mystery Why should it make a fool of me ( P o r t e r , 1929) The aim of t h i s t h e s i s i s t o i n v e s t i g a t e the meaning of romantic l o v e by studying human experience. Throughout h i s t o r y every Western c i v i l i z a t i o n has had i t s own concept of romantic l o v e . The threads from these concepts have been interwoven t o form the f a b r i c of romantic love as we know i t today. I t i s important, t h e r e f o r e , t o understand each thread and how i t changed or r e f i n e d the concepts of romantic love p r e v i o u s l y h e l d . H i s t o r y The o r i g i n of romantic love i n the West i s g e n e r a l l y t r a c e d t o c o u r t l y love i n feudal times ( B e i g e l , 1951; Hunt, 1959). However, an examination of the l i t e r a t u r e shows evidence of i t as e a r l y as P l a t o ' s symposium (1951), which contains a systematic d i s c u s s i o n of romantic l o v e . P l u t a r c h , a Roman i n the f i r s t century B . C . , expressed concern t h a t romantic love was a t h r e a t t o the f a m i l y (Hunt, 1959). He feared t h a t a love based on personal a t t r a c t i o n was an a n t a g o n i s t i c r e l a t i o n s h i p which could e x i s t only o u t s i d e of-marriage. The adulterous, passionate indulgence of d e s i r e was a l s o emphasized by Ovid i n h i s A r t of Love 2 (Ovid, 1959). During the d e c l i n e of the Roman Empire, i n f l u e n c e d by the C h r i s t i a n Church and i t s a s c e t i c i s m , the newly emerging idea of love emphasized sexual r e s t r a i n t . St. Augustine urged Romans t o abandon romantic l o v e i n favour of a "broader conception of love t h a t p l a c e s emphasis on e v e r l a s t i n g r e s p o n s i b i l i t y between husband and w i f e " (Lantz, 1982, p. 448). Co u r t l y love i n the middle ages deserves p a r t i c u l a r mention because i t i s c e n t r a l t o modern understanding of romantic l o v e . The i d e a l s of C h r i s t i a n love (agape) and the passionate f e e l i n g s of H e l l e n i c Rome (Eros) were combined i n t o a new conception of lov e . Men attached t h e i r s p i r i t u a l longings t o women who were s e x u a l l y unreachable (Hunt, 1959). The prototype f o r t h i s model of ennobling l o v e i s t h a t of Dante's devotion t o B e a t r i c e , w i t h whom he had no p h y s i c a l contact. However, i n northern France, the v e r s i o n of love which developed was more t o l e r a n t t o consummation of a t t r a c t i o n . Capellanus (1941) i n The A r t of C o u r t l y Love c o d i f i e d r u l e s governing i t . Love, he claimed, was n e c e s s a r i l y adulterous, w h i l e f e e l i n g s of a f f e c t i o n were more appr o p r i a t e t o marriage. There remains, however, a controversy as t o whether t h i s a c c u r a t e l y d e s c r i b e s the r u l e s of c o u r t l y love or i f i t was meant as a spoof (Singer, 1984) . This p e r i o d of h i s t o r y has come under c o n s i d e r a b l e debate throughout the ages. Many h i s t o r i a n s b e l i e v e t h a t 3 the c o u r t l y i n f l u e n c e was p o s i t i v e and t h a t l o v e was p u r i f i e d by the troubadour i n f l u e n c e (Hunt, 1959). Denis de Rougement (19 56), however, maintains t h a t c o u r t l y l o v e had a de v a s t a t i n g i n f l u e n c e on Western s o c i e t y and i t s legacy i s the source of much unhappiness and the high d i v o r c e ra.te. B i e g e l (1951) disagrees, concluding t h a t romantic l o v e , i n h e r i t e d from the c o u r t l y love t r a d i t i o n , "provides one of the few p o s i t i v e f a c t o r s i n mate s e l e c t i o n , a l l o w i n g r e l i e f and emotional g r a t i f i c a t i o n i n the enormous s t r e s s of c i v i l i z a t i o n " (p. 334). Other t h e o r i s t s emphasize d i f f e r e n t aspects. Murstein (1974) d e s c r i b e s c o u r t l y love as an "ennobling, burning p a s s i o n " impossible between husband and w i f e (p. 108). Singer (1984) emphasizes the importance of f r u s t r a t e d sexual d e s i r e i n c o u r t l y l o v e , and B e i g e l (1951) p o i n t s out the s i m i l a r i t y between the experience of the c o u r t l y l o v e r and t h a t of a modern adolescent who impresses h i s g i r l w i t h peer-defined f e a t s . Because of the range of emotions which come under the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of c o u r t l y l o v e , i t i s d i f f i c u l t t o d e s c r i b e i t by a s i n g l e component. However, i t does appear t h a t t h i s p e r i o d introduced the p o s s i b i l i t y of m u t u a l i t y i n a t t r a c t i o n . This concept too i s c e n t r a l t o the modern understanding of romantic l o v e . • Another theme, which emerged during the Renaissance, was the dichotomy of man's a t t i t u d e toward women (Hunt, 1959). Woman was i d e a l i z e d f o r her beauty, yet l u s t e d a f t e r 4 and despised f o r her s e x u a l i t y . Perhaps r e l a t e d , p e r s e c u t i o n of witches grew to a f e v e r i s h p i t c h because of the b e l i e f t h a t c e r t a i n women had cohabited w i t h the d e v i l i n order t o gain power over men (Hunt, 1959). In 16th Century England, King Henry V I I I placed passion over reason, thus e s t a b l i s h i n g a break from t r a d i t i o n a l concepts of love and marriage. For love of Anne Boleyn, he d e f i e d the Roman C a t h o l i c s a n c t i o n a g a i n s t d i v o r c e . While sex and love were not t o l e r a t e d o u t s i d e of marriage, both were acceptable w i t h i n i t (Hunt, 1959). The Enlightenment, which dominated 18th century thought, saw the a r i s t o c r a c y and upper m i d d l e - c l a s s scorn emotion. The i d e a l was t o separate love from sex by a l l o w i n g f r e e p l a y of c a r n a l d e s i r e (Hunt, 1959). Yet, i t was the era which f o s t e r e d an obsession w i t h the s o c i a l r i t u a l s of g a l l a n t r y , f l i r t a t i o n , seduction and a d u l t e r y . These excesses found l i t e r a r y expression i n the myths of Don Juan and the v i o l e n t e r o t i c i s m of the Marquis de Sade. The modern v e r s i o n of romantic love began t o flow e r i n the pre-modern world of i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n and u r b a n i z a t i o n . Stone (1977) and Trumbach (1978) documented the d e c l i n e i n p a t r i a r c h y and the r i s e of d o m e s t i c i t y which r e s u l t e d i n g r e a t e r value being placed on i n d i v i d u a l i s m (Lantz, 1982). As a r e s u l t , i n e a r l y 19th century Europe, i t was acceptable f o r both sexes to choose t h e i r mates on the b a s i s of romantic a t t r a c t i o n . In North America, where the r i g h t s of 5 the i n d i v i d u a l and romantic love were i n t e r l o c k e d , even g r e a t e r emphasis was given t o choice. V i c t o r i a n love was considered t o be a defence a g a i n s t the changes brought by the i n d u s t r i a l r e v o l u t i o n (Hunt, 1959). Romantic f e e l i n g s towards woman tended t o merge w i t h f i l i a l l o v e . This caused a pru d i s h a t t i t u d e t o re-emerge i n the face of p o t e n t i a l l y incestuous temptations (Hunt, 1959). However, as i n other eras which separated sexual f e e l i n g s from a love o b j e c t , there c o - e x i s t e d a p e r c e p t i o n of a decadent c l a s s of women w i t h whom men s a t i s f i e d t h e i r sexual a t t i t u d e s . Freud's a n a l y s i s of love i n t h i s p e r i o d i d e n t i f i e d a d i r e c t r e l a t i o n s h i p between f r u s t r a t e d sexual f e e l i n g s and the tendency t o i d e a l i z e (Hale, 1985). Modern P e r i o d Romantic love i n contemporary Western c i v i l i z a t i o n i s a sy n t h e s i s of the trends which began i n a n t i q u i t y . I t combines the s p i r i t u a l goal of s e x u a l i t y from e a r l y Greece, the medieval i d e a l i z a t i o n of the love o b j e c t , the P u r i t a n view t h a t l o v e i s e s s e n t i a l t o marriage, and the V i c t o r i a n s t r e s s on the emotional aspects of love ( B e i g e l , 1951; Goode, 1959; Hunt, 1959). The modern romantic l o v e r e l a t i o n s h i p has become a p s y c h o l o g i c a l package encompassing "a combination of b e l i e f s , ideas, and a t t i t u d e s " (Johnson, 1983, p. x i ) . I t i s expected t o f u l f i l l a l l the i n d i v i d u a l ' s needs. 6 K i l p a t r i c k (1974) d e f i n e s the romantic l o v e i d e a l as the b e l i e f t h a t " f o r every g i r l there i s a boy; one day they w i l l meet and f a l l i n love and l i v e h a p p i l y ever a f t e r " (p. 25). However, i t i s not f o r everyone. Weber (1987), i n an a r t i c l e e n t i t l e d "Alone at L a s t " , r e p o r t s t h a t a generation of Americans view romantic love as a b a r r i e r t o t h e i r c a r e e r s . They are pragmatic and d i s t r u s t the "chemistry". As a r e s u l t , they t r y t o suppress and c o n t r o l i t . Yet, even they see i t as i n e v i t a b l e . The romantic bond has become one of the few meaningful r e l a t i o n s h i p s which provide a sense of belonging i n an a l i e n a t i n g world. S i g n i f i c a n c e of the Study S o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s have t r a d i t i o n a l l y regarded romantic love as too mysterious, too t r i v i a l and too ephemeral t o warrant s c i e n t i f i c i n v e s t i g a t i o n (Praxedi, 1982). The b e l i e f t h a t l o v e , per se, i s not s c i e n t i f i c a l l y r e s p e c t a b l e as a su b j e c t f o r study has long acted as a d e t e r r e n t t o the study of romantic love (Berscheid & Walster, 1978; G a y l i n , 1986). In 1975, United States Senator W i l l i a m Proxmire objected t o grants given f o r the study of romantic l o v e on grounds t h a t "not even the N a t i o n a l Science Foundation can argue t h a t f a l l i n g i n love i s a sc i e n c e " (Tennov, 1979). As a consequence, few researchers have wanted t h e i r names l i n k e d w i t h love research (Rubin, 1980). Because the s i g n i f i c a n c e of romantic love i s f r e q u e n t l y dismissed, researchers and c l i n i c i a n s f a i l t o acknowledge 7 i t s importance f o r Western s o c i e t y . Yet, i t i s the primary r a t i o n a l e f o r marriage. According t o Johnson (1983), Western s o c i e t y l i v e s w i t h the b e l i e f t h a t marriage can only be based on romantic l o v e . This i s c o n t r a r y t o other s o c i e t i e s which p r e f e r choice of m a r i t a l p a r t n e r t o be based on b i r t h , economics, r e l i g i o n or p o l i t i c s (Goode, 1959). Walster and Walster's study (1978) i n d i c a t e s 97% of Americans f a l l i n love at l e a s t once duri n g t h e i r l i f e t i m e s , and t h a t one i n three d i v o r c e (Weitzman, 1985). The high r a t e of f a m i l y breakdown, d i v o r c e and remarriage, suggests t h a t r e l a t i o n s h i p s based on romantic l o v e are doomed t o f a i l u r e . The c o s t of d i v o r c e t o s o c i e t y i s d e v a s t a t i n g , both i n economic terms and i n the p s y c h o l o g i c a l e f f e c t s on people. There i s a need, t h e r e f o r e , t o know more about a phenomenon t h a t has i n f l u e n c e on the a c t i o n s of a s o c i e t y ' s members. How then can t h i s knowledge be obtained? Love cannot be understood only i n terms of i t s behaviors, and the technology does not e x i s t t o measure the experience p h y s i o l o g i c a l l y . One way t o more f u l l y understand the phenomenon would be to place emphasis on what se t s i t apart from other human experiences (Pope, 1980). A complete i n v e s t i g a t i o n of the s u b j e c t i v e experience of love before, during, and a f t e r the r e l a t i o n s h i p has not p r e v i o u s l y been undertaken. This study w i l l attempt such an i n v e s t i g a t i o n . Common themes w i l l be explored i n the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the image of love i n popular c u l t u r e and the a c t u a l experiences and a t t i t u d e s of i n d i v i d u a l s . A 8 b e t t e r understanding of what i t means t o f a l l i n and out of l o v e may help i n d i v i d u a l s make sense of t h e i r experience (Pope, 1980). Furthermore, i n s i g h t i n t o the process might make i t p o s s i b l e t o p l a n t h e r a p e u t i c i n t e r v e n t i o n s f o r people i n t h i s s t a t e who are e x p e r i e n c i n g d i f f i c u l t i e s . Purpose of the Study E a r l y s c i e n t i f i c s t u d i e s on love concentrate on i n t e r p e r s o n a l a t t r a c t i o n t h a t can be d i r e c t l y observed, measured, and r e p l i c a t e d . Hess and P o l t (1960) s t u d i e d " p u p i l d i l a t i o n " as a measure of a t t r a c t i o n ; Newcomb (1965) " r e c i p r o c i t y of l i k i n g " ; Byrne (1971) " a t t i t u d e s i m i l a r i t y " ; and A r g y l e and Cook (1976) "frequency of glances". These s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s r e l i e d on q u e s t i o n n a i r e s , r a t i n g s c a l e s and p e r s o n a l i t y s t u d i e s . Concentration on p s y c h o s o c i a l and demographic c o r r e l a t e s of f a l l i n g i n and out of love leaves r e l a t i v e l y unexamined the matter of how l o v e r s experience the phenomenon (Pope, 1980). As a r e s u l t , some researchers ( G a y l i n , 1986; P r a x e d i , 1982; Tennov, 1980) have d i s c a r d e d the l a b o r a t o r y method i n favour of anecdotal r e p o r t s which focus on the s u b j e c t i v e world of the i n d i v i d u a l . D i f f e r e n t i n v e s t i g a t i v e techniques are r e q u i r e d . Pope (1980), i n h i s review of the methodologies f o r examining romantic l o v e , s t a t e s t h a t a "more complete e v a l u a t i o n of our notions about romantic love depends on the development of a wider v a r i e t y of i n v e s t i g a t i v e s t r a t e g i e s " (p. 329). 9 Farber (1977) concludes t h a t there i s a need f o r more d i v e r s e research techniques which d e s c r i b e the experience of romantic love i n a d u l t p o p u l a t i o n s . Despite the l i m i t a t i o n s of cu r r e n t e m p i r i c a l methods, there i s a h e s i t a t i o n t o adopt a q u a l i t a t i v e approach because of the l a c k of r i g o r o u s c o n t r o l . Many q u a l i t a t i v e approaches, however, are s u i t a b l e f o r the study of romantic l o v e . The e x i s t e n t i a l - p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l method i s p a r t i c u l a r l y a p p l i c a b l e t o the study of romantic l o v e because i t places emphasis on i t s meaning as understood from the i n n e r world of the i n d i v i d u a l (Solomon, 1981). This approach corresponds w i t h Ruben Fine's b e l i e f (1985) t h a t the researcher needs t o be in v o l v e d w i t h the research i n order t o giv e meaning t o the experience being explored. By asking i n d i v i d u a l s what the experience of romantic l o v e means t o them, the researcher gives c o n s i d e r a t i o n t o the i n d i v i d u a l ' s thoughts and f e e l i n g s (Branden, 1977; G a y l i n , 1986; Person, 1988). The researcher can then i s o l a t e " c l u s t e r s of themes" ( C o l a i z z i , 1978, p. 59) from the i n d i v i d u a l d e s c r i p t i o n s of romantic love and i d e n t i f y an e s s e n t i a l s t r u c t u r e of the love experience. Using the ex i s t e n t i a l - p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l approach, t h i s study w i l l attempt t o answer the question: What i s the meaning of romantic love? 10 D e f i n i t i o n s A s a t i s f a c t o r y d e f i n i t i o n of romantic love has so f a r eluded s c i e n t i f i c researchers (Sternberg & Grajek, 1984). Although there are s i m i l a r themes running through many d e f i n i t i o n s of romantic l o v e , i t i s not a c l e a r l y understood phenomenon (Pope, 1980). There i s co n s i d e r a b l e controversy over i t s meaning. At one extreme of a continuum, i t i s i d e n t i f i e d w i t h sexual impulses (Freud, 1963; James, 1950); at the other i t i s viewed as ephemeral (P r a x e d i , 1982). Romantic love i s described by one w r i t e r as an emotion t h a t i m p l i e s choice (Solomon, 1981) and by another as a f e e l i n g which occurs without choice (P e e l , 1978). Johnson (1985) views love as a mass phenomenon t h a t has supplanted r e l i g i o n i n man's search f o r meaning, w h i l e Tennov (1980) views love as having an aspect of madness. Love, i n i t s most negative d e f i n i t i o n s , i s a disease (Burton, 1963), an a d d i c t i o n (Peele & Brodsky, 1976), a neurosis (Askew, 1965), a fever and passing fancy (de Rougement, 1956), n a r c i s s i s m (Freud, 1957), and a f o l l y of the mind (Walster & Bersheid, 1971). Others have given love p o s i t i v e a t t r i b u t e s . Fromm (1957) i d e n t i f i e s i n love an i n t e n s i t y and enhanced v i t a l i t y t h a t r e s u l t s i n a productive o r i e n t a t i o n . Aberoni (1983) views lov e as enabling the i n d i v i d u a l t o transcend o n e s e l f . R i z l e y (1980) sees love as the breaking down of s o c i a l , economic, and p o l i t i c a l boundaries and Branden (1980) says 11 i t i s one of the great experiences and challenges of a l i f e t i m e . Branden and Branden (1987) d e f i n e l o v e as a "passionate s p i r i t u a l emotional-sexual attachment t h a t r e f l e c t s a high regard f o r the value of each other's person" (p. 2). Kephart (1973) s t r e s s e s p h y s i c a l a t t r a c t i o n and i d e a l i z a t i o n i n "a strong emotional involvement" (p. 92). Pope (1980) acknowledges both p o s i t i v e and negative aspects a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the phenomenon: A preoccupation w i t h another person. A deeply f e l t d e s i r e t o be w i t h a loved one. A f e e l i n g of incompleteness without him or her. Thinking of the loved one o f t e n , whether together or apart. Separation f r e q u e n t l y provokes f e e l i n g s of genuine d e s p a i r or e l s e t a n t a l i z i n g a n t i c i p a t i o n of r e u n i t i n g . Reunion i s seen as b r i n g i n g f e e l i n g s of euphoric ecstasy or peace and f u l f i l l m e n t . (p. 4) At t h i s point,, there does not e x i s t an exact d e f i n i t i o n of t h i s e x t r a o r d i n a r y human experience. In f a c t , as Person (1988) p o i n t s out, romantic love cannot be f u l l y communicated by any s i n g l e t h e o r e t i c a l viewpoint. However, i t may be p o s s i b l e t o develop a d e f i n i t i o n based on the meaning of romantic love t o i n d i v i d u a l s who have l i v e d the experienced. S i m i l a r i t i e s i n emotional content between i n d i v i d u a l experiences are l i k e l y t o emerge through dialogue. 12 CHAPTER I I : L i t e r a t u r e Review Understanding the mystery of love i s something one can reach f o r , but no d e f i n i t i o n of love i s going t o provide a d e f i n i t i v e answer. Nevertheless, the reader may f i n d i t i s worthwhile t o explore the su b j e c t i n a way t h a t i n i t i a t e s a process of i n q u i r y t h a t leads t o f u r t h e r q u e s t i o n i n g and i n t e r m i t t e n t understanding (McCready, 1981). The e x i s t e n t i a l - p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l approach t o research r e q u i r e s t h a t the researcher, as w e l l as the s u b j e c t ' s assumptions and preconceptions, both i m p l i c i t and e x p l i c i t , be made apparent so t h a t t h e i r impact on the f i n d i n g s w i l l be recognized. Furthermore, these preconceptions d e f i n e the manner i n which one approaches the s u b j e c t . One may begin t o understand romantic l o v e by examining the c u r r e n t models found i n p h i l o s o p h i c a l , p s y c h o l o g i c a l and popular forms i n our s o c i e t y . F o l l o w i n g i s a t a b l e of the v a r i o u s models of romantic l o v e . Each presents i t s e x p l a n a t i o n or romantic love and the i m p l i c a t i o n attached t o t h i s view. The assumptions of the model are d i s c u s s e d i n more d e t a i l at the end of each s e c t i o n . A c r i t i q u e of each model summarizes t h i s chapter. 13 Table 1 Models of Romantic Love and T h e i r R e l a t i o n Model C u l t u r a l Limerent Chemical A d d i c t i o n C l i n i c i a n s Psycho-s o c i a l D e f i n i t i o n of Romantic  Love Addressses emotional aspects according t o meanings s u p p l i e d by our Western C u l t u r e . A f e e l i n g s t a t e comprised of i t s own s e t of c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . A biochemical approach t o the love experience. A dependency need c h a r a c t e r i z e d by an i n d i v i d u a l ' s inner desperation. Sets f o r t h love as c e n t r a l t o an i n d i v i -dual's w e l l - b e i n g . This enables the c l i n i c i a n t o gain i n -s i g h t i n t o problems of l o v i n g I d e n t i f i e s love as s p e c i f i c observable c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s I m p l i c a t i o n s f o r t h i s D e f i n i t i o n Emphasizes romantic l o v e as s t r u c t u r e d by s o c i e t y . P o s t u l a t e s twelve emotional components t h a t occur w i t h i n the person. E x p l a i n s emotional attachments from a neuroscience and chemical framework. Presents romantic love as attachment hunger rooted i n child h o o d experiences of he l p l e s s n e s s . E x p l a i n s love from a t h e r a p i s t ' s viewpoint. Analyses concrete behaviors i n i n d i v i d u a l s t o f a c i l i t a t e under-standing of t h i s complex emotion. 14 THE CULTURAL MODEL This approach addresses the emotional aspects of romantic l o v e , and how i t has been defined by Western c u l t u r e . Robert Solomon, the l e a d i n g proponent of t h i s model, b e l i e v e s t h a t romantic love r e f l e c t s s o c i e t y (1981). Baron (1983) notes t h a t our l o v e emotions are shaped, molded and organized through meanings s u p p l i e d by our c u l t u r e . Western c u l t u r e teaches us how we are supposed t o f e e l when we are i n love and how t o i d e n t i f y love emotions. These thoughts are echoed by R i z l e y (1980) i n her a s s e r t i o n t h a t romantic love i s the c u l t u r a l expression of the environment i n which i t i s o r i g i n a l l y adaptive. According t o Solomon (1981), love i s an emotion surrounded by myths and metaphors p e c u l i a r t o the c u l t u r a l concept w i t h i n which the emotion e x i s t s . In h i s w r i t i n g s , he addresses the metaphors t h a t permeate our c u l t u r e and i n f l u e n c e our perceptions and views of romantic l o v e , and i t s accompanying emotions. In t r a c i n g the development of romantic lov e h i s t o r i c a l l y , Solomon (1981) has e l i c i t e d s e v e r a l p r e c o n d i t i o n s f o r i t s e x i s t e n c e . These are (a) an emphasis on the concept of i n d i v i d u a l i t y and (b) personal choice as the core of the mating and marriage r i t u a l . The c u l t u r a l pressures of western t r a d i t i o n c r e a t e a double bind f o r those who are aware of the f a n t a s i e s , yet acknowledge lon g i n g f o r the emotion. Tweedie (1979) s t a t e s t h i s b i n d s u c c i n c t l y , 15 we d i e of love and d i e without i t . . . l o v e , t r u e l o v e i s the r a r e s t of a l l emotions and one t h a t has been conspicuous by i t s absence s i n c e mankind dropped from the t r e e s , (p. 90) Solomon (1988) emphasizes t h a t l o v e i s an o r d i n a r y non-cosmic emotion t h a t i s not e s s e n t i a l t o the w e l l being of a l l i n d i v i d u a l s . Solomon f u r t h e r d e f i n e s romantic lov e as having an "innateness". Romantic l o v e , f o r Solomon, i s r e c i p r o c a l , sexual and i s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h a p a r t i c u l a r person, c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a shared i d e n t i t y . The "love emotion" perceived by Solomon has an i n t e l l i g e n t c o n s t r u c t i o n and i s s t r u c t u r e d by concepts and judgement which g i v e meaning t o the experience. Knapp (1963), however, notes t h a t the emotions may be so interwoven w i t h the other b e h a v i o r a l processes t h a t they cannot e a s i l y be s p l i t o f f i n t o a separate compartment. Knapp (1963) observes t h a t emotions are determined by the p r e v a i l i n g c u l t u r a l stereotypes, e a r l y learned p a t t e r n s and i n h e r i t e d d i f f e r e n c e s . Solomon (1981) d e t a i l s the metaphors s o c i e t y uses to d e s c r i b e the love experience and c r i t i c i z e s each f o r i t s f a i l u r e t o f u l l y e x p l a i n the emotional content. Yet these metaphors are the v e r b a l expressions of our emotional experiences w i t h i n a d e f i n e d c u l t u r a l context. The metaphors of love r e f l e c t the s o c i e t y i n which we l i v e . The words used t o d i s c u s s business, p o l i t i c s , r e l i g i o n , and communication are a l s o used t o d e s c r i b e l o v e . Solomon's (1081) twelve d i s t i n c t metaphors are as f o l l o w s : 16 a) The economic metaphor promotes love as an exchange, a sexual p a r t n e r s h i p , a t r a d e - o f f of i n t e r e s t s , concerns and e s p e c i a l l y of approval. The economic metaphor gives a d e t a i l e d account of the concrete motivations f o r l o v e . I t ignores, however, the experience of love (p. 17). b) The work metaphor views the love r e l a t i o n s h i p as a challenge. The r e l a t i o n s h i p s takes on a l i f e of i t s own as both partne r s "work" t o maintain the r e l a t i o n s h i p (p. 19). c) The dramatic metaphor i m p l i e s t h a t love i s a very s e r i o u s e n t e r p r i s e i n which each p a r t n e r has a def i n e d r o l e t o pl a y (p. 20). Solomon notes t h a t those who engage i n the dramatic model tend t o keep t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p i n the p u b l i c eye (p. 19). d) B a n a l i t y as metaphor r e f e r s t o the tendency t o d i s c u s s love i n terms of r e l a t i o n s h i p s and r e l a t i n g . This i s a throwback t o the l a t e s i x t i e s and e a r l y s e v e n t i e s when the emphasis on meeting one's own needs and expressing one's own needs was considered a key element i n r e l a t i o n s h i p s . Open d i s c u s s i o n s of lov e , work, anger, sex a l l came under the t o p i c known as " r e l a t i n g " (p. 20). e) The communications metaphor di s c u s s e s l o v e i n the e l e c t r o n i c terms t h a t permeate our language. For example, a love r e l a t i o n s h i p could be considered t o have good v i b r a t i o n s or the p a r t n e r s might 17 engage i n p o s i t i v e feedback t o one another. Love i t s e l f i s not expressed: the i n d i v i d u a l s communicate about love (p. 21). f) The poet, R i l k e , w r i t e s of love as "two s o l i t u d e s reaching out t o great each other." The n o t i o n of l o v e being a cure f o r one's l o n e l i n e s s i s a negative view of l o v e . Solomon f e e l s t h a t l o v e i s a p o s i t i v e experience which a r i s e s out of an already f u l l s o c i a l l i f e (p. 22). g) The metaphysical model of lo v e i m p l i e s t h a t love i s the r e a l i z a t i o n of bonds t h a t are a l r e a d y formed. This approach does not a l l o w f o r the development of a r e l a t i o n s h i p . I t assumes t h a t the love r e l a t i o n s h i p w i l l e x i s t i n f u l l upon the meeting of the two destined i n d i v i d u a l s (p. 24). h) In h i s b r i e f overview of love as a medical metaphor, Solomon r e f e r s t o Peele's work on lo v e a d d i c t i o n and Fromm's w r i t i n g s on the absence of love i n our c u l t u r e . D e f i n i n g love i n terms of a " s i c k n e s s " model denies the p o s i t i v e experience t h a t the emotion does provide (p. 25). i ) The a e s t h e t i c model i s s i m i l a r t o the i d e a l i z a t i o n of romantic l o v e . The emphasis i s on unrequited l o v e : admiring the beloved from a d i s t a n c e (p. 26) . j ) The c o n t r a c t model of love i s based on the n o t i o n of commitment and o b l i g a t i o n . Commitment i s 18 e s s e n t i a l t o the c o n t r a c t even though emotion i s not r e q u i r e d (p. 27) . k) Solomon discusses the b i o l o g i c a l metaphor of love n o t i n g t h a t love i s not an i n s t i n c t , but a p a r t i c u l a r a t t i t u d e toward sex and pair-bonding (p. 28). Solomon a l s o notes t h a t where sex and love come together i t i s i n the realm of expression s p e c i f i c t o a c u l t u r e which s p e c i f i e s the meaning of love and sex (p. 28). 1) Solomon supports the metaphor t h a t love i s an emotion. He queries the d e s c r i p t i o n s used t o des c r i b e the " f e e l i n g s " of love (p. 31). Solomon's concern i s w i t h how s o c i e t y a i d s or hinders the experience of romantic love. I t i s h i s o p i n i o n t h a t the myths and metaphors of love f a l l i n t o twelve c a t e g o r i e s . The value of romantic love and i t s b a s i s i s determined, t o some extent, by the researchers of romantic l o v e . Assumptions of the C u l t u r a l Model 1) Love i s an emotion. 2) Love i s i n f l u e n c e d by c u l t u r a l and s o c i e t a l e x p e c t a t i o n s . 3) T h e o r i s t s working w i t h t h i s model have d e f i n i t e assumptions which stem from t h e i r own c u l t u r e . 4) Love i n a c u l t u r a l context concerns i t s e l f w i t h the mating ( e x t e r n a l r i t u a l ) versus l o v i n g (the i n t e r n a l p rocess). 19 THE LIMERENT MODEL The l i m e r e n t approach t o romantic lov e holds t h a t limerence has i t s own d i s t i n c t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . T h i s s e c t i o n w i l l explore the nature of limerence and the experience of romantic love w i t h s p e c i a l emphasis on the work of Dorothy Tennov. In d e f i n i n g limerence, Tennov (1980) l i s t s twelve emotional components t h a t occur w i t h i n the l i m e r e n t i n d i v i d u a l . These are: 1) I n t r u s i v e t h i n k i n g about the o b j e c t of passionate d e s i r e (the li m e r e n t object or L.O.) who i s a p o s s i b l e sexual p a r t n e r (p. 23). 2) Acute lon g i n g f o r r e c i p r o c a t i o n (p. 23). 3) Dependency of mood on L.O.'s a c t i o n s o r, more a c c u r a t e l y , the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of L.O.'s a c t i o n s w i t h respect t o the p r o b a b i l i t y of r e c i p r o c a t i o n (p. 24). 4) I n a b i l i t y t o r e a c t l i m e r e n t l y t o more than one person at a time (exceptions t o t h i s occur only a f t e r limerence i s at low ebb - e a r l y on or i n the l a s t fading) (p. 24). 5) Some f l e e t i n g and t r a n s i e n t r e l i e f from unrequited l i m e r e n t passion through v i v i d imagination of a c t i o n by L . O . t h a t means r e c i p r o c a t i o n (p. 24). 6) Fear of r e j e c t i o n and sometime i n c a p a c i t a t i n g but always u n s e t t l i n g shyness i n L.O.'s presence, 20 e s p e c i a l l y i n the beginning and whenever u n c e r t a i n t y s t r i k e s (p. 24). 7) I n t e n s i f i c a t i o n through a d v e r s i t y (at l e a s t up t o a point) (p. 24) . 8) Acute s e n s i t i v i t y t o any act or thought or c o n d i t i o n t h a t can be i n t e r p r e t e d , and an e x t r a o r d i n a r y a b i l i t y t o devise or invent reasonable explanations f o r why the n e u t r a l i t y t h a t the d i s i n t e r e s t e d observer might see i s i n f a c t a s i g n of hidden passion i n the L.O. (p. 24). 9) An aching i n the heart (a r e g i o n i n the centre f r o n t of the chest) when u n c e r t a i n t y i s stro n g (p. 24) . 10) Buoyancy (a f e e l i n g of walking on a i r ) when r e c i p r o c a t i o n seemed evident (p. 24). 11) A general i n t e n s i t y of f e e l i n g t h a t leaves other concerns i n the background (p. 24). 12) A remarkable a b i l i t y t o emphasize what i s t r u l y admirable i n L.O. and t o avoid d w e l l i n g on the negative, even t o respond w i t h compassion f o r the negative and render i t e m o t i o n a l l y , i f not p e r c e p t u a l l y , i n t o another p o s i t i v e a t t r i b u t e (p. 24) . As a consequence of her i n t e r v i e w s w i t h l i m e r e n t s , Tennov (198 0) notes " t h a t limerence, r a t h e r than being an event, i s a process of thought, an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of events" (p. 18). 21 Limerence may begin as a b a r e l y p e r c e p t i b l e f e e l i n g of increased i n t e r e s t i n a p a r t i c u l a r person. "A new someone takes on a s p e c i a l meaning or an o l d f r i e n d i s seen i n a d i f f e r e n t l i g h t " (p. 17). This d i s t i n c t i v e moment which the French c a l l "coupe de foudre" (thunderbolt) when the eyes l o c k i n a tremulous gaze, " i s the beginning of a s t a t e ... u n l i k e anything e l s e t h a t has ever happened" (p. 19). Thoughts focus on the o b j e c t of d e s i r e (a c e r t a i n look, a s p e c i a l s m i l e ) . The fantasy l i f e of l i m e r e n t s o v e r r i d e s a l l other a c t i v i t i e s . R e c i p r o c a t i o n of f e e l i n g from the loved o b j e c t becomes the main goal and an e x t r a o r d i n a r y amount of time i s spent daydreaming about the love o b j e c t . This emotional s t a t e has i t s own s e t of c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s d i f f e r e n t i a t i n g i t from the other types of l o v e . P h y s i o l o g i c a l l y the person caught up i n a l i m e r e n t s t a t e experiences heart p a l p i t a t i o n s , t r e m b l i n g , p a l l o r , b l u s h i n g , and a general weakness i n the presence ( r e a l or imagined) of the loved one. The emotional and b e h a v i o r a l c o r r e l a t e s attached t o the process are: awkwardness, shyness, f e a r f u l n e s s , apprehension, nervousness, and a n x i e t y t h a t one's a c t i o n s may b r i n g about a negative change i n the l i m e r e n t o b j e c t ' s behavior. Tennov (1979) s t a t e s t h a t limerence w i t h a l l i t s j o y s and p a i n i s a p o s i t i v e experience t h a t a f f e c t s many people of both sexes over t h e i r l i f e t i m e . Tennov i s most emphatic t h a t l i m e r e n t s , as a group, are " f u l l y f u n c t i o n i n g , e m o t i o n a l l y s t a b l e , non-pathological members of s o c i e t y " (p. 22 89). She acknowledges, however, t h a t the nature of limerence i s such t h a t i t e c l i p s e s other r e l a t i o n s h i p s and can l e a d t o s e l f - i s o l a t i o n on the p a r t of the l i m e r e n t . Tennov considers sexual a t t r a c t i o n t o be an important aspect of limerence. However, she notes t h a t a n x i e t i e s and shyness experienced by the l i m e r e n t person i n the presence of the beloved may i n t e r f e r e w i t h sexual f u n c t i o n i n g . Limerence does not appear to be compatible w i t h the "immodest behaviors" t h a t a r i s e i n sexual s i t u a t i o n s (Tennov, 1980, p. 79). Other t h e o r i s t s have i d e n t i f i e d a s t a t e s i m i l a r t o Tennov's limerence, but they vary i n the value they p l a c e on the experience. E l l i s (1954), as a r e s u l t of h i s research on sexual mores, d i s d a i n s romantic love f o r i t s e x c l u s i v i t y , i r r a t i o n a l i t y , and i d e a l i z a t i o n of the beloved other. He notes t h a t romantic love tends t o c r e a t e an a r t i f i c i a l s i t u a t i o n : the beloved i s perceived as possessing c e r t a i n necessary c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . In r e a l i t y , according t o E l l i s , i t i s the r e l a t i o n s h i p t h a t r e q u i r e s these c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s i n order t o e x i s t and not the loved one. This p e c u l i a r i t y of romantic love - the i d e a l i z a t i o n f a c t o r and the need f o r m u t u a l i t y can c r i p p l e a budding r e l a t i o n s h i p . Stendhal (1975), i n h i s c o l l e c t i o n of essays, De  1'Amor, d e s c r i b e s passionate love as a c r y s t a l l i z a t i o n : an enhancement of the e x i s t i n g f e a t u r e s of the loved one. C r y s t a l l i z a t i o n d i f f e r s from i d e a l i z a t i o n i n t h a t the p e r c e p t i o n of d e f e c t s ceases t o be an impediment. 23 I d e a l i z a t i o n molds the image of the beloved t o f i t the needed conception of the i n d i v i d u a l . Peck (1978), i n The Road Less T r a v e l l e d , d e s c r i b e s romantic love as c r e a t i n g a f e e l i n g of oneness between two people. The loved one i s seen through a t i s s u e of i l l u s i o n . Johnson (1983), i n speaking of romantic l o v e , notes t h a t l i f e becomes in t e n s e , enormous w i t h bouyant f e e l i n g s and empty and f l a t without i t . Berscheid and Walster (1971) use the term passionate love t o d e s c r i b e limerence. The c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s which they a s s i g n t o t h i s emotional s t a t e are: i n t e n s i t y , absorption i n one person, tender as w e l l as sexual f e e l i n g s , e l a t i o n and p a i n , a n x i e t y and r e l i e f , a l t r u i s m and j e a l o u s y , p h y s i o l o g i c a l a r o u s a l and a l o n g i n g f o r complete f u l f i l l m e n t which can only be granted by the love o b j e c t . Assumptions of the Limerent Model 1) Limerence i s an e l e v a t e d s e n s a t i o n encompassing buoyancy of f e e l i n g s , acute l o n g i n g , and an aching of the heart. 2) Limerence i s an overwhelming f e e l i n g t h a t governs behaviour. 3) Limerence i s a normal experience. 4) Limerence i s time-bound to approximately two years. 24 THE CHEMICAL MODEL OF LOVE This approach i s based upon the view t h a t romantic l o v e i s a biochemical product o c c u r r i n g w i t h i n a s o c i a l , c u l t u r a l and b i o l o g i c a l context. This view overlaps w i t h the l i m e r e n t , emotional and a d d i c t i v e p e r s p e c t i v e s . L e i b o w i t z (1983) notes t h a t biochemical responses might be the b a s i s f o r i n t e n s i t y experienced by some i n d i v i d u a l s i n t h e i r emotional attachments. "A giddy high s i m i l a r t o an amphetamine boost i n v a r i a b l y accompanies the s t a t e of f a l l i n g i n l o v e " (p. 102). Research has d e f i n i t i v e l y shown t h a t a n e u r o l o g i c a l and chemical process u n d e r l i e s the v a r i o u s a c t i v i t i e s which have been found t o be a d d i c t i v e (Pargman & Baker, 1980; Peele, 1985; Weisz & Thompson, 1983) . I t has been noted t h a t people i n love have reduced l e v e l s of l a c t i c a c i d i n t h e i r blood, they are l e s s t i r e d , have higher l e v e l s of endorphins and, t h e r e f o r e , are more euphoric (Money, 1980). The love experience might be considered t o have two components: a f e e l i n g component and a b o d i l y a r o u s a l component. The p h y s i o l o g i c a l determinants or b o d i l y a r o u s a l created by the love emotions are f a s t b r e a t h i n g , f e e l i n g of euphoria, r a p i d p u l s e , compulsion t o t a l k and comfortable aggression (Fast & B e r n s t e i n , 1983). This s e t of responses i n a given s i t u a t i o n allows each i n d i v i d u a l t o f e e l i n a unique emotional s t a t e . Leibowitz (1983) provides a 25 d e t a i l e d d e f i n i t i o n of the f e e l i n g aspect of romantic l o v e and i n d i c a t e s t h a t these f e e l i n g s have a b i o l o g i c a l b a s i s : a) a sense of intense excitement (p. 88); b) great calm or g r e a t l y enforced w e l l - b e i n g i n the presence of the other (p. 88); c) a d e s i r e t o be w i t h , t o r e v e a l o n e s e l f t o , and t o be known and understood by the other (p. 88) ; d) a strong d e s i r e f o r sexual intimacy whether acted upon or not (p. 88); e) possessiveness i n regard t o a t t e n t i o n and a f f e c t i o n from the other (p. 88); f) a strong concern f o r the welfa r e of the other (p. 88); and, g) an element of i d e a l i z a t i o n which i n v o l v e s seeing the other as more a t t r a c t i v e , noble and i n t e l l i g e n t (p. 88). Studies i n d i c a t e t h a t extreme b i o l o g i c a l changes, whether induced through drugs or other heightened experiences, can lead t o pa t t e r n s or s t a t e s of e x h i l a r a t i o n (Milkman & Sunderwirth, 1983). Therefore, the b i o l o g i c a l p r i n c i p l e t h a t governs how drugs a f f e c t us a l s o a p p l i e s t o romance. C e r t a i n b r a i n neurotransmitters are i n v o l v e d and these neurotransmitters c r e a t e surges i n the b r a i n ' s chemical system upon meeting someone a t t r a c t i v e (Milkman & Sunderwirth, 1983). Hence, a d d i c t i o n can be d e f i n e d as s e l f - i n d u c e d changes i n the neurotransmitters of the b r a i n (Milkman & Sunderwirth, 1983). The pleasure centre i n the 26 l i m b i c area of the b r a i n i s s t i m u l a t e d by norepinephrine which i s t r i g g e r e d by the body upon encountering a pleasant memory, fantasy or experience. Leibowitz (1983) notes t h a t lov e and romance i s seen as the most powerful a c t i v a t i o n of the pleasure centre. Consequently, the romantic s t a t e has much i n common w i t h a drug-induced s t a t e ( L e i b o w i t z , 1983). In order t o maintain s t i m u l a t i o n of t h i s c e n t r e , i n d i v i d u a l s c o n t i n u o u s l y seek out romantic and rewarding experiences. Winarick (1985) considers the f a c t o r s i n v o l v e d i n the choice of a l o v e r t o be complex, unconscious, compulsive and almost u n c o n t r o l l a b l e . Fast and B e r n s t e i n (1983) l i n k the apocrine glands t o a per c e p t i o n of odors: t h i s same l i n k i s between s m e l l , emotion and sexual chemistry. The hypothalamus i s now regarded as t h a t p a r t of the b r a i n which enables us t o respond t o another's s u b l i m i n a l scent messages. Assumptions of the Chemical Model 1) Love has both a p s y c h o l o g i c a l and a p h y s i o l o g i c a l b a s i s . 2) Love can be c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a p h y s i c a l change manifested by observable symptoms. 3) Love i s e l i c i t e d by a s i g n i f i c a n t other ( r e a l or imagined). 4) The s i g n i f i c a n c e of love i s governed by b i o l o g i c a l determinants. 27 THE ADDICTION MODEL This s e c t i o n presents the l e a d i n g proponents of the a d d i c t i o n model and sets f o r t h the r e l a t i o n s h i p between romantic l o v e and a d d i c t i o n . Romantic love i s perceived as all-encompassing, a submerging of the s e l f w i t h the other. Peele & Brodsky (1975) w r i t e e x t e n s i v e l y on a d d i c t i v e behaviors c o v e r i n g medical research and bio-chemical aspects of a d d i c t i o n , as w e l l as the socio-economic c o n d i t i o n s t h a t can l e a d t o a d d i c t i o n . Love i s one of the many expressions of these behaviors. Peele (1975) r e d e f i n e d t h i s p a r t i c u l a r experience of love as a "dependency need" n o t i n g t h a t the i n t e n s i t y of the experience was f u e l e d by an in n e r desperation r a t h e r than a d e s i r e t o know the other. The i n d i v i d u a l who i s i n the g r i p of t h i s i ntense emotion goes t o great extremes t o ensure constancy of the pa r t n e r ' s r e c i p r o c a t i o n as w e l l as being dependent on the maintenance of the r e l a t i o n s h i p . Research i l l u s t r a t e s t h a t a d d i c t i o n a r i s e s not from substance abuse, but as a consequence of the i n d i v i d u a l ' s search f o r a c e r t a i n experience (Milkman & Sunderwirth, 1983). For example, s t u d i e s conducted w i t h Vietnam veterans (Zinberg, 1971), as w e l l as medical p a t i e n t s (Zinberg & Robertson, 1974) i n d i c a t e t h a t drug use was con f i n e d t o a s p e c i f i c s i t u a t i o n i n the i n d i v i d u a l ' s l i f e , and d i d not continue once the s i t u a t i o n had changed. When drug use continues, i t can be considered a d d i c t i v e . S i m i l a r l y , when 28 a r e l a t i o n s h i p takes on a c o n t r o l l i n g aspect i t a l s o assumes an a d d i c t i v e q u a l i t y . R u ssianoff (1956), i n her medical p r a c t i c e , notes t h a t women tend t o pursue marriage and f a m i l y t o the detriment of t h e i r own s e l f and car e e r development. In other words, even p r i o r t o the r e l a t i o n s h i p , the n o t i o n of marriage e x e r t s a c o n t r o l as t o how some women conduct t h e i r l i v e s and s t r u c t u r e t h e i r l i f e s t y l e . A d d i c t i o n i s perceived as having a s o c i o - c u l t u r a l base, i t s genesis being e a r l y childhood experiences w i t h i n the f a m i l i a l s e t t i n g (Diamond, 1989; Money, 1980; Peele, 1975). For example, n o n - r e s o l u t i o n of c o n f l i c t s around such i s s u e s as autonomy and dependency may be viewed as c o n t r i b u t i n g f a c t o r s i n adulthood t o a d d i c t i v e behaviors (Milkman & Sunderwirth, 1983; Peele, 1975; Saheebey, 1985). Peele (1975) notes the a d d i c t i v e experience i s assumed t o have f i v e b a s i c c r i t e r i a : 1) The experience absorbs a person's consciousness so as t o e r a d i c a t e a l l awareness of p a i n and a n x i e t y (p. 65). 2) The experience dominates the person's l i f e t o the extent t h a t the person i s unable t o d e r i v e s a t i s f a c t i o n from other involvements (p. 65). 3) The experience gives the person the f e e l i n g of power t h a t he/she i s i n c o n t r o l of the environment and t h a t he/she i s a worthwhile person (the 29 f e e l i n g of being out of c o n t r o l becomes the impetus t o continued involvement) (p. 65). 4) The experience ceases t o be p l e a s u r a b l e (p. 65). 5) The experience i s p r e d i c t a b l e - p r e d i c t a b i l i t y of the experience i s used t o f o r e s t a l l the a n x i e t y t h a t n o v e l t y and challenge of a new experience can creat e (Peele, 1983, p. 65). Peele (1975) presents three b a s i c premises which s p e c i f i c a l l y d e s c r i b e love and the a d d i c t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p : a) when a person's attachment t o a s e n s a t i o n , o b j e c t or another person i s such as t o l e s s e n h i s / h e r a p p r e c i a t i o n of and a b i l i t y t o deal w i t h other t h i n g s i n h i s / h e r environment (p. 56); or, b) i n him/her s e l f (p. 56); or, c) t h a t he/she becomes i n c r e a s i n g l y dependent on the experience as h i s / h e r only source of g r a t i f i c a t i o n (Peele, 1983, p. 56). Halpern (1982) gives the term "attachment hunger" t o t h i s p a r t i c u l a r type of lo v e . Attachment hunger, l i k e a d d i c t i v e behaviors, i s a product of childhood experiences and d i s p l a y s the f o l l o w i n g c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s : C o mpulsivity, panic i f loved one i s absent, withdrawal symptoms, a post-mourning p e r i o d which contains an element of l i b e r a t i o n , triumph, and accomplishment. (p. 5) The degree of love a d d i c t i o n experienced by an i n d i v i d u a l i s based on the degree of attachment hunger f e l t by t h a t person. Halpern (1982) notes t h a t the attachment i s 30 more inte n s e when the a t t r a c t i o n i s a l s o l i m e r e n t . Those i n d i v i d u a l s who do experience a limerence based a d d i c t i o n have a compelling need to connect w i t h and remain connected w i t h the i d e a l i z e d "other". Marcia (1975) concludes t h a t the phenomenon of t r a n s f e r e n c e i n connection w i t h romantic l o v e i s a l s o rooted i n those childhood experiences of h e l p l e s s n e s s and dependence. As love a d d i c t i o n permits the i n d i v i d u a l t o f e e l i n c o n t r o l of h i s / h e r environment, so t r a n s f e r e n c e enables the i n d i v i d u a l t o experience meaning, power and s a l v a t i o n . Transference ( S i l v e r b e r g , 1948) i n d i c a t e s a need t o e x e r t complete c o n t r o l over e x t e r n a l circumstances. One way t o achieve t h i s i s t o i n v e s t the other w i t h c e r t a i n q u a l i t i e s and power enabling the l o v e r t o r e l a t e o b j e c t i v e l y t o those aspects of s e l f w i t h which he i s unable t o i d e n t i f y . The g i v i n g over of o n e s e l f , or p a r t s of o n e s e l f , have been v a r i a b l y l a b e l e d t r a n s f e r e n c e / c o u n t e r - t r a n s f e r e n c e (Freud, 1914); displacement, p r o j e c t i o n and i d e n t i f i c a t i o n (Freud, 1955); p r o j e c t i o n p e r i l s and s t r i v i n g f o r s u p e r i o r i t y (Adler, 1963). Assumptions of the A d d i c t i o n Model 1) I f the i n d i v i d u a l ' s l i f e has l i t t l e meaning, love becomes the only source of g r a t i f i c a t i o n f o r t h a t i n d i v i d u a l . 31 2) This model has phases which are s i m i l a r i n d e s c r i p t i o n t o the li m e r e n t model such as acute l o n g i n g f o r the par t n e r and i d e a l i z a t i o n . 3) A d d i c t i v e love i s motivated by the l o v e r ' s own needs f o r s e c u r i t y . 4) Jealousy and possessiveness are c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of a d d i c t i v e l o v e . 5) The intense passion a s s o c i a t e d w i t h a d d i c t e d l o v e a r i s e s out of desperation. The r e l a t i o n s h i p i s used t o p r o t e c t the l o v e r s from a f r i g h t e n i n g world. 6) T h e o r i s t s working w i t h t h i s model view chi l d h o o d dependency needs and poor f a m i l y r e l a t i o n s h i p s as a cause f o r love problems. 7) Not a l l love i s a d d i c t i v e . This model i n d i c a t e s one v a r i a n t love could take. Romantic Love and the C l i n i c i a n s As an experience romantic love lends i t s e l f t o general c o n c e p t u a l i z i n g . T h e r a p i s t s have access t o numbers of people who w i l l i n g l y r e c a l l t h e i r most p r i v a t e experiences. Consequently, over a p e r i o d of time these moments c o l l e c t i v e l y a l l o w the c l i n i c i a n t o develop general concepts concerning a given experience. This chapter w i l l s e t f o r t h the concepts of Freud, Fromm, Maslow and Branden t h a t r e l a t e t o romantic l o v e . 32 Sigmund Freud Freud considered romantic love t o be a s u b l i m i n a l form of s e x u a l i t y . "Man having found by experience t h a t sexual l o v e a f f o r d e d him h i s g r e a t e s t g r a t i f i c a t i o n i t becomes a prototype of a l l happiness to him" (Freud, 1963, p. 69) Love was per c e i v e d as a sexual phenomenon and, t h e r e f o r e , an o u t l e t f o r sexual t e n s i o n . "Surplus sexual energy can be converted i n t o a number of t h i n g s , f e e l i n g s of tenderness and admiration which are components of romantic l o v e " (Freud, 1955, p. 112). In Reik's o p i n i o n (1941), Freud viewed love as a "washed out and anemic v e r s i o n of sex" (p. 20) . Freud (1983) a s s e r t s , on the one hand, t h a t romantic love could only be expressed by someone who has developed an ego i d e a l ( i s mature). On the other hand, he a s s e r t e d t h a t the l o v e o b j e c t i s a s u b s t i t u t e f o r our own u n a t t a i n e d ego i d e a l . " E a r l y f a m i l y i n f l u e n c e s e s t a b l i s h the b l u e p r i n t f o r a l l l a t e r l o v e s , romantic and otherwise" (Freud, 1955, p. I l l ) . The t a s k of adolescent development i s t o i n t e g r a t e sexual and a f f e c t i o n a t e f e e l i n g s and then t o be able t o d i r e c t these toward a unique other o u t s i d e the f a m i l y u n i t . During adolescence issues of childhood are opened up and i n t e g r a t e d i n t o consciousness. The s t a t e of being i n love connects the budding young a d u l t t o h i s past experiences. The "oneness" of the c h i l d w i t h the Mother i s l i n k e d t o the "oneness" of two l o v e r s . In the same manner t h a t a Mother 33 i s considered t o be able t o enter i n t o the c h i l d ' s emotional and p h y s i c a l s t a t e so t o l o v e r s are able t o put t h e i r egos aside and enter i n t o the emotional and p h y s i c a l s t a t e of the other (Mahler, 1968). Freud equates t h i s s t a t e of being i n love t o a hypnotic t r a n c e , n o t i n g t h a t t h e r e i s the same humble s u b j e c t i o n , the same compliance, the same absence of c r i t i c i s m and the same sapping of i n i t i a t i v e towards the h y p n o t i s t as towards the beloved (p. 114). Freud r e f e r s t o t h i s d i s s o l u t i o n of boundaries and defenses as the "oceanic s t a t e " . McCready (1981) d e f i n e s Freud's oceanic f e e l i n g s as an empathic connectedness t o others - a choosing t o empathize w i t h the s t r u g g l e of another person as i f i t were one's own. I f t h i s s t a t e i s pervasive (as i t i s i n some people), the emotional f i e l d s of the two l o v e r s may overlap to the extent t h a t each knows, f e e l s and t h i n k s f o r the other. One of the s a l i e n t f eatures of being i n love i s i d e a l i z a t i o n . The beloved i s s t y l i z e d i n t o a unique being. The q u a l i t i e s of the loved one are over-valued and u n c r i t i c a l l y accepted. Freud f e e l s t h a t l o v e i t s e l f i s an i r r a t i o n a l phenomenon ve r g i n g on the abnormal. He views l o v e as an investment of energy. As there i s only a c e r t a i n amount a v a i l a b l e , there w i l l be l e s s energy f o r o n e s e l f or one's c r e a t i v i t y (p. 91). The " l o v e " s t a t e f o r Freud i s an i l l u s i o n . As i l l u s i o n s d i s s i p a t e , l o v e r s tend t o d i s c o n t i n u e t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p s upon r e t u r n i n g t o r e a l i t y . 34 Assumptions of Freud 1) Not a l l people have the c a p a c i t y t o experience "oceanic" s t a t e s . 2) I d e a l i z a t i o n of the l o v e r heightens l o v e . 3) I l l u s i o n has an enhancing e f f e c t on l o v e . F a n t a s i e s , w i s h f u l t h i n k i n g and p o s s i b i l i t i e s f o r the f u t u r e may become " i l l u s i o n s " t h a t people hope f o r i n love (McCready, 1981). 4) Romantic love i s rooted i n the i n d i v i d u a l ' s e a r l y f a m i l i a l h i s t o r y . The f u s i o n of the c h i l d w i t h the mother i s l i n k e d w i t h the f u s i o n of two l o v e r s . E r i c h Fromm Love i s the concern f o r l i f e and the growth of t h a t which we lov e . (Fromm, 1956, p. 25) U n l i k e Freud (1963), who perceives love as d i m i n i s h i n g the c r e a t i v i t y of the i n d i v i d u a l , Fromm (1956) views love as having the p o t e n t i a l t o be a l l encompassing, p r o d u c t i v e , and growth-oriented. Mature love i s a m y s t i c a l , almost r e l i g i o u s experience. The transcendent s t a t u s of oneness w i t h the unive r s e and w i t h God are perceived as s i m i l a r t o the oneness achieved through union. I love from the essence of my being and experience the other person i n the essence of h i s or her being . . . we are 35 a l l p a r t of one, we are one . . . (pp. 44-45) The i n d i v i d u a l i n v o l v e d i n a r e l a t i o n s h i p based on mature love experiences love as r i c h and deeply s a t i s f y i n g . He s t r e s s e s t h a t i n d i v i d u a l s need t o achieve m a t u r i t y and independence before being capable of ex p e r i e n c i n g t r u e l o v e . True (mature) love i s defined by Fromm as a d e c i s i o n making a c t . Fromm (1956) i s most emphatic about the n e c e s s i t y of viewing the other without embellishment or i l l u s i o n . I n order f o r t h i s t o occur he b e l i e v e s t h a t i t i s very important "to know the other person as he e x i s t s o b j e c t i v e l y " (p. 28). In t h i s manner, Fromm's views of the other are s i m i l a r t o Freud's n o t i o n of the strong ego i d e a l as a p r e r e q u i s i t e f o r a mature r e l a t i o n s h i p . Fromm f e e l s t h a t many of the problems t h a t occur i n r e l a t i o n s h i p s are a consequence of i n d i v i d u a l s u n i t i n g t o meet t h e i r own unmet needs and without forethought. Fromm's (1956) d e f i n i t i o n of immature e r o t i c l o v e i s s i m i l a r t o Tennov's limerence: " E r o t i c love i s the c r a v i n g f o r complete f u s i o n w i t h one other person and by i t s very nature i s the most deceptive form of love there i s " (p. 42). Intimacy i s achieved s o l e l y through sexual contact. Yet on the b a s i s of t h i s sudden intimacy the beloved i s presumed t o be "known". The separateness of the i n d i v i d u a l , r a t h e r than being valued, i s viewed as a b a r r i e r t o be overcome through p h y s i c a l union. In those s i t u a t i o n s sexual d e s i r e i s seen o n l y as r e l i e f from p a i n f u l t e n s i o n and not an a c t of d i s c o v e r y through f u s i o n . E r o t i c love i s i l l u s o r y - the other i s " l i t t l e known" r a t h e r than known and the r e l a t i o n s h i p i s based on each i n d i v i d u a l s t r i v i n g t o evade c o n f r o n t a t i o n w i t h h i s / h e r own i n s e c u r i t i e s . In t h i s manner, i t i s s i m i l a r t o a d d i c t i v e l o v e where one or both l o v e r s have dependency needs t h a t can only be met through e x c l u s i v e union w i t h the other. Assumptions of Fromm 1) Love has both m y s t i c a l and r e l i g i o u s q u a l i t i e s . 2) For love t o t r a n s p i r e , i t i s important t o " o b j e c t i v e l y " know oneself and the other before "union" can occur. McCready (1981) notes t h a t knowing a person's inner nature through lov e i s what w r i t e r s are r e f e r r i n g t o when u s i n g expressions l i k e "union", "oneness", and "essence or what Shakespeare r e f e r r e d t o as "the marriage of t r u e minds" (p. 112). 3) Only through "union" can love transcend thought and reach the l o v e r ' s essence. 4) Love i s strengthening t o one's l i f e . In the a c t of g i v i n g and r e c e i v i n g j o y i s created. 5) True love can only be experienced by l o v e r s who are c o n s i d e r a t e , c a r i n g and r e s p e c t f u l of others. 37 Abraham Maslov Maslow (1968) notes t h a t most of the data a v a i l a b l e on r e l a t i o n s h i p s between men and women a r i s e s e i t h e r out of the l i t e r a t u r e or as a consequence of the c o l l e c t i v e s t u d i e s of v a r i o u s p s y c h o t h e r a p i s t s . The in f o r m a t i o n r e v e a l e d by c l i e n t s t o t h e i r t h e r a p i s t s , focuses on the d e s t r u c t i v e n e s s r a t h e r than the enhancing p o t e n t i a l of r e l a t i o n s h i p s . He p o i n t s out t h a t t h i s p a r t i c u l a r knowledge provides a d i s t o r t e d view of r e l a t i o n s h i p s and love i n ge n e r a l . Maslow b e l i e v e s t h a t i t i s important t o i l l u s t r a t e what romantic love and an open r e l a t i o n s h i p would be l i k e f o r the hea l t h y i n d i v i d u a l . He p o s t u l a t e s t h a t by l e a r n i n g about the peak experiences (of which one i s love) from healt h y s e l f -a c t u a l i z i n g i n d i v i d u a l s a balanced concept of love and r e l a t i o n s h i p s can be developed. According t o Maslow (1968), man contains w i t h i n him two f o r c e s : one t h a t i s r i s k - o r i e n t e d , spontaneous, expansive and d e l i g h t s i n e x p l o r i n g and manipulating the environment; and the other which f e a r s p a r e n t a l s e p a r a t i o n , r i s k s , and growth. The c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the healthy s e l f - a c t u a l i z e d human are: a) more e f f i c i e n t perceptions of r e a l i t y (p. 109); b) more openness t o experience (p. 109); c) i n t e g r a t i o n , wholeness and u n i t y of the person (p. 104) ; d) increased spontaneity (p. 107) 38 e) a r e a l s e l f w i t h a f i r m i d e n t i t y , autonomy and uniqueness (p. 106); f) increased o b j e c t i v i t y , detachment, and transcendence of s e l f (p. 114); g) recovery of c r e a t i v e n e s s (p. 108); h) a b i l i t y t o fuse concreteness and a b s t r a c t n e s s (p. 105) ; i ) democratic c h a r a c t e r s t r u c t u r e (p. 113); j ) a b i l i t y t o love (p. 113). Maslow (1968) d e f i n e s t h i s h e a l t h y i n d i v i d u a l as a s e l f - a c t u l i z e r . The s e l f - a c t u a l i z e r i s p e r c e p t i v e of r e a l i t y , a t t r a c t e d t o the unknown, t o l e r a t e s ambiguity, and accepts h i m s e l f and the u n a l t e r a b l e . He i s spontaneous, autonomous, and democratic. Within the s e l f - a c t u a l i z i n g i n d i v i d u a l d e s i r e and reason are i n harmony. An important aspect of s e l f - a c t u a l i z a t i o n i s a p a r t i c u l a r k i n d of c o g n i t i o n which Maslow (1968) p e r c e i v e s as b a s i c t o the healthy love r e l a t i o n s h i p . Love i n v o l v e s f a s c i n a t i o n w i t h the l o v e o b j e c t and seeing w i t h care . . . under c e r t a i n circumstances love i s more pe r c e p t i v e than non-love. (p. 78) Maslow d i v i d e d the love experience i n t o two c a t e g o r i e s : B-love and D-love. B-love stands f o r love of the Being of another person. I t i s u n s e l f i s h and i s experienced only by s e l f - a c t u a l i z e d human beings (p. 42). D-love stands f o r d e f i c i e n c y l o v e . I t i s s e l f i s h and i s experienced by l e s s mature i n d i v i d u a l s (p. 12). In the s t a t e of B-love the loved one r e c e i v e s t o t a l a t t e n t i o n . The B-lover can be more a c u t e l y and p e n e t r a t i n g l y p e r c e p t i v e . (Maslow, 1963, p. 73) This i s not the same possessive a t t e n t i o n t h a t the l i m e r e n t has towards h i s l o v e r , however, nor i s i t the c a s u a l glance of one person encountering another. The beloved i n t h i s s i t u a t i o n (as perceived by Maslow) i s c e n t r a l and the "ground" i s not imp o r t a n t l y perceived. I t i s as i f the f i g u r e i s i s o l a t e d f o r the time being from a l l e l s e as i f the percept had become f o r the moment the whole Being. (Maslow, 1963, p. 74) Maslow concludes t h a t the d i f f e r e n c e between B-love and D-love i s developmental i n nature, although he notes t h a t not everyone goes beyond the D-stage (p. 42). There are nine c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s t o the B-lover: a) B-lovers have the a b i l i t y t o love and be loved; b) B-lovers are more p e r c e p t i v e - they see the q u a l i t i e s and the flaws of t h e i r l o v e r s ; c) B-lovers are able t o accept the i n d i v i d u a l i t y , independence and achievement of l o v e r s without j e a l o u s y ; d) the c h i e f aspect of B-lover i s admi r a t i o n ; e) B-lovers have a strong sense of s e l f - i d e n t i t y ; 40 f) B-lovers do not f e e l the need t o impress but are able t o be f o r t h r i g h t about weakness and shortcomings; g) B-lovers enjoy s e n s u a l i t y and are f r e e t o express t h e i r s e x u a l i t y . At the same time, t h e r e i s not the o v e r r i d i n g need t o "perform" s e x u a l l y ; h) B-lovers are able t o empathize w i t h the needs of t h e i r loved ones; i ) B-lovers are able t o enjoy themselves i n t h e i r l o v i n g . The n o t i o n t h a t B-lovers only can t r u l y experience l o v e i s s i m i l a r t o Fromm's (1956) a s s e r t i o n t h a t "true l o v e " can only be experienced by mature (independent) i n d i v i d u a l s . The c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of D-love are dependency on the love o b j e c t , a n x i e t y , h o s t i l i t y due t o f e a r of r e j e c t i o n , s u s c e p t i b i l i t y t o j e a l o u s y , readiness, tendency t o be demanding and s e l f - c e n t r e d . Love hunger and dependency needs of D-love are s i m i l a r t o a d d i c t i o n . Assumptions of Maslow 1) Love i s i n t i m a t e l y connected t o s e l f -a c t u a l i z a t i o n . 2) C r e a t i v e love can r e s u l t i n a peak experience. 3) Peak love experiences make l i f e worthwhile. 4) Love has the p o t e n t i a l t o enable l o v e r s t o "see" one another i n a sense t h a t i s not p o s s i b l e w i t h non-love. 41 N a t h a n i e l Branden Branden (Branden, 1980; Branden & Devers, 1982) draws on h i s own personal experiences, those of h i s c l i e n t s , as w e l l as the a v a i l a b l e h i s t o r i c a l and s o c i o l o g i c a l data t o i l l u s t r a t e h i s theory of romantic l o v e . He d e f i n e s romantic love as a " p a s s i o n a t e - s p i r i t u a l - e m o t i o n a l - s e x u a l attachment between two people t h a t r e f l e c t s a high regard f o r the value of each other's s e l f (Branden, 1980, p. 5). Branden (1980) b e l i e v e s t h a t romantic lov e has been denigrated as a consequence of the impossible demands made upon the love r e l a t i o n s h i p by modern s o c i e t y ' s e x p e c t a t i o n s . He notes i n h i s book The Psychology of Romantic Love t h a t too much a t t e n t i o n has been pai d t o those who have experienced only negative r e l a t i o n s h i p s and too l i t t l e a t t e n t i o n t o those couples f o r whom romantic lov e i s a source of joy and contentment (p. 11). He suggests t h a t i n order t o acknowledge the importance and the value of romantic love i n our l i v e s we need t o r e t h i n k i t s meaning, i t s experience, what i t f u l f i l l s , and what c o n d i t i o n s i t r e q u i r e s t o continue (p. 33). Branden's views on romantic love correspond t o those of Fromm, Maslow and Solomon. S i m i l a r t o Fromm, who b e l i e v e s i t i s important t o have a strong ego i d e a l i n a r e l a t i o n s h i p , Branden s t a t e s t h a t l o v e r e q u i r e s personal m a t u r i t y and the attainment of a reasonably mature l e v e l of independence and s e l f -r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . 42 Various views h e l d by Branden (1980) are a product of the human p o t e n t i a l movement. The human p o t e n t i a l movement helped t o cre a t e a f r e s h i n t e l l e c t u a l c l i m a t e i n which t o approach the subject of romantic l o v e . (Branden, 1980, p. 53) In the same manner as the human p o t e n t i a l movement supports the growth and s e l f - a c t u a l i z a t i o n of the i n d i v i d u a l , so l o v e i s p e r c e i v e d as an e x q u i s i t e human opp o r t u n i t y , and unique pathway t o t h i s s e l f - a c t u a l i z a t i o n . Aspects of the human p o t e n t i a l movement c o n t r i b u t e t o the p e r c e p t i o n of romantic love as e g o i s t i c , i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c , and motivated by the d e s i r e f o r personal happiness. In l o o k i n g at couples w i t h heal t h y r e l a t i o n s h i p s t h a t have l a s t e d over a long p e r i o d of time, Branden (1980) notes the f o l l o w i n g c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s : a) tendency t o express love v e r b a l l y (p. 12); b) tend t o be p h y s i c a l l y a f f e c t i o n a t e (p. 12) ; c) tend t o express t h e i r love s e x u a l l y (p. 12); d) express a p p r e c i a t i o n and admiration (p. 13); e) p a r t i c i p a t e i n mutual s e l f - d i s c l o s u r e (p. 13); f) o f f e r each other an emotional support system (p. 13) ; g) express love m a t e r i a l l y (p. 13); h) accept demands and put up w i t h shortcomings (p. 13; i ) c r e a t e time t o be alone together (p. 13). 43 U n l i k e Freud who perceives passionate love as l i m i t i n g t o one's growth and c r e a t i v i t y , Branden (1980) b e l i e v e s t h a t our uniqueness and i n d i v i d u a l i t y are enhanced through romantic encounters. Branden a l s o comments t h a t romantic love could be and should be the b a s i s f o r marriage r a t h e r than a d i v e r s i o n o u t s i d e of marriage. Romantic l o v e , according t o Branden (1980), i s an emotional response t o t h a t which we value h i g h l y the commitment to a r e l a t i o n s h i p i s a source of s t a b i l i t y and s e c u r i t y . Branden notes t h a t the p s y c h o l o g i c a l needs s a t i s f i e d by romantic love have s u r v i v a l v alue. These are: a) human companionship; b) need t o l o v e ; c) need t o be loved; d) need to experience p s y c h o l o g i c a l v i s i b i l i t y ; e) need f o r sexual f u l f i l l m e n t ; f) need f o r emotional support system; g) need f o r s e l f awareness and d i s c o v e r y ; h) need to experience ourselves f u l l y as men or women; i ) need to share our excitement i n being a l i v e and t o enjoy and be nourished by the excitement of another Branden p e r c e i v e s these needs as being e s s e n t i a l t o the w e l l - b e i n g of a l l i n d i v i d u a l s and a v a i l a b l e t o those w i t h the wisdom and courage t o reach out t o t h e i r i d e a l s . 44 Assumptions of Branden 1) Passionate attachments between a man and a woman generates both ecstasy and s u f f e r i n g . 2) Sexual a t t r a c t i o n i s not r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of romantic l o v e . 3) Romantic love i s not omnipotent; y e t , i r r a t i o n a l and impossible demands are o f t e n made of i t . 4) To succeed i n a r e l a t i o n s h i p , romantic love needs the l o v e r s t o have good self-esteem. 5) Success i n love i s r e l a t e d t o p s y c h o l o g i c a l m a t u r i t y . S o c i a l S c i e n t i s t s and Romantic Love This chapter explores the ways i n which s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s have perceived, assessed and evaluated romantic l o v e and i t s attendant behaviors. The i n v e s t i g a t i o n of the "mysteries" of romantic l o v e through the a n a l y t i c l ens of the o b j e c t i v e researcher i s considered t o be a more recent path of enquiry. In the e a r l y years of the s o c i a l science s t u d i e s love was not examined because (a) i t was thought t h a t researchers c o u l d not penetrate the mystique of l o v e ; (b) i t was taboo t o study love and sex, and (c) researchers had not yet devised the necessary s c a l e s and measurements t o study i t (Berscheid & Walster, 1978). Over the past two decades the taboo receded and researchers developed an assortment of t e s t s , s c a l e s and 45 q u e s t i o n n a i r e s t o explore the phenomena of l o v e . As i n a l l s c i e n t i f i c research, the object t o be s t u d i e d r e q u i r e s an o p e r a t i o n a l d e f i n i t i o n - a d e f i n i t i o n t h a t can be broken down i n t o s m a l l e r u n i t s p e r m i t t i n g each u n i t t o be examined i n i s o l a t i o n from the t o t a l . The essence of romantic l o v e c o n s i s t s of three components: (a) a strong emotional attachment toward a person of the opposite sex; (b) the tendency t o t h i n k of t h i s person i n an i d e a l i z e d manner, and (c) a pronounced p h y s i c a l a t t r a c t i o n the f u l f i l l m e n t of which i s reckoned i n terms of touch (Kephart, 1973). Research has e l i c i t e d a member of v a r i a b l e s t h a t are perceiv e d as i n c r e a s i n g or decreasing one's l e v e l of l o v e . These are value s i m i l a r i t i e s (Curry & Kenny, 1970); p h y s i c a l a t t r a c t i v e n e s s (Aronson & Linden, 1965; Byrne & Nelson, 1965; Gerard & Mathewson, 1966; Insko & Wilson, 1974; Levinger, 1964); dependency (Rubin, 1970); p a r e n t a l i n t e r f e r e n c e ( D r i s c o l l , David & L i p e t z , 1972); self-esteem (Walster, 1965); emotion and b e l i e f (Schacter, 1964); s e l f -d i s c l o s u r e (Jourard, 1971); bonding (Kernberg, 1974; Mahler, 1968); r e c i p r o c a t i o n (Homans, 1961; Krebs, 1970); i n t e r n a l / e x t e r n a l locus of c o n t r o l (Dion & Dion, 1973) ; and s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n (Insko & Wilson, 1977; Munro & Adams, 1978) . The development, t r a n s a c t i o n and maintenance of love i s given d i f f e r e n t emphasis w i t h each d i v e r s e t h e o r e t i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e t h a t i s presented. The s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s d i s c u s s e d here have each formulated t h e i r own models or 46 t h e o r i e s t o e x p l a i n t h e i r p e r c e p t i o n of the occurrence of romantic l o v e . The reinforcement model of i n t e r p e r s o n a l a t t r a c t i o n a s s e r t s t h a t s t i m u l i can be i d e n t i f i e d as rewarding or pu n i s h i n g (Byrne & C l o r e , 1970). C e r t a i n behaviors occur t o encourage the r e p e t i t i o n of rewarding s t i m u l i , other behaviors occur i n order t o avoid punishing s t i m u l i . The Byrne-Clore model i s premised on the n o t i o n t h a t s t i m u l i which reward arouse p o s i t i v e f e e l i n g s and s t i m u l i which punish arouse negative f e e l i n g s . A c c o r d i n g l y , s i n c e a n e u t r a l s t i m u l u s acquires the same c a p a c i t y f o r arousing p o s i t i v e or negative f e e l i n g s as the reward or punishment s t i m u l u s , i t f o l l o w s t h a t i f the n e u t r a l s t i m u l u s i s a person he/she w i l l be l i k e d i f a s s o c i a t e d w i t h rewards and d i s l i k e d i f a s s o c i a t e d w i t h punishment (Berscheid & Walster, 1978; L o t t & L o t t , 1961). This p a r t i c u l a r model of i n t e r p e r s o n a l a t t r a c t i o n has been w e l l documented and supported by extensive e m p i r i c a l research (Byrne, 1961a; Byrne, 1961b; Byrne, 1971; Byrne & Buehler, 1955; Byrne & Close, 1970; Byrne & G r i f f i t h , 1966; Byrne & Nelson, 19 65). The model underscores the general theme of a l l t h e o r i e s on i n t e r p e r s o n a l a t t r a c t i o n : we l i k e those who reward us and d i s l i k e those who punish us. In romantic l o v e t h i s model could be used t o e x t r a p o l a t e on s t i m u l i t h a t encourages or discourages the pursued of a romantic l i a i s o n . 47 Tesser and Paulhus (1976) proposed a " c a u s a l " model of love r e l a t i o n s h i p s based on the f o l l o w i n g assumptions: (a) l o v e , and thought about the loved one a f f e c t one another; (b) the frequency of d a t i n g and love a f f e c t s each other, and (c) the frequency of d a t i n g a f f e c t s r e a l i t y c o n s t r a i n t s and can create negative f e e l i n g s (Smith, 1978). In developing t h i s model, T e s s l e r and Paulhus assume r e c i p r o c a l c a u s a t i o n among the v a r i a b l e s chosen when the same v a r i a b l e s could be i n f l u e n c e d by such r e i n f o r c i n g f a c t o r s as value s i m i l a r i t i e s (Curry & Kenny, 1974) and p h y s i c a l a t t r a c t i o n (Berscheid & Walster, 1974). There i s no b a s i s i n the research conducted t o i n d i c a t e t h a t the chosen v a r i a b l e s alone i n f l u e n c e each other. S o c i a l c o n s t r u c t i o n i s t theory proposes t h a t a l l emotions are the product of three e s s e n t i a l i n t e r a c t i n g f a c t o r s : (a) p h y s i o l o g i c a l a r o u s a l , (b) the s o c i a l context, and (c) c o g n i t i v e l a b e l i n g (Baron, 1983). This p a r t i c u l a r p e r s p e c t i v e holds t h a t the same p h y s i c a l sensations could be accorded divergent meanings i n d i f f e r e n t h i s t o r i c a l , c u l t u r a l or s o c i a l contexts ( A v e r i l l , 1980; Gordon, 1981; Hochschild, 1975a, 1975b, 1979; Katz, 1976, 1981; Schacter & Singer, 1962; Shott, 1979a, 1979b). S o c i a l c o n s t r u c t i o n i s t s , Berscheid and Walter (1978) propose a two component theory of romantic l o v e : body and mind. Western c u l t u r e , according t o Berscheid and Walters (1978), teaches not only t h a t love e x i s t s but a l s o when i t i s a p p r o p r i a t e t o f e e l love and when i t i s not app r o p r i a t e 48 (Berscheid & Walster, 1978). Any s i t u a t i o n i n which p h y s i o l o g i c a l a r o u s a l occurs can c o n t r i b u t e t o the i n d i v i d u a l ' s emotional s t a t e and be l a b e l l e d l o v e (Dutton & Aron, 1974; Walster & Berscheid, 1971). According t o t h i s reasoning, s i n c e both mind and body impact on emotions, we should be v u l n e r a b l e t o love anytime our i n c o n s i s t e n t ideas on l o v e combine t o t e l l us " t h i s may be l o v e " at the same time as we are p h y s i o l o g i c a l l y aroused - f o r whatever reason (Berscheid & Walster, 1978). The investment model/theory proposed by Rusbult (1980) has much i n common w i t h both exchange theory (Blau, 1967) and interdependence theory ( K e l l e y & Thibaut, 1978). Rubin (1973) notes t h a t i n the case of l o v e , the dual theme of what we can get and what we can gi v e remain c l o s e l y i n t e r t w i n e d . Both interdependence theory and exchange theory assume t h a t the r e l a t i o n s h i p between two i n d i v i d u a l s i s dependent upon the reward/cost r a t i o of spending time w i t h the person. The model i t s e l f i s designed t o p r e d i c t degree of commitment t o and s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h a v a r i e t y of forms of r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n c l u d i n g romantic love (Rusbult, 1980) w h i l e minimizing c o s t s . Research based on t h i s model suggests t h a t a r e l a t i o n s h i p ' s c o s t and value does p r e d i c t commitment i n f r i e n d s h i p s and business a s s o c i a t i o n s e x c l u s i v e of romantic l o v e . In order t o e x p l a i n love i n everyday l i f e , Sternberg (1986) developed a t r i a n g u l a r theory of love which d e l i n e a t e s three components of lov e : intimacy, p a s s i o n , and 49 decision/commitment. In the context of Sternberg's theory, intimacy r e f e r s t o f e e l i n g s of closeness, connectedness, and bondedness i n a l o v i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p ; passion r e f e r s t o romance, p h y s i c a l a t t r a c t i o n , sexual consummation and r e l a t e d phenomena i n l o v i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p s , and decision/commitment r e f e r s t o (a) the d e c i s i o n t h a t one loves another and (b) the commitment t o maintain t h a t l o v e . These components i n t e r a c t and combine w i t h each other t o formulate d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s of l o v e . Intimacy i s p e r c e i v e d as a consequence of emotional investment i n the r e l a t i o n s h i p , passion i s an outgrowth of m o t i v a t i o n a l involvement and decision/commitment d e r i v e s from a c o g n i t i v e d e c i s i o n t o commit to the r e l a t i o n s h i p . Research conducted by Sternberg shows t h a t the intimacy component may be experienced as an o v e r a l l f e e l i n g and t h a t t h i s p a r t i c u l a r component forms a common core i n a l l l o v i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p s . These o p e r a t i o n a l d e f i n i t i o n s of l o v e and the p a r i n g down of love t o d i s c r e t e , observable u n i t s of i n t e r a c t i o n as posed by s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s have encouraged the development of v a r i o u s s c a l e s and q u e s t i o n n a i r e s t o o b j e c t i v e l y measure lo v e . Rubin (1970, 1973) devised a love s c a l e and a l i k i n g s c a l e . These s c a l e s were o f f e r e d as s o l i d measures of romantic love d e s p i t e the statement of Rubin (1973) who averred t h a t researchers r a r e l y i s o l a t e love as a t o p i c of i n v e s t i g a t i o n . The three major components of Rubin's love s c a l e are (a) an a f f i l i a t i v e and dependent need, (b) a 50 p r e d i s p o s i t i o n t o help, and (c) e x c l u s i v e n e s s and a b s o r p t i o n . Further i n v e s t i g a t i o n of what the s c a l e measures i n d i c a t e s t h a t on the l i k i n g s c a l e i t may i n f a c t be admiration t h a t i s measured and on the love s c a l e perhaps the d e f i n i t i o n s are more appropriate t o compassionate l o v e r a t h e r than romantic love (Baron, 1983). Dion and Dion (1973) conducted a study designed t o measure the degree t o which some i n d i v i d u a l s ( c a l l e d e x t e r n a l s ) are s u s c e p t i b l e t o the c u l t u r a l myth of romantic l o v e . E x t e r n a l s tend t o be i n f l u e n c e d by t h e i r surrounding environment whereas i n t e r v a l s view events as being under t h e i r personal c o n t r o l . B a r d i s (1978) developed a measure c a l l e d the erotometer which i s designed t o measure heterosexual l o v e , t h a t i s , the love a person f e e l s towards another person. The erotometer, on f u r t h e r i n v e s t i g a t i o n , seems to measure l e v e l s of s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h i n a r e l a t i o n s h i p , r a i s i n g the question of i t s r e l i a b i l i t y f o r measuring romantic l o v e . Morais and Tan (1980) i n v e s t i g a t e d the male-female d i f f e r e n c e s towards conceptions of romantic l o v e . They asked both male and female students t o judge h y p o t h e t i c a l r o l e p a i r s along 28 r o l e d i f f e r e n t i a l s c a l e s . The d e f i n i n g f a c t o r s of the t e s t were growth and bond formation, respect f o r p a r t n e r s and independence, s i m i l a r i t y t o p a r t n e r , s u p e r f i c i a l i t y vs. depth, approach-avoidance and warmth without i d e a l i z a t i o n (Morais & Tan, 1980). Morais and Tan (1980) f e l t t h a t the completed study gave some support t o 51 the n o t i o n t h a t the content of romantic lov e r e l a t i o n s h i p s i s a f u n c t i o n of economic r o l e s . Assumptions of the S o c i a l S c i e n t i s t s 1) Love can be reduced t o d i s c r e t e u n i t s and measured. 2) One can evaluate one " f a c e t " of love behavior and draw conclusions concerning the " t o t a l i t y " of the l o v e experience. 3) Romantic love i s m u l t i - d i m e n s i o n a l and r e q u i r e s s e v e r a l i n d i c a t o r s t o adequately measure i t . 4) The q u a l i t y of the love experience i s determined by the i n t e r a c t i o n of intimacy, passion and commitment. C r i t i q u e There are v a r i o u s and d i v e r s e approaches t o romantic l o v e . The c r i t i q u e of these approaches focuses on two aspects of each model: (a) any i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s t h a t might e x i s t w i t h i n the model i n regard t o the meaning of romantic love and (b) c l a r i f i c a t i o n of the assumptions and t h e i r u n d e r l y i n g e x p e c t a t i o n s . The c u l t u r a l model of romantic love puts forward a p e r s p e c t i v e of purpose versus meaning. Myths and metaphors of love are perceived by Solomon as a weak s u b s t i t u t e f o r the emotional aspects of l o v e . However, Solomon's d i s c u s s i o n becomes c i r c u l a r as he a l s o r e s o r t s t o 52 v e r b a l i z a t i o n s such as "love i s grand", "love i s d i a l e c t i v e " , and "love i s s e l f - l o v e " i n order t o expound and e x p l a i n h i s b a s i c premise t h a t love i s an emotion. The li m e r e n t model i s considered t o be wholly e x p e r i e n t i a l . The limere n t c o n d i t i o n i s rooted i n the i n d i v i d u a l ' s emotional, p h y s i o l o g i c a l and f e e l i n g s t a t e . The l i m e r e n t i n d i v i d u a l seems t o be p a s s i o n a t e l y attached t o the idea of being i n lo v e . The weakness of t h i s model appears t o be t h a t the r e c i p i e n t of the l i m e r e n t ' s ardor i s merely a v e h i c l e f o r h i s / h e r passion. The chemical model seems t o provide the underpinnings f o r the l i m e r e n t viewpoint. I t perceives romantic lov e i n b i o l o g i c a l as w e l l as p h y s i c a l terms. I t s l i m i t a t i o n i s t h a t romantic l o v e , i n t h i s model, becomes merely a neur o t r a n s m i t t e r f o r the v a r i o u s b o d i l y r e a c t i o n s . The p h y s i o l o g i c a l responses created by love are not unique t o t h i s s t a t e but are due t o previous a c c u l t u r a t i o n . The a d d i c t i o n model, l i k e the chemical model, i s based on medical and biochemical research. A d d i c t i v e l o v e i s considered t o be ch e m i c a l l y based but r e t a i n s a number of s i m i l a r i t i e s t o limerence. Love i s viewed as one aspect of a d d i c t i v e behavior w i t h i n the model r a t h e r than being the t o t a l behavior. Love i s discussed i n d r u g - r e l a t e d terminology - the t h i r t e e n t h metaphor - a d d i c t i v e l o v e . The t h e r a p e u t i c model, represented by Freud, Fromm, Maslow and Branden, discusses the concept of love as i n f e r r e d from case s t u d i e s and personal s t o r i e s . Freud 53 a s s e r t s t h a t one l e a r n s how t o l o v e o r e x p e r i e n c e l o v e w i t h i n t h e f a m i l y s e t t i n g , whereas Fromm, Maslow and Branden see l o v e as e x p e r i e n c e d by t h e i n d i v i d u a l upon m a t u r i t y . White (1978), who b e l i e v e s Freud's p e r c e p t i o n o f l o v e i s l i m i t i n g , s p e c u l a t e s t h a t Freud's l o v e l i f e must have been l e s s t h a n i d e a l because Freud seemed t o l o s e h i s c r e a t i v i t y and energy when caught up i n an i n t e n s e r e l a t i o n s h i p . Fromm, Maslow and Branden p e r c e i v e l o v e as growth e n h a n c i n g . Fromm's d e s c r i p t i o n o f e r o t i c l o v e i s somewhat s i m i l a r t o t h e r o m a n t i c l o v e i d e a l i z e d i n l i t e r a t u r e whereas mature l o v e i s more symptomatic o f c o m p a s s i o n a t e l o v e . Mature l o v e r e q u i r e s knowledge and w i t h knowledge r o m a n t i c l o v e d i m i n i s h e s (Fromm, 1956). The t e ndency has been t o p e r c e i v e r o m a n t i c l o v e as p a s s i v e . One w a i t s t o be n o t i c e d by t h e b e l o v e d whereas t r u e l o v e o r mature l o v e i s an i n t e r a c t i v e p r o c e s s (Branden, 1969). W h i l e Fromm emphasizes knowledge as b e i n g c e n t r a l t o mature l o v e , t h i s knowledge i s not d e f i n e d . Fromm a l s o speaks o f l o v e as two b e i n g s who become one, and y e t r e m a i n two. He does not d e f i n e what f u s i o n o r oneness i s . Both Maslow and Branden equate r o m a n t i c l o v e w i t h c o m p a s s i o n a t e l o v e - an emotion t h a t can o n l y be e x p e r i e n c e d by t h e mature i n d i v i d u a l . The s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s p u r p o r t t o p r e s e n t an o b j e c t i v e assessment o f r o m a n t i c l o v e . However, t h e r e s u l t s h i n g e on t h e c r i t e r i a a p p l i e d t o r o m a n t i c l o v e . I n n e a r l y a l l s t u d i e s s a m p l i n g i s not random and t h e r e i s a t e n d e n c y t o 54 r e c r u i t through a c a p t i v e audience (students) and through s e l f - s e l e c t i o n . Furthermore, the research may not t e s t what i t has been designed t o t e s t or may use i n a p p r o p r i a t e data a n a l y s i s f o r r e s u l t s . The l i t e r a t u r e r e v e a l s s e v e r a l approaches t o d e f i n i n g l o v e , but l i t t l e work has been done on e x p l o r i n g i t s s u b j e c t i v e meaning t o the i n d i v i d u a l . An e x i s t e n t i a l - p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l approach, because i t takes i n t o account the meaning of the experience t o those who have l i v e d i t , should help us t o f i l l the gaps i n our understanding. The e x i s t e n t i a l - p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l approach w i l l be described more f u l l y i n Chapter 3 . CHAPTER III: Method A q u a l i t a t i v e approach t h a t i s w e l l s u i t e d t o the study of romantic l o v e i s existential-phenomenology because i t places i t s emphasis on the meaning of the experience as understood from the inner world of the i n d i v i d u a l (Solomon, 1981). Existential-phonemenology combines two f i e l d s of d i s c i p l i n e : (a) e x i s t e n t i a l , a philosophy "which seeks t o understand the human c o n d i t i o n as i t manifests i t s e l f i n our concrete l i v e d s i t u a t i o n " and (b) phenomenology, a method which a l l o w s us t o contact phenomena as we a c t u a l l y l i v e them out and experience them" ( V a l l e & King, 1978, pp. 6-7). In t h i s way, existential-phenomenology looks a t the s t r u c t u r e of human experience t o understand i t s essence ( V a l l e & King, 1978) . The r e l a t i o n s h i p between an i n d i v i d u a l and h i s world i s not one of cause and e f f e c t , where one can be c o n t r o l l e d t o determine i t s i n f l u e n c e on the other. Rather, i n d i v i d u a l s and t h e i r world are seen as an inseparable u n i t . T h i s concept of "lebenswelt" i s c e n t r a l t o e x i s t e n t i a l -phenomenology which seeks t o focus on the consciousness t h a t i n d i v i d u a l s have of t h e i r own experience ( G i o r g i , 1970; V a l l e & King, 1978) . This approach a l s o assumes t h a t although aspects of each i n d i v i d u a l experience may be unique, s i m i l a r i t i e s w i l l a l s o be apparent. Dialoguing w i t h s e v e r a l i n d i v i d u a l s who have l i v e d the experience i s expected t o r e v e a l p a t t e r n s or 56 " c l u s t e r s of themes" ( C o l a i z z i , 1978, p. 59) t h a t p o i n t t o a common u n d e r l y i n g s t r u c t u r e : "through d e s c r i p t i o n the p r e r e f l e c t i v e l i f e world i s brought t o the l e v e l of r e f l e c t i v e awareness where i t manifests i t s e l f as p s y c h o l o g i c a l meaning" ( V a l l e & King, 1978, p. 17). The sub j e c t s of existential-phenomenology, according t o C o l a i z z i (1978) c i t i n g F r e i r e (1970), are considered t o be co-researchers. Research s u b j e c t s are regarded as having equal s t a t u s and the exchange of inf o r m a t i o n i s coop e r a t i v e r a t h e r than c o n t r o l l e d by the researcher ( G i o r g i , 1970). Because one's biases a f f e c t the way i n which i n f o r m a t i o n i s i n t e r p r e t e d , researchers u s i n g the exi s t e n t i a l - p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l methodology must be a l e r t t o t h e i r own preconceptions and p r e s u p p o s i t i o n s . Yet romantic love i s so common an experience i n Western s o c i e t y and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of i t so pervasive t h a t a l l the d e s c r i p t i o n s as discussed i n the previous chapter are l i k e l y t o s t r i k e a chord. As C o l a i z z i (1978, p. 52) p o i n t s out, " o b j e c t i v i t y i s f i d e l i t y t o phenomena". The only reasonable way t o avoid c o l o u r i n g the experience of any co-researcher w i t h my own preconceptions i s t o t r u s t the " d i a l o g a l approach" ( C o l a i z z i , 1978, p. 69) and r i g o r o u s l y attend and be present t o the experience being r e l a t e d . For the e x i s t e n t i a l -phenomenologist, the source of in f o r m a t i o n l i e s w i t h i n the immediate experience of the i n d i v i d u a l ( B i e l a , 1985). 57 R o l e o f C o - R e s e a r c h e r s I s e l e c t e d my c o - r e s e a r c h e r s by t a l k i n g w i t h f r i e n d s and a c q u a i n t a n c e s about r o m a n t i c l o v e . I spoke w i t h s i x i n d i v i d u a l s who were a b l e t o a r t i c u l a t e ( i n E n g l i s h ) a p a s t r o m a n t i c l o v e e x p e r i e n c e . D i s t a n c e from t h e l o v e e x p e r i e n c e i s an i m p o r t a n t c r i t e r i a as i t a l l o w s f o r t h e b e f o r e , m i d d l e and end phases o f t h e s t o r y t o u n f o l d . The r o m a n t i c l o v e e x p e r i e n c e i s t h e n d e s c r i b e d i n f u l l . As r e s e a r c h e r , I c r e a t e d an environment o f c o m f o r t e n a b l i n g each c o -r e s e a r c h e r t o f r e e l y e l a b o r a t e on h i s o r h e r e x p e r i e n c e . The i n t e r v i e w s were r e c o r d e d and t r a n s c r i b e d . I t h e n a n a l y z e d t h e t r a n s c r i p t s f o r common themes. An e x h a u s t i v e d e s c r i p t i o n and e s s e n t i a l s t r u c t u r e was w r i t t e n based on t h e s e themes. The themes, t h e e x h a u s t i v e d e s c r i p t i o n and t h e e s s e n t i a l s t r u c t u r e were g i v e n t o t h e c o - r e s e a r c h e r s f o r v e r i f i c a t i o n . Those changes recommended by t h e c o -r e s e a r c h e r s were i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o t h e r e s u l t s . Demographic I n f o r m a t i o n The demographic i n f o r m a t i o n p r e s e n t e d h e r e was e l i c i t e d from each c o - r e s e a r c h e r a f t e r t h e i n t e r v i e w s were c o m p l e t e d . Two males and f i v e f e m ales were i n t e r v i e w e d . A t t h e t i m e o f t h e i n t e r v i e w s , t h e i r ages were 30, 40, 44, 48, 50 and 53. One o f t h e c o - r e s e a r c h e r s was American and f i v e were Canadian. T h e i r e t h n i c backgrounds i n c l u d e d E n g l i s h , t h i r d g e n e r a t i o n A m e r i c a n , J e w i s h and R u s s i a n . The c o - r e s e a r c h e r s d e s c r i b e d t h e i r s o c i o - e c o n o m i c s t a t u s as e i t h e r " m i d d l e 58 c l a s s " o r "upper m i d d l e c l a s s " . T h e i r o c c u p a t i o n s were a c c o u n t a n t , b u s i n e s s woman, p s y c h o l o g i s t , t h e r a p i s t , s t u d e n t and cameraman. P h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l I n t e r v i e w There were two i n t e r v i e w s w i t h each o f t h e c o -r e s e a r c h e r s . Each i n t e r v i e w l a s t e d a p p r o x i m a t e l y one hour and o c c u r r e d o v e r a p e r i o d o f f i v e months. The f i r s t i n t e r v i e w i n v o l v e d t h e c o - r e s e a r c h e r d e s c r i b i n g t o t h e r e s e a r c h e r h i s o r h e r e x p e r i e n c e o f r o m a n t i c l o v e . P r i o r t o t h e i n t e r v i e w , a t e l e p h o n e c a l l was made t o each c o - r e s e a r c h e r t o s e t up an appointment and t o d e s c r i b e t h e f o r m a t o f t h e i n t e r v i e w . A l e t t e r o f c o n s e n t was t h e n m a i l e d t o t h e c o - r e s e a r c h e r s (Appendix A ) . B e f o r e each i n t e r v i e w I d i s c u s s e d t h e n a t u r e o f my r e s e a r c h t o p u t t h e c o - r e s e a r c h e r a t ease and t o e s t a b l i s h t r u s t . The i n t e r v i e w s were u n s t r u c t u r e d . Open-ended q u e s t i o n s were asked t o e n a b l e t h e i n d i v i d u a l t o r e f l e c t upon and d e s c r i b e h i s o r h e r e x p e r i e n c e more f u l l y . I opened t h e i n t e r v i e w by a s k i n g t h e c o - r e s e a r c h e r s t o r e c a l l i n as much d e t a i l as p o s s i b l e what was happening i n t h e i r l i f e b e f o r e , d u r i n g , and a f t e r t h e y met t h e i r r o m a n t i c l o v e p a r t n e r . They were asked t o d e s c r i b e t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e as i f t h e y were t e l l i n g a s t o r y . I n a d d i t i o n , d u r i n g f i r s t i n t e r v i e w s , t h e f o l l o w i n g q u e s t i o n s were asked i f t h e y were not answered i n t h e d e s c r i p t i o n : 59 1. I s t h e r e a p a r t o f t h e e x p e r i e n c e t h a t s t o o d o ut f o r you? 2. I n what way was t h i s l o v e e x p e r i e n c e d i f f e r e n t from o t h e r l o v e e x p e r i e n c e s ? 3. How do you f e e l about t h i s e x p e r i e n c e now? 4. What d i d you l e a r n about y o u r s e l f ? 5 . Has t h i s e x p e r i e n c e had an e f f e c t on f u t u r e r e l a t i o n s h i p s ? I t was i m p o r t a n t t o me t o be f u l l y a t t e n t i v e t o t h e p e r s o n d u r i n g t h e i n t e r v i e w . I responded t o t h e c o -r e s e a r c h e r s by r e f l e c t i n g t h e i r own words whenever p o s s i b l e . Q u e s t i o n s such as "Can you e l a b o r a t e on t h a t ? " , "What was happening f o r you a t t h a t t i m e ? " , and " T e l l me more about t h a t ? " h e l p e d t o s t i m u l a t e d i a l o g u e . The i n t e r v i e w s were t a p e - r e c o r d e d and t r a n s c r i b e d . F o r t h e second i n t e r v i e w I r e t u r n e d t o each c o -r e s e a r c h e r w i t h t h e t r a n s c r i b e d i n t e r v i e w ( p r o t o c o l ) o f t h e i r r o m a n t i c l o v e e x p e r i e n c e , t h e themes, t h e e x h a u s t i v e d e s c r i p t i o n and t h e e s s e n t i a l s t r u c t u r e f o r v a l i d a t i o n . The second s e t o f v a l i d a t i n g i n t e r v i e w s were n o t t a p e - r e c o r d e d b u t d e t a i l e d n o t e s were t a k e n r e g a r d i n g any changes t o t h e themes, e x h a u s t i v e d e s c r i p t i o n o r e s s e n t i a l s t r u c t u r e . C o p i e s o f a l l t r a n s c r i p t s a r e p r e s e n t e d i n Appendix B. I n t h e s e p r o t o c o l s , names and l o c a t i o n s a r e i d e n t i f i e d by s i n g l e l e t t e r s o r a l t e r n a t e p l a c e names f o r c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y . 60 A n a l y s i s of P r o t o c o l s The p r o t o c o l s were i n t e r p r e t e d phenomenologically u s i n g d e s c r i p t i v e methods o u t l i n e d by C o l a i z z i (1978). Each p r o t o c o l was read many times i n order t o more f u l l y understand the co-researcher's experience and be aware of the nuances of the experience. The next step i n i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i n v o l v e d e x t r a c t i n g s p e c i f i c phrases from the t r a n s c r i p t s t h a t were d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d t o the experience. Each key phrase was w r i t t e n on an index card w i t h the i n i t i a l of the co-researcher f o r i d e n t i f i c a t i o n . In those statements where the meaning was c l e a r , I was able t o d i r e c t l y quote the co-researcher. For example, A mentioned t h a t " i t was i f I d i d n ' t have c o n t r o l , i t f e l t l i k e I was being hypnotized." She was d e s c r i b i n g e x p l i c i t l y her f e e l i n g s of being out of c o n t r o l i n the r e l a t i o n s h i p . U desc r i b e d her l a c k of c o n t r o l as "being out of my mind". In some cases, "the researcher must go beyond what i s given i n the o r i g i n a l data and at the same time stay w i t h i t " ( V a l l e & King, 1978, p. 59). For R h i s l o v e r ' s a b i l i t y t o "speak" h i s mind i m p l i e d t h a t he f e l t understood at a deep l e v e l . Each theme t h a t represented the s p e c i f i c phase was w r i t t e n on an index card. The cards w i t h s i m i l a r themes were f i l e d together. Themes were c l u s t e r e d according t o whether they occurred before, d u r i n g , or a f t e r the experience. The p r o t o c o l s were re-read i n order t o ensure I had not deviated from the experience or missed any themes. 61 A l i s t of the themes wi t h accompanying d e s c r i p t i o n s was then made. These themes were w r i t t e n i n t o an exhaustive d e s c r i p t i o n of the romantic love experience. The exhaustive d e s c r i p t i o n was then condensed i n t o the e s s e n t i a l s t r u c t u r e . In the second i n t e r v i e w , I gave each co-researcher the p r o t o c o l s , the themes, the exhaustive d e s c r i p t i o n and the e s s e n t i a l s t r u c t u r e f o r v e r i f i c a t i o n . The f o l l o w i n g questions were then asked: 1. Was anything d i s t o r t e d or l e f t out? 2. I s there something you would l i k e t o add? 3. I s there anything you wish t o c l a r i f y ? The o r i g i n a l themes, exhaustive d e s c r i p t i o n and e s s e n t i a l s t r u c t u r e were re-adjusted t o accommodate the changes. The co-researchers v a l i d a t e d these changes. 62 CHAPTER IV: R e s u l t s E x p l i c a t i o n of Themes Twenty-two themes e v o l v e d o u t o f t h e s i x t r a n s c r i p t s . Each theme s i g n i f i e s one a s p e c t o f t h e r o m a n t i c l o v e e x p e r i e n c e . As much as p o s s i b l e themes were formed on t h e b a s i s o f quotes from t h e c o - r e s e a r c h e r s . F o r example, theme 11, o n e n e s s / f u s i o n were t h e words used by c o - r e s e a r c h e r s t o a r t i c u l a t e an a s p e c t o f t h e e x p e r i e n c e . B d e s c r i b e d h i s "abandonment t o t h a t f u s i o n " . M spoke o f b e i n g " a t one" w i t h h e r l o v e r . I n i t i a l l y , some o f t h e themes appeared t o r e s t a t e and r e i n f o r c e each o t h e r . F o r example (Theme 4 ) , I n t i m a t e g l a n c e , and (Theme 5) I n s t a n t b o n d i n g , appear somewhat s i m i l a r on f i r s t r e a d i n g . However, t h e g l a n c e t a k e s p l a c e on a p h y s i c a l l e v e l whereas t h e b o n d i n g o c c u r s on an e m o t i o n a l l e v e l s u p p o r t i n g t h e f a c t t h a t each o f t h e s e e x p e r i e n c e s r e q u i r e s i t s own theme. On r e - r e a d i n g t h e p r o t o c o l s , t h e n o t i o n o f o b s t a c l e s seemed t o be c o n n e c t e d t o , o r based upon, t h e e m o t i o n a l s w ings e x p e r i e n c e d by t h e c o - r e s e a r c h e r s . These were combined and r e t i t l e d E m o t i o n a l extremes (Theme 1 6 ) , w h i c h more c l e a r l y r e p r e s e n t e d t h e e m o t i o n a l seesaw t h e c o -r e s e a r c h e r s seemed t o e x p e r i e n c e . The c o - r e s e a r c h e r s were g i v e n t h e 22 themes t o r e a d a t t h e second i n t e r v i e w . Even though a l l t h e themes were v a l i d a t e d by t h e c o - r e s e a r c h e r s , two i n d i v i d u a l s q u e r i e d t h e 63 theme I n c o m p l e t e n e s s . U acknowledged e x p e r i e n c i n g a l a c k and d e s c r i b e d t h i s l a c k as b e i n g " u n f u l f i l l e d " i n a d d i t i o n t o b e i n g i n c o m p l e t e . M f e l t t h a t i t i s "more t r a n s c e n d e n t , n o t j u s t l i k e a p i e c e m i s s i n g and now I f e e l whole". These changes were i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o t h e theme I n c o m p l e t e n e s s . One theme, R e a d i n e s s , was r e i n f o r c e d w i t h comments such as " t h e r e r e a l l y i s a c e r t a i n e m o t i o n a l and m e n t a l p r e d i s p o s i t i o n f o r t h i s - a r e a d i n e s s " . I n t h e e x h a u s t i v e d e s c r i p t i o n , R wanted t o change t h e word " h a n d l e " t o t h e word " g e n e r a t e " , when d i s c u s s i n g e n t e r i n g a n o t h e r r e l a t i o n s h i p because he was n o t w i l l i n g t o r i s k t h e p r e l i m i n a r y s t e p s n e c e s s a r y t o s t a r t a r e l a t i o n s h i p . A f t e r r e a d i n g t h e e s s e n t i a l s t r u c t u r e , B o b j e c t e d t o t h e word " i n j e c t " . He f e l t t h a t r a t h e r t h a n f u s i o n , c o n n e c t e d n e s s and u n d e r s t a n d i n g a p p e a r i n g t o " i n j e c t " a d i m e n s i o n o f s p i r i t u a l i t y , t h e y a r e "as one" w i t h s p i r i t u a l i t y and n o t s e p a r a t e e n t i t i e s . The themes a r e l i s t e d a c c o r d i n g t o t h e i r o c c u r r e n c e b e f o r e , d u r i n g , and a f t e r t h e e x p e r i e n c e . They seem t o f o l l o w one a f t e r a n o t h e r i n o r d e r . A l t h o u g h t h e themes t e n d t o f a l l w i t h i n one o f t h e t h r e e phases, t h e o r d e r o f t h e themes w i t h i n each phase was not s t a t i c . The l i n e a r s t r u c t u r e o f language i n h i b i t s t h e d e s c r i p t i o n . Some c o -r e s e a r c h e r s e x p e r i e n c e d t h e themes s i m u l t a n e o u s l y , whereas o t h e r s e x p e r i e n c e d them d i f f e r e n t l y . Each c o n t r i b u t e s t o t h e o v e r a l l e x p e r i e n c e . W i t h i n t h i s s t u d y , e v e r y theme i s 64 teased out and described. As C l a s p e l l (1984, p. 88) noted, the themes are "t e m p o r a r i l y suspended" i n order t o " s i n g l e out and focus" on t h e i r meaning. The exhaustive d e s c r i p t i o n and the e s s e n t i a l s t r u c t u r e which are presented f u r t h e r i n the chapter draw the themes together and c l a r i f y the experience. 65 Themes I n i t i a l phase 1 Incompleteness: As the i n - l o v e f e e l i n g s commence, people experience a c o n v i c t i o n t h a t something has been mi s s i n g from t h e i r l i v e s . They r e a l i z e t h a t they were p r e v i o u s l y incomplete and i n some cases u n f u l f i l l e d . Some experience incompleteness before they meet the person whereas others do not. However, f o r those i n d i v i d u a l s , the f e e l i n g of wholeness and completeness i s so overwhelming a f t e r meeting t h e i r p a r t n e r s t h a t , i n r e t r o s p e c t , they wonder whether they were i n f a c t complete. R e f l e c t i n g back on 18 years of marriage, A. says, "and I t h i n k I must have known t h a t i t was missing a l l the time." M. expressed s u r p r i s e at f e e l i n g a l a c k . She described h e r s e l f as having a good s o c i a l l i f e and not mi s s i n g anything. " I wouldn't say I was l a c k i n g anything." But a f t e r meeting her l o v e r , she " f e l t t h a t [her] world had never been...that [she] must have been g r e a t l y l a c k i n g something." 2. Readiness: Experience of the i n - l o v e s t a t e i s preceded by an a t t i t u d e of a c t i v e searching and a readiness f o r change. People are r e c e p t i v e e m o t i o n a l l y and mentally to the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n t h a t w i l l take p l a c e . S e l f -r e a l i z a t i o n f o s t e r e d readiness f o r A., who had begun t o 66 see h e r s e l f d i f f e r e n t l y , " i n a way t h a t I'd always dreamed about seeing myself." The need f o r passion i n h i s l i f e was the impetus f o r B. His w i f e had r e c e n t l y l e f t him, and he was unhappy i n h i s present r e l a t i o n s h i p . When E. entered h i s l i f e he was ready f o r a romantic involvement. For U. and f o r N., there was a r e s t l e s s n e s s and a lon g i n g f o r more than t h e i r marriages provided. 3 . Sense of a t t r a c t i o n : People are drawn towards t h e i r l o v e because of some s p e c i a l a t t r i b u t e ( s ) of t h e i r l o v e r . I t can be e i t h e r i n a p h y s i c a l or i n a mental sense. This engages t h e i r a t t e n t i o n and abets the i n -love process. For U. i t was her l o v e r ' s p r o f e s s i o n and h i s v o i c e : " I heard h i s v o i c e and I heard him speak, and t h a t was a r e a l seduction i n i t s e l f . " For N. i t was her l o v e r ' s l o o k s — " H e was such a gorgeous man"—in combination w i t h i n t e l l e c t and h i s p r o f e s s i o n . For B., e t h n i c i t y i s important. Jewish people have been " i n f l u e n t i a l " i n h i s l i f e . He f i n d s a t t r a c t i v e h i s l o v e r ' s confidence and outspokenness, c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s he a s s o c i a t e s w i t h her Jewishness. R. was f a s c i n a t e d by h i s l o v e r ' s " i n s i g h t , " her i n t u i t i o n , and her a b i l i t y t o speak [ h i s ] mind, l i k e [he] d i d n ' t know [ h i s ] mind." 4. Intimate glance: Intense emotion i s experienced by gazing i n t o the l o v e r ' s eyes. An enchanting moment i s captured i n time. The eyes l o c k i n an exchange of 67 acknowledged intimacy t h a t o f f e r s access i n t o the l o v e r ' s s e l v e s . The look i s an interchange of i n f o r m a t i o n t h a t can say " I want you" or " I know you." U. s a i d she experienced d e s i r e emanating from her l o v e r s ' look: "He r e a l l y s o r t of devoured me w i t h h i s eyes." N. described i t as f o l l o w s : " I couldn't take my eyes o f f him, he couldn't take h i s eyes o f f me...Both of us knew t h a t e v e n t u a l l y we would have an a f f a i r . " For M., on the other hand, i t was more a sense of being "known": "His eyes looked l i k e he could see r i g h t through me." 5 . I n s t a n t bonding: Although s i m i l a r t o " i n t i m a t e glance" and o c c u r r i n g o f t e n simultaneously, " i n s t a n t bonding" deserves a separate category. The f e e l i n g s t h a t surround and u n d e r l i e i n s t a n t bonding are s e v e r a l . There i s a sense of connectedness, p h y s i c a l d e s i r e , yearning and neediness. These emotions occur i n concert "immediately". For example, M. noted t h a t " i t was i n s t a n t . . . I had never had t h a t happen t o me before." In a s i m i l a r manner N. s a i d , " I was r e a l l y almost speechless." She opened the door and saw t h i s man standing there. "We j u s t stood there l o o k i n g at each other without r e a l i z i n g t h a t there were people t h e r e . . . . I t was l i k e e l e c t r i c i t y . " R. s t a t e s t h a t both he and h i s l o v e r immediately recognized t h e i r " t a l k i n g p o t e n t i a l , " and he s a i d , " I was drawn to her t h a t s t r o n g l y . " 68 6. F e e l i n g out of c o n t r o l and swept away; People have a sense of being caught up i n an emotion t h a t has a l i f e of i t s own. F e e l i n g s can be n e i t h e r c o n t r o l l e d nor stopped. N. and her l o v e r "could not keep away from one another." B. expressed a f e a r t h a t "these passions of mine would j u s t take over" and he would be "swept away" by h i s ardor. U. f e l t " f r a g i l e " , and described her l a c k of c o n t r o l as "being out of my mind." She remembered running out of a conference t o answer the telephone i n case i t was her l o v e r c a l l i n g , " things t h a t I would never do i n my r i g h t mind." For A., her "overwhelming" f e e l i n g s were a c a t a l y s t t o the break up of her marriage. " I t was as i f I d i d n ' t have c o n t r o l . . . . I t h i n k i t f e l t l i k e I was being hypnotized." M., who read romance novels and went t o romantic movies, accepted the c u l t u r a l norm t h a t people " f e l l " i n l o v e . For her, p a r t of the f a l l was an i n a b i l i t y t o c o n t r o l f e e l i n g s , so i t was acceptable t o f e e l " h e l p l e s s " . Middle phase 7. Recognition of a d i s t i n c t k i n d of l o v e: Although f e a t u r e s of the experience may d i f f e r i n each case, people recognize the i n - l o v e f e e l i n g and are able t o 69 d i s t i n g u i s h i t from other love f e e l i n g s . Lovers b e l i e v e the experience touches the core of t h e i r i n n e r being. For A., i t was as though she was tapped a t a "deep and unconscious l e v e l " . For R. , i t was an i n t e l l e c t u a l connection. He des c r i b e d a "mental s t i m u l u s " t h a t set h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p apart from oth e r s . 8. Euphoria: As romantic love f e e l i n g s blossom, so does a sense of euphoria. People experience extremely good f e e l i n g s of j o y and w e l l - b e i n g . There i s an incre a s e d v i t a l i t y , as i f somehow the love f e e l i n g s empower people t o become more v i b r a n t . L i f e takes on an added dimension which gives increased meaning t o t h e i r world. A. described i t as a "euphoric walking on clouds, k i n d of up i n the a i r . You know, you could be spaced out j u s t about i n h a l f a second." For U., her heightened sense of f e e l i n g " a l i v e " s p i l l e d over i n t o " t h i s glow, j u s t s o r t of a f e e l i n g of excitement." For R., l i f e was a "source of constant j o y , " something he "never... had f e l t before." 9. E x c l u s i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p ; The i n - l o v e experience i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by i t s spontaneous e x c l u s i v i t y . The f a s c i n a t i o n w i t h each other makes a s i m i l a r r e l a t i o n -s h i p w i t h a t h i r d p a r t y u n l i k e l y . The l o v e r ' s s e n s i -t i v i t y t o t h e i r surroundings and other people di m i n i s h e s . I t i s as though the l o v e r s have entered a d i f f e r e n t r e a l i t y , one i n which they e x i s t only f o r each other. M. r e c a l l e d t h a t " i t f e l t l i k e he and I 70 were the only ones i n the world. A l l these other people were dancing around us, but we were the o n l y ones t h a t r e a l l y were i n each other's eyes or i n each other's h e a r t . " 10. Intimacy: A sense of intimacy c h a r a c t e r i z e s the mutual t r u s t necessary t o r i s k r e v e a l i n g innermost thoughts and f e e l i n g s . I t i s an important component of the i n -1 l o v e experience. People explore t h e i r s i m i l a r i t i e s and d i f f e r e n c e s , r e s u l t i n g i n an exchange of s e l f -d i s c l o s u r e s . The intimacy of these exchanges c r e a t e s a sense of warmth, comfort and mutual understanding. R. experienced a depth of " r i c h n e s s " i n h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p . He and h i s l o v e r played together, swam, walked and cooked together. M. commented on the l a c k of t e n s i o n w i t h her l o v e r , and described him as being l i k e a "brother". She s a i d there was no need f o r "put ons," so t h a t she f e l t she could be "comfortably [ h e r ] s e l f . " 11. Oneness/fusion: People have a sense of coming together i n an e x p l o s i v e f u s i o n . They pe r c e i v e a s t r o n g bond of connectedness. B. described h i s "abandonment t o t h a t f u s i o n . . . t h e s p i r i t u a l i t y and the s e x u a l i t y , the i n t e n -s i t y of i t . . . . " Lovers o f t e n express the f e e l i n g as having a sense of t h e i r "other h a l f " . As M. observed, " i t almost f e l t l i k e the other h a l f of myself." She was "at one" w i t h her l o v e r : " I j u s t f e l t I had known t h i s person a l l my 71 l i f e . " U. experienced t h i s f u s i o n w i t h her l o v e r as being "stuck together", and as "a sense of completeness". 12. Sexual transcendence: People have a stro n g d e s i r e f o r sexual union w i t h the beloved. However, i t i s the yearning f o r union t h a t needs t o be s a t i s f i e d and i s a more powerful f o r c e than mere sexual s a t i s f a c t i o n . The sexual experience i s described as encompassing both mind and body. R. concluded t h a t a r e l a t i o n s h i p based on sexual a t t r a c t i v e n e s s "doesn't work out." A u t h e n t i c s e x - i n - l o v e i s a unique combination t h a t i n c l u d e s "both p h y s i c a l a t t r a c t i o n and s p i r i t u a l growth." A. desc r i b e d the sexual aspect as not only being " p h y s i c a l l y powerful," but a l s o as having elements of the s p i r i t u a l , the emotional and the p s y c h o l o g i c a l . 13. V u l n e r a b i l i t y : The i n - l o v e experience i s marked by a w i l l i n g n e s s t o surrender and become v u l n e r a b l e w i t h the l o v e r . Responses tend t o s o f t e n , and a t t i t u d e s are . open towards each other i n the e a r l y stages of the i n -lo v e experience. This f a c i l i t a t e s adjustment t o the needs and i n t e r e s t s of the beloved. R. r i s k e d s h a r i n g the d e l i c a t e p a r t s of h i m s e l f t h a t he was "scared of": "You s t a r t seeing, you know, p a r t s of y o u r s e l f t h a t you're scared of, or the t h i n g s t h a t are h o l d i n g you back, or f e a r f u l p a r t s of y o u r s e l f , negative p a r t s of y o u r s e l f . " 72 A. des c r i b e s t h i s opening up of h e r s e l f as an awareness t h a t " a l l my b a r r i e r s were going t o t o t a l l y f a l l down, and I would j u s t be t o t a l l y exposed and raw." 14. I d e a l i z a t i o n of l o v e r : The a b i l i t y of the l o v e r s t o judge r e a l i t y i s impaired. The l o v e r s tend t o ignore negative q u a l i t i e s i n t h e i r l o v e r w h i l e i d e a l i z i n g what they p e r c e i v e as t h e i r mate's v i r t u e s . In r e t r o s p e c t they recognize t h a t these q u a l i t i e s have been exaggerated. M. was "put on a p e d e s t a l " by her l o v e r , who " p i c t u r e d [her] as a p r i n c e s s . " N. was g l o r i f i e d by her "gorgeous" l o v e r , who thought her the " b r i g h t e s t " and the " p r e t t i e s t " of women. 15. O b s e s s i v e / i n t r u s i v e t h i n k i n g : Thoughts of the loved one become all-consuming. A f e e l i n g of h e l p l e s s n e s s occurs as the i n d i v i d u a l i s l o s t i n obsessive daydreams of, or about, the l o v e r . Fantasies i n t e r f e r e d w i t h c o n c e n t r a t i o n , career, and, f o r M., "eve r y t h i n g e l s e i n [her] l i f e . " She f e l t l i k e a "zombie," and "daydreamed a l l the time." B. described t h i s s t a t e of t o t a l involvement w i t h h i s l o v e r as f o l l o w s : "She would be l i k e a constant, a constant thought, a constant..." He would stop what he was doing and focus h i s energy e n t i r e l y on h i s l o v e r , " r e a l l y j u s t r e v e l and...just be t o t a l l y i n v o l v e d w i t h her," t o the e x c l u s i o n of ever y t h i n g e l s e . 73 N. was " a b s o l u t e l y obsessed." She had her only c a r a c c i d e n t w h i l e l o s t i n thoughts of her l o v e r . " I ate, drank and s l e p t t h i n k i n g of t h i s man, and throughout the day I would j u s t t h i n k about him, c o n s t a n t l y . " 16. Emotional extremes: The i n - l o v e s t a t e i s d i s t i n g u i s h e d by an i n t e n s i t y of f e e l i n g , a passion t h a t seems t o be fu e l e d by e i t h e r d e l i g h t i n the l o v e r ' s presence or pa i n due t o absence. People v a c i l l a t e between great jo y and despondency, or even experience both at the same time. B. i s immersed i n the f e r v o r of romantic a t t r a c t i o n , but, at the same time, "has the brakes on f u l l . " He described h i s message t o E. as saying "Yes-Yes, No-No," e q u a l l y s t r o n g l y . M. des c r i b e d her emotions as swinging from " e l a t i o n t o depression." I t appears t h a t impediments t o the r e l a t i o n s h i p a l s o p l a y havoc w i t h people's emotions. Lovers experience i n t e n s i f i e d l o n g i n g i n the face of o b s t a c l e s . Distance from the l o v e r was i d e n t i f i e d as keeping the f e e l i n g a l i v e . B. moved t o another c i t y , and the " f i r e " d i e d down. The flames would i g n i t e and fan the bl a z e when E. flew out t o v i s i t him. A n t i c i p a t i o n of the next encounter created a s t a t e of euphoria which helped t o maintain the passion. While U. re v e l e d i n the "ego-high" of l o v e , she a l s o "pined" f o r her l o v e r because of h i s 74 u n a v a i l a b i l i t y . U. e x i s t e d as though on an emotional see-saw. 17. I n t u i t i v e understanding of l o v e r : People have an almost magical sense of being understood, rendering speech unnecessary. They pe r c e i v e each other as " f i t t i n g " t h e i r image of a p e r f e c t p a r t n e r . I t i s a mutual r e c o g n i t i o n t h a t does not r e q u i r e s e l f -e x p l a n a t i o n . The l o v e r s f e e l a powerful empathy w i t h , and acceptance of, each other. Communication flows as i f from the depths of t h e i r s o u l s . R. was a t t r a c t e d by h i s l o v e r ' s a b i l i t y t o know h i s c h a r a c t e r and thoughts without " e x p l i c i t foreknowledge": "her remarkable i n s i g h t i n t o me...She could a r t i c u l a t e an emotion t h a t I was f e e l i n g but couldn't a r t i c u l a t e , and do i t i n t u i t i v e l y , I suppose, without enough i n f o r m a t i o n about my past or present or i d e a l s at t h a t time." A. f e l t t r u s t f o r her l o v e r , who recognized and a n t i c i p a t e d her thoughts. "He knew what I was going t o s a y . . . . I t was...this understanding of each other somehow." For M., i t was as though she and her l o v e r were on the "same wavelength. We had t h i s understanding between us." 18. S p i r i t u a l i t y and transcendence: As the r e l a t i o n s h i p progresses, people d e s c r i b e the connectedness w i t h t h e i r l o v e r as having a profound s p i r i t u a l dimension t h a t s e t s i t apart from other r e l a t i o n s h i p s . I t was 75 d i f f i c u l t f o r people to v e r b a l i z e more p r e c i s e l y what s p i r i t u a l i t y meant t o them. However, a t t a c h i n g the word " s p i r i t u a l " t o t h i s s i g n i f i c a n t dimension of the i n - l o v e experience was not d i f f i c u l t . For A. t h e r e was an a l l - e m b r a c i n g sense of being u n d e r s t o o d — t r a n s c e n d -i n g the o r d i n a r y — t h a t was hard t o f i n d words f o r : " I t was...this understanding of each other somehow...I f e l t so...I don't know, I'm not good at v e r b a l i z i n g these t h i n g s . " R. r e f e r r e d t o t h i s p r e t e r n a t u r a l or i n e f f a b l e q u a l i t y of h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p as " s p i r i t u a l psychology." 19. Obscuring of the f u t u r e : I n k l i n g s of an u n c e r t a i n f u t u r e which r e s u l t s i n the death of the r e l a t i o n s h i p are c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of intense i n - l o v e experiences. Plans f o r the f u t u r e may be discussed, but they are not implemented. In the i n i t i a l stages of the r e l a t i o n s h i p , the wondrous sense of the moment i s f u e l e d by u n c e r t a i n t y and mystery. U l t i m a t e l y , however, i t leads t o f r u s t r a t i o n and a r e s o l u t i o n t o end the a f f a i r . Although U. knew t h a t her l o v e r would not leave h i s w i f e , she expressed t h i s "weird hope t h a t maybe something would happen and [she'd] have t h i s impact on him and he would." She e v e n t u a l l y broke w i t h her l o v e r . For B., h i s f e a r of committing t o the f u t u r e r e s u l t e d i n E. l e a v i n g the r e l a t i o n s h i p . 76 F i n a l phase 20. S u f f e r i n g : Although l o v e r s experience the tra n s f o r m i n g high of romantic l o v e , there i s a l s o a dark s i d e t o these impassioned f e e l i n g s . The l o s s of a l o v e r i s experienced as intense sadness, depression and emotional confusion. R. described h i m s e l f as s u f f e r i n g from "the deepest pai n and sorrow t h a t [he'd] ever f e l t — [ h i s ] heart was j u s t i n agony." He expl a i n e d : " I j u s t f e l t l o n e l y , I f e l t confused, I f e l t t o t a l l y l o s t . " B. plunged i n t o d e s p a i r . He l o s t h i s a p p e t i t e and spent hours c r y i n g over the l o s s of E.. M. f e l t confused and g r i e v e d over her l o s s . She b e l i e v e d t h a t she "would never f e e l t h a t h i g h again": " I was very confused on what love i s , and I k i n d of d i d n ' t t h i n k i t was t h i s w i l d passion anymore. I j u s t thought i t was sad." 21. Guardedness: A f t e r a f a i l e d or p a i n f u l romance, people become c a u t i o u s , and are more f e a r f u l than ever of v u l n e r a b i l i t y . M. never permitted h e r s e l f t o r e a l l y f a l l i n love w i t h the man she e v e n t u a l l y married, never allowed t h a t f e r v e n t f e e l i n g t o take h o l d again. R. has not experienced the same deep f e e l i n g i n l a t e r romantic r e l a t i o n s h i p s . U. has not met another l o v e r who had the same impact on her and does not b e l i e v e she could " s u b j e c t " h e r s e l f t o t h a t k i n d of r e l a t i o n s h i p again. She 77 d e s c r i b e d h e r s e l f now as h a v i n g a t e n d e n c y t o " withdraw." 22. S e l f - u n d e r s t a n d i n g : The i n - l o v e e x p e r i e n c e and i t s a f t e r m a t h expands i n s i g h t . I t becomes a v e h i c l e f o r u n d e r s t a n d i n g o n e s e l f . The l o v e r s f e l t t h a t t h e y had a t t a i n e d a new l e v e l o f awareness. They were a b l e t o c r y s t a l l i z e t h e i r wants. N. came t o a c c e p t h e r v a l u e system. She r e c o g n i z e d h e r need f o r a l o v e r who was o f t h e same r e l i g i o n — " I need t h e c u l t u r a l t i e " — a n d who was " f i n a n c i a l l y i n d e p e n d e n t . " F o r R. t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p had many " d i m e n s i o n s " t o i t , i n c l u d i n g "coming t o u n d e r s t a n d m y s e l f . " B. g a i n e d i n s i g h t i n t o h i s p a t t e r n o f " s a y i n g No, b u t b e h a v i n g Yes." S i n c e he i s now more aware o f h i s f e e l i n g s , i t i s "no l o n g e r t e r r i f y i n g f o r him t o be open and d i r e c t w i t h h i s l o v e r about h i s f e e l i n g s . " M. r e a c h e d a new l e v e l o f m a t u r i t y . She acknowledged h e r f e a r o f r e j e c t i o n and l e a r n e d t o be more d i r e c t about h e r f e e l i n g s . I n a subsequent r e l a t i o n s h i p , upon s e n s i n g a change i n h e r l o v e r ' s f e e l i n g s , she was a b l e t o c o n f r o n t him w i t h : "Have y o u r f e e l i n g s changed f o r me?" C l u s t e r s o f Themes The twenty-two themes drawn from t h e i n t e r v i e w s a r e d i v i d e d i n t o t h r e e s e c t i o n s . Those themes o c c u r r i n g a t t h e o n s e t o f t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p , d u r i n g t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p and i n 78 the aftermath of the r e l a t i o n s h i p are grouped together. W i t h i n the s e c t i o n s the themes are ordered i n the sequence i n which they were experienced by the co-researchers. Many of the themes occur simultaneously and not n e c e s s a r i l y i n the same order f o r each of the co-researchers. The opening s e c t i o n c ontains themes 1-6: the f e e l i n g s i n i t i a l l y experienced on meeting the l o v e r . The middle s e c t i o n , c o n t a i n i n g themes 7-14, c o n s i s t s of two p a r t s . The themes c o n s t i t u t i n g the f i r s t p a r t (7-13) r e f l e c t the emotions the i n d i v i d u a l experiences i n d i r e c t response t o the e x i s t e n c e of the l o v e r . When each of the co-researchers experiencing v u l n e r a b i l i t y spoke about these f e e l i n g s there seemed to be a t u r n i n g - p o i n t , not away from the l o v e r , but as a need to both understand the experience and a f f i r m the r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h the l o v e r . The second p a r t of the middle s e c t i o n (themes 14-19) seems t o address t h i s " t u r n i n g p o i n t . " The denouement or f i n a l phase contains themes 20-22. The o v e r a l l experience of romantic love i s not s e q u e n t i a l , but i t has been d i v i d e d i n t h i s manner t o promote ease of understanding. Three Phases of a Romantic Love Experience I n i t i a l phase 1. Incompleteness 2. Readiness 79 3 . Sense of a t t r a c t i o n 4. Intimate glance 5. I n s t a n t bonding 6. F e e l i n g out of c o n t r o l and swept away Middle phase 7. Recog n i t i o n of a d i s t i n c t k i n d of love 8. Euphoria 9. E x c l u s i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p 10. Intimacy 11. Oneness/fusion 12. Sexual transcendence 13. V u l n e r a b i l i t y 14 . I d e a l i z a t i o n of l o v e r 15. O b s e s s i v e / i n t r u s i v e t h i n k i n g 16. Emotional extremes 17. I n t u i t i v e understanding of l o v e r 18. S p i r i t u a l i t y and transcendence 19. Obscuring of the f u t u r e F i n a l phase 20. S u f f e r i n g 21. Guardedness 22. Self-understanding Context f o r Viewing; the Exhaustive D e s c r i p t i o n The exhaustive d e s c r i p t i o n i s a n a r r a t i v e of the theme d e s c r i p t i o n s . I t contains a beginning, middle and end, and 80 d e s c r i b e s the experience of romantic love as i t was experienced by the s i x co-researchers. Movement can be seen w i t h i n the n a r r a t i v e . The o v e r a l l experience, however, i s not a l i n e a r phenomenon, and the v a r i o u s emotions described need t o be viewed as having occurred simultaneously on some occasions. Exhaustive D e s c r i p t i o n P r i o r t o the romantic love experience the co-researchers i n d i c a t e d f e e l i n g an unaccountable r e s t l e s s n e s s . R. was running h i s a f f a i r s "without any e x t e r n a l schedule or sense of g o a l . " U. reported t h a t she "had reached a very negative s t a t e , a very depressed s o r t of s t a t e i n my marriage and was f e e l i n g q u i t e hopeless about t h a t i n a way." N. noted t h a t her move to a new c i t y gave her a f e e l i n g of freedom. " I could almost do anything t h a t I wanted." The r e s t l e s s n e s s i s accompanied by a f e e l i n g t h a t something i s missing i n t h e i r l i v e s . There i s a sense of incompleteness. A., r e f l e c t i n g on eighteen years of marriage, says, " I must have known t h a t i t was m i s s i n g a l l the time." M. expressed s u r p r i s e t h a t a f t e r meeting her l o v e r , she f e l t t h a t her "world had never been...that [she] must have been g r e a t l y l a c k i n g something." U. experienced being " u n f u l f i l l e d 1 1 . The f e e l i n g s and emotions t h a t are experienced i n t h i s i n t r o d u c t o r y phase induce a s t a t e of readiness f o r new experiences t o occur. The need f o r passion i s h i s l i f e was the impetus f o r B. His w i f e had r e c e n t l y l e f t him and he was unhappy i n h i s present r e l a t i o n s h i p . When E. entered h i s l i f e he was ready f o r a romantic involvement. For U. and f o r N. there was a l o n g i n g f o r more than t h e i r marriages provided. This i n t r o d u c t o r y phase s e t s the stage f o r the encounter. The encounter i s i n i t i a t e d by a sense of a t t r a c t i o n t o a p a r t i c u l a r other. . The a t t r a c t i o n u s u a l l y confers on a s p e c i f i c a t t r i b u t e of the i n d i v i d u a l t h a t engages the i n d i v i d u a l ' s a t t e n t i o n and abets the " f a l l i n g -i n - l o v e " process. U. s a i d , "then I heard h i s v o i c e , and I heard him speak, and t h a t was a r e a l seduction i n i t s e l f . " N. noted t h a t she "looked at h i s face....This was the most gorgeous man I have ever seen." B., on the other hand, i n i t i a l l y experienced a strong negative r e a c t i o n t o h i s f u t u r e l o v e r : "She was too loud, too sure of h e r s e l f , too c o n f i d e n t . " Accompanying t h i s i n i t i a l a t t r a c t i o n i s the i n t i m a t e glance. The glance foreshadows f u t u r e intimacy and exchanges. The look i s an interchange of i n f o r m a t i o n t h a t can say " I want you" or " I know you." A. noted t h a t she "spent f o u r hours...with t h i s man, and something c l i c k e d . I t f e l t l i k e I was hypnotized by t h i s man." U. found t h a t "he r e a l l y s o r t of devoured me w i t h h i s eyes...and I remember j u s t f e e l i n g . . . r e a l l y e m o t i o n a l l y connected somehow." N. s t a t e s t h a t " I couldn't take my eyes o f f him and he couldn't take h i s eyes o f f me." 82 Simultaneously w i t h the i n t i m a t e glance i n s t a n t bonding takes p l a c e . The f e e l i n g of connectedness, p h y s i c a l d e s i r e , yearning and neediness occur together and "immediately." M. noted, " I t was i n s t a n t . . . . I had never had t h a t happen t o me before." N. s t a t e s t h a t "we j u s t stood there l o o k i n g a t each other without r e a l i z i n g there were other people t h e r e . " R. s t a t e d t h a t on meeting h i s f u t u r e l o v e r both immediately recognized t h a t "we had some t a l k i n g p o t e n t i a l . " This f i r s t phase of the romantic l o v e r experience i s o f t e n c h a r a c t e r i z e d o v e r a l l by f e e l i n g s of being swept away and out of c o n t r o l . The emotions s e t f r e e through the i n t i m a t e glance and bonding f l o o d the i n d i v i d u a l . A. noted t h a t " i t was something deep and unconscious.... I t was l i k e I was out of c o n t r o l . " N. couldn't d e f i n e the emotion, only t h a t " i t was some spark; we could not keep away from one another." U. noted t h a t she "didn't have t h a t c o n t r o l " t h a t her l o v e r had, and t h i s was e x c r u c i a t i n g f o r her. She engaged i n a c t i o n s t h a t she would "never have done i n her r i g h t mind. I was t o t a l l y out of my mind." The r e l a t i o n s h i p moves from t h i s i n i t i a l drawing together t o a r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t t h i s experience i s d i f f e r e n t from o t h e r s — t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p i s unique. A. r e c a l l e d t h a t " i t was so powerful, and so s c a r y . . . . I ' d never experienced anything l i k e i t . " N. s t a t e d t h a t she "never was drawn t o any person as [she] was t o him....I'd never experienced those kinds of f e e l i n g s before." M. noted t h a t she " f e l t a t 83 one w i t h him....I never ever dreamed I would f e e l so wonderful." The second phase i s a time f o r readjustment and g e t t i n g t o know one another. A number of themes c o n s t i t u t e t h i s p a r t i c u l a r p e r i o d i n the r e l a t i o n s h i p . Again, w h i l e the d e s c r i p t i o n i s n e c e s s a r i l y l i n e a r , many of the f e e l i n g s expressed occur simultaneously or as p a r t of other emotions. The f e e l i n g accompanying the r e c o g n i t i o n t h a t t h i s l o v e i s d i f f e r e n t i s one of euphoria. B. noted t h a t once the r e l a t i o n s h i p was e s t a b l i s h e d , he could " r e a l l y j u s t r e v e l ...and j u s t be t o t a l l y i n v o l v e d w i t h her....At times i t would be euphoric." R. noted t h a t " i t was a sense of constant joy....We both gave each other j o y t o be i n each other's company." M. noted t h a t " a l l [her] f a n t a s i e s , a l l [her] thoughts... he j u s t f i t a l l of i t . " A. d e s c r i b e d i t as " k i n d of euphoric, walking on clouds, k i n d of up i n the a i r . " The headiness of t h i s new involvement i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by i t s spontaneous e x c l u s i v i t y . The l o v e r s e x i s t only f o r each other: s e n s i t i v i t y t o t h e i r surroundings and other people dimin i s h e s . M. r e c a l l e d t h a t " i t was l i k e a l i t t l e cocoon....He and I were the only ones xn the world." N. noted t h a t she wanted t o be w i t h her l o v e r " a l l the time, t o touch him c o n s t a n t l y . . . . T h i n k i n g back I don't t h i n k we were ever i n a a room where we could t a l k t o other people without l o o k i n g at one another." 84 The l o v e r s become more i n t i m a t e . They r e v e a l t h e i r innermost thoughts and f e e l i n g s w i t h one another. The intimacy of these shared s e l f - d i s c l o s u r e s c r e a t e s a sense of warmth, comfort and mutual understanding. U. notes, "we were very c l o s e , and there was a l o t of s o r t of emotional intimacy." The l o v e r s experience a sense of coming together i n an e x p l o s i v e f u s i o n . B. described h i s "abandonment t o t h a t f u s i o n . . . t h e i n t e n s i t y of i t . " Lovers experience the f u s i o n as a sense of d i s c o v e r i n g t h e i r other h a l f . M. s a i d , " I j u s t f e l t I had known the person a l l my l i f e . " U. experienced a "sense of completeness." A major p a r t of the r e l a t i o n s h i p i s the s t r o n g d e s i r e t o u n i t e s e x u a l l y w i t h the other. I t i s a more powerful experience than mere sexual s a t i s f a c t i o n , and i s d e s c r i b e d as encompassing both mind and body. A. d e s c r i b e d her experience w i t h her l o v e r as " s p i r i t u a l l y , e m o t i o n a l l y , p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y and p h y s i c a l l y powerful.... I was a b s o l u t e l y freaked out by t h i s man." B. r e c a l l e d t h a t h i s l o v e r was taken aback by h i s expression of passion. " I was...very passionate.... She was s t a r t l e d by my p h y s i c a l expression of i t . " N. remembered t h a t the minute he touched her she "was on f i r e — i t was j u s t a matter of time before we would have an a f f a i r . " With expression of intimacy and oneness v u l n e r a b i l i t y makes i t s e l f f e l t . The l o v e r s are open and g r e a t e r r i s k s are taken. R. r i s k e d sharing the "hidden" p a r t of h i m s e l f 85 t h a t he was "scared of": "You s t a r t s e e ing...parts of y o u r s e l f t h a t you're scared of, or the t h i n g s t h a t are h o l d i n g you back, or f e a r f u l p a r t s of y o u r s e l f . . . and...these t h i n g s s t a r t coming out." A. d e s c r i b e s t h i s opening up of h e r s e l f as an awareness t h a t " a l l my b a r r i e r s were going t o t o t a l l y f a l l down...total d e v a s t a t i n g v u l n e r a b i l i t y t h a t I'd never experienced before." U. expressed how she f e l t " i n c r e d i b l y vulnerable....That i f you have some k i n d of disagreement... t h a t f e e l i n g [occurs] of l o s i n g the r e l a t i o n s h i p . " The f e e l i n g s of v u l n e r a b i l i t y mark an increased awareness of the r e l a t i o n s h i p and i t s meaning w i t h i n one's l i f e . The l o v e r s ignore the negative q u a l i t i e s i n t h e i r l o v e r w h i l e i d e a l i z i n g what they perceive as t h e i r mate's v i r t u e s . M. was put "on a p e d e s t a l " by her l o v e r , who p i c t u r e d her as a " p r i n c e s s . " N. g l o r i f i e d her "gorgeous" l o v e r , who thought her the " b r i g h t e s t " and the " p r e t t i e s t " . Thoughts of the loved one become all-consuming. M. noted t h a t the f a n t a s i e s i n t e r f e r e d w i t h "everything e l s e i n [her] l i f e . " She daydreamed a l l the time. " I couldn't stop the thoughts." N. noted t h a t she was " a b s o l u t e l y obsessed," having her only car accident w h i l e l o s t i n thoughts of her l o v e r . " I ate, drank and s l e p t t h i n k i n g of t h i s man." The obsessive thoughts and the f e e l i n g s of v u l n e r a b i l i t y combined t o produce a r o l l e r c o a s t e r e f f e c t of highs and lows w i t h i n the i n d i v i d u a l . B. noted t h a t he was "behaving Yes and saying No...both e q u a l l y s t r o n g l y . . . . ! 86 d i d n ' t want t o l o s e t h a t passion, t h a t i n t e n s i t y . " U. r e c a l l s t h a t " i t was very e x c i t i n g , but a l s o very f r u s t r a t i n g , because I couldn't see t h i s person as much as I wanted t o . " The closeness experienced i n t h i s p h a s e — t h e constant t h i n k i n g about the o t h e r — l e d t o an i n t u i t i v e understanding of the l o v e r . The l o v e r s f e e l empathy w i t h , and acceptance of, each other. R. expressed awe t h a t h i s l o v e r "could see t h i n g s about me t h a t I couldn't see t h a t I f e l t about myself." A. remembers t h a t . " I t was as i f he was j u s t l i k e reading my mind or something a l l the t i m e . . . . I t was t h i s i n c r e d i b l e understanding between us." The f e e l i n g of being understood gave the two l o v e r s a sense of connectedness. The experience was f e l t t o have a s p i r i t u a l dimension. B. s a i d t h a t the Jewish aspect of E. was a l a r g e p a r t of h i s a t t r a c t i o n t o her. " S p i r i t u a l i t y i s l i k e a b a s i c foundation t o my l i f e . . . . I t h i n k a l o t of the s p i r i t u a l i t y would have been hooked up w i t h the s e x u a l i t y a l s o . " R. noted t h a t r e l a t i o n s h i p s o c c u r r i n g a f t e r the s i g -n i f i c a n t one never had t h a t s p i r i t u a l d i m e n s i o n — " I t ' s never m a t e r i a l i z e d i n t h a t same way again." In the moment t h a t the i n d i v i d u a l i s at one w i t h the l o v e r , p a r a d o x i c a l l y there i s a f e a r and then an awareness t h a t t h i s may not r e a l i s t i c a l l y w o r k — t h a t the f u t u r e w i l l probably not be experienced w i t h the other. R. s t a t e d t h a t he "didn't want... t h i n g s t o proceed any d i f f e r e n t l y than they were." N. f e l t t h a t "deep down I knew t h a t we 87 wouldn't...wouldn't be a good marriage." B. noted t h a t " i f I had been l i s t e n i n g t o my body I would have known t h a t . . . there's a f u t u r e . . . . I r e a l l y had such a powerful s t r u g g l e between t h a t Yes and No." With the d e c i s i o n t o p u l l back and end the r e l a t i o n s h i p a l o t of s o u l searching occurs, and the i n d i v i d u a l goes through a p e r i o d of intense shock and g r i e f . R. r e c a l l s t h a t he " f e l t l o n e l y , confused, f e l t t o t a l l y l o s t . . . . [Nothing] helped i n terms of a l l a y i n g the k i n d of p a i n I was going through." B. "was very a f r a i d f o r [ h i m ] s e l f . . . . I couldn't eat a l l t h a t time....Things go i n t o a n i c e long dark depression f o r about s i x months." U. r e c a l l s being i n a s o c i a l s i t u a t i o n w i t h her l o v e r and h i s w i f e and f r i e n d s and f e e l i n g , "This i s i t . . . . I t was very demeaning. I t was a very very k i n d of down ki n d of f e e l i n g . . . . I became i n c r e a s i n g l y more d i s s a t i s f i e d w i t h j u s t having i t l i k e t h a t and r e s o l v e d t o end i t . " In the aftermath of the sadness and hurt the i n d i v i d u a l becomes more wary i n approaching new r e l a t i o n s h i p s . M. f e l t t h a t no one could make t h a t k i n d of impact on her again: " I t would have t o be Superman f o r me t o f e e l — t o i d e a l i z e the person i n t h a t way." R. r e c a l l e d t h a t he d i d n ' t have another r e l a t i o n s h i p a f t e r t h a t f o r two years. " I wasn't able t o handle another r e l a t i o n s h i p . " The d i m i n i s h i n g of g r i e f and sadness allows the i n d i v i d u a l t o look at the r e l a t i o n s h i p and achieve s e l f -understanding. B. f e l t t h a t h i s l o v e r helped him t o l e a r n 88 more about h i m s e l f . "One very c l e a r t h i n g i s t o simply have more courage, t o be more d i r e c t . " U. noted t h a t " i t was a r e a l f u l f i l l i n g k i n d of experience f o r both of us." R. s t a t e d t h a t he had become "much more f o r g i v i n g . . . n o t n e a r l y so demanding on myself or other people." Context f o r Viewing the E s s e n t i a l S t r u c t u r e The e s s e n t i a l s t r u c t u r e i s a shortened d e s c r i p t i o n of the romantic love e x p e r i the romantic love experience. The the b a s i c components of the exhaustive d e s c r i p t i o n , forming a p a t t e r n which i s the core of the experience. The purpose of the e s s e n t i a l s t r u c t u r e i s to de s c r i b e the meaning of the experience as s u c c i n c t l y as p o s s i b l e . E s s e n t i a l S t r u c t u r e Before the romantic love experience people f e l t an unaccountable r e s t l e s s n e s s . A sense of incompleteness and a f e e l i n g t h a t something was missing i n t h e i r l i v e s accompanied the r e s t l e s s f e e l i n g . The f e e l i n g s induce a s t a t e of readiness f o r new experiences. People have an ex p e c t a t i o n t h a t something new w i l l enter t h e i r l i v e s . These f e e l i n g s of exp e c t a t i o n and readiness are rewarded by people experiencing a sudden and unaccountable a t t r a c t i o n t o a p a r t i c u l a r other. The i n i t i a l a t t r a c t i o n could be v o i c e , touch, or e x t e r n a l appearance. The s p e c i f i c a t t r i b u t e would be such t h a t people could r e a d i l y d i f f e r e n t i a t e the l o v e r from others. 89 F o l l o w i n g and almost accompanying the i n i t i a l a t t r a c t i o n i s the i n t i m a t e glance. The i n t i m a t e glance, the i n s t a n t bonding, and the f e e l i n g s of being out of c o n t r o l and swept away occur simultaneously. People seemed t o be " f l o o d e d " e m o t i o n a l l y by the experience. W i t h i n t h i s s h o r t space there i s a f e e l i n g of connectedness and an e x p e r i e n c i n g of completeness. People experience t h i s new r e l a t i o n s h i p as being unique from previous encounters. This p a r t i c u l a r encounter i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by f e e l i n g s of euphoria, e x c l u s i v i t y and intimacy. The shared s e l f - d i s c l o s u r e r e i n f o r c e s t h e i r togetherness t o the e x c l u s i o n of others and c r e a t e s a p e r p e t u a t i n g atmosphere of warmth and mutual understanding. People speak about d i s c o v e r i n g t h e i r other h a l f . The f e e l i n g s of connectedness are l i k e n e d t o an e x p l o s i v e f u s i o n . This occurs on the emotional and on the p h y s i c a l plane. The sexual experience transcends the b o d i l y a c t t o encompass the mind and the s o u l . The intimacy and sharing b r i n g on f e e l i n g s of v u l n e r a b i l i t y as g r e a t e r r i s k s are taken and s e c r e t s are shared. The f e e l i n g s of v u l n e r a b i l i t y i n t e n s i f y , and i n order t o p r o t e c t themselves people choose t o ignore the negative q u a l i t i e s a l o v e r may have. The tendency i s t o i d e a l i z e the v i r t u e s of the l o v e r and t o enhance the r o l e of the l o v e r w i t h i n one's l i f e . The loved one becomes c e n t r a l t o a person's e x i s t e n c e . Thoughts of the loved one become obsessive and a l l -90 consuming. The emotional s t a b i l i t y of people i s t i e d t o the a c t i o n s , i n t e r a c t i o n s and r e a c t i o n s of the beloved. The togetherness, the closeness even when not together, leads t o f e e l i n g s of empathy and acceptance of the beloved as w e l l as t o f e e l i n g s of being understood i n t u i t i v e l y by the beloved. The f u s i o n , the connectedness, and the i n t u i t i v e understanding are as one w i t h s p i r i t u a l i t y i n the romantic l o v e r e l a t i o n s h i p . At the moment of g r e a t e s t closeness the r e a l i z a t i o n occurs t h a t t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p may not be " f o r e v e r " . The d e c i s i o n t o terminate the r e l a t i o n s h i p i s fraught w i t h d i f f i c u l t i e s . People experience intense shock and g r i e f and enter i n t o a mourning s t a t e . R e l a t i o n s h i p s are no longer regarded c a s u a l l y or as l i g h t l y . A c e r t a i n wariness and c a u t i o n e x e m p l i f i e s the a t t i t u d e toward new r e l a t i o n s h i p s . The passage of time h e a l s , and people found t h a t they could begin t o look a t the r e l a t i o n s h i p and engage i n the necessary s o u l - s e a r c h i n g without e x p e r i e n c i n g the pa i n . The understanding gained from the experience enabled people t o move forward w i t h g r e a t e r awareness of what being i n a r e l a t i o n s h i p i n v o l v e s and what i s r e q u i r e d should a new opportunity a r i s e . 91 CHAPTER V: D i s c u s s i o n An a n a l y s i s of the i n t e r v i e w s of the s i x co-researchers e l i c i t e d twenty-two (22) themes t h a t were common t o t h e i r experience of romantic l o v e . The themes (as presented i n Chapter IV) are the foundation upon which an exhaustive d e s c r i p t i o n of the love experience was w r i t t e n . The co-researchers v a l i d a t e d the d e s c r i p t i o n and the twenty-two themes. The d e s c r i p t i o n of the love experience as i t evolved through "dialogue" w i t h the s i x co-researchers i s a beginning: as f u r t h e r i n v e s t i g a t i o n s of the romantic love experience take p l a c e , the i m p l i c a t i o n s of the present f i n d i n g s f o r p r a c t i c a l purposes such as c o u n s e l l i n g , and f o r f u r t h e r research, w i l l be more c l e a r l y d e f i n e d . Personal Dialogue The experience of romantic love as revealed through the study emphasizes the commonality of the love experience. The concept of romantic love has always h e l d a f a s c i n a t i o n f o r me. From e a r l y adolescence I questioned how d i f f e r e n t people could be brought together as a consequence of one emotion: romantic l o v e . Did being a l o v e r or loved one r e q u i r e c e r t a i n d e f i n i t i v e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s ? Could anyone f a l l i n love or was i t confined t o a c e r t a i n p e r s o n a l i t y type? Could the experience of b e i n g - i n - l o v e occur w i t h i n the m a r i t a l 92 r e l a t i o n s h i p ? Having experienced " i n s t a n t bonding" (meeting a person and experiencing a sense of "knowing" beyond words) ou t s i d e the m a r t i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p , i t seemed t h a t the very nature of romantic love ( i t s p a s s i o n / i t s i n t e n s i t y ) were co n t r a r y t o the s t a b i l i t y of the m a r i t a l r e l a t i o n s h i p . A review of the l i t e r a t u r e on love i l l u s t r a t e d t h a t w i t h each a d d i t i o n a l s t o r y or anecdote the d i f f e r e n c e s i n a t t i t u d e s and s t y l e s of love were more apparent than t h e i r s i m i l a r i t i e s . Romantic love i s a l i b e r a t i n g , e n e r g i z i n g emotion, yet an emotion t h a t unfolds i n a predetermined and r e c o g n i z a b l e p a t t e r n . This p a r t i c u l a r p a t t e r n of the l o v e experience has a d e f i n e d beginning, middle and end. In r e s e a r c h i n g the experience of romantic love as i t i s l i v e d , a new dimension has been added t o what i s already known about the phenomena of l o v e . T h e o r e t i c a l I m p l i c a t i o n s The l i t e r a t u r e presented assumptions drawn from s i x models of l o v e . This study reaches beyond these models t o encompass i n d i v i d u a l experiences. Out of these i n d i v i d u a l experiences a d e s c r i p t i o n of meaning i s formed which takes i n t o account the complete experience of being i n l o v e . The r e s u l t s of the study i l l u s t r a t e how each of the models r e s t r i c t s the i n v e s t i g a t i o n of romantic l o v e . When romantic love i s d e f i n e d i n terms s p e c i f i c and complementary t o the given model, only c e r t a i n aspects of the phenomena of 93 l o v e are revealed. In the models, the t o t a l experience i s not considered and i s missing. The e x i s t e n t i a l - p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l approach u n f o l d s a f u l l d e s c r i p t i o n of the experience before, d u r i n g and a f t e r the event. As t h i s approach allows the phenomenon t o be examined as i t i s experienced, i t takes i n t o account s e v e r a l of the models p r e v i o u s l y examined. In the c u l t u r a l model, v e r b a l and b e h a v i o u r a l expressions used t o d e f i n e the emotional experiences of l o v e may a l s o be used t o d e f i n e other behaviours. Solomon (1988), the main proponent of the c u l t u r a l model, a s s e r t s t h a t personal choice ( a l b e i t d e f i n e d by the c u l t u r a l m i l i e u ) p l a y s a l a r g e p a r t i n the s e l e c t i o n of one's l o v e . For example, M, who admitted t o reading romance novels, accepted the c u l t u r a l norm t h a t people " f a l l " i n love (Theme 6). In the i n i t i a l stages, i t seemed t h a t none of the i n d i v i d u a l s i n t e r v i e w e d f e l t t h a t they had c o n t r o l or choice i n t h e i r mate s e l e c t i o n (Themes 4, 5, 6). Solomon puts f o r t h a r a t i o n a l d i s c u s s i o n of romantic l o v e . I m p l i c i t i n h i s d i s c u s s i o n i s the n o t i o n t h a t two l o v e r s who come together are matched em o t i o n a l l y , p h y s i c a l l y and i n t e l l e c t u a l l y . The experience of the co-researchers seemed t o negate the r a t i o n a l approach - t h e i r r e c a l l was of i r r a t i o n a l behaviours (Themes 6, 15, 16). The only time t h a t choice came i n t o the r e l a t i o n s h i p was when the co-researcher r e c a l l e d h i s / h e r d e c i s i o n t o terminate the r e l a t i o n s h i p (Theme 19). In the case of the c u l t u r a l model, 94 the experiences, as r e l a t e d i n the study, challenge the no t i o n of basing a theory on observed behaviours only. "Limerence," Tennov (1980) notes, " i s a process of thought, or i n t e g r a t i o n of events" (p. 18). This aspect of limerence which d e f i n e s love through the emotional i n t e r p l a y of c e r t a i n behaviours i n a s p e c i f i c context i s r e f l e c t e d i n some of the co-researcher's experiences. For example, i n the li m e r e n t model, thoughts focus on the o b j e c t of d e s i r e . Without exception, the co-researchers spoke of being hypnotized. U s t a t e s t h a t "he s o r t of devoured [her] w i t h h i s eyes". A noted t h a t i t was something "deep and unconscious". N had "never experienced those kinds of f e e l i n g s before." U n l i k e the i n d i v i d u a l s who shared t h e i r experiences w i t h Tennov, the co-researchers d i d not experience the negative emotions of shyness, f e a r f u l n e s s and a n x i e t y . A l l the co-researchers e x h i b i t e d e x c l u s i v e behaviours (Theme 9) towards t h e i r l o v e r s , and found t h a t the emotional experience enhanced r a t h e r than i n h i b i t e d the sexual f u n c t i o n i n g of the l o v e r . One of the most compelling outcomes of the study was the a f t e r e f f e c t of the experience - the time i t took t o recede i n t o the d i s t a n c e and f o r the i n d i v i d u a l t o be able to o b j e c t i v e l y assess the experience. The n o t i o n of us i n g a s p e c i f i c a l lotment of time t o d e f i n e the beginning, middle and end of the event i s cont r a r y t o some of the experiences of the co-researchers. 95 In the chemical model many of the f e e l i n g s d i s c ussed by Leibowitz (1983) were experienced by the co-researchers (Themes 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15). The f a c t t h a t chemical and b i o l o g i c a l changes a f f e c t the way i n d i v i d u a l behave i n romantic r e l a t i o n s h i p s emphasizes the importance of understanding the t o t a l experience of romantic l o v e . For example, A d e s c r i b e d being "kind of euphoric ... up i n the a i r " . N noted t h a t she was "obsessed" and M "daydreamed most of the time, [she] couldn't stop the thoughts". In c o n s i d e r i n g the o v e r a l l experience, the f a c t t h a t these behaviours might have been c h e m i c a l l y induced r e i n f o r c e s the n o t i o n t h a t (a) behaviours alone are i n s u f f i c i e n t i n d i c a t o r s of the accompanying emotions and (b) the context w i t h i n which the behaviour occurs ( i n the case of the chemical model) i s a f a c t o r f o r Leibowitz i n d e f i n i n g the chemical r e a c t i v e behaviour. In d e f i n i n g a d d i c t i v e l o v e , Peele (1975) notes t h a t the i n t e n s i t y of the experience i s f u e l e d by an i n n e r desperation r a t h e r than a d e s i r e t o know the other. The experience described by the co-researchers spoke t o a need t o know the other. For B "we both gave each other j o y t o be i n each other's company". For U, "there was a l o t of s o r t of emotional intimacy". The co-researchers i n d i c a t e d an overwhelming need t o connect w i t h the i d e a l i z e d "other" (Halpern, 1982). This need, u n l i k e the "needs" expressed as i n d i c a t i v e of a d d i c t i v e behaviours, d i d not take precedent over t h e i r emotional and p h y s i c a l w e l l - b e i n g . 96 Freud (1955) viewed love as an i l l u s o r y experience. In the s t a t e of " l o v e " Freud h e l d t h a t the i n d i v i d u a l put aside t h e i r r a t i o n a l behaviour and took on i r r a t i o n a l behaviours. In the study, s e v e r a l co-researchers saw, and continue t o see, t h e i r beloved through a d i f f e r e n t frame of ref e r e n c e . Many of the co-researchers a l s o engaged i n i r r a t i o n a l behaviours. They d i d not, however, see themselves as de-energized by the experience. Fromm7s (1956) d e f i n i t i o n of mature love a p t l y d e s c r i b e s the experience of the co-researchers, p a r t i c u l a r l y the transcendent s t a t e . For A, there was an all - e m b r a c i n g sense of being understood - transcending the o r d i n a r y t h a t was hard t o f i n d words f o r , " i t was ... t h i s understanding of each other somehow". Fromm (1956) dismisses f u s i o n w i t h the "other" as being the product of mature lo v e . The co-researchers a l l f e l t t h a t f u s i o n was a very important p a r t of the r e l a t i o n s h i p , enhancing and i n t e n s i f y i n g both the p h y s i c a l and the i n t e l l e c t u a l aspect of the r e l a t i o n s h i p . Both Branden's (1980) and Maslow's (1986) p e r c e p t i o n of love appear t o be outside of the romantic l o v e experience, as d e f i n e d by the co-researchers. The co-researchers seemed t o experience s e l f - u n d e r s t a n d i n g w i t h the t e r m i n a t i o n of the r e l a t i o n s h i p as opposed t o i t o c c u r r i n g d u r i n g the l i f e of the r e l a t i o n s h i p . The e x i s t e n t i a l - p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l approach explores the experience of love i n i t s t o t a l i t y . The experience from the 97 beginning t o the end i s an i n t e g r a t e d whole, the p a r t s of which cannot be assessed i n se p a r a t i o n from each other. The s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s seek a d e f i n i t i o n of love through the e x p l o r a t i o n of v a r i o u s p a r t s of the o v e r a l l experience. This approach diminishes the experience, weakening the impact the experience has f o r the i n d i v i d u a l . This study i s the f i r s t t o explore the f u l l meaning of the romantic love experience. The exhaustive d e s c r i p t i o n and e s s e n t i a l s t r u c t u r e can be seen as a beginning step toward the development of a theory of romantic l o v e as w e l l as f u r t h e r i n g research on love. L i m i t a t i o n s of Study One of the l i m i t a t i o n s of t h i s study p r e v i o u s l y noted i n both the c u l t u r a l and the li m e r e n t models i s the inadequacy of the language used t o d i s c u s s l o v e . Malone and Malone (1987) i n d i c a t e t h a t l i n g u i s t i c r e search i l l u s t r a t e s t h a t our language contains f a r more than rendered meanings. I t contains both s t r u c t u r a l and s p i r i t u a l meaning about ourselves as persons. "There i s meaning and 'meaning w i t h i n meaning' and...there may even be meanings between meanings" (p. 34). Hendrix (1988) notes t h a t the word " l o v e " i s used i n so many contexts t o de s c r i b e so many emotions t h a t " l o v e " the word has no d i s t i n c t meaning (p. 282) . The context d e f i n e s whether one loves chocolate, a c e r t a i n book, or a c e r t a i n person. 98 Hendrix (1988) b e l i e v e s t h a t t h i s usage of one word t o cover many aspects of a p a r t i c u l a r experience/emotion c r e a t e s d i f f i c u l t i e s w i t h i n the t h e r a p e u t i c context. Person (1988) suggests t h a t language i s a l i b r a r y of s t o r e d c u l t u r a l wisdom and t h e r e f o r e words are fraught w i t h inherent c u l t u r a l i n s i g h t s (p. 82). Freud (1921) a l s o noted t h a t "language has c a r r i e d out an e n t i r e l y j u s t i f i a b l e p i e c e of u n i f i c a t i o n i n c r e a t i n g the word 'love ' w i t h i s numerous uses" (p. 91). Person f u r t h e r s t a t e s i n her book Dreams of  Love and F a t e f u l Encounters (1988) t h a t the word " l o v e " both u n i f i e s d i s s i m i l a r phenomena and conveys the u n i f y i n g aim of love (that i s , the b r i n g i n g together of the l o v e r and the o b j e c t of h i s l o v e ) . In the d i v e r s i t y of experience there i s a common un d e r l y i n g u n i t y defined as l o v e . The i n t e r v i e w s d i s p l a y t h i s i n c r e d i b l e v a r i a t i o n i n the emotions t h a t u n d e r l i e the experience, yet each of these romantic love experiences were interconnected through common themes. I t should be noted t h a t d u r i n g the i n t e r v i e w s the co-researchers expressed d i f f i c u l t y i n f i n d i n g the " r i g h t " word t o match a c e r t a i n emotion. A second l i m i t a t i o n of the research presented i s the manner i n which the s i t u a t i o n i s discussed. The experience d e s c r i b e d i s an i n c i d e n t which consumes a goodly p a r t of the i n d i v i d u a l ' s l i f e , t a k i n g place i n some instances over a ten-year p e r i o d . Yet i t i s discussed without reference t o 99 previous love experiences of the i n d i v i d u a l or f a m i l i a l experiences. Winarick (1985) notes t h a t the f i r s t experience of love and of oneness i s found i n childhood, and t h a t these f i r s t experiences e x e r t a profound i n f l u e n c e throughout l i f e . Person (1988) a s s e r t s t h a t the l o v e r , i n the a c t of f a l l i n g i n l o v e , draws upon h i s past experiences. Kevles i n the May 1990 a r t i c l e on "The O r i g i n of Mother Love" s t a t e s t h a t t h i s preference f o r one i n d i v i d u a l may be i n the o r i g i n of the emotion we c a l l l o v e . I t i s not unreasonable t o suppose t h a t the a b i l i t y of two i n d i v i d u a l s t o love began w i t h mother love and then evolved, i n human c u l t u r e , i n t o the k i n d of male-female attachments we recognize as romantic love (p. 65). As noted i n the i n t r o d u c t i o n t o the paper, the romantic love experience seems to be s p e c i f i c t o Western s o c i e t y (Buehler and Wells, 1981; Goode, 1959). A l l s i x co-researchers were from North America. Whether or not these experiences would surface i n other c u l t u r e s or other s o c i e t i e s would r e q u i r e t h a t both c r o s s - c u l t u r a l and i n t r a c u l t u r a l s t u d i e s be undertaken i n order t o assess p o s s i b l e s i m i l a r i t i e s and d i f f e r e n c e s . As d i scussed p r e v i o u s l y , each of the models presented captures an aspect of l o v e . The essence of the experience i s hidden w i t h i n the models—as the essence i s t o be found i n the meaning of each unique experience. 100 In a n a l y z i n g the themes presented by the s i x co-rese a r c h e r s , a p a t t e r n begins t o emerge t h a t f o r these s i x i n d i v i d u a l c o n s t i t u t e s the core of the love experience. I m p l i c a t i o n s f o r C o u n s e l l i n g I t was s i g n i f i c a n t during the i n t e r v i e w s t h a t the co-researchers, at v a r i o u s times, commented on t h e i r need t o share and d i s c u s s the experience as i t happened. During the second i n t e r v i e w , co-researchers expressed t h a t reading the p r o t o c o l s and the themes v a l i d a t e d t h e i r experience. A l l s i x co-researchers mentioned t h a t the t e l l i n g of t h e i r s t o r y and, i n p a r t i c u l a r , the reading of t h e i r t r a n s c r i p t , had provided a r e l i e f and a l i g h t n e s s , f u r t h e r c l a r i f y i n g important i s s u e s f o r them. The m a j o r i t y of c o u n s e l l o r s are not t r a i n e d t o d i s c u s s " l o v e " and i t s attendant behaviors (Buehler and Well s , 1981; L e i b o w i t z , 1983; Person, 1988; Tennov, 1980). The themes e l i c i t e d i n t h i s study, as w e l l as the study i t s e l f , w i l l c o n t r i b u t e t o the awareness of the c o u n s e l l o r . In the c o u n s e l l i n g s i t u a t i o n the c o u n s e l l o r has the oppo r t u n i t y t o become a co-explorer w i t h the c l i e n t ( C l a s p e l l , 1984). Based on the feedback from the second i n t e r v i e w s , s t o r y - t e l l i n g as a technique, i n c l u d i n g r e c o r d i n g and t r a n s c r i b i n g the co-researcher's experience, would be a v a l u a b l e c o u n s e l l i n g t o o l . 101 The c o u n s e l l o r , as l i s t e n e r , i s a v a i l a b l e f o r the i n d i v i d u a l t o u n f o l d h i s / h e r concerns without f e e l i n g embarrassed, judged, or defensive. The c o u n s e l l o r needs t o be f u l l y present w i t h the c l i e n t as he or she des c r i b e s the love r e l a t i o n s h i p , u s i n g techniques such a r e f l e c t i o n , c l a r i f i c a t i o n , open-ended questions and summarizing. Buehler and Wells (1981) c i t e t hree components of which a c o u n s e l l o r , d e a l i n g w i t h one who has undertaken the " l o v e r " r o l e , should be aware. The f i r s t i s r e s p e c t i n g the c l i e n t ' s c l a i m t o the r o l e of " l o v e r " . According t o Buehler and Wells, a person " i n l o v e " tends t o e x h i b i t c e r t a i n behaviors and expects c e r t a i n behaviors i n response t o h i s r o l e . The c o u n s e l l o r ( i n t h i s s i t u a t i o n ) must then decided how he/she w i l l i n t e r a c t w i t h a c l i e n t i n t h e i r r o l e . Using the p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l - e x i s t e n t i a l approach, t r u s t between the c l i e n t and the c o u n s e l l o r i s e s s e n t i a l , otherwise there w i l l be a h e s i t a n c y on the p a r t of the c l i e n t t o d i s c l o s e f e e l i n g s or t o g l o s s over what happened f o r f e a r of being misunderstood. This approach does not r e q u i r e t h a t the c o u n s e l l o r undertake any assessment as t o how or why the c l i e n t i s " i n l o v e " . Buehler and Wells (1981) f u r t h e r c i t e the importance of a s c e r t a i n i n g the co s t and reward t h a t the l o v e r r o l e holds f o r the c l i e n t . In using the p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l - e x i s t e n t i a l approach, the experience i s not open t o i n t e r p r e t a t i o n by the c o u n s e l l o r . The behaviors of the c l i e n t w i t h i n the s i t u a t i o n have no p a r t i c u l a r value other than as 102 c l a r i f i c a t i o n . The c l i e n t needs t o f e e l f u l l y f r e e t o explore the meaning of the experience. L a s t l y , Buehler and Wells (1981) suggest t h a t the c o u n s e l l o r analyze the v a r i o u s elements of the l o v e r r o l e , e s p e c i a l l y as i d e a l i z a t i o n (of the loved one) can have both negative and p o s i t i v e consequences f o r the c l i e n t . The p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l - e x i s t e n t i a l approach i s h o l i s t i c i n c h a r a c t e r , and as such, c o u n s e l l o r s working w i t h t h i s approach are f a c i l i t a t o r s . Instead of encouraging the c l i e n t t o analyze the present love s i t u a t i o n , he/she i s encouraged t o p l a c e the i n c i d e n t i n such a manner t h a t i t r e l a t e s not only t o previous s i g n i f i c a n t experiences but a l s o w i t h i n the f a m i l i a l concept. The experience of love thereby becomes an i n t e g r a l p a r t of the growth process r a t h e r than a moment i n time t o be l i v e d through. I m p l i c a t i o n s f o r Research The themes e l u c i d a t e d i n the study, s e p a r a t e l y and taken as a whole, may be used as a s t a r t i n g p o i n t f o r f u r t h e r research. In c o n s i d e r i n g f u t u r e e x p l o r a t i o n of the essence of l o v e , one could query the themes themselves. Are they c u l t u r e - s p e c i f i c , or would s i m i l a r themes be found i n other c u l t u r e s ? Would the e s s e n t i a l s t r u c t u r e found i n the exhaustive d e s c r i p t i o n of t h i s study be the same, or would a c u l t u r e - r e f l e c t i v e s t r u c t u r e emerge? 103 The co-researchers, w i t h one exception, i n i t i a l l y experienced t h e i r s i g n i f i c a n t "love a t t r a c t i o n " between the onset of adulthood and t h e i r mid-twenties. I s i t p a r t of one's l i f e stages t o experience a strong connection t o a s i g n i f i c a n t other? I f the experience does not occur i n e a r l y adulthood, w i l l i t occur at a l a t e r time? I s the experience a necessary p a r t of one's "passages" through l i f e ? Are there s p e c i f i c male/female responses t o the romantic love experience? For example, the two male researchers e x p r e s s l y mentioned t h a t smell was important t o them. A l s o , the two male co-researchers continued t o d i s c u s s t h e i r l o v e r s i n i d e a l i z e d terms. On reading the p r o t o c o l , R. s a i d " i t was what I s a i d then and what I t h i n k now." B. commented t h a t he s t i l l t h i n k s E. i s "the b r i g h t e s t person I have known". C o l a i z z i (1978) s t a t e s t h a t the e x i s t e n t i a l meaning of the phenomenological t h e s i s i s t h a t research can never be complete. Further e x p l o r a t i o n i n t o the area of romantic love can only add t o our understanding of the experience. SUMMARY The purpose of t h i s study was t o i n v e s t i g a t e the meaning of romantic love before, during and a f t e r the t e r m i n a t i o n of the love r e l a t i o n s h i p . This was done u s i n g the p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l - e x i s t e n t i a l approach. The s i x co-researchers interviewed had each experienced a s i g n i f i c a n t romantic love r e l a t i o n s h i p and were open t o 104 s h a r i n g t h e i r experience w i t h the researcher. The i n t e r v i e w s were tape-recorded and then t r a n s c r i b e d . The t r a n s c r i p t s were analyzed u s i n g C o l a i z z i ' s method (1975). S i g n i f i c a n t statements were p u l l e d from the t r a n s c r i p t s and themes were then formulated around each statement. The themes were used t o prepare an exhaustive d e s c r i p t i o n . The researcher returned t o each co-researcher f o r v a l i d a t i o n of the t r a n s c r i p t , themes and d e s c r i p t i o n . Person (1988) noted t h a t romantic love i s one of the most " s i g n i f i c a n t c r u c i b l e s f o r growth" (p. 23). In order t o make sense of the experience, one needs t o see what s e t s i t apart from other human experiences (Pope, 1980). 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Drugs and t h e p u b l i c . New York: Simon and S c h u s t e r . APPENDIX A: LETTER APPENDIX B: PROTOCOLS 123 T r a n s c r i p t #1 (Case M) K: C o u l d you p l e a s e d e s c r i b e i n as much d e t a i l as p o s s i b l e what was happening t o you b e f o r e , d u r i n g , and a f t e r y o u r r o m a n t i c l o v e r e l a t i o n s h i p , as though you were t e l l i n g a s t o r y ? M: Okay, I t h i n k I've g o t t o go back two y e a r s b e f o r e I met t h i s f e l l o w , and I ' l l t e l l you why. I was e i g h t e e n a t t h e t i m e , and I ' d e n t e r e d u n i v e r s i t y . And I roomed w i t h two w o m e n — a c t u a l l y , f o u r women—from N.A.. And t h r o u g h o u t t h e y e a r , you know, I was g o i n g out w i t h o t h e r p e o p l e — y o u know, I was e i g h t e e n , I was g o i n g o ut w i t h a l o t o f i n t e r e s t i n g p e o p l e — a n d t h e y would keep g o i n g back and f o r t h t o some o f t h e i r male f r i e n d s t h a t t h e y knew i n a f r a t e r n i t y a t S.. And t h e y ' d come back a l w a y s , a l l o f them i n u n i s o n , and t h e y would say, "Oh, you must meet t h i s f e l l o w a t S.. I mean, you two a r e so r i g h t f o r each o t h e r , you've g o t t o meet him. Come up w i t h us some weekend." And whatever. W e l l , you know, t h a t was f i n e . I mean, I d i d n ' t t h i n k a n y t h i n g o f i t , because, w e l l , I'm g o i n g o ut w i t h o t h e r p e o p l e , and I'm d o i n g o t h e r t h i n g s . And t h e n i n t h e s p r i n g , I went up t o N.A., s t a y e d a t somebody's house, and went t o S.. And t h i s woman wanted me t o meet t h i s f e l l o w . But i n s t e a d I met a n o t h e r f e l l o w , and he came down l a t e r , and t h a t was, you know, t h a t was r e a l l y n o t h i n g . But i t was funny, because, a g a i n , t h a t c o n n e c t i o n w i t h S.. Next y e a r , t h e s e p e o p l e c o n t i n u o u s l y went up t o S. a g a i n , and would be s a y i n g t h e same t h i n g . I don't t h i n k t h e y t o l d t h i s f e l l o w about i t . I mean, I t h i n k t h e y j u s t , you know, yakked amongst t h e m s e l v e s , t h e g i r l f r i e n d s . And t h e n one o f my roommates was g o i n g v e r y , v e r y s t e a d y w i t h t h i s f e l l o w ' s b e s t f r i e n d . You know, he was t h i s f e l l o w ' s b e s t f r i e n d . The f e l l o w was I . , t h a t I was g o i n g t o meet. So h i s b e s t f r i e n d went w i t h one o f my roommates. And so maybe t h e y t a l k e d about i t a b i t , who knows. Anyway, I went t o T., and U o f T and t h e n went t o R. f o r my t h i r d and f o u r t h y e a r . I g o t t o R. i n my t h i r d y e a r . I went t h r o u g h r u s h , and j o i n e d a s o r o r i t y . J u s t because t h e r e were t w e n t y - e i g h t thousand p e o p l e t h e r e , I f e l t I 'd be t o o l o n e l y and whatever. So a l l o f us j o i n e d s o r o r i t i e s , my roommates and I . And t h e y j o i n e d o t h e r s o r o r i t i e s , and I j o i n e d one. I guess, one o f my roommates and I j o i n e d one, t h i s one. And I g o t i n t o t h a t s o r o r i t y , and one o f my p l e d g e c l a s s members o f t h i s s o r o r i t y was I . ' s s i s t e r ( l a u g h t e r ) . When I t h i n k o f i t ! And t h e n when I met h e r , I t h o u g h t , "Oh my God!", I s a i d . I went up t o h e r , and I g o t t o know h e r . And t h e n she became my roommate i n t h e s o r o r i t y . Out o f a hundred women, she's my roommate. And I t h o u g h t , " T h i s i s r e a l l y r i d i c u l o u s . " So she was my roommate i n t h e s p r i n g , and I d i d n ' t t e l l h e r a n y t h i n g about t h i s . And she s a i d t o me, a f t e r rooming w i t h me f o r a c o u p l e o f weeks, I guess i t w a s — h e r name was K . — s h e s a i d , "You know, M., you have j u s t g o t t o meet my b r o t h e r . " And I 124 t h o u g h t , "Oh my God, I might as w e l l t e l l h e r t h i s s t o r y . " I s a i d , "You, t o o ? " And she s a i d , "No, r e a l l y , I c a n ' t b e l i e v e i t , how much you r e a l l y would g e t a l o n g . " Okay. So I was r e a l l y p r i m e d f o r t h i s guy. She had a p i c t u r e o f him i n h e r room. I went down t o h e r house f o r h e r d i n n e r , down t o S.A., from R., we'd go down f o r t h e weekend, and t h e r e he was. And h e r mother s a i d t o me, "You must r e a l l y meet my son!" ( l a u g h t e r ) So I t h o u g h t , "Oh!" And I d i d see a p i c t u r e o f him, and he r e a l l y — i t was i n t e r e s t i n g — b e c a u s e I l o o k e d a t h i s p i c t u r e and I r e a l l y l i k e d him. I t h o u g h t he was v e r y handsome. He seemed l i k e a f i n e f e l l o w . The f a m i l y was r e a l l y n i c e — v e r y , you know, r e a l l y c o n g e n i a l . I f e l t v e r y much a t home w i t h t h a t f a m i l y . Both t h e mother and f a t h e r , and t h e s i s t e r . I t was l i k e my second f a m i l y . So June came around, and K. wanted me t o s t a y . She had i t s e t up. She and h e r mother wanted me t o s t a y a t h e r house f o r t h e week, because I was K.'s f r i e n d . And h e r b r o t h e r would be t h e r e . I s a i d f i n e . You know, I mean, I was t h i n k i n g : " T h i s i s r e a l l y funny. You know, you've g o t t o r e a l l y f o l l o w t h i s t h r o u g h . I mean, i f p e o p l e a l l t h i n k t h a t t h i s guy's f o r you a n d . . . W e l l , what have I g o t t o l o s e ? " So I remember coming...I was t a k i n g t h i r d - y e a r S p a n i s h t h e n , because I was w r i t i n g t o a f e l l o w i n X.. And he was w r i t i n g me l e t t e r s i n S p a n i s h , so I f i g u r e d I s h o u l d , you know...He was an American l i v i n g i n X. f o r t h e y e a r , a b i o l o g y s t u d e n t . Anyway, so I t o o k S p a n i s h f o r him. So a f t e r my S p a n i s h c l a s s was f i n i s h e d , I was w a l k i n g up t h e r o a d — a n d I ' l l n e ver f o r g e t i t — I was w a l k i n g up t h e s t r e e t back t o t h e s o r o r i t y house. And t h e r e was a l i t t l e b a l c o n y . And t h e r e was t h i s t a l l , r e a l l y v e r y f a i r , I ' d s a y — n o t b l o n d h a i r , b u t s a n d y - c o l o u r e d h a i r , I ' l l n e v e r f o r g e t i t — and he y e l l e d at...Nobody had t o l d him a n y t h i n g . So we t a l k e d about t h i s l a t e r . Nobody had s a i d a word t o him about me, because t h e y j u s t wanted t o see what would happen. But I knew a l l about him. He j u s t knew a f r i e n d o f K.'s, a f r i e n d o f h i s s i s t e r ' s , would be s t a y i n g t h e r e f o r a week. And he s t o o d out t h e b a l c o n y . I f o r g e t what h e . . . I ' l l n e v e r f o r g e t t h e moment, b u t he y e l l e d o ut t o me, a l l t h e way down t h e s t r e e t i n a w o n d e r f u l , you know—"How d i d y o u r t e s t go?" o r something t o t h a t e f f e c t . As i f he always knew me, you know. And I s a i d , "Oh, what a n e a t guy. What a n i c e f e l l o w . " And he s a i d , "Come on up." You know. "We're g e t t i n g ready t o go, and I'd l o v e t o meet you." Or w hatever, you know. He was v e r y c o n g e n i a l . And we t a l k e d about i t a f t e r w a r d s , t h a t i t was r e a l l y odd. I mean, even when he saw me, he s a i d , w alk up t h e s t r e e t . And when I saw him from a d i s t a n c e on t h e b a l c o n y — I guess my eyes were b e t t e r t h e n ; now I wouldn't even be a b l e t o see h i m ! — t h a t he j u s t , he r e a l l y i m m e d i a t e l y l i k e d me. And I guess I i m m e d i a t e l y l i k e d him. And we went u p s t a i r s and I t h o u g h t , "Oh my God!" I w a l k e d i n t h e room and t h e r e he was. I t h o u g h t , "Oh my gosh. Oh!" I was r e a l l y a l m o s t s p e e c h l e s s . He was, l i k e , my i d e a l t h a t I had always f a n t a s i z e d about, s t a n d i n g r i g h t t h e r e i n f r o n t o f me. I t a l m o s t f e l t l i k e 125 o t h e r h a l f o f m y s e l f . I mean, t h e r e was n o . . . I t was j u s t , we s t o o d t h e r e , j u s t s o r t o f l o o k i n g a t each o t h e r . K: I t sounds as though i t happened i n s t a n t a n e o u s l y f o r you. M: I t was. I n s t a n t . I t was i n s t a n t . And I t h o u g h t , I n e v e r had t h a t e v e r happen t o me b e f o r e . K: Can you d e s c r i b e t h e f e e l i n g s t h a t were h a p p e n i n g f o r you a t t h e t i m e ? M: (pause) I f e l t I ' d met my husband. I f e l t t h a t , " T h i s i s i t . " K: I n what way was t h i s i t ? M: I j u s t f e l t I had know t h i s p e r s o n a l l my l i f e . T hat t h i s r e a l l y f i t . T h i s p e r s o n f i t . The way he i n t e r a c t e d w i t h me, he f i t a l l my v a l u e s . I f e l t s e c u r e w i t h him. And t h a t i n s t a n t , he f i t my image o f my t y p e , you know, t h e t y p e I would be a t t r a c t e d t o . He l o o k e d l i k e an I v y League u n i v e r s i t y f e l l o w , b u t a t t h e same t i m e , s t r o n g i d e a l s on a s o c i a l c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f t h i n g s . L i k e , he came from a v e r y w e l l - o f f f a m i l y , v e r y w e l l b r o u ght-up, b u t v e r y s t r o n g i d e a l s . And j u s t r e a l l y my t y p e . You know, by s t r o n g i d e a l s I mean r e a l l y g o i n g o u t and h e l p i n g t h e w o r l d . You know, I mean, I was o n l y twenty-one ( l a u g h t e r ) . I gues s , I was a l i t t l e b i t i d e a l i s t i c t h e n o r something. So he f i t e v e r y t h i n g . He f i t e v e r y s i n g l e t h i n g I 'd e v e r t h o u g h t I wanted i n a p e r s o n . K: So i t wasn't as though something p a r t i c u l a r s t o o d o u t f o r you? M: Oh, I r e a l l y l i k e d h i s s m i l e , h i s eyes . H i s eyes s p a r k l e d . H i s eyes had a l o t o f k i n d n e s s i n them. H i s eyes l o o k e d l i k e he c o u l d see r i g h t t h r o u g h me. I f e l t i m m e d i a t e l y u n d e r s t o o d , l i k e he's always known me. K: Can you e l a b o r a t e on t h i s f e e l i n g o f b e i n g u n d e r s t o o d ? M: T h a t ' s a h a r d one. (pause) I know we d i d n ' t r e a l l y have t o f i l l i n a l o t . That we were r i g h t on t h e same wa v e l e n g t h . And something I s a i d , he would come r i g h t back and answer i t . I t was j u s t r e a l l y d i r e c t communication. But t h e r e was j u s t so much k i n d n e s s i n h i s eyes. So much warmth, i n t e l l i g e n c e . I t was j u s t r e a l l y , you know...He wasn't a t S. a t t h a t t i m e . I s h o u l d say t h a t a l s o . I was a t R., and he was back a t G. U n i v e r s i t y g e t t i n g h i s M a s t e r ' s . And so, I mean, t h a t ' s why I d i d n ' t see him t h a t whole y e a r . He came home f o r t h e summer. 126 K: W e l l , i n what way would you say y o u r m e e t i n g w i t h him, i n t h i s r o m a n t i c way, was d i f f e r e n t from y o u r f e e l i n g s f o r o t h e r p e o p l e ? M: (pause) I f e l t a t one w i t h him. I f e l t we were a c o u p l e i m m e d i a t e l y . I f e l t I c o u l d l a u g h w i t h him, I c o u l d do a n y t h i n g w i t h him, t h a t we had t h i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g between us . And, I mean, I had a l o t o f women f r i e n d s . I t f e l t l i k e h a v i n g a r e a l l y , r e a l l y good f r i e n d who's alw a y s known you t h a t I c o u l d c o n f i d e i n , b u t y e t h a v i n g t h a t a t t r a c t i o n a t t h e same t i m e , t o o . I t was l i k e t h e b e s t o f a l l w o r l d s . K: You're d e s c r i b i n g t h i s i n a v e r y p o s i t i v e way. M: Uh-hum. Yeah, I mean, i t was j u s t t h e most w o n d e r f u l f e e l i n g I e v e r e x p e r i e n c e d . I n e v e r , e v e r dreamed I would f e e l so w o n d e r f u l . A t t h a t moment...I mean, I'd seen a l o t o f r o m a n t i c movies and a l l t h a t , where p e o p l e , you know, saw each o t h e r from a c r o s s a crowded room, but I'd n e v e r f e l t i t . I t h i n k when you f e e l i t , i t ' s so overwhelming. One moment y o u ' r e f i n i s h i n g a S p a n i s h t e s t , f e e l i n g p e r f e c t l y f i n e . You know, and okay. I mean, I wasn't an unhappy p e r s o n , and I wasn't d e p r e s s e d . I r e a l l y , r e a l l y had a good s o c i a l l i f e . I had good f r i e n d s . I had e v e r y t h i n g . And I wasn't a t t a c h e d t o anyone a t t h e t i m e . W r i t i n g t o t h a t f e l l o w i n X., b u t I r e a l l y wasn't a t t a c h e d t o him. I w o u l d n ' t say I was l a c k i n g a n y t h i n g . I d i d n ' t f e e l l i k e I was l a c k i n g a n y t h i n g . But a t t h a t moment, I f e l t t h a t my w o r l d had n e v e r b e e n . . . t h a t I must have been g r e a t l y l a c k i n g s omething. I f e l t t h a t i t was complete. That I n e v e r wanted t o be w i t h anyone e l s e a g a i n , m a l e - w i s e . T h i s was i t . How c o u l d a n y t h i n g t o p t h i s ? K: So he seemed t o f i l l a l l y o u r d e s i r e s f o r t h e moment. M: J u s t . . . i t f i t . A l l my f a n t a s i e s , a l l my t h o u g h t s on who I would marry t h a t I s p e n t a l l my teenage y e a r s and c o l l e g e y e a r s , m a y b e — y o u know, c o l l e g e y e a r s , I t h i n k , I s p e n t l e s s t h i n k i n g about...maybe more m a r r i a g e - w i s e I thought...He j u s t f i t a l l o f i t . And t h e n t o r e a l l y be a t t r a c t e d t o someone a t t h e same t i m e . I mean, I'd been a t t r a c t e d t o p e o p l e b e f o r e , where you l i k e a c e r t a i n way t h e y h o l d t h e i r head, o r a c e r t a i n way t h e y move, s m i l e . But t h i s was e v e r y t h i n g ! I t was l i k e I c o u l d n ' t narrow down what i t was. K: And was t h i s i n t h e b e g i n n i n g o f t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p ? M: You mean, d i d i t l a s t ? K: Yes. M: W e l l , we had a l o n g - d i s t a n c e romance. So i t n e v e r ended. That f e e l i n g n e v e r went away. I f we had seen each o t h e r . . . B y l o n g - d i s t a n c e , we saw each o t h e r , you know, t h e n , 127 f o r t h a t week, we saw each o t h e r a g a i n i n t h e summer f o r a week, I came up t o N.A., we w r o t e l e t t e r s a l m o s t e v e r y day, and t h e n i n t h e f a l l we saw each o t h e r f o r a week, and t h e n t h e n e x t C h r i s t m a s f o r two weeks. So t h a t ' s i t . K: W e l l , i t sounds as though t h e d i s t a n c e k e p t t h i s e u p h o r i c f e e l i n g . M: Oh, yeah. I mean, I don't know what i t would've been l i k e . A c t u a l l y , I had f e a r s o f t h a t . Not t h a t — I a l w a y s had f e a r s t h a t my f e e l i n g s wouldn't go, t h a t maybe h i s f e e l i n g s would go. And I don't know q u i t e why. Because i t seemed t o o b i z a r r e . And I'd known p e o p l e t h a t were, you know, r e a l l y , had had t h o s e f e e l i n g s f o r somebody, and gone ou t w i t h them, and t h e n t h e y r e a l l y s t i l l k e p t t h e l o v e g o i n g , b u t i t wasn't t h a t i n i t i a l Wow!... s t r o n g a t t a c h m e n t f e e l i n g . So, yeah, we had t h i s l o n g - d i s t a n c e romance. And so I t h i n k t h a t k e p t i t a l i v e . Now, we s p e n t e v e r y day t o g e t h e r f o r t h e n e x t week. And i t was j u s t so amazing, because e v e r y t h i n g t h a t would o c c u r seemed t o c o n f i r m t h a t f i r s t moment. I mean, we d i d n o t e x p r e s s our f e e l i n g s f o r each o t h e r t h a t week. We j u s t s p e n t t i m e t o g e t h e r . We went out t o g e t h e r . Not on d a t e s , b u t we went out t o g e t h e r d r i v i n g around, we s p e n t t i m e i n t h e garden t o g e t h e r , we spend t i m e i n t h e e v e n i n g s t o g e t h e r — b e c a u s e I was l i v i n g a t t h e house f o r a week. And he was j u s t so much f u n . We had so much f u n . We would j u s t be c o m p l e t e l y — I was c o m p l e t e l y m y s e l f w i t h him. I mean, t h e r e was no p u t - o n s . He saw me w i t h eye make-up, whatever, o f f . He saw me r o l l e r s on. He saw me w i t h e v e r y t h i n g , and i t d i d n ' t seem t o m a t t e r . That was r e a l l y n e a t , t o o . He was l i k e a b r o t h e r t o me. K: What do you mean, l i k e a b r o t h e r t o you. M: (pause) W e l l , I mean, I know t h a t t h a t sounds v e r y u n r o m a n t i c when you say somebody's l i k e a b r o t h e r . I t ' s j u s t t h a t , I n e v e r met somebody t h a t I c o u l d be w i t h , be a t t r a c t e d t o , have t h i s marvelous f e e l i n g o f f a l l i n g i n l o v e — I r e a l l y d e f i n i t e l y f e l t I was f a l l i n g i n l o v e w i t h h i m — a n d y e t , I f e l t so c o m f o r t a b l e w i t h him, and c o u l d l a u g h and j o k e as i f he was a p a l , a r e a l l y good f r i e n d . And, I guess I was w i t h h i s s i s t e r , so i t f e l t l i k e we were two s i s t e r s and a b r o t h e r , t o o . K: V e r y c o m f o r t a b l e . M: V e r y , v e r y c o m f o r t a b l y . Yeah, t h a t ' s r i g h t . No t e n s i o n . I mean, I t h o u g h t r o m a n t i c l o v e would have t h e t e n s i o n . T h i s d i d n ' t have t h e t e n s i o n a t a l l . I t had c o m p l e t e r e l a x a t i o n , i f a n y t h i n g . J u s t r e a l l y a t ease. I t was g r e a t . Yeah. Do you want me t o c o n t i n u e ? S h o u l d I c o n t i n u e , maybe, t i m e - w i s e ? S h o u l d I c o n t i n u e ? K: Uh-hum. M: Okay. S h o u l d I maybe go on and t e l l you what happened? K: Uh-hum. M: Okay. A f t e r t h a t f i r s t week, I went back t o N.G.. And t h e n he w r o t e t o me and s a i d t h a t h i s c o u s i n i n S.A.—N.Q.-was h a v i n g h e r d e b u t a n t e b a l l o r whatever. So he wanted t o know i f I would come up f o r t h e p a r t y . And I t h o u g h t , "Oh, t h a t would be f u n , a c t u a l l y . " And he s e n t me a l o t o f l e t t e r s s a y i n g , you know, "Love, I . , " and a l l t h a t . And he would w r i t e t h e s e l e t t e r s . He would s t a r t t h e l e t t e r s , "Dear P r i n c e s s . " I t ' s v e r y i n t e r e s t i n g , because I l i k e d t h a t , because I f e l t I was p u t on a p e d e s t a l , b u t , t o me, t h a t d i d n ' t f i t t h a t one week were t o g e t h e r . Now I'm a n a l y z i n g i t from a d i s t a n c e now, b u t I remember t h e n even t h i n k i n g . . . I t h i n k t h a t ' s why I d i d n ' t know i t would l a s t , a t t h a t t i m e . Because w r i t i n g "Dear P r i n c e s s " — I ' m c e r t a i n l y a n y t h i n g b u t a p r i n c e s s ( l a u g h t e r ) . K: So you f e l t he was i d e a l i z i n g you. M: He was i d e a l i z i n g me! And I t h o u g h t , " W e l l , God, he saw me a l l d i f f e r e n t ways, e v e r y w h i c h way, i n June. And what' he d o i n g c a l l i n g me ' P r i n c e s s ' f o r ? " That j u s t r e a l l y d i d n ' t f i t . And my mother s a i d , " W e l l j u s t a c c e p t t h a t t h e man's i n l o v e w i t h you, he's f a l l i n g i n l o v e . L e t him have t h i s . " And I s a i d : "Oh, w e l l , I'm g o i n g t o f a l l o f f my p e d e s t a l . " And I was, even a t twenty-one, w o r r i e d about t h a t . K: W o r r i e d about? M: W e l l , I d i d n ' t want t o f a l l o f f a p e d e s t a l . What I r e a l l y l i k e d about t h i s was t h a t he saw me who I was. K: You f e l t you d i d n ' t have t o p u t on any p r e t e n s i o n s f o r him? M: T h a t ' s r i g h t . But h e r e I am b e i n g a p r i n c e s s ? Oh-oh. L i k e , what's happened here? I s i t t h a t I've l e f t t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p , gone home, and now he's i d e a l i z i n g me from a f a r ? I d i d n ' t r e a l l y know, you know. And I l e f t i t a t t h a t . He would e x p r e s s h i s f e e l i n g f o r me. Gee, I w i s h I s t i l l had t h o s e l e t t e r s on me. Anyway, I went up f o r t h a t week i n t h e summer, and i t was even b e t t e r t h a n June. I t was w o n d e r f u l . But t h e r e was a d i f f e r e n c e . I n June, when we were t o g e t h e r , i f I remember back, I don't t h i n k we e v e r k i s s e d . We n e v e r k i s s e d . K: Not d u r i n g y o u r r e l a t i o n s h i p a t a l l ? M: No, t h e f i r s t w e e k — o h yeah, d u r i n g t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p — b u t t h a t f i r s t week i n June, we n e v e r k i s s e d a t a l l . We 129 were n o t t e l l i n g each o t h e r our f e e l i n g s . And I t h i n k t h r o u g h l e t t e r s , t h e f e e l i n g s became s t r o n g e r . K: How d i d you f e e l about n o t t e l l i n g y o u r f e e l i n g s ? M: ( l o n g pause) I f e l t okay, because, i n a way, he had...Okay, now t h i s i s , you know, j u s t my u p b r i n g i n g t h e n . A t t h e t i m e , I f e l t i t was a man's t h i n g — I w o u l d n ' t f e e l t h a t way n o w — b u t I f e l t t h e n i t was a man's t h i n g t o f i r s t e x p r e s s t h e f e e l i n g s . K: So i f he d e c l a r e d h i s f e e l i n g s f i r s t — M: Then I c o u l d , t h e n I c o u l d . So I l e t him t a k e t h e r e i g n t h e r e . So, i n a r e a s l i k e t h a t — I mean, we were e q u a l i n e v e r y way, as f a r as i n June, and j u s t b e i n g m y s e l f , and y a k k i n g away and a l l t h a t — b u t , as f a r as t h e m a t t e r s o f b e i n g i n t i m a t e , r e v e a l i n g what we f e e l f o r each o t h e r , I a l l o w e d him t o do t h a t f i r s t . K: I g e t a sense t h a t you might have been f e e l i n g some f e a r around e x p r e s s i n g y o u r f e e l i n g s f i r s t . M: Oh, d e f i n i t e l y . But t h a t wasn't done. Women j u s t n e v e r d i d t h a t . Because you wouldn't a l l o w a man t o know what you f e l t , because you c o u l d be r e j e c t e d . Y e t I r e a l i z e t h a t men can c e r t a i n l y be r e j e c t e d , t o o . But t h a t ' s how we f e l t . And t h a t ' s how I f e l t , you know, d e f i n i t e l y . So, I f i g u r e d , " W e l l , i t ' s up t o him." And he c e r t a i n l y seemed t o be s t a r t i n g t o r e v e a l a l o t o f f e e l i n g s . L i k e , I c a n ' t remember e x a c t l y t h e n , b u t I knew t h a t c e r t a i n l y he was f e e l i n g v e r y , v e r y s t r o n g l y . And he d i d s e n t a b i g Peanuts c a r d s a y i n g " I l o v e you" on i t . D i d he say "I l o v e you"? He s a i d something t o t h a t e f f e c t , I remember. But anyway, t h e f e e l i n g s were s t r o n g . Then I went up t h e r e f o r a week, and t h e n we d i d s t a r t s p e n d i n g t i m e w i t h each o t h e r i n a r o m a n t i c way. The r e l a t i o n s h i p changed, I would s a y , a b i t . K: Changed? M: W e l l , changed i n t h a t i t became more i n t e n s e . R o m a n t i c a l l y . Because he r e v e a l e d h i s f e e l i n g s f o r me. He d i d n ' t say he l o v e d me, i n p e r s o n , bu t he r e v e a l e d h i s f e e l i n g s f o r me. K: I n what way d i d he r e v e a l h i s f e e l i n g s ? M: Oh, he j u s t s a i d he was f e e l i n g s t r o n g l y w i t h me. He t h i n k s he's f a l l i n g i n l o v e w i t h me. I t h i n k he d i d say t h a t . I c a n ' t remember t h e n . But I know he d i d f a l l . I remember t h e moment when he f i n a l l y s a i d he l o v e d me. K: And how d i d you f e e l about t h a t ? 130 M: About t h e summer? K: H i s d e c l a r i n g h i s f e e l i n g s f o r you. M: Oh, I l o v e d i t . I t h o u g h t , " W e l l , t h i s i s g r e a t . T h i s i s t h e way i t s h o u l d be. You know, t h i s was bound t o happen. You know, t h i s i s t h e n e x t s t e p . " That he was b e i n g open w i t h me about h i s f e e l i n g s . And I — t h a t was i n t e r e s t i n g f o r me. I h e l d back a b i t . I had n e v e r f e l t so s t r o n g l y f o r somebody. And I r e a l i z e d a t t h a t moment, "I'm not v e r y good a t r e v e a l i n g my f e e l i n g s f o r somebody." That was t h e f i r s t — I mean, even now, I'm t h i n k i n g about i t , I'm t h i n k i n g back, I r e a l i z e , "Gee, h e r e ' s a guy p r o f e s s i n g h i s c a r i n g , h i s f e e l i n g s , and I was p l a y i n g a b i t coy about t h a t . " I d i d n ' t t h i n k deeper t h a n t h a t t h e n . I mean, I'm j u s t t h i n k i n g back now. That was r e a l l y , t h a t was w e i r d o f me t o do t h a t . But a g a i n , I t h i n k t h a t ' s t h e u p b r i n g i n g — t h a t you don't r e v e a l t o o much, because t h e n maybe t h e y ' l l r u n away. You p l a y a l i t t l e h a r d t o g e t . I wasn't t h i n k i n g t h a t c o n s c i o u s l y a t a l l . I j u s t t h i n k i t was p r o p e r f o r me t o be "a l a d y . " So I d i d n ' t r e v e a l . . . But I a l s o t h i n k back now, I d i d n ' t r e a l l y know how t o e x p r e s s my f e e l i n g s . I f e l t v e r y embarrassed. K: Sounds as though c u l t u r a l norms g o t i n t h e way. M: Ah, y e s . Yes, I t h i n k so. Because, I mean, when I t h i n k back i n June, when we were t o g e t h e r , I had a g r e a t t i m e w i t h him. Of c o u r s e , I wasn't e x p r e s s i n g my i n t i m a t e f e e l i n g s . I wasn't d o i n g any i n t i m a t e r e v e a l i n g t o him, b u t we c e r t a i n l y had a g r e a t t i m e . But soon a s , you know, t h e more i n t i m a t e f e e l i n g s s t a r t e d coming, i t was h i s r o l e t o say i t , because I had been t a u g h t t h a t way. When g i r l f r i e n d s y akked t o g e t h e r i n h i g h s c h o o l and u n i v e r s i t y , you a l l say t h a t . P r o b a b l y t h e y don't do now, b u t we d i d . So I j u s t t h o u g h t t h a t was t h e t h i n g t o do. K: You a l s o mentioned t h a t more i n t i m a t e f e e l i n g s came i n t o p l a y . Can you e l a b o r a t e on t h o s e ? M: Yeah, t h e r e were s t r o n g s e x u a l f e e l i n g s . I mean, I t h i n k i f t h e r e were s e x u a l f e e l i n g s i n June, t h e y were a l l wrapped up i n l o v e and c a r i n g and f a l l i n g i n l o v e . Where, when he became s t r o n g e r and more r e v e a l i n g o f h i s f e e l i n g s — l i k e he would say t o me, you know, t h a t , you know, a l l t h o s e t h i n g s t h a t he c a r e d about me, o r t h a t , you know, "You're b e a u t i f u l " o r "Your eyes a r e l i k e t h i s . " I mean, he would do i t i n a v e r y r o m a n t i c way, i n t h a t he would be h o l d i n g me i n h i s arms, and he would be k i s s i n g me. And I n e v e r had t h a t happen t o me i n t h a t way. I mean, I d i d , b u t I mean, I d i d n ' t have such f e e l i n g s . So I had such s t r o n g s e x u a l f e e l i n g s . S t r o n g e s t f e e l i n g s I've e v e r f e l t i n my l i f e . But w i t h a p e r s o n t h a t I a l s o f e l t s u ch r e s p e c t f o r , such l o v e f o r and c a r i n g . They were a l l mixed up! 131 K: Sounds as though i t ' s a c o n f l i c t f o r you. M: No, I d i d n ' t t h i n k o f i t t h e n as a c o n f l i c t . Now I would t h i n k back i f I a n a l y z e d i t , b u t r i g h t t h e n , w i t h my f e e l i n g s , no, i t a l l j u s t seemed t o be p e r f e c t . And i f my f e e l i n g s were awkward, I t h o u g h t , i t ' s because I had n e v e r f a l l e n i n l o v e b e f o r e . I t r u l y f e l t I was i n l o v e . I ' d n e v e r been i n l o v e b e f o r e , so t h i s i s o b v i o u s l y what l o v e i s . You a r e n o t j u s t s e x u a l l y a t t r a c t e d t o somebody; you a c t u a l l y a r e i n l o v e . Now what's " i n l o v e " ? Some m a g i c a l word. But I d i d n ' t know what i t was, b u t I knew t h a t when I r e a d r o m a n t i c books o r r o m a n t i c movies, t h a t i t seemed l i k e p e o p l e j u s t f e l l i n l o v e . So I had f a l l e n i n t o t h i s , so I was h e l p l e s s , I t h o u g h t , t o c o n t r o l i t . K: Would you say t h a t i t was i n y o u r head, and a l o t o f f a n t a s i z i n g and t h i n k i n g , and now i t was moving down i n t o t h e body? M: Oh, i t was i n my body. Oh yeah. My body was v e r y a c t i v e ( l a u g h t e r ) . K: A c t i v e ? M: No, n o t a c t i v e p h y s i c a l l y . A c t i v e . . . i t was a c t i v e p h y s i c a l l y , b u t a c t i v e p h y s i c a l l y i n t h a t I was j u s t t h i n k i n g about him b e i n g i n t h e o t h e r room. I wasn't, we d i d n ' t — I mean, we were t h e n , you know, p r o p e r p e o p l e i n t h a t , you know, we never s l e p t w i t h each o t h e r . We j u s t what we used t o c a l l "made o u t " w i t h each o t h e r . K: Would you say you were p r e o c c u p i e d w i t h t h e s e f e e l i n g s ? M: Oh, y e s . He was my whole w o r l d . He was e v e r y t h i n g . He was i n my t h o u g h t s a l l t h e t i m e . Of c o u r s e , i n t h e summer, what e l s e do you have t o do? He was j u s t so w o n d e r f u l . I mean, a t t i m e s we would k i n d o f . . . I n t h e mornings, when we'd wake up, we'd go down t o b r e a k f a s t . I remember h a v i n g t h i s b e a u t i f u l f l o w e r e d robe t h a t I r e a l l y , r e a l l y l i k e d . And he s o r t o f t r e a t e d me l i k e a p r i n c e s s a b i t . I was s t i l l h i s f r i e n d and a l l t h a t , b u t I was now h i s l o v e r . But I was n o t h i s l o v e r ; a l l we d i d was k i s s each o t h e r and make o u t ! But somehow I had some s o r t o f . . . f e l t s p e c i a l . K: S p e c i a l ? M: (pause) I t f e l t l i k e he and I were t h e o n l y ones i n t h e w o r l d . That a l l t h e s e o t h e r p e o p l e were d a n c i n g around u s , b u t we were t h e o n l y ones t h a t r e a l l y were i n each o t h e r ' s e y e s , o r i n each o t h e r ' s h e a r t . K: So you had y o u r own unique space. 132 M: Oh, y e s . I t was l i k e a l i t t l e cocoon. I t was j u s t w o n d e r f u l . So t h a t week r e a l l y c o n f i r m e d f o r me, and c o n f i r m e d i t f o r him, t h a t we were f e e l i n g v e r y s t r o n g l y f o r each o t h e r . And, I mean, e v e r y n i g h t , everybody e l s e would go t o bed, and we'd s i t down and watch t . v . and j u s t make out u n t i l two i n t h e morning ( l a u g h t e r ) ! W i t h a l l t h e s e f e e l i n g s , r u m b l i n g s g o i n g on. J u s t m a r v e l o u s l y p a s s i o n a t e . P a s s i o n a t e . K: Can you e l a b o r a t e on t h e p a s s i o n ? M: I t j u s t seemed t o l e t go. I t ' s i n t e r e s t i n g . . . I mean, we j u s t seemed t o l e t go, b u t we ne v e r l e t go below t h e w a i s t ! ( l a u g h t e r ) I don't even know now why t h a t o c c u r r e d , b u t I guess, i n t h o s e days, you d i d n ' t a l l o w i t t o o c c u r . You j u s t n e v e r would e v e r t h i n k o f d o i n g t h a t . I supposed some p e o p l e d i d . K: I g e t a sense t h a t you were on a r o l l e r c o a s t e r , b u t t h a t i t had t o come t o a h a l t . M: Oh, you ne v e r went p a s t t h a t . I mean, t h e r e ' s k i n d o f an u n s a i d t h i n g , t h a t he would n ot have m i s t r e a t e d me. I mean, t h a t was k i n d o f t h e norm t h e n . I t h i n k he f e l t he would be m i s t r e a t i n g me. And I t h i n k he r e a l l y d i d f e e l t h a t he would want t o save t h a t f o r m a r r i a g e . We n e v e r t a l k e d about i t . B ut, I mean, h i s t y p e , I would say, would t h i n k t h a t . And I c e r t a i n l y t h o u g h t t h a t t h e n . K: Were p l a n s f o r t h e f u t u r e i n y o u r mind? M: Yeah. And I t h i n k i n h i s mind, t o o . I t h i n k t h a t we d i d n ' t d i s c u s s t h o s e p l a n s , b u t i t r e a l l y f e l t we were d i s c u s s i n g t h e f u t u r e . We were d i s c u s s i n g t h e f a l l , and I would come up i n t h e f a l l , he'd go back t o B., we'd see each o t h e r a t C h r i s t m a s , t h e n he was g o i n g t o pass t h e F o r e i g n S e r v i c e Exam, he was g o i n g i n t o t h e F o r e i g n S e r v i c e , I was g o i n g t o g r a d u a t e t h e n e x t y e a r i n J u n e — w e would be t a l k i n g l i k e t h i s . And t h e n I would go i n t o t h e F o r e i g n S e r v i c e w i t h him. Now what e l s e does t h a t mean, I suppose, t h a n I would go as h i s w i f e . Because i n t h o s e days, you woul d n ' t go i n any o t h e r way. You know, you j u s t w o u l d n ' t . So, t h e r e was l i k e f u t u r e s t e n t a t i v e l y — h e threw o u t t h e s e f u t u r e s t e n t a t i v e l y t o me. Not t e n t a t i v e l y , b u t a s s u r e d l y . T h i s was a s u r e t h i n g . But never s a y i n g m a r r i a g e . Then I went home. You know, t h e l e t t e r s came/ even more r o m a n t i c a l l y p a s s i o n a t e . R e v e a l i n g o f f e e l i n g s , a l o t o f l o v e and c a r i n g . Not s e x u a l l e t t e r s , d e f i n i t e l y n o t , b u t j u s t c a r i n g and l o v e . I would have been v e r y t u r n e d o f f i f t h e y had been s e x u a l . Then i n September, we came up a g a i n — I came up a g a i n — w e went out f o r one week a g a i n b e f o r e he went back t o B. and I went o f f t o R.. And t h e n , I remember g o i n g o ut one n i g h t i n t h e c a r . He j u s t grabbed me and p a s s i o n a t e l y k i s s e d me and s a i d t h a t he l o v e d me. He was 133 d r i v i n g me b a c k . . . I t was t h e end o f t h e week and he dropped me o f f a t my s o r o r i t y house. And t h e way he s a i d i t , i t was t h i s . . . I guess he'd been t h i n k i n g about i t a l o n g t i m e , and he j u s t b l u r t e d i t o u t . Now w a i t a m i n u t e . He s a i d some s o r t o f a poem. That was w e i r d . When I t h i n k about i t now i t sounds w e i r d . But I'm j u s t remembering back now, he s a i d some s o r t o f a poem. I f o r g e t what i t was. K: And you d i d n ' t f e e l i t was w e i r d a t t h a t t i m e . M: No, he was v e r y r o m a n t i c . T h i s i s j u s t a l l p a r t o f t h e r o m a n t i c i d e a l t h a t he was. That he would be t h e t y p e t o do t h i s , you know. And t h e n he s a i d he l o v e d me, you know, and he l o v e s me, and " I l o v e you v e r y d e e p l y . And, you know, I s a i d " I l o v e you" back. And i n t h o s e days, i t was r e a l l y funny. I don't know what t h e y do t h e s e days. But i n t h o s e days, when somebody s a i d t h e y l o v e d you, t h e y m e a n t — a t l e a s t , i n our group, t h e y t h o u g h t v e r y c a r e f u l l y about i t . Because " I l o v e you" meant " T h i s i s i t . " K: A commitment. M: T h i s i s a commitment. So he w r o t e e v e r y d a y , and we b o t h d e c i d e d we were not g o i n g t o d a t e anyone e l s e . We'd d i s c u s s e d t h a t . And we d i s c u s s e d t h a t , you know, he would t a k e h i s F o r e i g n S e r v i c e exam i n F e b r u a r y . I t h i n k he was t a k i n g i t f o r second t i m e . He g o t good gr a d e s i n s c h o o l , b u t t h i s F o r e i g n S e r v i c e exam, American F o r e i g n S e r v i c e exam, was v e r y d i f f i c u l t , and he m i s s e d i t by one p o i n t t h e y e a r b e f o r e . So he had t o t a k e i t a g a i n , because he was g e t t i n g h i s M a s t e r ' s i n p s y c h o l o g y a t G . — f o r e i g n s e r v i c e , p s y c h o l o g y . T h a t ' s my a r e a , t o o . I was i n p s c h o l o g y . And a g a i n , you see we even had t h e same major i n s c h o o l , when I t h i n k o f i t ! K: W e l l , you mentioned t h e f i t . M: Yeah, i t was j u s t v e r y s t r a n g e . So, you know, he s a i d he would come back a t C h r i s t m a s , and t h e n , you know, " L e t ' s t a l k more t h e n . . . " Okay, so I d i d n ' t d a t e anyone. I n f a c t , I g o t j o b w o r k i n g F r i d a y and S a t u r d a y n i g h t s , and I j u s t l i v e d i n my mind f o r him. I t o o k a p s y c h o l o g y c o u r s e , t h a t ' s r i g h t . Okay. I t o o k a p s y c h o l o g y c o u r s e . I t a l k e d t o my a d v i s e r , who s a i d , "Oh, you know, I r e a l l y want you t o go t o g r a d u a t e s c h o o l i n p s y c h o l o g y . " That was t h e l a s t t h i n g on my mind, because I was i n l o v e , r i g h t ? Who c a r e s about s c h o o l ? D i d n ' t want t o t e l l him t h a t . But he s a i d , you know, " I r e a l l y want t o p u t you i n t h i s p s y c h o l o g y c l a s s , because..." And I r e a l l y r e s p e c t e d t h i s a d v i s o r ; he was v e r y good. And he s a i d , " I want you t o r e a l l y t h i n k about y o u r c a r e e r . " I t h o u g h t , "Boy, he d o e s n ' t know I'm n o t even t h i n k i n g about my c a r e e r . " I mean, e v e r y t h i n g went ou t t h e window. Because when I . went back t o B. t h e n , a l l I d i d was t h i n k about him. I mean, I would go t o t h e l i b r a r y 134 and I t h o u g h t about him. I j u s t t h o u g h t about him a l l t h e t i m e . So t h i s guy, my a d v i s o r , p u t me i n t o a p s y c h o l o g y c l a s s w h i c h was v e r y heavy, v e r y p h i l o s o p h i c a l s t u f f . And I c o u l d n ' t t h i n k . K: The t h o u g h t s o f I . were so overwhelming t h a t t h e y s t o p p e d y o u r c o n c e n t r a t i o n . M: Yeah, I had t o drop o ut o f t h a t c l a s s . I k e p t my o t h e r c l a s s e s g o i n g , b u t I dropped o ut o f t h a t one. Because I — t h a t ' s t h e l a s t t h i n g I wanted t o do, was s t u d y p p s y c h o l o g i c a l t h e o r y . And I d i d n ' t even t e l l my a d v i s o r . I j u s t n e v e r went back t o him. Because I t h o u g h t he j u s t w o u l d n ' t u n d e r s t a n d i f I t o l d him I was i n l o v e . And t h a t j u s t — I mean, why would I be i n l o v e when I was t h i n k i n g o f a c a r e e r ? You know, I mean, I had a l l t h o s e t h i n g s , l i k e he would t h i n k i t was r e a l l y dumb. K: Sounds as though much o f y o u r t i m e was s p e n t i n t h e daydreams. M: Oh, a l l t h e t i m e . I daydreamed a l l t h e t i m e . I remember I had a t e n n i s c o u r s e I was t a k i n g . The b a l l s would be s h o t a t me. I woul d n ' t even see them coming. I ' d be s t a n d i n g t h e r e w i t h a t e n n i s r a c k e t . I ' l l n e v e r f o r g e t t h a t . The t e a c h e r would c o n s t a n t l y be y e l l i n g a t me. And I j u s t w o u l d n ' t be t h e r e . K: Sounds as though you were h a v i n g d i f f i c u l t y c o p i n g i n o t h e r a r e a s o f y o u r l i f e . M: Oh, yeah. I might as w e l l have been c o m p l e t e l y a zombie. And everybody knew t h a t I was i n l o v e . So t h e y j u s t s o r t o f e x p e c t e d i t . That seemed t o be what l o v e was. So I t h o u g h t , " T h i s i s what f a l l i n g i n l o v e i s . T h i n k i n g about t h e p e r s o n a l l t h e t i m e . But God, you know, I don't want t o f l u n k o u t o f t h i s u n i v e r s i t y . " K: Were t h o s e f e e l i n g s good f o r you, t h i n k i n g about l o v e a l l t h e t i m e ? M: Yeah, b u t I was g e t t i n g a l i t t l e w o r r i e d . I was g e t t i n g a l i t t l e w o r r i e d about two months i n t o t h e term. I mean, I was n o t s t u d y i n g a t a l l . K: You were h a v i n g d i f f i c u l t y s t o p p i n g t h e t h o u g h t s . M: I c o u l d n ' t s t u d y . I c o u l d n ' t s t o p t h e t h o u g h t s . And everyone I t a l k e d t o s a i d , "Oh, yo u ' r e j u s t i n l o v e . T h a t ' s j u s t what you e x p e c t . " And I t h o u g h t , " W e l l , I mean, I l o v e t h i n k i n g about t h i s p e r s o n . But gee w h i z , I don't want t o f l u n k o u t e i t h e r . " I d i d n ' t f l u n k o u t ; I d i d a l l r i g h t . But I s t u d i e d r i g h t b e f o r e t h e exams. And l u c k i l y I dropped t h a t p s y c h o l o g i c a l t h e o r y c o u r s e . So I d i d n ' t have t o have a 135 p a p e r . A paper would have been i m p o s s i b l e a t t h a t t i m e . The exam, a t l e a s t , I c o u l d p u t on t h e s t u f f a t t h e end, you know, and p r o c r a s t i n a t e and t h e n p u t on t h e s t u f f , and t h a t was okay. You know, and I d i d i t , because I knew i t was s u r v i v a l . I had t o . I c o u l d n ' t f l u n k . K: I n r e t r o s p e c t , i s t h e r e something t h a t you c o u l d have done t h e n t h a t would have h e l p e d you cope b e t t e r w i t h t h e f e e l i n g s , t h o s e i n - l o v e f e e l i n g s ? M: W e l l , now I know. But t h e n . . . I mean, now I would've done t h o u g h t - s t o p p i n g and a l l t h o s e t h i n g s , because I'm more aware. You know, I would have known. Nobody t o l d me t h o s e t h i n g s . Everyone s a i d , " T h i s i s t h e way i t i s . You have t o go t h r o u g h t h i s s t a g e , and i t ' s c o m p l e t e l y i m p o s s i b l e t o do a n y t h i n g about." Now I r e a l i z e I would have had t o want t o s t o p them, and I don't t h i n k I wanted t o s t o p them, e x c e p t when I was under d i r e c i r c u m s t a n c e s o f t a k i n g my exams. Because I e n j o y e d them. K: I t f e l t good. M: Yes. And I d i d not have any i n t e r e s t i n s c h o o l a t t h a t p o i n t . I j u s t d i d n ' t want t o f l u n k o u t , because I d i d want t o g r a d u a t e . But I f e l t I wasn't g o i n g on t o g r a d u a t e s c h o o l anyway. I mean, I c o u l d n ' t go on t o g r a d u a t e s c h o o l , because I had him. He was g o i n g t o pass t h e exam, and we were g o i n g t o go o v e r s e a s . I mean, t h i s was i n my mind, you know, t h a t we had k i n d o f t a l k e d about. N o t h i n g was l a i d o u t , b u t i t was j u s t e x p e c t e d . So I f i g u r e d , " W e l l , I ' l l j u s t g e t a B.A. I mean, who needs t o go t o g r a d u a t e s c h o o l anyway?" I n t h o s e days, v e r y few p e o p l e t h o u g h t about g o i n g t o g r a d u a t e s c h o o l . So you g o t y o u r B.A., and t h e n you g o t out and g o t a j o b . Or I p l a n n e d t o go t o B. and work f o r a congressman o r a s e n a t o r o r something l i k e t h a t i n p s y c h o l o g y . Or t h e U.N. — y o u know, I had dreams o f d o i n g t h a t . So you don't need t o go t o g r a d u a t e s c h o o l , so what would t h e gra d e s b e f o r e anyway? You know, I was r a t i o n a l i z -i n g t h a t way. And I t h i n k t h e n , i n t h a t e r a , t h a t was okay, t o r a t i o n a l i z e o r compromise. Because we weren't t h i n k i n g o f g r a d u a t e s c h o o l . And i f I wasn't t h a t i n t e r e s t e d i n t h e t o p i c a t t h a t moment i n my l i f e , f i n e , I ' l l l e t i t go. K: So you t h e n j u s t k e p t w i t h t h e f e e l i n g s t h a t were happening towards I . . M: Yeah, I j u s t k e p t them g o i n g . I d i d n ' t t h i n k about s t o p p i n g them. I was g e t t i n g a l i t t l e b i t w o r r i e d about my c o u r s e s though, y e s . And t h e n I j u s t knew t h a t , "Oh, I ' l l p u l l t h r o u g h , I always do, you know, and j u s t s t u d y . " Then when he came a t C h r i s t m a s t i m e — t h e f e e l i n g s were j u s t as i n t e n s e as e v e r — h e announced t o h i s p a r e n t s h i s f e e l i n g s f o r me, okay. They became v e r y w o r r i e d t h a t we were t o o young. I was twenty-one, and he was t w e n t y - t h r e e . They 136 °thought we were t o o young. So h i s m o t h e r — h e was P r o t e s t a n t , and I was P r o t e s t a n t , t o o — a n d he wanted h i s mother, who had p u t us t o g e t h e r i n t h e f i r s t p l a c e , was w o r r i e d . . . A c t u a l l y , t h e y were r i g h t . I mean, we were r u s h i n g i n t o t h i s t o o f a s t . And he m ight have t o l d them t h a t he wanted t o marry me. How d i d I know? He d i d n ' t t e l l me t h a t moment, but he might have t o l d them he was i n l o v e w i t h me and wanted t o marry me. I mean...He had a n o t h e r g i r l f r i e n d b e f o r e me—maybe a c o u p l e o f y e a r s b e f o r e , a y e a r b e f o r e — b u t , I guess, i t had n e v e r been t h i s i n t e n s e f o r him. T h i s was t h e f i r s t t i m e . He d i d t e l l me t h a t , a c t u a l l y . K: And how were you f e e l i n g about t h i s b a r r i e r t h a t was b e i n g p u t up by h i s mother. M: I s t a r t e d g e t t i n g v e r y w o r r i e d . I was s t a y i n g a t t h e i r house r i g h t b e f o r e C h r i s t m a s h o l i d a y , and I n o t i c e d t h a t she was g e t t i n g v e r y w o r r i e d . I t c r e a t e d a t e n s i o n , a d e f i n i t e t e n s i o n . I t a l s o , because he was so d u t i f u l t o h i s m o t h e r — he was a good boy...She had him t a l k t o t h e i r d o c t o r , f a m i l y d o c t o r , you know, t h e i r f a m i l y d o c t o r o r whatever. A d o c t o r . A c t u a l l y , no, no, i t was not a f a m i l y d o c t o r , i t was a f r i e n d , because t h e r e was a s eminary t h e r e o r s omething. N.Q.! W e l l , I guess S.C.U., i t must have been c o n n e c t e d w i t h t h a t . A f a m i l y f r i e n d . I . had gone t o a C a t h o l i c b oys' s c h o o l . So I t h i n k he was p a r t o f t h i s whole t h i n g . Anyway, he went and t a l k e d t o him. And t h e n he t o o k me f o r a d r i v e a f t e r he t a l k e d t o him, and he s a i d t o me, " I r e a l l y r e a l i z e d — p e r h a p s we a r e g o i n g t o o f a s t . " You know, he made me see t h a t we have t o r e a l l y go much s l o w e r . So, i t ' s l i k e I . ' s , a l l h i s r a t i o n a l s i d e s came i n t o f o r e , because he was so, so a t t a c h e d t o h i s f a m i l y . K: So i t sounded as though he was p u l l i n g away. M: H i s f e e l i n g d i d n ' t — n o . H i s f e e l i n g s were n o t p u l l i n g away. H i s r a t i o n a l t h i n k i n g was t a k i n g o v e r . I don't know w h a t — I f o r g e t what t h e d o c t o r s a i d t o him, whether he was t e l l i n g me t h e whole s t o r y , b u t he s a i d : "Maybe t h e y ' r e r i g h t . Maybe we a r e t o o young. Maybe we s h o u l d j u s t s e e . " And I s a i d , "That's f i n e . You know, i f we've o n l y known each o t h e r . . . " But I s a i d t h a t was f i n e , b u t I t h o u g h t , " W e l l , God, i f somebody r e a l l y l o v e s you, how can t h e y s u d d e n l y be so r a t i o n a l ? " I c o u l d n ' t do t h a t , so why can he do t h a t ? And I t h o u g h t , "Oh w e l l , h e r e i t i s . Here's t h e p e d e s t a l t h a t ' s g o i n g t o come f l y i n g down." And I went back-home f o r C h r i s t m a s , and I f e l t r e a l l y , r e a l l y funny. K: Funny? M: Funny. Yeah, s t r a n g e . K: I n what way funny? 137 M: B o t h e r e d . I was v e r y b o t h e r e d and w o r r i e d t h a t h i s f e e l i n g s were g o i n g t o change, t h a t he was g o i n g t o obey h i s mother. Not h i s f a t h e r . H i s f a t h e r s t a y e d out o f i t . And my mother s a i d t o me, " W e l l , i t sounds l i k e h i s mother maybe i s w o r r i e d t h a t y o u ' r e g e t t i n g t o o c l o s e . You're g o i n g t o t a k e h e r son away from h e r . You know, even though she r e a l l y wanted you t o g e t t o g e t h e r , t h e r e may be some s o r t o f dynamics g o i n g on i n t h e f a m i l y , t h a t y o u ' r e t a k i n g h e r f i r s t - b o r n , h e r son t h a t she i d e a l i z e s . You're t a k i n g o v e r . . . y o u ' r e t h e o t h e r woman i n h i s l i f e . And maybe h e r m o t i v a t i o n i s n ' t a l t o g e t h e r p u r e . " K: Can you e l a b o r a t e on y o u r f e e l i n g s ? M: Okay. I f e l t she was r i g h t , because I had sensed t h e mother b e i n g j e a l o u s o f me. There were t h i n g s g o i n g on a t C h r i s t m a s . A f t e r he announced t o h e r h i s f e e l i n g s f o r me, she s t a r t e d g e t t i n g j e a l o u s o f my y o u t h . She s t a r t e d making comments about y o u t h and b e i n g younger. She was r e a l l y g e t t i n g on t h a t y o u t h t h i n g . And I t h i n k she was g o i n g t h r o u g h h e r menopause, I r e a l l y do. You know, now t h a t I t h i n k back, t h e r e was t h a t s o r t o f t h i n g g o i n g on. But I went home f o r C h r i s t m a s , and t h i n k i n g , "Gee, t h i s i s a shock. How c o u l d somebody f e e l so much, and t h e n now s t a r t b e i n g r a t i o n a l ? " So t h a t r e a l l y c o n f u s e d me. I f e l t v e r y c o n f u s e d . Because I c o u l d n ' t s t o p my f e e l i n g s t h a t e a s i l y . "So w h y — i s he s t o p p i n g h i s f e e l i n g s ? " Or was...And t h e n I t a l k e d t o some male f r i e n d s o f mine, who s a i d , " W e l l , t h a t ' s men." Men have t o t h i n k o f t h e i r c a r e e r s , t h e i r f u t u r e , and a l l t h i s — v e r y s e x i s t , r i g h t ? You know, t h e y have a l l t h e s e r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s on them. And men do t h i n k t h i s way. And I t h o u g h t , " W e l l , maybe t h e y ' r e r i g h t . He's g e t t i n g s c a r e d and b l a h - b l a h . . . " And I t h o u g h t , " W e l l , gee, I don't f e e l s c a r e d , I don't f e e l a n y t h i n g . I don't f e e l any o f t h a t . " K: Sounds as though y o u r f e e l i n g s were t h e same, and you f e l t a p u l l i n g away from I.. M: Yes. Yes, I d i d . And t h e n when I went back, a f t e r C h r i s t m a s , I f e l t t h e y h a d — h e had r e a l l y somehow...He c a r e d , and he s t i l l was i n l o v e w i t h m e — I d i d f e e l t h a t — b u t I f e l t he was w a n t i n g to...He had more c o n t r o l t h a n I d i d , I guess. He r e a l i z e d he'd gone w i l d l y i n l o v e , and he t h o u g h t , "Oh, w a i t a minute. I've g o t t o r e a l l y s t e p back h e r e , and I've g o t t o p u l l back my f e e l i n g s . " So I f e l t some p u l l i n g back, some s t i f f n e s s . K: A sense o f l o s s ? M: I f e l t a sense o f l o s s , y e s . I was c o n f u s e d , and d i d n ' t r e a l l y c o n f r o n t him w i t h i t . Because a g a i n , I wasn't good w i t h f e e l i n g s anyway, t o e x p r e s s them. So h e r e he was, t h i s p e r s o n d o i n g t h i s t o me. And I d i d n ' t know what i n heck was 138 g o i n g on. And I c o u l d n ' t u n d e r s t a n d how somebody two weeks ago c o u l d f e e l so w i l d l y i n l o v e , and t h e n now, when p a r e n t s t a l k e d t o them...Of c o u r s e , f r i e n d s o f mine came t o t h a t New Y e a r s ' Eve p a r t y — w e had a New Y e a r s ' Eve p a r t y — a n d I t o l d my roommate. And my roommate s a i d t o me, "Oh, g e t r i d o f him! He's a mamma's boy. I f he's kowtowing t o h i s mother, f o r g e t i t . " And t h e n h e r b o y f r i e n d was s i t t i n g r i g h t t h e r e . He s a y s , "Yeah, f o r g e t i t , M.. J u s t g e t r i d o f him." "You r e a l l y t h i n k s o ? " I s a i d . "Yeah, yeah, he's a mamma's boy." So I s t a r t e d g e t t i n g r e a l l y c o n f u s e d , because maybe t h e y were r i g h t , you know, s i n c e I'm so n a i v e i n t h e s e t h i n g s . "You know, i f he's l i s t e n i n g t o o t h e r p e o p l e around him, t h e n , you know, he's n o t r i g h t f o r you." And I c o n s u l t e d o t h e r f r i e n d s . They s a i d t h e same t h i n g . I c o n s u l t e d one f r i e n d o f mine t h e r e , t h o u g h — a n o t h e r f r i e n d o f mine's b o y f r i e n d — a n d he s a y s , "No, he's s c a r e d . H i s f e e l i n g s a r e so overwhelming f o r him he's s c a r e d . So he's p u l l i n g back, and he's a l l o w i n g h i s mother t o do t h a t , o r t h e p r i e s t t o do t h a t . There's a s i d e o f him t h a t r e a l l y w a n t s — y o u know, i s s c a r e d o f h i s f e e l i n g s . " K: Sounds as though y o u ' r e f e e l i n g c o n f u s e d a t t h i s p o i n t . M: R i g h t now? K: Uh-hum. M: No, no, I'm not c o n f u s e d r i g h t now. I mean, i f you want me t o a n a l y z e i t r i g h t now, I know. K: No, I'm s o r r y . I meant c o n f u s e d a t t h e t i m e . M: Then? Oh, y e s , y e s , y e s , y e s ! And, I t h i n k , you know, I d i d n ' t k n o w — I c o u l d a n a l y z e i t r a t i o n a l l y , b u t i t was s t i l l an a w f u l , a w f u l s i t u a t i o n . A w f u l . K: So you were b e i n g churned up by a l l t h e s e f e e l i n g s . M: Oh, i t was h o r r i b l e . I t was h o r r i b l e . I t was worse than...My f e e l i n g s i n t h e f a l l were n i c e and o b s e s s i v e . They were l o v e l y f e e l i n g s . Now was j u s t o b s e s s i v e , b u t w o r r i e d . Then he went back t o s c h o o l . He d i d n ' t w r i t e ! So, okay, i t went from t h e f a l l , w r i t i n g e v e r y day, t o g o i n g back t o B. and no t w r i t i n g a t a l l . K: What was happening f o r you a t t h a t t i m e ? M: Oh, I d i d n ' t know what was g o i n g on. So I decided^—what was i t about, a l l o f J a n u a r y went by: no l e t t e r . Then I w r o t e , two weeks i n t o F e b r u a r y . And I s a i d , " I r e a l l y would l o v e t o know what's g o i n g on. I haven't h e a r d from y o u " — something t o t h i s e f f e c t . " I s t i l l l o v e you, and I want t o know i f you s t i l l l o v e me." Something v e r y d i r e c t . That t o o k a l o t o f courage on my p a r t t o w r i t e t h a t , because, as 139 I s a i d , I d i d n ' t — b u t I r e a l l y wanted t o know. T h i n k i n g back now, I s h o u l d n ' t have done t h a t . I spoke t o some o f my male f r i e n d s , who s a i d , "No, don't w r i t e t h e l e t t e r . L e t him s i t i t o u t . L e t him t h i n k about i t . He's j u s t t a k i n g t i m e t o t h i n k t h i n g s t h r o u g h . You're g o i n g t o push him, so he's g o i n g t o have t o answer you." W e l l , t h e y were r i g h t . K: You sounded as though you were d e s p e r a t e , g o i n g from p e r s o n t o p e r s o n t o t r y and f i g u r e o ut some answers. M: E x a c t l y , e x a c t l y . I d i d n ' t know what t o do. F i r s t o f a l l , I n e v e r had t h e s e f e e l i n g s b e f o r e , so I was j u s t c o n f u s e d . You know, I d i d n ' t know what t o do. So, what I d i d was, I w r o t e him a l e t t e r . And I w r o t e him a l e t t e r — I ' l l n e v e r f o r g e t t h i s — t e n pages and I x e r o x e d i t , and i t must have g o t t e n l o s t i n some o f my s t u f f somewhere. I c e r t a i n l y don't have i t now. T e l l i n g him why I n e v e r l o v e d him. I guess, my p r i d e , you see. So I w r o t e him a l e t t e r s a y i n g , " W e l l , I n e v e r r e a l l y l o v e d you anyway." I w r o t e him t e n pages. That was r e a l l y dumb. And I t o l d t h i s f r i e n d about i t , t h i s male f r i e n d , he was t h i s boy, he s a i d , "You're making t h e wrong move." Because, you see, one o f t h e t h i n g s I d i d n ' t t e l l you i s t h a t he had f l u n k e d t h e F Exam a g a i n , f o r t h e second t i m e , so he would now have t o go t o V i e t Nam. And I wrote t h e l e t t e r about a week a f t e r he got t h e r e s u l t s f o r t h e exam. And so, because he f l u n k e d t h e F Exam, he would no l o n g e r be exempt from g o i n g t o t h e war, and he would have t o d e c i d e e i t h e r . . . Y o u know, guys were d e c i d i n g t h e n f o r g o i n g i n t o t h e Army, g o i n g i n t o t h e Navy. B a s i c a l l y , t h e two b i g d e c i s i o n s were Army/Navy. Navy was f o u r y e a r s , Army was two y e a r s , b u t you c o u l d go o v e r t h e r e and be, you know, f r o n t l i n e s . So, t h e Army, you c o u l d go o v e r t h e r e and be k i l l e d , t h e Navy t a k e s f o u r y e a r s out o f y o u r l i f e . So I . was g o i n g t h r o u g h t h i s d e c i s i o n . F i n a l l y he d i d choose t h e Navy. And t h e n e x t y e a r a f t e r t h a t , he d i d go t o O f f i c e r s ' C a n d i d a t e s S c h o o l , i n t h e E a s t -- I guess t h e r e was P . E . I . — a n d t h e n went o v e r s e a s . So I w r o t e my l e t t e r a t a v e r y opportune t i m e , when he had j u s t h e a r d a l l t h e s e t h i n g s . Not o n l y was he g o i n g t h r o u g h problems w i t h t r y i n g t o r e - t h i n k u s , b u t he a l s o had j u s t f l u n k e d t h e exam, and had t o t h i n k about V i e t Nam. And I t o l d t h i s t o a f r i e n d o f mine...I knew t h a t b e f o r e I w r o t e t h i s ten-page l e t t e r , because he t o l d me i n t h e l e t t e r he had t o make t h a t d e c i s i o n about V i e t Nam. And I t o l d t h i s f r i e n d o f mine, who was exempt from V i e t Nam because o f something. I f o r g e t . He was so r e l i e v e d . Some h e a l t h t h i n g . And he s a i d , " W e l l , you know, r i g h t now, a l l t h e f e l l o w s I know a r e g o i n g t h r o u g h t e r r i b l e t u r m o i l on whether t o — y o u know, f i r s t o f a l l , what b r a n c h o f t h e s e r v i c e t o go i n t o , and a l s o , j u s t t h e f e a r o f g o i n g t o V i e t Nam and t h e anger t h e y ' r e f e e l i n g . And i f t h e y ' r e g o i n g w i t h somebody, t h e y ' r e c e r t a i n l y n o t — w e l l , t h e y don't know what t o do. And t h e y don't know whether t o h o l d on t o t h e i r g i r l f r i e n d s , o r s a y , you know, ' I t ' s g o i n g t o be two y e a r s ' s e p a r a t i o n ' — 140 o r f o u r y e a r s ' s e p a r a t i o n i f i t ' s t h e N a v y — ' a n d t h e r e f o r e we'd b e t t e r b r e a k up . " 1 So he was t r y i n g t o g i v e me a male p o i n t o f v i e w o f t h e f e a r and t h e c o n f u s i o n t h e men were g o i n g t h r o u g h a t t h e t i m e . K: And how was t h a t f o r you? M: I r e a l i z e now how immature I was, i n t h a t I c o u l d u n d e r s t a n d b u t I c o u l d n ' t empathize. L i k e I was t o o s e l f i s h a t t h a t moment. And t h a t was c o n f u s i n g t o me, t o o . Because I t h o u g h t , was i t r e a l l y l o v e I f e l t . f o r him? I f i t was l o v e I f e l t f o r him, I s h o u l d be more c a r i n g about what he's g o i n g t h r o u g h r i g h t now. I was, b u t o n l y w i t h r e s p e c t t o how i t was g o i n g t o a f f e c t me. K: How was i t a f f e c t i n g y o u r f e e l i n g s ? M: Yeah, y e s . I t h o u g h t — I mean, I was s e l f i s h . K: By " s e l f i s h " you mean? M: W e l l , I wasn't t h i n k i n g o f him. I was o n l y t h i n k i n g o f me. And I knew t h a t a t t h a t moment, and I w r o t e a ten-page l e t t e r t e l l i n g him I n ever l o v e d him. And a f t e r I s e n t i t — I n e v e r s e n t a l e t t e r l i k e t h a t e v e r a g a i n i n my l i f e , and n e v e r s e n t a l e t t e r t o somebody b e f o r e I r e a l l y t h o u g h t about i t . You know, t h a t t a u g h t me a l e s s o n . And i t was j u s t r e a l l y w e i r d . I mean, i t f e l t r e a l l y good as f a r as g e t t i n g i t o f f my c h e s t . But t h e y were l i e s . I i t e m i z e d a l l t h e t i m e s where I r e a l l y n e ver l o v e d him. I was j u s t k i d d i n g m y s e l f . How b i z a r r e , when I t h i n k o f i t now! I guess I was twenty-one. Ah, what do you e x p e c t , a t w e n t y -one y e a r o l d ? ( l a u g h t e r ) K: Sounds as though you were g o i n g t h r o u g h a l o t o f h u r t . M: Yeah, I was r e a l l y h u r t . Yeah, r e a l l y h u r t . And I c o u l d n o t empathize w i t h him a t a l l . I wanted t o g e t back a t him. K: H u r t and angry. M: Oh, boy! Oh, I was s o — w h e n I t h i n k o f i t , I was so angry. Then I...my f r i e n d s s a i d , "Ah, you know, he was no good anyway. I f he d i d t h a t t o you, he wasn't v e r y c a r i n g o f you." These a r e women f r i e n d s . And t h e n E a s t e r h o l i d a y came, and I t h o u g h t , " W e l l , so what, I w r o t e t h e ten-page l e t t e r . " I f he came home f o r E a s t e r , you s e e — A p r i l . I phoned him. And he was v e r y angry on t h e phone. I f o r g e t what he s a i d , b u t I remember he was v e r y angry a t t h e phone c a l l . And he s a i d he d i d n ' t want t o t a l k t o me. I d i d n ' t say a n y t h i n g . I j u s t s a i d I wanted t o g e t t o g e t h e r and t a l k . And he s a i d he d i d n ' t want t o see me. I t h o u g h t , "Oh, a l l r i g h t . W e l l , f i n e . " But a g a i n , how c o u l d l o v e end t h a t q u i c k l y ? I s t i l l had f e e l i n g s f o r him. So were h i s 141 f e e l i n g s c o m p l e t e l y gone? A c c o r d i n g t o my male f r i e n d s , t h e y r e a l l y f e l t t h a t i t was t h e V i e t Nam, and i t was t h e , you know, t h e c o n f u s i o n he f e l t , i t was overwhelming. But s i n c e I w r o t e t h a t l e t t e r , t h e y d i d n ' t even know how t o h e l p me! They t h o u g h t I was such a f o o l . "So n a t u r a l l y he's angr y a t you, because you've w r i t t e n t h i s one t h a t you n e v e r c a r e d ! So what do you e x p e c t him t o f e e l ? " And I t h o u g h t , "Oh, God. W e l l , a t l e a s t I l e a r n e d my l e s s o n . But what I do now, I have t h e s e f e e l i n g s — w h a t do I do w i t h t h e s e f e e l i n g s ? " I met a n o t h e r f e l l o w . A g a i n , f i x e d up w i t h t h i s new f e l l o w , gosh, from T . — a n d he came from T.. A g a i n , f i x e d up w i t h t h e same f r i e n d s who t o l d me about I.. So t h e y f i x e d me up w i t h t h i s guy. But t h i s g u y — I went o u t w i t h him. T h i s was r e a l l y funny, because t h e n t h i s guy i m m e d i a t e l y f e l l f o r me, and I had no f e e l i n g s f o r him. Because I was s t i l l wrapped up w i t h I . . He was v e r y much l i k e I . . I n f a c t , he was more mature, t h a n I . . I n e v e r y way, he was much m o r e — b y "mature," I mean s t a b l e i n h i s f e e l i n g s , he was s o l i d . He had t h a t r a t i o n a l c o n t r o l o v e r h i s f e e l i n g s , y e t a t t h e same t i m e c o u l d e x p r e s s them, and t e l l me t h a t he was f a l l i n g i n l o v e w i t h me. And I s a i d , "I'm n o t i n l o v e w i t h you," I t o l d him. And he s a i d , " W e l l , I s t i l l c a r e f o r you." I s a i d , " W e l l , I s t i l l c a r e f o r I . , so I've g o t t o work t h a t o u t f i r s t . " And he was j u s t a w o n d e r f u l , w o n d e r f u l f e l l o w . I t h i n k I was t o o young f o r him, t o o immature. Not age-wise, b u t j u s t t o o immature f o r him. He j u s t d i d n ' t f i t my—he f i t my i d e a l as f a r as e v e r y t h i n g he was, b u t I j u s t wasn't a t t r a c t e d t o him i n t h a t same way. K: I t sounds as though you went w i t h him on t h e rebound. M: No, i t wasn't even a rebound. I j u s t went o u t w i t h him, because he was a n i c e f e l l o w . But he s t a r t e d r e a l l y c a r i n g f o r me. He r e a l l y c a r e d f o r me. He came t o m y — I was g r a d u a t i n g t h a t y e a r , t h a t s p r i n g — h e came t o my g r a d u a t i o n . My p a r e n t s adored t h i s f e l l o w . They t h o u g h t . . . They l i k e d I . , t o o . They d i d meet I . . Because I . . . . I n t e r e s t i n g l y enough, my f a t h e r was w o r k i n g i n B., he had a p r o j e c t i n B., a t t h e t i m e . And he met I . , and went out w i t h I . t o movies and e v e r y t h i n g . So my f a t h e r — I c a n ' t b e l i e v e t h a t , I s h o u l d ask my f a t h e r now, a c t u a l l y . My f a t h e r and I . d i d a l l s o r t s o f t h i n g s t o g e t h e r . I s h o u l d ask him t h a t now, t h a t ' s i n t e r e s t i n g . I keep f o r g e t t i n g about t h a t . S o r r y . K: How were you f e e l i n g about t h a t ? M: Oh, I was okay. I t h o u g h t t h a t was g r e a t . He came t o my f a t h e r . But I...One t h i n g my f a t h e r t o l d me a f t e r I . b r o k e up w i t h me, and t h a t i s — m a y b e we're g e t t i n g o f f t h e t r a c k h e r e , b u t t h i s d i d h e l p me—my f a t h e r s a i d , "You know, " I " was r e a l l y annoyed when you s t a r t e d w o r k i n g a t t h e c o l l e g e r e s t a u r a n t , t h e c o l l e g e hang-out." I g o t a j o b as a h o s t e s s , and I r e a l l y l o v e d w o r k i n g t h e r e . I t was g r e a t . 142 I t was a l i t t l e e x t r a money. And I was d o i n g m o d e l l i n g a t t h e t i m e , t o o . So I was p u l l i n g i n some e x t r a s t u f f t h e n . And he t o l d my f a t h e r , "How can you a l l o w M. t o work i n a r e s t a u r a n t ? " My f a t h e r was most annoyed a t t h a t , l i k e somehow he had n o t done h i s d u t y as a f a t h e r . And my f a t h e r t h e n s a i d t o me, " I . ' s t o o c o n s e r v a t i v e . " You know, and I t h o u g h t t o m y s e l f , "Gee, my f a t h e r ' s p r e t t y s h a r p . What a s h a r p i e . He was b o t h e r e d by t h a t comment. L i k e , what r i g h t d i d somebody I was g o i n g out w i t h have t o say t h a t . I t was my c h o i c e . So my f a t h e r was s a y i n g , " W e l l , maybe I . was n o t a l l he was r e a l l y c r a c k e d up t o be. Maybe he was more c o n s e r v a t i v e and more c o n t r o l l i n g o f you." So t h a t made me f e e l b e t t e r . But I s t i l l d i d n ' t know what t o do w i t h my f e e l i n g s . I mean, i t made me f e e l b e t t e r r a t i o n a l l y , b u t i t d i d n ' t make me f e e l . . . I s t i l l d i d n ' t f i n d anyone I was a t t r a c t e d t o . I'd go out on d a t e s , and I . . . n o t h i n g . You know, so what do I do? I d i d n ' t know what t o do. K: C o u l d you e l a b o r a t e on t h e s e f e e l i n g s t h a t you were l e f t w i t h ? M: Ah, s a d n e s s . J u s t r e a l l y s a dness. I wasn't h u r t anymore, because I knew I had a l o t o f p a r t i n t h a t , w r i t i n g t h a t l e t t e r and e v e r y t h i n g . I j u s t t h o u g h t , "Boy, I r e a l l y made a m i s t a k e w r i t i n g t h a t l e t t e r . " And i f I . i s n o t t h e r i g h t p e r s o n f o r me, a t l e a s t I c o u l d have found o u t a d i f f e r e n t way. Not someone e l s e t e l l i n g me, you know? I blamed m y s e l f a l o t . I blamed m y s e l f f o r e v e r y t h i n g . That was i n t e r e s t i n g t o me. That was r e v e l a t i o n t o me, t o o — h o w much I blamed m y s e l f . K: Blamed? M: F o r t h e break-up. Not him, b u t me. I blamed me. And t h a t seemed i r r a t i o n a l t o my f r i e n d s . But I f i g u r e d , " W e l l , i t was me t h a t d i d i t . " By w r i t i n g t h e l e t t e r , o r maybe no t e x p r e s s i n g my f e e l i n g s enough, not b e i n g more d i r e c t . And t h e n my f r i e n d s were r e a l l y funny. Here we a l l were t w e n t y -o n e — I j u s t t u r n e d twenty-two, a c t u a l l y , t h a t s p r i n g — " W e l l , what do you e x p e c t , y o u ' r e o n l y twenty-two?" I s a y s , "Yeah, b u t many o f you a r e g e t t i n g m a r r i e d r i g h t now. I f we c a n ' t e x p r e s s our f e e l i n g s , l i k e , what a r e our m a r r i a g e s g o i n g t o be l i k e ? " L i k e , we'd s t a r t e d t a l k i n g a l o t about t h a t — communication. And so anyway, t h a t summer I d i d , I c a l l e d him up. A c t u a l l y , t h i s i s i n t e r e s t i n g . I c a l l e d him up i n J u l y . I c o u l d n o t g e t o v e r my f e e l i n g s . I d e c i d e d , " W e l l , I ' l l c a l l him up one more t i m e . " So I c a l l e d him once i n A p r i l , he d i d n ' t want t o t a l k t o me, so I c a l l e d him i n J u l y . And I went down. I c a n ' t remember now, w a i t a m i n u t e . Oh, no, no, no, no. Okay, I c a l l e d him, and I s a i d I wanted t o have a t a l k w i t h him. And he a c c e p t e d . He came up t o R., d r o v e a l l t h e way up, w a l k e d i n t h e d o o r , and t h e r e i t was a g a i n . And I knew, soon as he w a l k e d i n t h e d o o r , t h a t he s t i l l c a r e d . T h a t ' s a l l I wanted t o see. So 143 I t h o u g h t , "Now what?" Now I'm r e a l l y c o n f u s e d . I knew r i g h t t h e n . There was sadness i n h i s f a c e , b u t r e a l l o n g i n g and c a r i n g . And we walked a l l around campus, and I t o l d him how s o r r y I was t h a t I wrote t h a t l e t t e r . And he was t e l l i n g me about h i s f e e l i n g s about g o i n g t o V i e t Nam. And how i t would have been n i c e t o g e t t o g e t h e r , t o know each l o n g e r , t o r e a l l y g e t t o know each o t h e r , and a l l t h o s e f e e l i n g s . We w a l k e d a l l around campus. We s a t and we w a l k e d , and we s a t and we wa l k e d . I t was w e i r d , b u t we s t a r t e d f a l l i n g f o r each o t h e r a g a i n . J u s t b e i n g r e a l l y c l o s e . H o l d i n g hands, w a l k i n g a l l around t h e campus. And what I r e a l l y l i k e i s , t h e r e was no m a l i c e on h i s p a r t t h a t I had w r i t t e n t h a t l e t t e r . That was r e a l l y mature o f him, I t h o u g h t . So...and I d i d n ' t have any m a l i c e on h i s p a r t . I r e a l l y f e l t I had grown a l i t t l e . Not grown up, what "grown up" means, b u t I had grown l i t t l e . I f e l t more mature t h a n I d i d s i x months e a r l i e r . K: I n what way? M: (pause) I guess... Okay, l e t me j u s t e x p l a i n t h i s . I'm j u s t e x p r e s s i n g i t now. I've n e v e r r e a l l y t h o u g h t t h i s t h r o u g h . I n e v e r t a l k e d about i t , I guess, i n t h i s way. That now i t ' s — w h a t ? — t w e n t y y e a r s l a t e r , and I r e a l i z e t h a t , a t t h a t moment o f w a l k i n g around campus w i t h him, I was t h a t day as o l d as I am now, I f e l t i n my f e e l i n g s , i n t h a t I r e a l l y c a r e d f o r him, f e l t a t t r a c t e d t o him, and c a r e d more f o r him t h a n I d i d f o r m y s e l f . Not t h a t I do t h a t a l l t h e t i m e now; I don't mean t h a t . But I wasn't s e l f i s h a t t h a t moment. I d i d n ' t t h i n k o f what I was g o i n g t o g e t out o f i t . I f e l t I wanted t o j u s t p u t c l o s u r e on i t , t o somehow say, "Okay, t h i s i s t h e way i t i s now, even though... Okay, i f we s t i l l f e e l t h i s way f o r each o t h e r . . . " We d i d n ' t say how we f e l t f o r each o t h e r , b u t t h e f e e l i n g s were s t i l l t h e r e , t h e c a r i n g and t h e w a l k i n g . And t h e n we went o u t t o d i n n e r . Oh, y e s ! Okay, we went o u t t o d i n n e r , we had a g l a s s o f wine, and he said...We went t o see Bonnie and C l y d e ! T h a t ' s r i g h t . God, t h i s i s ages ago. And a t d i n n e r , he s a i d t o me a f t e r w a r d s , he s a i d , you know, "You r e a l l y remind me o f Bonnie. You know, y o u r b l o n d h a i r and a l l t h a t . " And he s t a r t e d s a y i n g t h e s e t h i n g s , and I t h o u g h t , "Oh, d e a r . He s t i l l c a r e s . " I mean, v e r b a l i z i n g more. He d i d n ' t say he c a r e d , b u t he's s a y i n g what I reminded him o f . K: And t h a t made you f e e l ? M: That he s t i l l c a r e d f o r me. I don't know what l o v e i s . A t t h a t p o i n t I was g e t t i n g v e r y c o n f u s e d on what l o v e i s . And I k i n d o f d i d n ' t t h i n k i t was t h i s w i l d p a s s i o n anymore. I j u s t t h o u g h t i t was sad. K: And t h e f e e l i n g s you were e x p e r i e n c i n g . . . 144 M: Were sad. Because t h e f e e l i n g s were t h a t , "I'm g o i n g o f f t o V i e t Nam, and I c a n ' t make..." He d i d n ' t say " I c a n ' t make a commitment t o you," b u t " I have t o f i g u r e o u t what I'm g o i n g t o do." So i t was couched i n t h o s e t e r m s . And t h e n we came back t o where I was l i v i n g , and we w a l k e d up t h e s t a i r s , and we d i d n ' t say a n y t h i n g . And we s t i l l were h o l d i n g hands. And a t t h e door, he k i s s e d me goodbye. I remember i n h i s eye s . . . Oh, I t h i n k I s a i d s o m e t h i n g t o t h e e f f e c t o f " I s t i l l l o v e you" o r something. I t h i n k I s a i d s o mething. God, I r e a l l y f o r g e t . Something t o t h a t e f f e c t . I don't t h i n k I s a i d " I s t i l l l o v e you," b u t something t o t h a t e f f e c t . K: You a l l o w e d him t o see y o u r c a r i n g . M: Yes, y e s , I r e a l i z e t h a t now, t h a t was v e r y d a r i n g . I wouldn't even do t h a t now! I've gone down h i l l ! W e l l , I'm m a r r i e d now, b u t , I mean, i f I had t o do i t o v e r a g a i n , I p r o b a b l y . . . I guess i n c e r t a i n p o s i t i o n s you do t h i n g s . But I guess I wanted him t o know. I f e l t I wasn't g o i n g t o see him a g a i n . And he k i s s e d me v e r y q u i c k l y , and r a n o u t t h e door. I mean, j u s t t o r e o u t t h e door l i k e p a n i c . L i k e , " I c a n ' t s t a y . " I t was l i k e , " I c a n ' t s t a y w i t h t h i s p e r s o n o r I may g i v e i n ! " And he t o r e o f f . And I t h o u g h t , "Holy smokes, now what do I do w i t h my f e e l i n g s ? " They g o t a l l churned up a g a i n . And I asked my f r i e n d s what t o do, and a f r i e n d o f mine s a i d . . . O h , y e s ! He c a l l e d me back a c o u p l e o f days l a t e r , i n a v e r y m a t t e r o f f a c t v o i c e , a s k i n g i f he l e f t a r i n g i n my c a r . And I s a i d , "No." "Oh, f i n e , t h a n k -you," and he hung up. W e l l , now t h a t ' s odd. A g a i n c o n s u l t e d my male f r i e n d s , who s a i d , "Oh, w e l l , he o b v i o u s l y , you know, r e a l l y f e l t he c a r e d t o o much t h a t n i g h t " — I mean, t h e y were a n a l y z i n g t h i s , you know from what you've s a i d — " a n d t h e n i s p u l l i n g back a g a i n . " And I s a i d , " W e l l , t h a t c o u l d be. God o n l y knows a t t h i s p o i n t , I'm so c o n f u s e d . " Then I went down t o see him a g a i n , w i t h a f r i e n d . J u s t dropped by, t o h i s house. That was b r a v e . About two o r t h r e e weeks l a t e r . Don't you t h i n k t h a t ' s b r a v e ? K: Sounds as though you were t a k i n g many r i s k s . M: I c a n ' t b e l i e v e i t now, when I t h i n k o f i t . And i t was r e a l l y l o v e l y . He was i n h i s s o r t o f grubby j e a n s and out i n t h e back d o i n g some g a r d e n i n g , and I came i n w i t h a f r i e n d . I d i d n ' t go a l o n e , I came w i t h a f r i e n d . And i s mother was t h e r e . And we r e a l l y had a r e a l l y n i c e a f t e r n o o n . I t was r e a l l y , r e a l l y n i c e . But i t r e a l l y seemed l i k e he had made t h e d e c i s i o n , he was g o i n g t o V i e t Nam and t h i s i s i t . Okay, t h a t ' s f i n e . You know, so I l e f t i t , went i n t o t h e f a l l , and I f e l t okay w i t h i t . T h a t ' s t h e way i t i s , i t ' s g o i n g t o have t o be u n f i n i s h e d . S., t h e f e l l o w I was d a t i n g from T., went back t o N., because he was l i k e on s a b b a t i c a l o r whatever from T.. So I was f r e e o f 145 S., b u t S. was s t i l l w r i t i n g . So I d i d n ' t have t o c o n t e n d w i t h S t e v e , w i t h h i s a f f e c t i o n s . So i n September, s u d d e n l y I g o t a knock on my d o o r — I was s t i l l l i v i n g i n t h e s o r o r i t y h o u s e — I g o t a knock on t h e d o o r — d o you want t o h e a r a l l t h i s ? — s u d d e n l y I g o t a knock on t h e door. "There's somebody h e r e t h a t has p u t h i s g u i t a r i n y o u r b e e t l e . " I s a i d , "There's nobody t h a t ' s p u t t h e i r g u i t a r i n my b e e t l e . " "No, M., you have a b l u e Volkswagen. There's some guy down h e r e w a n t i n g t o t a l k t o you." I t h o u g h t . . . I was i n t h e shower. I had t o g e t out o f t h e shower. My h a i r was s o a k i n g wet. So I came down, and t h e r e was t h i s guy. W e l l , t h i s f e l l o w was from W.. I s t a r t e d t a l k i n g w i t h him. He t o l d me h i s name; h i s name was A.. And he asked me t o go out w i t h him, a f t e r I s t a r t e d t a l k i n g t o him f o r a w h i l e . I t wasn't my b e e t l e he p u t i t i n . I t was t h e woman who l i v e d a c r o s s t h e s t r e e t who a l s o had a b l u e b e e t l e . He came o v e r , l a n d e d i n N.A., was t h e r e f o r h i s M.B.A. from t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f H., and o b v i o u s l y he g o t t h e c a r s mixed up. I wasn't t h e woman. So he s a y s , "Why don't we go o u t t o n i g h t ? " And I s a y s , "No, I work." W e l l , i t was i n t e r e s t i n g . "But how about tomorrow n i g h t ? " "No, I'm w o r k i n g t h e n , t o o . " L i k e , I d i d n ' t want t o go out w i t h anybody. W e l l , he c e r t a i n l y p e r s i s t e d . So t h e f o u r t h n i g h t — y o u know, he s a i d , "How about t h e n e x t n i g h t , t h e n e x t n i g h t " — I s a i d , " F i n e , okay. S u r e , s u r e , s u r e . " So I went o u t w i t h him. Went t o a p a r t y , a F r e n c h p a r t y i n N.A., and came back. My immediate t h o u g h t i s , "Oh, my God, I'm g o i n g o u t w i t h a f o r e i g n e r . " I 'd ne v e r gone o u t w i t h a f o r e i g n e r b e f o r e . I th o u g h t t h e y were some f o r e i g n b e i n g , r i g h t ? W e l l , t h i s f e l l o w and I s t a r t e d d a t i n g . And I p l a i n l y t o l d him I was s t i l l i n l o v e w i t h somebody e l s e , b u t I would go out w i t h him. And t h a t was September, t h a t was Oc t o b e r , and I a g a i n , you know, p l a i n l y t o l d him. That was f i n e . We went o u t , and we became r o m a n t i c a l l y i n v o l v e d . But i t was i n t e r e s t i n g . I c o u l d become a t t r a c t e d t o him p h y s i c a l l y , m e n t a l l y , b u t I wasn't i n l o v e w i t h him. So t h a t was a new e x p e r i e n c e f o r me, t o o . So I went o u t w i t h t h a t guy i n t h e f a l l , and we saw each o t h e r e v e r y day. And f i n a l l y , I . came up f o r some o t h e r do. I t h i n k f o r some homecoming, homecoming game w i t h R., and h i s s i s t e r . So he came up, because she was one y e a r , two y e a r s b e h i n d me, so she was s t i l l . . . A n y w a y , I saw him a g a i n , and f r i e n d s o f mine grabbed me i n t h e k i t c h e n , and t h e y s a i d , "M., l i s t e n . I f you r e a l l y want our p o i n t o f v i e w , i t ' s A. o v e r I . a n y t i m e . A. i s j u s t way more mature, m o r e " — j u s t , a l l t h e women adored A.. He was j u s t , you know, l i k e a w a l k i n g . . . E v e r y o n e l i k e d him. Somehow I was a l i t t l e a f r a i d o f him, okay. A l i t t l e a f r a i d o f him, because he was a f o r e i g n e r . He would be g o i n g back t o H.. I d i d n ' t t r u s t h i s m o r a l s , because he would always f l a u n t t h i s F r e n c h ways, how F r e n c h men have a l l t h i s f r e e l o v e , f r e e sex. I . would n e v e r say t h a t t o me! But, you know, A. d i d . So he was d i f f e r e n t from my way o f t h i n k i n g t h i n g s . But, yeah, he was v e r y r e s p e c t f u l o f me. 146 K: Were y o u r f e e l i n g s i n f l u e n c e d by y o u r f r i e n d s ' f e e l i n g s t o w a r d s I.? M: No, no, t h e y weren't. I s t i l l f e l t s t r o n g l y f o r I . . But t h e n I s t a r t e d g e t t i n g more p h y s i c a l l y i n v o l v e d w i t h A.. And A. was t h e n t h e f i r s t p e r s o n I e v e r s l e p t w i t h — i n J a n u a r y . So I was s t a r t i n g t o g e t more p h y s i c a l l y i n v o l v e d w i t h him. Hadn't s l e p t w i t h him y e t . And t h e n I r e a l i z e d , " W e l l , w a i t a minute h e r e . " Now i t was December. And A. was s t a r t i n g t o e x p r e s s h i s f e e l i n g s t o me. About h i s c a r i n g . He found i t h a r d t o e x p r e s s h i s f e e l i n g s . W e l l , no wonder, i f I was t e l l i n g him, "Look, I don't c a r e f o r you. I c a r e f o r t h i s o t h e r guy." Anyway, I s a i d t o him i n December, I s a i d , "Look, i f you and I a r e g o i n g t o have any chance, f o r me t o r e a l l y s t a r t c a r i n g about you, I've g o t t o go down and end i t w i t h I . . " "Why do you have t o do t h a t ? " he t h o u g h t . He c o u l d n ' t u n d e r s t a n d t h a t . He was r e a l l y , r e a l l y . . . N o w t h a t I t h i n k back, he was s c a r e d t h a t I would go down and see t h i s guy and t h a t would be t h e end o f him. So I t o l d him, "No, I r e a l l y have t o do t h i s . T h i s i s t h e way I have t o do t h i s . " So I c a l l e d up I . ' s f a m i l y . I d i d n ' t speak t o I . , b u t spoke t o h i s mother, and I s a i d , "Look, I r e a l l y want t o speak t o I . . I have t o end t h i s once and f o r a l l i n my head." Because t h i s m e e t i n g i n J u l y c o n f u s e d me. So I went down t o him, dr o v e down t o h i s house. He opened t h e d o o r — o h , i t was so e m b a r r a s s i n g — b u t I had t o do i t . Walked i n t o h i s house i n t h e r a i n — d r o v e down, S.A. i s f i f t y m i l e s from R . — w a l k e d i n , and we went i n t o t h e d r a w i n g room o f h i s house. And t h a t moment, when I saw him i n t h a t d r a w i n g room, i n t h e i r v e r y , v e r y f o r m a l l i v i n g - r o o m - d r a w i n g - r o o m , I t h o u g h t , "Oh, my God. He's so d i f f e r e n t t h a n A.." A. was a f e l l o w o f t h e s i x t i e s . There was t h e F r e e Speech Movement g o i n g on i n R.. A. was p o l i t i c a l l y aware. B r i l l i a n t , b r i l l i a n t economics s t u d e n t . Then an M.B.A. But not b u s i n e s s w i s e . He j u s t was v e r y p e r c e p t i v e . And I s u d d e n l y r e a l i z e d , "My God, I . ' s c o n s e r v a t i v e . He's r e a l l y c o n s e r v a t i v e . What am I d o i n g g o i n g . . . F i r s t o f a l l , what am I d o i n g g o i n g o ut w i t h a R e p u b l i c a n ? " Because I . was a R e p u b l i c a n . And I was d e f i n i t e l y a Democrat. And, a t l e a s t Americans a t t h o s e t i m e s had v e r y s t r o n g f e e l i n g s . You were v e r y d i f f e r e n t p e o p l e when you v o t e d d i f f e r e n t p a r t i e s . So, and A. used t o l a u g h about my l i v i n g i n a s o r o r i t y b e f o r e . You know, "How c o u l d you p o s s i b l y l i v e w i t h a bunch o f — o n e hundred g i r l s ? " And I . was a f r a t e r n i t y f e l l o w . L i k e , A. r e a l l y made me c o n f r o n t my c u l t u r e , v e r y , v e r y much. A. c o n f r o n t e d my c u l t u r e e v e r y i n c h o f t h e way. "Why do you do t h i s i n t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s ? Why do you do t h i s ? Why do you w a l k down t h e s t r e e t and say, 'How a r e you?', when you ne v e r even e x p e c t an answer b a c k ? " He c o n s t a n t l y bombarded me w i t h my c u l t u r a l norms. 147 K: Uh-hum. You were s e e i n g a d i f f e r e n c e t h e n between A. and I . . M: Oh, an extreme d i f f e r e n c e . And s u d d e n l y I t h o u g h t , "Wow, t h i s i s g r e a t t h a t I'd gone down t o see t h i s guy!" Because I had been l i v i n g i n a f a n t a s y w o r l d . And my f r i e n d s were r i g h t . And so I t o l d him, I s a i d , "Look, I have a n o t h e r r e l a t i o n s h i p now. And i n o r d e r f o r me t o r e a l l y c a r e f o r t h i s p e r s o n , I have t o know once and f o r a l l from you what y o u r f e e l i n g s a r e f o r me." And he s a i d , " W e l l . . . " — h e d i d n ' t say. He s a i d , "I'm g o i n g o f f t o V i e t Nam and I have t h a t t o c o n s i d e r . " I s a i d , " F i n e . " I knew t h e n , "Look, he's n o t g o i n g t o t e l l me a n y t h i n g . " F i n e . And I s a i d , " W e l l , t h a t ' s a l l I want t o know, and I have t o — " And i t was v e r y , v e r y f o r m a l . Oh, I f e l t r e a l l y p r o ud o f m y s e l f . A t t h a t moment, I f e l t so proud o f m y s e l f t h a t I a c t u a l l y d i d t h i s . I l o w e r e d my p r i d e , went i n t o h i s house, and c o n f r o n t e d him. b K: Took some a c t i o n . M: Oh, i t f e l t so f r e e i n g ! I c o u l d n o t b e l i e v e i t . I d r o v e down t o S.A., h a v i n g f e e l i n g s f o r him s t i l l , w a l k e d i n t o t h a t house, t a l k e d t o him, f o r m a l l y i n h i s l i v i n g room. I w a l k e d o u t . We w alked t o t h e c a r . And I'm s t a n d i n g o u t s i d e my b e e t l e , and he s u d d e n l y l o o k s a t me i n a r o m a n t i c way. And l o o k i n g a t t h e s t a r s : " I s n ' t i t a b e a u t i f u l n i g h t ? " I s a i d , "Goodbye, I . ! " I t h o u g h t — i s n ' t t h a t w o n d e r f u l ? Don't p u l l any o f t h o s e games on me. One moment y o u ' r e one way, t h e n e x t moment you ' r e t h i s . K: A see-saw. M: A see-saw. I s a i d , " F o r g e t i t . I don't want t h a t . " I g o t i n t h e c a r , and t o t h i s day, I've n e v e r t h o u g h t about him r o m a n t i c a l l y a g a i n . Now t h a t shocked me r i g h t t h e r e . That I c o u l d end i t . That has been a w e a l t h o f i n f o r m a t i o n f o r me, even i n c o u n s e l l i n g now. I mean, h e l p i n g p e o p l e i n t h i s . That I t o o k a c t i o n , I found out e x a c t l y , and t h e n he s t a r t e d d o i n g a l i t t l e b i t o f a g a m e — I ended i t . I s a i d , "No, t h a n k - y o u v e r y much." Now I a l s o had t h e l u x u r y o f h a v i n g somebody back t h a t I was g o i n g t o . K: You were a b l e t o go t o a n o t h e r p e r s o n and t r a n s f e r some f e e l i n g s . M: I went r i g h t back. I d r ove r i g h t back t o A.'s apartment, and t o l d him. " T h i s c a l l s f o r a d r i n k ! " ( l a u g h t e r ) T h a t ' s what he s a i d : " T h i s c a l l s f o r a d r i n k ! " So we had a d r i n k . Then I had t h e most w o n d e r f u l w i n t e r I've had i n . . . T h e n I s t a r t e d g o i n g w i t h somebody. See, I . and I were l o n g -d i s t a n c e romance. And A. and I s t a r t e d r e a l l y s e e i n g each o t h e r . And t h e n I found out what i t was r e a l l y l i k e . And I f e l l i n l o v e . I f e l l i n l o v e w i t h A.. Of c o u r s e , t h a t 148 ended l a t e r , t o o , i n a d i f f e r e n t s o r t o f n o t e . But I had t h a t e x p e r i e n c e t h a t y e a r , o f g o i n g out w i t h somebody d a i l y , and f a l l i n g i n l o v e w i t h them. And he d i d n o t p u t me on a p e d e s t a l . He r e a l l y , r e a l l y c a r e d . And I r e a l i z e d , a f t e r A., t h a t I d i d n o t want somebody l i k e I.. That my t y p e was r e a l l y n o t my t y p e . That was my t y p e , my s c h o o l g i r l dreams. And I had changed. I had grown u p — o r was g r o w i n g up. But i r o n i c a l l y , I went w i t h A. f o r t h r e e y e a r s , o r w hatever. Came up t o E.. F o l l o w e d A. h e r e . And t h e n , r i g h t a f t e r I g o t m a r r i e d — I met my husband up h e r e . I, you know, b r o k e up w i t h A.. I met my husband h e r e . But t h a t f a l l when I met my husband—my husband I have now; I've o n l y been m a r r i e d o n c e ! — I went down t o N.A. f o r my s i s t e r ' s wedding. And I went o v e r t o a f r i e n d o f mine's house, who knew I . ' s s i s t e r . And she c a l l e d I . ' s s i s t e r , and s t a r t e d t a l k i n g t o h i s mother on t h e phone. She s a y s , "M., h e r e , t a l k t o h i s mother." "Oh, I . ' s mother?" T h i s i s about f o u r y e a r s a f t e r . I mean, I had not seen o r h e a r d o f I . . He was i n t h e Navy and V i e t Nam. So I t a l k e d t o t h e mother, and she s a i d , "Oh, h i , M.. I t ' s so w o n d e r f u l t o h e a r from you. I . i s i n V i e t Nam. You know, I . d o e s n ' t have any g i r l f r i e n d . And he knew he r e a l l y had t o g e t h i s , you know, c a r e e r underway. T h i s V i e t Nam t h i n g s had t o be underway b e f o r e he'd c a r e d f o r you." She was s t a r t i n g t o make e x c u s e s f o r what he d i d t o me. I s a i d , "Oh, r e a l l y ? " "Are you g o i n g w i t h anyone?" I l i e d , because I had j u s t met 0. two months b e f o r e . So I s a i d , "No." You know, I t h o u g h t , " W e l l , l e t ' s l e a v e t h i s open. Who knows i f a n y t h i n g ' s g o i n g t o come o f 0 . " — y o u know! K: A r e you s a y i n g t h a t you s t i l l had some f e e l i n g s f o r I.? M: No, no, I d i d n ' t . I t was more c u r i o s i t y . And I t h o u g h t , " W e l l , maybe I . ' s changed t o . Because I've ended i t w i t h A., I'm now a d i f f e r e n t p e r s o n because o f A. and what I had gone t h r o u g h , and I've met 0.. But, you know, I don't know what l o v e i s anymore. And so maybe...We can a l w a y s s e e . " So t h a t was O c t o b e r . And t h e n 0. and I d i d s t a r t i n d a t i n g , s e r i o u s l y , i n t h e w i n t e r . 0.'s p a r e n t s were coming i n t h e summer. And s u d d e n l y i n A p r i l we were engaged. And, a t t h a t p o i n t , I r e a l l y h o n e s t l y say, I d i d n ' t know what l o v e was anymore. So I f e l t I was...I c o u l d n ' t say I was f a l l i n g i n l o v e w i t h 0., because I r e a l l y was c a u t i o u s on what I meant by l o v e . K: Do you f e e l t h a t t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p you had w i t h I . i n f l u e n c e d y o u r f u t u r e r e l a t i o n s h i p s ? M: Yeah, i t made me way more c a u t i o u s . I t made me r e a l l y t h i n k about what l o v e was. But, you see, I g o t m a r r i e d i n J u l y — J u l y 15. And would you b e l i e v e t h a t one month l a t e r , o u t o f t h e b l u e , I g o t a l e t t e r from I . , a f t e r f i v e y e a r s . Four and a h a l f , f i v e y e a r s . So h i s mother must have t o l d him i n t h e f a l l . And I s t i l l have t h a t l e t t e r somewhere. 149 And i t was b a s i c a l l y : "I'm out o f t h e Navy now. I'm g o i n g t o law s c h o o l . I'm—" He s e n t me a p i c t u r e o f him i n h i s u n i f o r m . " I s t i l l c a r e about you, and I want us t o g e t t o g e t h e r . " W e l l . W e l l , w e l l , w e l l . I w i s h t h a t l e t t e r n e v e r came. W e l l , I don't know how t o e x p l a i n i t . I t was v e r y h a r m f u l t o me. K: H a r m f u l ? M: V e r y h a r m f u l t o me t h a t I g o t t h a t l e t t e r . (pause) I s u d d e n l y r e a l i z e d I was m a r r i e d . And s u d d e n l y a f t e r I was m a r r i e d — i t was w o n d e r f u l g o i n g w i t h 0. a l l y e a r — b u t r i g h t a f t e r I g o t m a r r i e d i n J u l y , I r e a l i z e d , "I'm n o t f r e e anymore." When I g o t t h a t l e t t e r , I r e a l i z e d , "My God, I'm not f r e e anymore. I c a n ' t j u s t f l y down t o N.A. and go o u t w i t h somebody e l s e . " K: By somebody e l s e do you mean I.? M: I . , yeah. Not anybody e l s e . I wasn't d e s i r i n g o f g o i n g out w i t h anyone e l s e , b u t I d i d n ' t have t h e freedom t o go and see whether t h e r e was s t i l l s omething i n t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p . K: Even though you f e l t t h a t t h e f e e l i n g s were no l o n g e r t h e r e . M: Yeah, I would j u s t — I was c u r i o u s , because t h e f e e l i n g s had once been so s t r o n g . But I knew, though, i n t u i t i v e l y , t h a t I ' d gone w i t h A.. I was now m a r r i e d someone e l s e who was l i k e A.. He was a b l e n d o f A. and I . . He was p e r f e c t . I was somebody who had t h a t b l e n d , w h i c h was v e r y p e r f e c t f o r me, o f b o t h European and American, you k n o w — o r Canadian, you know, but N o r t h American. And I t h o u g h t I . — I don't know i f he had grown, o r changed, b u t I wanted t o see whether I s t i l l l i k e d t h a t t y p e . But I had a hunch I p r o b a b l y w o u l d n ' t be a t t r a c t e d t o t h a t t y p e anymore. But I guess i t b r o u g h t back o l d memories, and a l l t h a t . But i t s u d d e n l y , I t h i n k , what i t r e a l l y b r o u g h t up t o me was t h a t I d i d n ' t have freedom anymore. And i t p u t me i n t o a mood t h a t was q u i t e d e p r e s s e d t h a t f i r s t y e a r o f my m a r r i a g e . K: Freedom means t o you? M: I was now committed t o someone e l s e . I n e v e r committed m y s e l f t o a n y t h i n g b e f o r e . F r i e n d s , maybe. I had good f r i e n d s . I was l o y a l , always l o y a l t o f r i e n d s , and I was... L o y a l t y i s v e r y i m p o r t a n t t o me. Commitments. Now, b u t I mean—commitments t o f r i e n d s — b u t I had n e v e r been committed, made a c o n s c i o u s d e c i s i o n t o be committed, and now t h e r e was a p i e c e o f paper t h a t I was committed. I t j u s t s o r t o f . . . I had f e e l i n g f o r somebody, so I a u t o m a t i c a l l y was committed t o them. But I would have t o make a r a t i o n a l . . . ! mean, I was committed, I was m a r r i e d , 150 t h e p a p e r s were s i g n e d , so t o speak. "My God, t h i s i s a commitment t o t h i s o t h e r p e r s o n , t o be l o y a l t o t h i s o t h e r p e r s o n . Not t o r u n out on them. That I c o u l d h u r t someone e l s e . " The i r o n y i s — a n d 0. and I t a l k about t h i s now and t h e n — w h a t i f t h e l e t t e r had come a month sooner? I don't know. And I don't want t o g e t o f f t h e t r a c k h e r e . But I guess I would have gone down. To see. And so 0. keeps t h i n k i n g , w e l l , I n e v e r would have m a r r i e d him t h e n . I don't t h i n k so. You know, I t h i n k t h a t p r o b a b l y — b u t who knows? I t was r e a l l y odd t h a t i t came a month l a t e r , I w i l l s ay. K: And l o o k i n g back, I g e t a sense t h a t you had a l o t o f l e a r n i n g s from t h a t r e l a t i o n s h i p . M: Oh, oh, y e s . But, when I t h i n k back now t h a t I'm r e -t e l l i n g i t , i t ' s a c t u a l l y p u t t i n g some t h i n g s i n p e r s p e c t i v e r i g h t now f o r me. I am g e t t i n g a l o t out o f t h i s , r e -t e l l i n g i t , i n t h a t I t h o u g h t , o v e r t h e l a s t few y e a r s , and w i t h A. I f e l t t h a t w a y — I blame m y s e l f a l o t — t h a t I c o u l d n o t r e a l l y e x p r e s s my f e e l i n g s . And I s a i d t h a t when I was s t a r t i n g t o f a l l i n l o v e w i t h I . , I d i d n ' t e x p r e s s my f e e l i n g s v e r y w e l l . But a f t e r t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p s t a r t e d g o i n g s o u r , I t h i n k I r e a l l y e x p r e s s e d — m a y b e n o t w h o l e h e a r t e d l y — b u t I d i d t a k e a l o t o f r i s k s . They were r e j e c t e d . . . K: I'm w ondering i f t h e r e ' s a t i e - i n between t h e r i s k s t h a t you t o o k w i t h I . and t h i s commitment t h a t you t a l k about w i t h y o u r p r e s e n t husband. That t h e r e may be a f a c t o r i n t h a t f e e l i n g o f b e i n g swept away, t h a t you may be m i s s i n g , t h a t you had w i t h I . . M: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay. I n e v e r f e l t swept away by my husband t h a t whole y e a r . Never d i d . I r e a l l y h e l d back d e l i b e r a t e l y . I met him i n September, and a f t e r b o t h A. and I . , t hank-you v e r y much, I wasn't g o i n g t o go t h r o u g h t h i s a g a i n . So when I met him, I i m m e d i a t e l y l i k e d him, and we c o m m u n i c a t e d — b a m ! — j u s t so w e l l t h a t f i r s t m e e t i n g . I t j u s t h i t me o v e r t h e head. And I t h o u g h t , "Boy, t h i s i s a guy who's co m b i n i n g b o t h I . and A.. P e r f e c t f o r me." And I t h o u g h t , "But I'm not g o i n g t o f a n t a s i z e about him. I'm n o t g o i n g t o do any o f t h o s e t h i n g s . " See, I knew n o t h i n g about t h o u g h t - s t o p p i n g o r a n y t h i n g t h e n , b u t I t h o u g h t , " L i s t e n , i t seems l i k e t h e key t o t h i s i s , Don't f a n t a s i z e . Don't t h i n k about t h e p e r s o n , so when y o u ' r e away from them, y o u ' r e under y o u r own c o n t r o l . " So I f i g u r e d t h a t out t h e h a r d way. So I n e v e r f a n t a s i z e d about 0. t o o much. I t h i n k I — I c a n ' t say n e v e r . I mean, t h a t ' s n o t b e i n g h o n e s t ; when I t h i n k back. I c e r t a i n l y d i d a b i t . But I r e a l l y c o n t r o l l e d m y s e l f . And t h e n when 0., a f t e r a c o u p l e o f months o f g o i n g out w i t h me, a f t e r a month and a h a l f , s t a r t e d a c t i n g s t r a n g e , I c o n f r o n t e d him r i g h t away. 151 K: By " s t r a n g e " . . . M: S t a r t e d a c t i n g a l o o f . I met h i m — h e came up t o my d o o r , we were g o i n g out on a d a t e , and a t t h a t moment he s t a r t e d a c t i n g a l o o f . Where he had been so r o m a n t i c , r i g h t , f o r a whole month and a h a l f . And I t h o u g h t , "Oh, h e r e we a r e a g a i n . Here's t h e l i t t l e change t h a t comes i n t o r e l a t i o n s h i p s . " And I s a i d t o 0., I s a i d , "Look, I went t h r o u g h A., I went t h r o u g h I . , n o t r e a l l y communicating how I f e e l . So I'm g o i n g t o be v e r y d i r e c t w i t h you." I s a i d , "You're a c t i n g — t h i s i s how y o u ' r e a c t i n g towards me r i g h t now. You're a c t i n g q u i t e a l o o f and e v e r y t h i n g . I'm w o n d e r i n g , you know, i f a n y t h i n g ' s g o i n g on f o r you. Have y o u r f e e l i n g s changed f o r me?" And I f e l t so mature, you know, b e i n g t h a t way. And he s a i d , " W e l l , I don't know i f my f e e l i n g s . . . " I t h o u g h t h i s f e e l i n g s were l e s s e n i n g . "No," he s a i d . He s a i d , " I f e e l t h a t t h i s i s g o i n g t o o f a s t , so I have t o s l o w down my f e e l i n g s , and I have t o p u l l back a b i t . I have t o t h i n k . I need t i m e t o t h i n k . " And, o f c o u r s e , I t a l k e d t o 0. l a t e r , and he s a i d he was f a l l i n g v e r y h a r d t o me, and by p u l l i n g back and t h i n k i n g . . . A n d I t h o u g h t , "Wow, t h i s i s f a s c i n a t i n g ! He's v e r y s i m i l a r t o I . . " A. was s i m i l a r t o me. A. j u s t l e t h i s f e e l i n g s go. He was v e r y d i r e c t , and, you know, " L e t ' s go." Where, "Gee, t h i s g u y ' s " — I mean, I t h o u g h t he was v e r y s i m i l a r . He's European, l i k e A. was, b u t he seemed t o have I . ' s ...a l i t t l e b i t more c o n s e r v a t i v e , I guess. That made me f e e l s a f e r . Not c o n s e r v a t i v e p o l i t i c a l l y , b u t c o n s e r v a t i v e l i f e s t y l e - w i s e . So, a t t h a t moment, when 0. s a i d t h a t , I had a l i t t l e b i t o f . . . I d i d n ' t t h i n k about I . , b u t I t h o u g h t , "Oh, gosh, t h a t ' s where I went wrong w i t h I . . I . was p u l l i n g back, and I s h o u l d have a l l o w e d him t o p u l l back. T h a t ' s what t h o s e male f r i e n d s s a i d . And h e r e i s t h i s guy d o i n g i t t o me now." But I wasn't w o r r i e d . I s a i d , " F i n e , t a k e a l l t h e t i m e you want. T h a t ' s f i n e w i t h me. You know, I can go out w i t h o t h e r p e o p l e . " Because I r e a l l y d i d f e e l t h a t way, because I wasn't f a n t a s i z i n g . I had my own l i f e , I had my own c o n t r o l , so I d i d n ' t g e t l o c k e d i n t h a t t h i s p e r s o n i s e v e r y t h i n g t o me. K: So you c o u l d keep y o u r s e l f . M: Oh, y e s . I k e p t m y s e l f . Where, w i t h A., I l e t m y s e l f f a l l . W i t h I . , I l e t m y s e l f f a l l . And I d i d n ' t want t o have t h a t happen a g a i n . (pause) I s h o u l d add one more t h i n g , though, t o t h i s . And t h a t i s , I t h i n k , f i n a l l y — y o u know, 0. d i d t h i s t o me t h r e e more t h a t y e a r , p u l l i n g back, and I was so r a t i o n a l — I t h i n k t h a t I d i d n ' t a l l o w m y s e l f t o r e a l l y f a l l f o r 0.. So, when I t h i n k back now, I c o u l d ' v e l e t go and i t would been p e r f e c t l y s a f e ! So I h e l d back t o o much, and I n e v e r a l l o w e d t h a t i n f a t u a t i o n t o t a k e h o l d . And so when I . w r o t e me t h a t l e t t e r , i t reminded me t h a t , "Gosh, I don't have t h i s w i t h 0.. Maybe t h e r e ' s s omething wrong, t h a t I don't have t h i s w i t h 0.. W e l l , I know I h e l d 152 i t back. But maybe i t j u s t n ever would come." So t h e n t h e n e x t y e a r I s t a r t e d r e a l l y r e - t h i n k i n g my m a r r i a g e . Not t e l l i n g 0. about i t . G e t t i n g v e r y p a n i c k e d . P a n i c k e d i n t h a t , "Have I m a r r i e d someone I d i d n ' t l o v e ? Oh my God!" So I went t h r o u g h t h a t whole y e a r . 0. g o t s i c k . I g o t p r e g n a n t . What a h o r r i b l e y e a r . I t was one o f t h e most h o r r i b l e y e a r s o f my l i f e . W e l l , c e r t a i n l y , I g o t p r e g n a n t , I wasn't g o i n g t o go anywhere. B e s i d e s , I n e v e r t h o u g h t o f i t . I made a commitment, and I had t o see t h i s t h r o u g h . But u n t i l so many y e a r s l a t e r . . . A c t u a l l y , A. came back, t o o . I w r o t e a l e t t e r t o A. t h r e e y e a r s l a t e r a f t e r t h a t , when I was i n Europe. And he came—he d i d n ' t end t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p --he came back. He t h o u g h t my m a r r i a g e was on t h e r o c k s , and he came back. C r a z y . But anyways, so, t h e s e p e o p l e s t i l l h o l d on, I guess, and I'm s i m i l a r . But anyway, I r e a l i z e d I was t o o r a t i o n a l w i t h my m a r r i a g e . And t h e n when I a c t u a l l y . . . I remember s e e i n g somebody from a f a r who reminded me o f m y — o f I . . Not I . , b u t j u s t g e n e r a l l y an a t t r a c t i v e man. And s u d d e n l y t h i s a t t r a c t i v e man i n c l a s s — I was i n s c h o o l , you know, out a t U . B . C — a s k e d me out f o r c o f f e e . I was a T.A. i n t h e c l a s s . I was a T.A. f o r t h i s department, f o r P.. And t h i s guy asked me out f o r c o f f e e . And t h e n we went out f o r c o f f e e e v e r y week on Thursday, and I r e a l i z e d — I'm r e a l l y g l a d t h a t happened t o m e — b e c a u s e I r e a l i z e d t h a t I s t i l l had f e e l i n g s o f a t t r a c t i o n f o r somebody. Because I was m a r r i e d , and I was i n t o b a b i e s , and I t h o u g h t o f m y s e l f as a w i f e - m o t h e r - s t u d e n t - f r i e n d . I d i d n ' t t h i n k o f m y s e l f i n a r o m a n t i c way. And j u s t h a v i n g c o f f e e w i t h t h a t f e l l o w f o r t h r e e months b r o u g h t back t h a t I was a woman. That I have r o m a n t i c f e e l i n g s . K: I have a sense from what you say t h a t y o u ' r e s t i l l v u l n e r a b l e t o t h o s e e m o t i o n a l h i g h s . M: No. S o r r y t o d i s a p p o i n t you. I say "No" w i t h s uch c o n f i d e n c e ! ( l a u g h t e r ) I c o u l d be. I c o u l d be. I c e r t a i n l y don't f e e l t h a t way r i g h t t h i s moment as I'm t a l k i n g t o you. I am so i n v o l v e d w i t h my work a t U.S.C. t h a t romance i s n o t on my mind anymore. Even t e l l i n g t h i s — t e l l i n g t h i s , I j u s t l o v e t e l l i n g i t , i t ' s r e a l l y i n t e r e s t i n g t o t a l k about i t . But I can see i t from a d i s t a n c e . I f e e l I'm n o t t h a t v u l n e r a b l e anymore. But I t h o u g h t t h a t b e f o r e I saw t h i s guy f o r c o f f e e — w h a t , seven y e a r s ago o r something! I t h o u g h t t h a t t h e n . I o b v i o u s l y was wrong. So, I mean, c e r t a i n l y i t c o u l d happen a g a i n . I mean, a l l I d i d was have c o f f e e w i t h him f o r t h r e e months. And t h e n I d i d t e l l 0. about i t . I mean, I f e l t t h a t was b e t r a y i n g him, so I t o l d him about i t . (pause) No, r i g h t now I f e e l q u i t e d i s t a n c e d from i t . I f e e l v e r y okay w i t h i t . Y e t , I w i l l say, i t c e r t a i n l y i s l o v e l y , t h a t f e e l i n g i s l o v e l y . And t o t h i n k t h a t , from now u n t i l t h e day I d i e , I ' l l n e v e r e x p e r i e n c e i t a g a i n , i s k i n d o f sad. K: T e l l me more about t h a t s adness. 153 M: W e l l , I . . . ( l o n g pause) W e l l , I guess, I've c e r t a i n l y n e v e r f e l t t h a t h i g h a g a i n . I mean, I c a n ' t say i f I r e a l l y d e s i r e i t r i g h t now. R i g h t now, I don't d e s i r e i t . And I p r o b a b l y n e v e r w i l l d e s i r e i t a g a i n . But, I g u e s s , when I t h i n k o f n e v e r e x p e r i e n c i n g i t a g a i n , i t ' s k i n d o f a f e e l i n g o f l o s s . I t h i n k , yeah, y e a h — I t h i n k I have a c a p a b i l i t y o f h a v i n g t h a t f e e l i n g a g a i n . (pause) W e l l , okay, i t ' s s a d , b u t a l s o , I don't t h i n k I want t o be out o f c o n t r o l anymore. So I w i l l say t h a t . I t f e e l s . . . I t h i n k I would choose n o t t o be o u t o f c o n t r o l . K: I s t h e r e a n y t h i n g e l s e you'd l i k e t o add? M: No. No, than k - y o u . K: Thank-you v e r y much. 154 T r a n s c r i p t #1 (Case U) K: C o u l d you t a l k about a t i m e when you were r o m a n t i c a l l y i n l o v e w i t h someone, and what happened t o you b e f o r e , d u r i n g , and a f t e r t h e e x p e r i e n c e , as i f you were t e l l i n g a s t o r y ? F i r s t I would l i k e you t o t a l k about how you were f e e l i n g and what you were t h i n k i n g b e f o r e you met t h a t p e r s o n — w h a t was g o i n g on i n y o u r l i f e f o r you a t t h a t t i m e . U: Okay, I t h i n k I ' l l s t a r t w i t h t h e one t h a t made t h e b i g g e s t impact and l a s t e d t h e l o n g e s t . P r o b a b l y t h a t ' l l be a p p r o p r i a t e , and t h e n I can t a l k about any o t h e r e x p e r i e n c e s a f t e r w a r d . Am I t a l k i n g l o u d enough? K: Uh-hum. U: Okay. And what I was d o i n g b e f o r e I met t h i s p e r s o n . . . I guess I had r e a c h e d a v e r y n e g a t i v e s t a t e , a v e r y d e p r e s s e d s o r t o f s t a t e i n my m a r r i a g e and was f e e l i n g q u i t e h o p e l e s s about t h a t i n a way. I a c t u a l l y w a s — i n t e r e s t i n g l y enough, I was h a v i n g an a f f a i r w i t h someone who I was k i n d o f i n f a t u a t e d w i t h , and v e r y p h y s i c a l l y a t t r a c t e d t o , who was i n a c o u r s e t h a t I was t a k i n g a t s c h o o l . And t h i s p e r s o n was k i n d o f p l a y i n g g a m e s — y o u know, mind g a m e s — w i t h me, and he was h a v i n g a n o t h e r a f f a i r , and he was a l s o m a r r i e d . And so we were k i n d o f s t r u g g l i n g , and t h i s o t h e r p e r s o n , t h e p e r s o n who I'm g o i n g t o be t a l k i n g about t h a t I f e l l i n l o v e w i t h , somehow k i n d o f i n v o l v e d h i m s e l f and o f f e r e d s u p p o r t , e m o t i o n a l s u p p o r t , and asked me i f I w a s — y o u know, s t a r t e d a s k i n g me, "Are you okay?" and, "Are t h i n g s okay w i t h you?" and, you know, " I see t h a t you seem k i n d o f t r o u b l e d , " and so f o r t h . And t h i s was a p e r s o n who I had s o r t o f met s e v e r a l y e a r s e a r l i e r , and I can remember t h e f i r s t t i m e I saw him was a t some k i n d o f a b i g g a t h e r i n g o f p e o p l e , and he walked i n , and I remember t h i n k i n g t h a t t h e r e was something i n c r e d i b l y a t t r a c t i v e about him, even though he wasn't t h e k i n d o f p e r s o n I was u s u a l l y p h y s i c a l l y a t t r a c t e d t o . And he d i d n ' t have t h e same k i n d s o f — I had some s o r t o f an i d e a l i z e d n o t i o n o f what a p p e a l e d t o me, and I remember, a n o t h e r t i m e , s e e i n g someone t h a t j u s t f i t t h a t , and j u s t s e e i n g him a c r o s s t h e room, and g o i n g "Who i s t h a t ? " , you know, and I ended up h a v i n g an a f f a i r w i t h t h a t p e r s o n . And i t was l i k e , I would seem t o meet t h e s e p e o p l e i n k i n d o f h i g h - e n e r g y academic s i t u a t i o n s . L i k e t h i s p e r s o n t h a t I had met t h a t I r e f e r r e d t o b e f o r e — I ' m k i n d o f g o i n g o f f t r a c k — w a s a t some k i n d o f an academic m e e t i n g , and i t was i n a s i t u a t i o n where t h e r e was a l o t o f energy and, you know, k i n d o f i n v o l v e m e n t w i t h work o r s c h o o l . I t was always t h a t k i n d o f a t h i n g . K: So something i n t e l l e c t u a l i s a s t i m u l u s f o r you. 155 U: Yes, y e s . So anyway, I had seen t h i s p e r s o n t h a t I f e l l i n l o v e w i t h , I had seen him s e v e r a l y e a r s b e f o r e , and remember b e i n g v e r y s u r p r i s e d a t t h e way I f e l t when I saw him. You know, i t was l i k e , I d i d n ' t b e l i e v e i t . I t was l i k e I saw him, and I j u s t t h o u g h t , "There's a r e a l l y i n t e r e s t i n g - l o o k i n g p e r s o n . " And t h e n I h e a r d h i s v o i c e , and I h e a r d him speak, and t h a t was a r e a l s e d u c t i o n i n i t s e l f , because he had t h i s w o n d e r f u l v o i c e and t h i s w o n d e r f u l way o f t a l k i n g and j u s t a w o n d e r f u l q u a l i t y t o h i s v o i c e . And so I d i d n ' t r e a l l y t h i n k about i t — I mean, I j u s t saw him v e r y , v e r y b r i e f l y , you know, a t t h i s t h i n g a few y e a r s b e f o r e . And t h e n I r a n i n t o him a g a i n , s h o r t l y b e f o r e I s t a r t e d g o i n g back t o s c h o o l t o g e t my M a s t e r ' s , I r a n i n t o him a t t h e r e c e p t i o n desk i n t h i s department t h a t I was g o i n g i n t o . And I remember j u s t t h e way he l o o k e d a t me, k i n d o f — h e r e a l l y s o r t o f devoured me w i t h h i s e y e s . And a g a i n , i t was l i k e , h e r e was t h i s p e r s o n whose p h y s i c a l appearance was v e r y much u n l i k e anyone t h a t I ' d e v e r been a t t r a c t e d t o , and I remember j u s t f e e l i n g t h i s — w h a t ' s t h e f e e l i n g ? — i t ' s l i k e a r e a l h i g h , l i k e a r e a l s u r g e o f , k i n d °f/ j°y somehow, you know, and a c c e p t a n c e somehow, and j u s t f e e l i n g r e a l l y e m o t i o n a l l y c o n n e c t e d somehow, and s a y i n g , "Oh, you know, you ' r e g o i n g t o be d o i n g t h i s and t h i s h e r e , " and, you know, " L o o k i n g f o r w a r d t o w o r k i n g w i t h you," and a l l t h a t . And a g a i n , I d i d n ' t t h i n k a n y t h i n g o f i t . . I mean, i t was j u s t a v e r y n i c e f e e l i n g , and I s o r t o f l i n k e d i t more w i t h my f e e l i n g s about what I was g o i n g t o be d o i n g , and, you know, i t made me f e e l more e n t h u s i a s t i c about t h e c o l l e g e t h a t I was g o i n g i n t o . So t h a t was f i n e , and t h e n I ended up w o r k i n g w i t h t h i s p e r s o n i n t h e c o l l e g e , and so I was i n f a i r l y f r e q u e n t c o n t a c t . L i k e I would see him maybe t h r e e o r f o u r t i m e s a week, j u s t as p a r t o f what I was d o i n g . And t h i s i s when t h i s came up, where I was h a v i n g an a f f a i r w i t h t h i s o t h e r p e r s o n , and I s t a r t e d to...My m a r r i a g e was f a l l i n g a p a r t . T h i n g s were r e a l l y d i f f i c u l t a t home. I'd gone t h r o u g h a s i t u a t i o n where my husband had found a cheque t h a t I h a d — t h i s was maybe two y e a r s b e f o r e t h i s , a y e a r o r two b e f o r e — h e had found a cheque t h a t I was s e n d i n g t o someone I was h a v i n g an a f f a i r w i t h . And I was s e n d i n g him a l e t t e r about my p l a n s , and he t r i e d t o g e t me t o renege on t h i s d e a l and I w o u l d n ' t , and so I ended up g o i n g t o A. anyway, and m e e t i n g t h i s p e r s o n . And, I mean, i f t h i n g s were bad b e f o r e t h a t , t h e y were r e a l l y bad a f t e r t h a t . And t h e k i d s were k i n d o f r e s t l e s s , and t h e y knew t h i n g s were g o i n g on, and h e r e I was i n t h i s new c o l l e g e , and j u s t v e r y d e t a c h e d from what was g o i n g on a t home. And v e r y d i s c o n n e c t e d . We weren't even good f r i e n d s . So anyhow, t h e n I was h a v i n g t h i s a f f a i r w i t h t h i s o t h e r p e r s o n , and I was f e e l i n g v e r y d e t a c h e d from him, and I wasn't g e t t i n g . . . H e was, you know, as I s a i d , r e a l l y p l a y i n g mind games w i t h me, and we f i n a l l y , f i n a l l y g o t t o g e t h e r f o r one whole day t o g e t h e r , f o r t h e f i r s t t i m e . And I j u s t had a f a n t a s t i c t i m e — I t h o u g h t i t was g r e a t — a n d he came back a few days l a t e r and s a i d t h a t i t j u s t wasn't g o i n g t o work 156 f o r him, he had t h i s o t h e r a f f a i r , and he f e l t he was g o i n g t o g e t r e a l l y i n v o l v e d i n me, and so he d i d n ' t want t o go any f u r t h e r w i t h i t . And I r e a l l y e x p e r i e n c e d t h a t as r e j e c t i o n . L i k e , I d i d n ' t r e a l l y b e l i e v e him. P a r t o f me b e l i e v e d him, and p a r t o f me t h o u g h t , "He's j u s t s a y i n g t h a t t o make me f e e l b e t t e r . You know, i f he's r e a l l y t h a t s m i t t e n w i t h me, t h e n he's n o t g o i n g t o be a b l e t o c u t i t o f f . " So, l i k e , I r e a l l y doubted m y s e l f , and i t r e a l l y k i n d o f a t e away a t my c o n f i d e n c e about my s e l f . And — t h i s i s i n t e r e s t i n g a c t u a l l y , t h i n k i n g about a l l t h i s s t u f f . And so a t t h i s p a r t i c u l a r p o i n t i n t i m e t h i s o t h e r p e r s o n k i n d o f jumped i n t o t h e b r e a c h and s t a r t e d o f f e r i n g e m o t i o n a l s u p p o r t . And I j u s t — p e o p l e would say t o me, "You know, he r e a l l y f o c u s e s on you a l o t , and he t a l k s about y o u r i s s u e s a l o t w i t h c l i e n t s , " and a l l t h a t , and I g o t a b i t o f h a s s l e about t h a t . I t was p a r t l y j u s t f e edback t h a t I g o t from t h i s group. And so f i n a l l y a n o t h e r month went by maybe, and I remember one n i g h t — h o w was I f e e l i n g around t h a t t i m e ? — I s t a r t e d t o have t h i s glow, I guess, j u s t s o r t o f a f e e l i n g o f e x c i t e m e n t , a k i n d o f s e x u a l e x c i t e m e n t f o r one t h i n g . T h i s s o r t o f , as we t a l k e d about, s o r t o f an i n f l a t e d sense o f m y s e l f , v e r y h y p e r s e n s i t i v e , k i n d o f , t o my e n v i r o n m e n t and what was g o i n g on around me, and v e r y t u n e d i n , v e r y aware o f my s u r r o u n d i n g s , and, s o r t o f , how I was coming a c r o s s w i t h p e o p l e . And I became v e r y — I mean, t h a t was a l r e a d y g o i n g on a l i t t l e b i t when I was h a v i n g t h i s a f f a i r , and I was v e r y i n t o my own s e x u a l i t y . I t was k i n d o f a p e r i o d o f s e x u a l e x p l o r a t i o n . And I was aware o f m y s e l f i n a way t h a t I had n e v e r been aware o f m y s e l f b e f o r e . I mean, and h e r e I was, I was a l r e a d y i n my f o r t i e s . K: Can you d e s c r i b e t h a t more? U: Yeah, s u r e ( p a u s e ) . W e l l , I mean, i t was k i n d o f l i k e t h e way I d r e s s e d : I would d r e s s as p r o v o c a t i v e l y as I c o u l d w i t h o u t s o r t o f g o i n g out o f t h e bounds o f what was a c c e p t a b l e i n t h i s c o l l e g e t h a t I was i n . J u s t s o r t o f l i k e t h i s r e a l l y keen i n t e r e s t i n e v e r y t h i n g I was w e a r i n g , and my h a i r , a n d — i t ' s h a r d t o g e t back i n t o i t , i t ' s amazing, you k n o w — j u s t t h i s i n c r e d i b l e f e e l i n g about m y s e l f ; i t ' s h a r d t o d e s c r i b e , i t r e a l l y i s ( l o n g p a u s e ) . P h y s i c a l l y , what's t h e f e e l i n g ? I t ' s s o r t o f l i k e e x c i t e m e n t , p h y s i c a l l y , i n t h e p i t o f my stomach ( p a u s e ) . J u s t a — I don't k n o w — j u s t a f e e l i n g o f b e i n g s e x u a l l y t u r n e d on, you know, a t v a r i o u s t i m e s , j u s t b e i n g r e a l l y s e x u a l l y aware o f m y s e l f and t h e i m p a c t — f e e l i n g s e n s u a l as w e l l . . . K: Sounds l i k e you were s a y i n g a sense o f w e l l - b e i n g . U: Uh-hum, uh-hum. And j u s t a f e e l i n g o f — I had l o n g h a i r , and j u s t t h e f e e l i n g and t h e f l o w o f my h a i r , and j u s t s o r t o f aware o f t h e c o n n e c t i n g w i t h o t h e r p e o p l e , w i t h men p a r t i c u l a r l y , and i t was l i k e t h a t was w i t h me wherever I went, k i n d o f . And I can remember t h i s p a r t i c u l a r e v e n i n g 157 when t h i s t h i n g s t a r t e d . And I went t o c l a s s , and I was w e a r i n g my j e a n o u t f i t — I had t h i s b l u e j e a n o u t f i t w h i c h I t h o u g h t was r e a l l y s e x y — a n d , i n f a c t , I p r o b a b l y d i d n ' t even wear r u n n e r s w i t h i t > l i k e I had t o wear some k i n d o f j a z z y b o o t s o r shoes o r something l i k e t h a t . And I j u s t remember b e i n g v e r y hyped up, and j u s t k i n d o f g e n e r a l l y e x c i t e d . And I wasn't q u i t e s u r e what i t was a l l about. N o t h i n g was r e a l l y happening. I was k i n d o f i n between t h i n g s . I had s o r t o f been r e j e c t e d by t h i s p e r s o n t h a t I was h a v i n g an a f f a i r w i t h . And t h e r e was f e e l i n g o f l o t o f e n e rgy, energy f o r my work, and j u s t k i n d o f a e u p h o r i c f e e l i n g — t h a t was i t , a e u p h o r i c f e e l i n g , w hatever t h a t i s . And I remember an e x p e c t a n c y , k i n d o f l i k e s o mething was g o i n g t o happen, and I had a b s o l u t e l y no i d e a what, I r e a l l y d i d n ' t , n o t i n a c o n s c i o u s way. And I remember b e i n g i n t h i s c l a s s and b e i n g c h a r g e d up. And a f t e r w a r d s , I k i n d o f --and a g a i n , t h i s was v e r y u n d i r e c t e d , I was j u s t s o r t o f h a n g i n g around t o ask a q u e s t i o n . You know, I was r e a l l y k i n d o f i n v o l v e d w i t h t h e work t h a t I was d o i n g , and I had a l o t o f q u e s t i o n s about i t . And t h i s p e r s o n was k i n d o f l e a d i n g t h e c l a s s , and he was s i t t i n g i n t h e c h a i r a t t h e f r o n t o f t h e c l a s s a f t e r w a r d s , and k i n d o f slumped i n h i s c h a i r and l o o k i n g v e r y — a h , what's t h e word...He would g e t t h i s l o o k on h i s f a c e . He would j u s t k i n d o f , n o t w i t h d r a w , b u t become v e r y q u i e t , and s o r t o f p h y s i c a l l y , j u s t k i n d o f s i t back i n h i s c h a i r , l i k e he was spaced out somehow, l i k e he was k i n d o f s p a c i n g out and d i s t a n c i n g h i m s e l f i n some way. And he s t a r t e d t o — h e had t h i s way o f t a l k i n g w h i c h was e x c i t i n g f o r me, t h e way he used h i s v o i c e , you know, and he was v e r y e x p r e s s i v e , t h e way he t a l k e d , and he s a i d , "You know, t h e r e ' s t h i s such-and-such k i n d o f a t h i n g coming up down i n D., and i t ' s a l l about t h e s t u f f t h a t we've been d o i n g , and we s h o u l d r e a l l y go down." And I remember g e t t i n g a g a i n t h i s f e e l i n g o f — i t was k i n d o f f e e l i n g good about m y s e l f a g a i n . I t was, l i k e , about my work, you know, t h a t I was b e i n g s i n g l e d out somehow as s p e c i a l w i t h what I was d o i n g , and t o be i n c l u d e d somehow. And so a g a i n i t was l i k e , "Oh, a l l r i g h t , s u r e . You know, t h a t sounds i n t e r e s t i n g . " And I j u s t f e l t s o m e h o w — i t was an ego t r i p , l i k e i t was an ego h i g h , i t was l i k e , " W e l l , I must be r e a l l y , you know, s p e c i a l i n some way." And a g a i n , i t was n o n s p e c i f i c i n terms o f s e e i n g m y s e l f i n r e l a t i o n t o t h i s p e r s o n i n a s e x u a l way. The f e e l i n g s t h a t I was d e s c r i b i n g were more about m y s e l f , my s e x u a l i t y . And i t was n o n s p e c i f i c a t t h a t p o i n t ; i t was not d i r e c t e d t o w a r d anybody i n p a r t i c u l a r . So t h a t was f i n e . I went home, and I was q u i t e t i t i l l a t e d by t h i s . And t h e n I remember when we were w a l k i n g down t h e s t r e e t , you know, i n t h i s a r e a where I was d o i n g a l l t h i s w o r k — a few days l a t e r , maybe t h e n e x t day, I don't remember f o r s u r e — a n d t h e t o p i c came up a g a i n . And he was a s k i n g me, you know, he s a i d s omething about, " W e l l , gee, maybe t h e r e a r e s e x u a l o v e r t o n e s t o t h i s , " and I j u s t s o r t o f went, "What?"—you know, t h a t was t h e f a r t h e s t t h i n g from my mind a t t h a t p o i n t , w i t h t h i s p e r s o n , anyway. 158 And so t h e n t h a t g o t me t h i n k i n g , though. I mean, I s o r t o f came away from t h e r e , and I t h o u g h t , " T h i s i s r e a l l y i n t e r e s t i n g . I mean, why d i d he say t h a t , and why i s he s a y i n g i t l i k e t h a t ? " So we went on t h i s t r i p . And i t was v e r y e x c i t i n g , I must say. I t was a c o m b i n a t i o n somehow o f t h i s e x c i t e m e n t and energy about my work, and t h a t g o t s o r t o f t r a n s l a t e d i n t o t h i s e x c i t e m e n t and energy f o r him somehow. And t h e n I s t a r t e d t o become aware o f t h i s a t t r a c t i o n f o r him, wh i c h had been v e r y much l i k e . . . T h e p e r s o n t h a t I was h a v i n g t h e a f f a i r w i t h when we were a l l i n t h e same group was v e r y p h y s i c a l l y a t t r a c t i v e , and t h i s p e r s o n d i d n ' t s o r t o f f i t t h a t d e s c r i p t i o n f o r me. And so i t was m y s t e r i o u s . I t was l i k e , " I don't u n d e r s t a n d t h i s . " And y e t t h e f e e l i n g s t h a t I had f o r t h i s p e r s o n were s t r o n g e r i n a d i f f e r e n t k i n d o f way. And t h e r e was j u s t a l o t o f p a s s i o n . And we went on t h i s t r i p , a n d — a n d a l s o I s t a r t e d t o f e e l i n c r e d i b l y v u l n e r a b l e a t t h e same t i m e , so i t was l i k e t h i s f e e l i n g o f v u l n e r a b i l i t y , w h i c h . . . ( p a u s e ) . Where t h e v u l n e r a b i l i t y comes i n i s , you know, s o r t o f l i k e a f e a r o f , i f you have some k i n d o f d i s a g r e e m e n t , o r i f you don't see eye t o eye on something, t h a t f e e l i n g o f l o s i n g t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p . L i k e , i t ' s so f r a g i l e — l i k e t h e whole t h i n g i s j u s t so h e i g h t e n e d , and t h e r e ' s s uch a sense o f a r o u s a l and, s o r t o f , a merging t o g e t h e r and m e e t i n g , t h a t i f t h e r e ' s a moment where...For i n s t a n c e , a t one p o i n t d u r i n g t h i s weekend t h a t we spe n t t o g e t h e r — a n d t h a t was when we began t o have a s e x u a l r e l a t i o n s h i p — a t one p o i n t , he made some comment about us n o t b e i n g w e l l - m a t c h e d s e x u a l l y . I t was i m p l i e d , okay, i t wasn't s p e c i f i c . I t was more l i k e , " T h i s i s a problem i n t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p , s e x u a l l y . " And I was j u s t d e v a s t a t e d ! I mean, i t was l i k e I was up so h i g h , and f e e l i n g so v u l n e r a b l e , t h a t e v e r y t h i n g r e s t e d on t h a t s o mehow—that i f t h a t wasn't okay f o r him, t h a t t h a t meant he w a s . j u s t g o i n g t o end i t , o r he d i d n ' t want t o c o n t i n u e , o r he wasn't happy w i t h i t . I t was k i n d o f l i k e , i n s t e a d o f t h i n k i n g about how I f e l t about i t , and my d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h i t — w h i c h I had, some d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n . You know, t h e r e ' s always i s s u e s , and t h e r e ' s k i n d o f l i k e t h a t p e r i o d o f a d j u s t m e n t t o each o t h e r s e x u a l l y , so we were j u s t i n t h a t r e a l i n i t i a l phase, and I was j u s t c r u s h e d when I h e a r d t h i s . You know, i t was l i k e , "What does t h i s mean? Am I b e i n g r e j e c t e d ? " But t h i s would go on, from t i m e t o t i m e as t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p went on, and he would throw t h o s e t h i n g s o u t , and i t was k i n d o f l i k e he would say i t — h e was one o f t h e s e p e o p l e t h a t s o r t o f had t o say whatever was on h i s m i n d — s o he would j u s t say t h a t . And he'd say, "Gee, t h i s i s r e a l l y k i n d o f s t r a n g e t h a t we're so i n v o l v e d w i t h each o t h e r , and t h a t I'm s t i l l i n t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p , because t h i s i s u s u a l l y an i s s u e f o r me, and I'm s u r p r i s e d t h a t , you know, i t ' s okay f o r me," and a l l t h a t . So i t was a b i t o f torment, i n a way. Anyway, how d i d I g e t o f f on t h a t ? 159 K: I'm wondering i f you had sense t h a t he was p u l l i n g away, o r u s i n g t h a t t o d i s t a n c e h i m s e l f . U: (pause) Uh-hum, uh-hum. I guess t h a t was a c o n c e r n . I mean, t h e p o i n t was t h a t he was m a r r i e d , and I was m a r r i e d . But my sense was t h a t he d i d n ' t have as much d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p as I had w i t h m i n e — t h a t f o r him t h i s was j u s t h i s way o f o p e r a t i n g i n t h e w o r l d , was t o be m a r r i e d and have a f f a i r s , whereas f o r me t h i s was j u s t l i k e r e a l l y consuming, and I c o u l d n e v e r have been t h a t i n t e r e s t e d o r i n v o l v e d i f I had had any r e a l f e e l i n g s f o r my husband. Yeah, I f e l t l i k e maybe I was g o i n g t o be r e j e c t e d . I t t i e d i n w i t h t h e way my s e l f - e s t e e m was a t t h a t t i m e , w h i c h w a s . . . ( p a u s e ) . I guess I had a l o t o f hang-ups about my s e x u a l i t y , and t h a t I wasn't a good p e r f o r m e r i n some way, t h a t I hadn't had enough e x p e r i e n c e , and so i f somebody s a i d something about t h a t , t h e n I t o o k i t v e r y p e r s o n a l l y and f e l t r e j e c t e d by t h a t . And s o , l i k e , I had so much i n v e s t e d i n t h a t a t t h a t t i m e . Yeah, I d i d ( p a u s e ) . So, I don't know., K: What happened d u r i n g t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p f o r you? U: W e l l , I can remember, l i k e , t h e r e was a l o t o f s e x u a l e x c i t e m e n t t h a t weekend, j u s t e v e r y p l a c e and everywhere we were, and j u s t d r i v i n g i n t h e c a r , and a l o t o f s t u f f g o i n g on, and t o u c h i n g , and coming back t o town and f e e l i n g r e a l l y q u i t e wrenched by h a v i n g t o go home. A l t h o u g h by t h a t t i m e I ' d had t h a t e x p e r i e n c e b e f o r e , so I was g e t t i n g p r e t t y good a t , you know, h i d i n g i t , and s o r t o f h a v i n g t h i s d u a l p e r s o n a l i t y . And t h e n not b e i n g s u r e , you know, what was g o i n g t o happen w i t h i t , and i t went on. And I guess i t was v e r y e x c i t i n g , b u t a l s o v e r y f r u s t r a t i n g , because I c o u l d n ' t see t h i s p e r s o n as much as I wanted t o . I p i n e d f o r him. He j u s t wasn't t h a t a v a i l a b l e . He was v e r y o b s e s s e d w i t h h i s own i m p o r t a n c e , and h i s own work s c h e d u l e , and o f c o u r s e he had h i s commitments i n h i s m a r r i a g e . He was much b e t t e r about t h o s e t h a n I was w i t h mine. And I remember ( p a u s e ) — yeah, I mean, I always wanted t o spend more t i m e w i t h him t h a n he wanted t o spend w i t h me, and I t h i n k t h a t became p a r t o f i t . I t was l i k e i t was p a r t o f t h e o b s e s s i o n , s o r t o f , and I don't know what would have happened i f i t had been t h e o t h e r way around, o r i f i t had been e q u a l . S o r t o f a f e e l i n g o f b e i n g c h e a t e d somehow, and a sense o f l o s s , and p i n i n g . And I remember once, when he was a w a y — o n e o f us was away, I guess he was a w a y — a n d we g o t t o g e t h e r a f t e r b e i n g a p a r t f o r a c o u p l e o f weeks, and I remember we went t o have c o f f e e a t t h i s p l a c e , and t h e r e was j u s t t h i s i n c r e d i b l e e l e c t r i c i t y between us, and I remember h i s eyes were...I can remember s i t t i n g and s t a r i n g a t him and j u s t b e i n g e n t h r a l l e d . And h i s eyes were j u s t t h i s i n c r e d i b l e shade o f b l u e — w h i c h , you know, t h e y v a r i e d , k i n d o f . And I remember he l o o k e d a t me, and he s a i d — a n d he seemed t o f i n d i t v e r y d i s t r a c t i n g , and v e r y a n n o y i n g o r u p s e t t i n g , k i n d 160 o f — l i k e he was i n t o t h i s , t o o , b u t he a l s o s a i d , you know, " I ' v e n e v e r e x p e r i e n c e d t h i s b e f o r e , and I'm f i n d i n g i t v e r y d i s t r a c t i n g , " because he was always c o n c e r n e d about h i s d i s t r a c t i o n s and w a n t i n g t o g e t on w i t h h i s work. And I can a c t u a l l y r e m e m b e r — I t h i n k we were t a l k i n g about t h e i d e a o f , you know, when yo u ' r e i n l o v e w i t h someone and, k i n d o f , t h a t sense o f l o s s o r f e e l i n g l i k e you want t o be w i t h him and you c a n ' t . And I remember f i n d i n g e x c u s e s t o l e a v e what I was d o i n g and d r i v e out t o where he was, and s o r t o f d r i v i n g around t h e b u i l d i n g , s e e i n g i f he was around, l o o k i n g f o r h i s c a r , you know, and t h e n , i f h i s c a r was t h e r e , f i n d i n g some excuse t o go i n , and f e e l i n g v e r y l e f t o u t when he wasn't a v a i l a b l e . Or he might k i n d o f come t r o t t i n g by and s o r t o f t r e a t me j u s t l i k e I was, l i k e one o f t h e o t h e r p e o p l e t h e r e , and as i f we weren't h a v i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p . And t h a t was v e r y d i s t r e s s i n g . I s u b s e q u e n t l y . . . I can remember s i t t i n g i n t h e b e d r o o m — h e used t o come o v e r t o my house d u r i n g t h e day, w h i c h was p r e t t y r i s k y , s c a r y , and I used t o go t o h i s p l a c e — a n d I can remember s i t t i n g i n t h e bedroom, i n my bedroom, and f e e l i n g r e a l l y s t r a n g e , because t h e r e I was s i t t i n g t h e r e w i t h t h i s o t h e r guy. And we were s o r t o f h a l f d r e s s e d , and e a t i n g l u n c h i n t h e bedroom, and s i t t i n g on t h e c a r p e t , and I was i n t h e t h r o e s o f t h i n k i n g about l e a v i n g my m a r r i a g e , and i n some way t h i s was an impetus f o r me t o do i t r e a l l y . And y e t I knew t h a t he was n ever g o i n g t o l e a v e h i s w i f e . I knew t h a t , I mean, I r e a l l y knew t h a t , b u t I had t h i s w e i r d hope t h a t maybe something would happen and I'd have t h i s i mpact on him and he would. I d i d s o r t o f , I e v e n t u a l l y g o t t h e message a f t e r about a y e a r t h a t t h i s was n e v e r g o i n g t o happen, f o r s u r e , even though I k i n d o f knew i t a l l a l o n g . And I can remember f e e l i n g v e r y sad about what was g o i n g on, and about my m a r r i a g e and a l l t h a t . And I s t a r t e d t o c r y , and he p u t h i s arms around me and r o c k e d me. And, you know, t h a t was t h e f i r s t t i m e anybody had e v e r done t h a t . And so we were v e r y c l o s e , and t h e r e was a l o t o f s o r t o f e m o t i o n a l i n t i m a c y and a l o t o f s e x u a l e x c i t e m e n t . But i t was v e r y measured from h i s s i d e , you know, i t was j u s t — i t was a l m o s t l i k e a t a p t h a t c o u l d be t u r n e d on and o f f , and t h a t was j u s t e x c r u c i a t i n g f o r me, because I c o u l d n ' t seem t o do t h a t , I d i d n ' t have t h a t c o n t r o l . And I f e e l l i k e I d o n ' t — somehow I don't f e e l v u l n e r a b l e l i k e t h a t anymore. I t ' s r e a l l y i n t e r e s t i n g . I don't know whether I c o u l d e v e r even s u b j e c t m y s e l f t o t h a t , o r l o s e t h a t c o n t r o l t h a t I l o s t o r w h a t e v e r , I don't know, i t ' s r e a l l y w e i r d . K: So a r e you s a y i n g you t h i n k t h a t r e l a t i o n s h i p had an e f f e c t on f u t u r e r e l a t i o n s h i p s ? U: W e l l , t h a t i n c o m b i n a t i o n w i t h a c o u p l e o f o t h e r s . E v e n t u a l l y , I g o t t o t h e p o i n t where I don't t h i n k t h a t c o u l d r e a l l y happen a g a i n . I don't know. Maybe i t c o u l d , and maybe i t — I don't f e e l as open t o i t . You know, I don't f e e l l i k e I c o u l d . . . R i g h t now, i t would t a k e an a w f u l l o t 161 more f o r t h a t t o happen, and I c a n ' t t h i n k o f anyone t h a t c o u l d make t h a t k i n d o f an impact on me. Because i t had something t o do w i t h how I f e l t about m y s e l f , and my d e f i c i t s . Okay? So now t h a t I've g o t some o f t h o s e t h i n g s t h a t I d i d n ' t have a t t h a t t i m e , i t would have t o be Superman f o r me t o f e e l — t o i d e a l i z e t h e p e r s o n i n t h a t way. I t ' s a l w a y s been someone who I can r e a l l y i d e a l i z e , and f e e l has r e a l l y something t o o f f e r m e — t h a t I r e a l l y want something t h a t t h a t p e r s o n has. So I s u b s e q u e n t l y moved o u t and moved i n t o my own apartment. I remember one t i m e I had made an arrangement t o go out w i t h t h i s woman on a F r i d a y e v e n i n g , and she and I h a d — a n d l i k e , h e r e I was s i n g l e , f o r t h e f i r s t t i m e , you know, i n t w e n t y - f i v e y e a r s o r w h a t e v e r , and maybe e v e r , because b e f o r e t h a t I l i v e d w i t h my p a r e n t s , b e f o r e we g o t m a r r i e d — a n d t h e r e I was i n my own apartment, a l l by m y s e l f , and i t was v e r y e x c i t i n g , I r e a l l y e n j o y e d i t i n some r e s p e c t s . That was a l s o i n c r e d i b l y l o n e l y , and he and I would come home from, you know, we'd go on a weekend o r something l i k e t h a t , and he'd come home and maybe b r i n g me up i n t o my apartment, and I'd walk i n , and t h e n t h e r e ' d be t h i s i n c r e d i b l y empty f e e l i n g when he w a l k e d o u t . L i k e h e r e I was c o n f r o n t e d w i t h t h e s e f o u r w a l l s . So anyway, t h i s woman and I had t h i s d a t e one n i g h t , and I remember she and I had had l o t s o f d i s c u s s i o n s about h e r f e e l i n g r e j e c t e d when h e r f r i e n d s would d e c i d e a t t h e l a s t m inute t o go o u t w i t h some guy t h a t s u d d e n l y phoned them o r something, so I knew I had to. be v e r y r e s p e c t f u l . And he s u d d e n l y phoned me, w h i c h was v e r y out o f c h a r a c t e r f o r him t o phone me i n an e v e n i n g . And he s a i d t h a t h i s w i f e had j u s t s u d d e n l y d e c i d e d t o go o u t — w h i c h reminds me o f a movie I saw on t . v . l a s t n i g h t — a n d , " D i d I want t o g e t t o g e t h e r ? " And I was j u s t c r u s h e d — a n d go t o a movie! — a n d i t was j u s t l i k e t h i s i n c r e d i b l e t e m p t a t i o n ! You know, i t was l i k e , h e r e was t h i s p e r s o n , we always would j u s t c a t c h t h e s e odd moments t o g e t h e r , o r i t would be d u r i n g t h e day, and t h e f e e l i n g o f w a n t i n g t o have, you k n o w — i t was an i n c o m p l e t e f e e l i n g . I t was l i k e I wanted t o be w i t h t h i s p e r s o n as my p a r t n e r i n a more t r a d i t i o n a l way, and see him i n t h e e v e n i n g s and go p l a c e s t o g e t h e r and s h a r e a l l t h e s e t h i n g s , and I c o u l d n e v e r do t h a t , and i t was v e r y , v e r y f r u s t r a t i n g . And so t h e t h o u g h t o f d o i n g t h a t was so t a n t a l i z i n g , f o r one e v e n i n g , you k n o w — a n d , o f c o u r s e , t h e r e was a l s o t h i s whole s e x u a l t h i n g . And so I remember j u s t a g o n i z i n g o v e r t h a t d e c i s i o n . And I c o u l d n ' t do i t . I mean, I j u s t , I had t o go out w i t h h e r . And i t was a l s o something about m y s e l f , t o o . I t was k i n d o f l i k e I c o u l d n ' t j u s t do t h a t . But i t was a 'damned i f you do, damned i f you d o n ' t ' s i t u a t i o n , because I h a t e d m y s e l f f o r t h e c h o i c e I made, and y e t i f I had gone w i t h him I would have h a t e d m y s e l f f o r t h a t . I would have been annoyed w i t h m y s e l f e i t h e r way. So t h a t was t h e k i n d o f , you know, sense o f l o s s and p i n i n g - a w a y f e e l i n g , j u s t m i s s i n g him and w a n t i n g t o be w i t h him. And t h e whole e v e n i n g — a n d t h e n I remember she and I went o u t , and she s a t t h e r e , and i t was s o r t o f t h i s t i m e f o r h e r t o 162 dump a l l h e r s h i t o u t t o me i n t h i s — w e were down a t t h e Vancouver H o t e l h a v i n g d r i n k s — a n d she s t a r t e d t o c r y , and g e t i n t o a l l h e r s t u f f . And I was j u s t — I can r e m e m b e r — I j u s t f e l t so r e s t l e s s and f r u s t r a t e d . And I j u s t t h o u g h t — I was j u s t r e a d y t o j u s t go t h r o u g h t h e c e i l i n g . And i n some way i t was so wrong f o r me t o be t h e r e , and y e t i t was so wrong f o r me t o be a v a i l a b l e t o him a l l t h e t i m e and f o r him n o t t o be a v a i l a b l e t o me. So i t was l i k e a Catch-22 s i t u a t i o n ( p a u s e ) . Anyway, i t went on o v e r a p e r i o d o f two o r t h r e e y e a r s — f r o m two t o t h r e e y e a r s , somewhere around t h e r e — w h e r e , you know, we would c o n t i n u e t o meet on a v e r y e r r a t i c b a s i s . And I guess t h e f e e l i n g s were s t i l l p r e t t y s t r o n g , you know, a t t h a t p o i n t , even a f t e r two o r t h r e e y e a r s , b u t i t became i n c r e a s i n g l y more f r u s t r a t i n g , and I became i n c r e a s i n g l y more d i s s a t i s f i e d w i t h j u s t h a v i n g i t l i k e t h a t . And I guess what f i n a l l y happened w a s — I don't know i f I've t o l d you about t h i s , j u s t p r i v a t e l y , o r n o t — b u t he had a p a r t y , and I was i n v i t e d , and h i s w i f e was t h e r e and gave him t h i s f a n c y cake. And everybody we k n e w — l i k e , we had a l l t h e s e mutual f r i e n d s , and everybody was t h e r e — a n d i t was l i k e p e o p l e knew what was g o i n g on, b u t t h e y d i d n ' t know what was g o i n g on, and some p e o p l e t h o u g h t t h e y knew what was g o i n g on, o t h e r p e o p l e . . . Most p e o p l e d i d n ' t r e a l l y know, b u t t h e y s o r t o f s p e c u l a t e d — a n d I'm p r o b a b l y a t t a c h i n g more w e i g h t t o i t , I'm s u r e t h e y d i d n ' t s t a n d around and t h i n k about i t a l l e v e n i n g . And I c o u l d n ' t b e l i e v e t h a t i s w i f e d i d n ' t know what was g o i n g on. That was h a r d t o b e l i e v e . But a p p a r e n t l y she's p r e t t y good a t t h a t — n o t k n o w i n g ! — a n d I remember w a t c h i n g w h i l e he opened t h e s e p r e s e n t s and c u t t h i s cake, and everybody was s t a n d i n g around, and j u s t f e e l i n g o u t o f p l a c e , you know, l i k e , "What t h e h e l l am I d o i n g h e r e ? " I mean, I r e a l l y f e l t a sense o f b e l o n g i n g w i t h t h i s p a r t i c u l a r group t h a t I was i n , and I knew a l o t o f p e o p l e t h e r e , and i t was f i n e . But I was a l s o — i t j u s t made me v e r y s ad, I guess, and v e r y d i s s a t i s f i e d and u n c o m f o r t a b l e . And y e t , s o r t o f h a n g i n g o n — y o u know, l i k e I was ha n g i n g on and h a n g i n g on, and t h e n everybody l e f t and t h e r e were about s i x o f us i n t h e k i t c h e n , and h i s w i f e was s t a n d i n g i n t h e k i t c h e n , and I was t h e r e , and he was k i n d o f t h r o w i n g me a few crumbs. And when he was c u t t i n g t h e cake and o p e n i n g t h e s t u f f o r whatever he was d o i n g , and everybody was w a t c h i n g , he gave h i s w i f e a k i s s — b u t i t was l i k e a v e r y p e r f u n c t o r y l i t t l e peck, s o r t o f — a n d he t o l d me a f t e r w a r d s when we t a l k e d about i t , he s a i d , " I was v e r y aware o f you b e i n g t h e r e , and I was c o n c e r n e d , you know, I t r i e d n o t t o g e t i n t o t o o b i g a k i s s , and, you know, she doesn't l i k e k i s s i n g i n p u b l i c anyway, so i t r e a l l y wasn't a problem," and so f o r t h and so on. And so I s t o o d t h e r e t h a t n i g h t , and i t was about one o ' c l o c k i n t h e morning, and we were a l l s t a n d i n g around i n t h e k i t c h e n , and t h e r e was a l l t h i s B.S. f l y i n g back and f o r t h , and I was w a t c h i n g h i m — s o r t o f j u s t r e a l l y s t i l l enamoured w i t h him, b u t I was g e t t i n g more and more p i s s e d o f f , I guess, so t h e r e was a l o t o f anger t h e r e , and a l o t 163 o f d i s a p p o i n t m e n t and f r u s t r a t i o n . And so I j u s t s a i d t o m y s e l f — I d r o v e home by m y s e l f , and I j u s t t a l k e d t o m y s e l f i n my head, and I j u s t s a i d — " T h i s i s i t . " Look, you know, I n e v e r wanted t o be t h e o t h e r woman. I t j u s t d o e s n ' t f i t f o r me. I t was v e r y demeaning. I t was a v e r y , v e r y k i n d o f down k i n d o f f e e l i n g , and r e a l i z i n g t h a t I was caught somehow. And so I r e s o l v e d , a t t h a t p o i n t , t o end i t . I t h i n k we g o t t o g e t h e r a few more t i m e s a f t e r t h a t , b u t i t was l i k e , I knew t h a t I was g o i n g t o end i t . I was v e r y s a d , I would c r y . And I ended i t . I mean, I d i d , w i t h i n a p e r i o d o f t h r e e months. And I f e l t r e a l l y good about t h a t . You know, I f e l t — a n d i t was i n t e r e s t i n g , because I s t i l l have a r e a l s t r o n g f e e l i n g o f f r i e n d s h i p f o r t h i s p e r s o n , b u t I don't p i n e f o r him anymore. And I used t o t h i n k I would always l o v e him, and I don't f e e l l i k e I l o v e him. I mean, I l o v e him as a f r i e n d , b u t I don't l o v e him i n t h e same way t h a t I d i d t h e n . And I don't t h i n k I c o u l d . And I don't want t o go back t o i t ; I don't have t h o s e f e e l i n g s . I remember once we g o t t o g e t h e r when he came—he moved a w a y — and he came back, and we were h a v i n g a m e e t i n g , l i k e a work m e e t i n g , and h e — I mean, he p r a c t i c a l l y r a p e d me. But he managed t o s o r t o f somehow i n s i n u a t e h i m s e l f on me. I d i d n ' t — y o u know, I don't c o n s i d e r i t r a p e , I guess , b u t I was p r e t t y annoyed, and he s o r t o f f o r c e d h i m s e l f on me. And y e t , I mean, I guess I c o u l d have s t o p p e d i t , okay, b u t by t h a t t i m e I was r e a l l y withdrawn and r e a l l y d i s t a n c e d , and i t j u s t d i d n ' t . . . I was k i n d o f d o i n g i t f o r him, i n a sense, and I was very...And t h a t was i t . I mean, t h a t a b s o l u t e l y — I d i d n ' t even g e t t u r n e d on. And t h a t was a r e a l l y good f e e l i n g . I'm g e t t i n g away from t h e t o p i c o f l o v e , I guess, b u t i t was a v e r y n i c e f e e l i n g , yeah. K: W e l l , i t sounds as though you g o t i t t o g e t h e r a t t h e end w i t h i n y o u r s e l f — y o u r emotions were r e s o l v e d . U: Yeah, I guess t h a t ' s t r u e i n a way, because, I must s ay, s i n c e t h a t r e l a t i o n s h i p . . . L i k e , I mean, superimposed on t h a t r e l a t i o n s h i p was t h i s o t h e r four-month a f f a i r t h a t I had, wh i c h a c t u a l l y t o o k p l a c e s i m u l t a n e o u s l y t o t h i s , o r t o w a r d t h e end a c t u a l l y — i t k i n d o f p i g g y b a c k e d on t h i s — a n d I d i d g e t r e a l l y i n f a t u a t e d w i t h t h i s p e r s o n , and I f e l t t h a t I l o v e d him, t o o . But s i n c e t h a t t i m e , I have n e v e r had t h a t e x p e r i e n c e . I'm not s a y i n g I wouldn't l i k e t o have i t , b u t I don't t h i n k I e v e r want t o f e e l t h a t l i m i t e d a g a i n . V u l n e r a b l e i s okay, I don't mind f e e l i n g v u l n e r a b l e , b u t I do f e e l much more complete w i t h i n m y s e l f , i t ' s i n t e r e s t i n g , and I f e e l l i k e . . . Y o u know t h e r e ' s t h a t f e e l i n g when y o u ' r e w i t h someone t h a t you r e a l l y c a r e about, and when y o u ' r e t o g e t h e r , you f e e l l i k e y o u ' r e k i n d o f s t u c k t o g e t h e r and t h e r e ' s t h a t sense o f co m p l e t e n e s s . And i n some way I have t h a t w i t h m y s e l f a l o t more t h a n I e v e r d i d . And I r e a l l y g o t something o ut o f t h a t r e l a t i o n s h i p . L i k e , I g o t so m e t h i n g . . . I r e a l l y d i d f e e l l o v e d i n some way. Now what he s a i d t o me was t h a t he had had a l o t o f a f f a i r s and he 164 was known as a womanizer, an i n v e t e r a t e k i n d o f , you know, p h i l a n d e r e r and a l l t h a t , and he s t i l l s a y s t h a t — l i k e , t o t h i s day, we t a l k about i t — a n d he s a y s t h a t i f h i s w i f e , number one, e v e r a c t e d l i k e she knew what was g o i n g on and c o n f r o n t e d him, wh i c h she d o e s n ' t , number two, r e a l l y k i n d o f responded t o him t h e way he wants t o be responded t o , t h a t he d o e s n ' t t h i n k he would c a r r y on l i k e t h i s . Anyway, I don't know about t h a t . But t h e p o i n t i s t h a t he d i d say t o me a f t e r w a r d s t h a t he had g o t something from m e — o r , he s a i d , d u r i n g t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p — t h a t he f e l t was a l w a y s t h e r e f o r him, and we've t a l k e d about i t s i n c e , t h a t he f e l t r e a l l y l o v e d f o r t h e f i r s t t i m e , and t h a t he f e l t — h e had always f e l t , p h y s i c a l l y , k i n d o f r e j e c t e d by women, even though he had had a l l t h e s e a f f a i r s , b u t he had s t i l l f e l t p h y s i c a l l y r e j e c t e d i n some way, somehow—and t h a t he n e v e r f e l t t h a t way w i t h me. And i t changed t h e way t h a t — t h a t he f e l t l i k e he had r e a l l y g o t something from me. So i t was r e a l l y good f o r b o t h o f us, I t h i n k . I t was a r e a l — I don't want t o use t h e word "growth," because i t ' s such a c l i c h e — b u t i t was a r e a l f u l f i l l i n g k i n d o f e x p e r i e n c e f o r b o t h o f us. So I don't know whether you want t o h e a r about t h e o t h e r s i t u a t i o n . . . K: I s t h e r e a n y t h i n g e l s e you'd l i k e t o add, t h a t you haven't t a l k e d about, w i t h t h i s s i t u a t i o n ? U: ( l o n g pause) W e l l , I g u e s s — I don't k n o w — I guess I k i n d o f d e s c r i b e d t h e a n g s t , t h e a n x i e t y t h a t I f e l t . And a t t h e same t i m e , I f e l t i n v o l v e d a n d — i t was v e r y c o m p e l l i n g — i n a way t h a t I don't f e e l i n v o l v e d now, and i n some way t h a t k i n d o f h e i g h t e n s t h e s e n s a t i o n s i n o t h e r a r e a s as w e l l . So t h e r e ' s a g e n e r a l f e e l i n g o f b e i n g more a l i v e somehow, and more t u r n e d - o n . And i n some way I f e e l l i k e , t o some e x t e n t , I t e n d t o withdraw. I mean, I don't know how...I would l i k e t o have t h a t f e e l i n g more, b u t I don't know whether i t ' s something t h a t j u s t k i n d o f goes on and on. I f you end up l i v i n g w i t h a p e r s o n , i t c o u l d be r a t h e r d r a i n i n g a t t h e same t i m e , I don't know. O r — n o t d r a i n i n g ; i t m ight be something t h a t d o e sn't n e c e s s a r i l y e x i s t i n t h e same way i f you become i n v o l v e d i n a l o n g - t e r m r e l a t i o n s h i p , I don't know. K: A r e you s a y i n g t h a t l i v i n g w i t h someone changes i t ? U: Yeah, I'm s a y i n g t h a t I s u s p e c t t h a t i t does. Now, I'm not s a y i n g you wouldn't l o v e t h e p e r s o n , o r t h a t you c o u l d n ' t remain i n l o v e , b u t I don't t h i n k i t would be t h a t a n x i e t y and sense o f e x p e c t a t i o n and a l l o f t h a t , you know, I don't know. I've never had t h a t e x p e r i e n c e , so I don't k n o w — o f l i v i n g w i t h someone t h a t I f e l t t h a t way about. K: Of b e i n g i n l o v e and l i v i n g w i t h them a t t h e same t i m e ? 165 U: Yeah, I mean f o r any l e n g t h o f t i m e . Now, I had a f o u r -month r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h someone who I f e l t t h a t I was i n l o v e w i t h a t t h e t i m e , and t h a t was v e r y e x c i t i n g and v e r y d o m i n a t i n g as w e l l , c o m p e l l i n g . But a g a i n , i t ' s l i k e t h a t was a v e r y s o r t o f e x t r a o r d i n a r y s i t u a t i o n ; i t wasn't r e a l l y t h e k i n d o f t h i n g t h a t l a s t e d . So i t ' s always been v e r y , f o r me, i t ' s always been v e r y e p h e m e r a l — w h a t ' s t h e o t h e r word I'm l o o k i n g f o r ? There's a n o t h e r word, w h i c h k i n d o f means l i k e a l i g h t g o i n g o u t , I c a n ' t t h i n k o f t h e word...But anyway, i t ' s — n o t ' i n c a n d e s c e n t , ' b u t i t ' s a s i m i l a r word, o k a y ? — a n d i t ' s always been a v e r y t r a n s i t o r y k i n d o f t h i n g , t r a n s i t o r y k i n d o f s t a t e . And I a l w a y s wonder whether I j u s t d i d n ' t k i n d o f , you know, hang i n t h e r e , I don't know, and w a i t f o r t h i s t o happen, o r whether i t was something t h a t would j u s t happen a g a i n o r — y o u know, I mean, i t ' s o n l y happened a few t i m e s . So, I mean, I can remember once l o o k i n g a t somebody a c r o s s t h e room and t h i n k i n g — t h e one t h a t I mentioned e a r l i e r — a n d j u s t s a y i n g t o t h e p e r s o n I was w i t h , "Who i s t h a t ? " You know, and j u s t f e e l i n g t h i s i n c r e d i b l e a t t r a c t i o n f o r t h e p e r s o n , and we ended up h a v i n g an a f f a i r , b u t I wasn't always r e a d y f o r t h a t k i n d o f t h i n g . A g a i n , i t happened when I was f e e l i n g v e r y — a h , okay, okay, I j u s t t h o u g h t o f something. The f i r s t t i m e t h a t I e v e r had an a f f a i r was s h o r t l y a f t e r I had f i n i s h e d my M a s t e r ' s degree, g o t t h i s v e r y h i g h p r o f i l e j o b -- I had been out w o r k i n g f o r a y e a r , b u t I s u d d e n l y g o t t h i s r e a l l y good j o b a y e a r l a t e r . And a g a i n , i t was t h i s h e i g h t e n e d sense o f my s e l f w h i c h p l a y e d i n t o my f e e l i n g s and my s e x u a l i t y . And i t was a l m o s t l i k e I had had t h i s m a s s i v e i n j e c t i o n o f c o n f i d e n c e , and t h a t when I g o t t h i s m a s s i v e i n j e c t i o n o f c o n f i d e n c e , t h e n I s t a r t e d t u r n i n g my a t t e n t i o n t o t h e s e u n r e s o l v e d i s s u e s o f my s e x u a l i t y . And a l s o , because I f e l t so good about m y s e l f , i t came o u t , i t came t h r o u g h , i t j u s t r e a l l y came out i n a l l o f me. And I remember I was w o r k i n g a t t h e h o s p i t a l , and I g o t on a p l a n e t o go up t o t h e i n t e r i o r t o do t h i s p r e s e n t a t i o n , and I s a t n e x t t o t h i s r e a l l y c r a z y guy, and we s t a r t e d t a l k i n g v e r y much l a t e r i n t h e f l i g h t . And I j u s t had t h i s i n c r e d i b l e — t h i s was n o t l o v e , e x a c t l y , I don't what I would c a l l i t . That was j u s t a r e a l j u s t pure and s e x u a l i n f a t u a t i o n , k i n d o f . But t h a t was t h e b e g i n n i n g o f a l l t h i s , when I s t a r t e d t o have t h i s sense o f m y s e l f . And t h a t was what f o l l o w e d , k i n d o f . And so i t was a l m o s t l i k e A l i c e M i l l e r ' s " g r a n d i o s e s e l f , " you know. And i t was l i k e , a f t e r f e e l i n g i n a s t a t e o f m i l d d e p r e s s i o n a l l my l i f e — a n d s o r t o f a c c e n t u a t e d a t c e r t a i n t i m e s by even worse d e p r e s s i o n — a n d t h e n s u d d e n l y , s o r t o f , g e t t i n g i n t o t h i s g r a n d i o s e s e l f . And I see i t v e r y much—when she t a l k s about t h a t , I can r e a l l y r e l a t e t o i t . L i k e I c o u l d j u s t a t t r a c t anybody, you know, and i t was t r u e ! And i t was l i k e p e o p l e f e l t t h a t , and p i c k e d up on i t . And I had t h i s c r a z y a f f a i r w i t h him, b u t i t was v e r y f r a g i l e a t t h e same t i m e . L i k e what happened was, he s t a r t e d t o — f i r s t we had t h i s i n c r e d i b l e a f f a i r , i t was v e r y b r i e f — a n d t h e n he s t a r t e d t o p l a y 166 games w i t h me and t e l l me he was g o i n g t o c a l l me back, and he d i d n ' t . I can remember r u n n i n g out o f a c o n f e r e n c e , i n t h e m i d d l e o f work, because I t h o u g h t he was c a l l i n g . You know, and I h e a r d t h e phone r i n g and t h e s e c r e t a r y had gone f o r l u n c h . A n d — I mean, t h i n g s t h a t I would n e v e r do i n my r i g h t mind. I was t o t a l l y o u t o f my mind. I r e a l l y was. And now I l o o k back on i t — i f I e v e r had a f e e l i n g o f shame, because shame t o me i s n o t a b i g p a r t o f my l e x i c o n — b u t when I t h i n k back on t h a t t i m e , i t ' s one my l i f e ' s s h a m e f u l moments t h a t I a c t u a l l y l e f t t h i s c o n f e r e n c e w i t h t h e s e p a r e n t s about t h e i r k i d t o r u n and answer t h e phone because I t h o u g h t i t was him. And i t wasn't. So t h a t was j u s t t h i s — s o i t was v e r y f r a g i l e a t t h e same t i m e . There was t h i s g r a n d i o s i t y , b u t t h e problem was t h a t i t was about h a l f an i n c h t h i c k , and i t d i d n ' t t a k e much. A n y t h i n g , you know-- a l l you had t o do was p u t a l i t t l e b i t o f a wedge i n t o i t , and i t j u s t f e l l f l a t . I t was v e r y t e n u o u s . ' T e n u o u s ' — t h a t ' s t h e word I was l o o k i n g f o r . Anyway, so yeah, y e a h — so I don't know whether you want me t o t a l k about a n y t h i n g e l s e o r n o t . There was t h e o t h e r e x p e r i e n c e t h a t I had. The o t h e r t i m e t h a t I f e l t t h a t I was i n l o v e was w i t h t h a t four-month s t i n t w i t h somebody. K: I t h i n k t h a t ' s f i n e , t h ank-you. U: You're welcome. 167 T r a n s c r i p t #1 (Case N) K: Can you d e s c r i b e i n as much d e t a i l as p o s s i b l e what was happening t o you b e f o r e , d u r i n g , and a f t e r y o u r r o m a n t i c l o v e r e l a t i o n s h i p , as i f you were t e l l i n g a s t o r y ? N: I was i n a m a r r i a g e t h a t b a s i c a l l y was w i t h o u t p a s s i o n . I was n o t happy w i t h my former husband. There was no c o n n e c t i o n between us. I had j u s t moved t o S., and f e l t a c e r t a i n freedom a f t e r l e a v i n g T. and a l l my r o o t s b e h i n d me, and I c o u l d a l m o s t do a n y t h i n g t h a t I wanted. When I l e f t T., I was r e a l l y d e p r e s s e d . I d i d n ' t want t o be w i t h my fo r m e r husband, and I r e s e n t e d coming o ut t o S. w i t h him, and him making me move and l e a v e my e n t i r e f a m i l y and s u p p o r t 'system i n T.. About two months a f t e r I a r r i v e d i n S . — i t was by t h a t t i m e I had made some f r i e n d s and I ' d made a b i g p a r t y a t my house, and t h e d o o r b e l l r a n g , and t h i s husband o f one o f t h e women t h a t I had i n v i t e d was a t t h e door. I t o o k one l o o k a t him, he t o o k one l o o k a t me, and I s a i d t o m y s e l f , "My God, I'm h o t a l l o v e r . T h i s man i s u n d r e s s i n g me." I l o o k e d a t h i s f a c e . I t h o u g h t I was g o i n g t o d i e , t h i s was t h e most gorgeous man I have e v e r seen. We j u s t s t o o d t h e r e l o o k i n g a t each o t h e r w i t h o u t r e a l i z i n g t h a t t h e r e were o t h e r p e o p l e t h e r e , and I t o l d them t o come i n , and from t h a t p o i n t on, t h e whole e v e n i n g , we j u s t k e p t — i t was l i k e an e l e c t r i c i t y . I c o u l d n ' t t a k e my eyes o f f him, he c o u l d n ' t t a k e h i s eyes o f f me, and when we'd g e t ne a r one a n o t h e r , we'd b o t h f e e l t h e h e a t . And we t a l k e d . And t h e end o f t h a t e v e n i n g , I knew t h a t I would see t h i s man a g a i n . E v e r y p a r t y t h a t we went t o , a f t e r — because I was f r i e n d l y w i t h h i s w i f e — e v e r y p a r t y t h a t I went t o a f t e r , we would see one a n o t h e r , and we would always end up t a l k i n g t o one a n o t h e r . And he'd always be b r i n g i n g up about a f f a i r s , and b o t h o f us knew t h a t e v e n t u a l l y we would have t o have an a f f a i r . And I don't know what i t was, bu t i t was c e r t a i n l y some s p a r k ; we c o u l d n o t keep away from one a n o t h e r . And what happened was t h e n t h a t I would phone h i s house when I knew h i s w i f e wasn't t h e r e , and we would t a l k a l l e v e n i n g , and he would always b r i n g up a f f a i r s . And t h e n he s t a r t e d c a l l i n g me when he knew my husband wasn't t h e r e , on t h e p r e t e x t o f something, and we, f o r s i x months, saw one a n o t h e r v e r y o f t e n , o r e n g i n e e r e d t o see one a n o t h e r v e r y o f t e n , and t o go out as c o u p l e s so t h a t he and I c o u l d be t o g e t h e r , and we never c o u l d t a k e o ur eyes o f f one a n o t h e r . K: Sounds as though you were t i t i l l a t i n g one a n o t h e r . N: Yeah, we were. And f i n a l l y one day a f t e r s e e i n g one an o t h e r : — a n d I would d r e s s p r o v o c a t i v e l y f o r him, and I knew t h a t he j u s t drank t h i s a l l up, and whenever we were a t p a r t i e s I would f e e l h i s eyes on me, and I'm s u r e he c o u l d f e e l my eyes on him, when we weren't t a l k i n g . 168 K: How d i d you f e e l about him when you weren't s e e i n g him? What was happening? N: Oh, I was obses s e d . A b s o l u t e l y o b s e s s e d . I a t e , d rank and s l e p t t h i n k i n g o f t h i s man, and t h r o u g h o u t t h e day I would j u s t t h i n k about him, c o n s t a n t l y . K: Was i t d i f f i c u l t f o r you t o c a r r y on w i t h o t h e r t h i n g s i n y o u r l i f e ? N: (pause) Yes, i t was r e a l l y v e r y d i f f i c u l t . The o n l y t i m e I had a c a r a c c i d e n t was when I d r o v e p a s t h i s house, and I l o o k e d a t h i s house, and I went i n t o a p a r k e d c a r . I t was a t o t a l o b s e s s i o n . . . u n t i l , one day, I was b a b y s i t t i n g h i s son, and he came t o p i c k up h i s son a t my house, and I as k e d him i f he'd g i v e me a l i f t , and when I was s i t t i n g b e s i d e him i n t h e c a r I c o u l d n o t s t a n d i t anymore, and I s a i d t o him, "You b e t t e r h o l d my hand. I j u s t c a n ' t s t a n d b e i n g so c l o s e t o you." And t h e minute he to u c h e d me, I was on f i r e . And he s a i d , " W i l l you meet me l a t e r ? " And I d i d . And a f t e r t h a t , we knew i t was j u s t a m a t t e r o f t i m e b e f o r e we would have an a f f a i r , and be i n bed. I t t o o k me about e i g h t months t o d e c i d e t h a t , t o h e l l w i t h i t , I was g o i n g t o do i t . And t h e n we had a c o n n e c t i o n f o r e i g h t y e a r s ( p a u s e ) . K: By c o n n e c t i o n you mean...? N: A f t e r s i x months o f h a v i n g an a f f a i r , I d e c i d e d , No, t h i s i s n o t g o i n g on anymore, because I was n o t p r e p a r e d t o l e a v e my m a r r i a g e f o r him, and I had young k i d s . But we would t a l k v e r y o f t e n — t w o , t h r e e t i m e s a week. O c c a s i o n a l l y we'd meet and t o u c h one a n o t h e r , b u t f o r e i g h t y e a r s , when I say we had a c o n n e c t i o n , we t h o u g h t about one a n o t h e r , we t a l k e d o f t e n , he would c o n s t a n t l y t r y and c o n v i n c e me t o c o n t i n u e w i t h t h e a f f a i r , and I woul d n ' t . I j u s t needed t o t a l k t o him. That was enough. K: What was i t t h a t gave you t h e s t r e n g t h t o b r e a k i t o f f ? N: Oh, I knew t h a t i f I went on w i t h i t , i t would d e s t r o y my m a r r i a g e , and I d i d n o t want t o l e a v e a t t h a t p o i n t . My k i d s were v e r y young, and I j u s t c o u l d n o t see m y s e l f d o i n g t h a t . K: A r e you s a y i n g t h a t y o u r f e e l i n g s were becoming o u t o f c o n t r o l ? N: Oh, t h e y were out o f c o n t r o l a t one t i m e — w h e n I l e f t t o T. and s t a y e d t h e r e f o r two months w i t h t h e c h i l d r e n one summer, because I was c o m p l e t e l y o u t o f c o n t r o l . I j u s t wanted t o be w i t h him a l l t h e t i m e , t o t o u c h him c o n s t a n t l y . We would s i t and t a l k f o r h o u r s . And, d u r i n g t h e e i g h t y e a r s , v e r y o f t e n he'd want t o c o n t i n u e t h e a f f a i r , and when 169 I s e p a r a t e d from my former husband, he was t h e f i r s t one on my d o o r s t e p . And, by t h a t t i m e , I d i d n o t want anymore o f t h a t . He was s t i l l i n h i s m a r r i a g e . K: And do you know why you d i d n ' t want anymore o f i t ? N: I t h i n k , deep down, I knew t h a t we w o u l d n ' t — i t w o u l d n ' t be a good m a r r i a g e , and I was s t i l l — h e wasn't J e w i s h — a n d I was s t i l l v e r y much hooked i n t o t h a t J e w i s h t h i n g , b e i n g w i t h somebody J e w i s h , and I s t i l l t h i n k I am. I need t h e s t r o n g c u l t u r a l t i e . But, t h i n k i n g back, oh, I don't t h i n k we were e v e r i n a room where we c o u l d t a l k t o o t h e r p e o p l e w i t h o u t l o o k i n g a t one a n o t h e r . K: A v e r y s t r o n g c o n n e c t i o n . N: V e r y s t r o n g . I t was e x t r e m e l y s t r o n g . K: Do you f e e l t h a t has i n f l u e n c e d o t h e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s ? N: ( l o n g pause) I don't know. I c a n ' t say whether i t has o r whether i t h a s n ' t . I don't know. But I knew t h a t when he came out t o N . — a f t e r I was a l r e a d y l i v i n g w i t h 0 . — I was c o m p l e t e l y c l e a n s e d o f him. And I know i f he came o u t h e r e , I mean, i t would have no e f f e c t on me wha t s o e v e r . He had come o u t h e r e . I t h i n k when you asked me what made me t h i n k t h a t i t w ouldn't w o r k — h e was e x t r e m e l y t i g h t . And I don't t h i n k I c o u l d l i v e w i t h a man—and I guess I want t o have more c o n t r o l i n a r e l a t i o n s h i p — I don't t h i n k I can l i v e w i t h a man t h a t would t e l l me how t o spend my money, o r l i m i t me i n t h e amount o f money he would g i v e me. K: So, w h i l e you were caught up i n t h e emo t i o n s , t h e r e was s t i l l a p a r t o f you t h a t was r a t i o n a l . N: Yeah. There always i s , K. W e l l , t h a t ' s , I gues s , what I was t r y i n g t o say. There always i s a r a t i o n a l p a r t w i t h me. W i t h M., when I chose M., ah, I had t o know what h i s f i n a n c e s — I had t o g e t a f u l l d i s c l o s u r e s t a t e m e n t o f h i s f i n a n c e s . T h a t ' s t h e r a t i o n a l . As much as I wanted t o be w i t h him, I knew t h a t I was never g o i n g i n t o a n y t h i n g a g a i n where I d i d n ' t know t h e f i n a n c i a l s i t u a t i o n , and where I d i d n ' t know t h a t — w h e r e — I had t o know t h a t a man was f u l l y i n d e p e n d e n t . K: Would you say t h a t t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h G. was a r e l a t i o n s h i p i n w h i c h you e x p e r i e n c e d f e e l i n g s o f a k i n d you had n e v e r e x p e r i e n c e d b e f o r e ? N: Oh, I'd ne v e r e x p e r i e n c e d t h o s e k i n d o f f e e l i n g s b e f o r e . I n e v e r was so drawn t o any p e r s o n as I was t o him. Because he was so v e r y b r i g h t , I c o u l d n o t b e l i e v e t h a t t h i s man wanted me. T h i s was such a gorgeous man, I c o u l d n o t b e l i e v e t h a t he t h o u g h t I was so gorgeous. When I l o o k e d a t 170 him, I t h o u g h t , "My, t h i s guy i s g o r g e o u s — a n d he's u n d r e s s i n g me!" H i s f i r s t t h o u g h t s , when he l o o k e d a t me, was, "Oh, she's g o t such b e a u t i f u l l e g s ! And h e r l i p s , and he r e y e s ! " That was h i s c o n n e c t i o n t o me. K: Were t h e r e o t h e r emotions c o n n e c t e d w i t h i t f o r you? N: There was t h e i n t e l l e c t . There was t h e l o o k s . He was a p r o f e s s i o n a l . I t h i n k t h e r e was j u s t e v e r y t h i n g . And i f I was s i n g l e and he was s i n g l e , we p r o b a b l y would have had a l o n g - t e r m r e l a t i o n s h i p . We might have even l i v e d t o g e t h e r . K: And when i t ended? N: ( l o n g pause) When i t ended s e x u a l l y ? Because I'm j u s t s i t t i n g h e r e and t h i n k i n g , I don't know t h a t , w i t h G., t h a t i t e v e r ended. I t h i n k t h a t i f we met tomorrow, we'd be as good f r i e n d s — I had t h e mortgage on h i s house, I had t h e mortgage on h i s b o a t . I don't know—we c o u l d s i t and t a l k about a n y t h i n g , a b s o l u t e l y a n y t h i n g , and f o r a v e r y l o n g p e r i o d o f t i m e — I don't know t h a t t h e r e was e v e r an end. K: Not a c l o s u r e . N: Ah, no. I don't know t h a t t h e r e was e v e r a c l o s u r e . I j u s t knew t h a t I d i d n ' t want t o be w i t h him s e x u a l l y anymore. And I was t h e one t h a t p u l l e d away. K: And you p u l l e d away because...? N: Because I knew t h a t I d i d n o t — I wasn't g o i n g t o b r e a k up my m a r r i a g e f o r him. And when I was s i n g l e and he wanted t o c o n t i n u e , I knew t h a t i t was no l o n g e r r i g h t . I t was no l o n g e r t h e t h i n g f o r me. And I t h i n k r e l i g i o n p l a y e d a l a r g e p a r t i n t h a t . K: I s t h e r e a n y t h i n g e l s e , on l o o k i n g back, t h a t you can t h i n k o f , t h a t was i m p o r t a n t f o r you e m o t i o n a l l y ? N: (pause) No, I — I s t i l l have t o s m i l e when I t h i n k o f i t . When I t h i n k o f him, I see t h i s most gorgeous man i n f r o n t o f me. K: When you s m i l e , t h e r e ' s a warmth i n y o u r s m i l e . N: Yeah, i t was j u s t t h e most w o n d e r f u l , w o n d e r f u l , p a s s i o n a t e , e m o t i o n a l t h i n g . I t was so good f o r me, because I guess I ne v e r t h o u g h t I was t h a t gorgeous, t h a t t h i s man c o u l d chase a f t e r me, c o u l d pursue me. K: Sounds as though you f e l t as though you were a p r i n c e s s . 171 N: I was w i t h him. He t h o u g h t I was t h e b r i g h t e s t . He t h o u g h t I was t h e p r e t t i e s t . I always t h o u g h t I had—my l e g s were okay, b u t from t h e way he l o o k e d a t them, my God! K: So t h r o u g h h i s eyes you saw a d i f f e r e n t N.. N: Yeah, I saw a v e r y e x c i t i n g N., because he saw me t h a t way. K: I s t h e r e a n y t h i n g e l s e you'd l i k e t o add? N: No. No. K: Okay. Thank-you. N: And maybe i t was more r o m a n t i c because we n e v e r had a chance t o l i v e t o g e t h e r t o s p o i l i t . We n e v e r had t h e q u a r r e l s . We ne v e r had any bad t i m e s . When I l o o k back, a l l i t was was t h e most p l e a s a n t , b e a u t i f u l t i m e s . K: I d e a l i s t i c . N: Yes. But t h e n , t h e r e i s n ' t t h e e v e r y d a y - t o - d a y l i v i n g and, you know, t h e h a r d r e a l i t y o f what can happen i n r e l a t i o n s h i p s . We never had t o q u a r r e l about money, because we d i d n ' t s h a r e o ur money. K: A n y t h i n g e l s e ? N: No, I don't t h i n k so. K: Okay, t h a n k s . 172 T r a n s c r i p t #1 (Case R) K: I ' d l i k e you t o t h i n k back t o a t i m e when you were e x p e r i e n c i n g an i n - l o v e f e e l i n g t h a t had an impact on y o u r l i f e . And I'd l i k e you t o s t a r t w i t h what was h a p p e n i n g t o you b e f o r e you met t h i s p e r s o n , what you were f e e l i n g and t h i n k i n g . R: Uh-huh. W e l l , I was e i g h t e e n . I ' d j u s t come back from t r a v e l l i n g t o Japan. And I knew I was g o i n g t o be g o i n g t o u n i v e r s i t y , b u t I was o f t h e mind t o spend a summer, I gue s s , o f hedonism. I went t o a G u l f I s l a n d , and j u s t was r u n n i n g my a f f a i r s e x a c t l y as I wanted t o , w i t h o u t any e x t e r n a l s c h e d u l e o r sense o f g o a l beyond t h e d i s t a n t one o f a t t e n d i n g u n i v e r s i t y . B a s i c a l l y a l l I was d o i n g was f i s h i n g and r e a d i n g and p h o t o g r a p h i n g and s t u f f . And so t h a t was t h e c o n t e x t i n w h i c h t h i s woman w a l k e d i n t o my l i f e . I ' d borrowed a c a b i n from my a u n t , and I was l i v i n g i n i t . And s h e — m y aun t , t h a t i s — d o u b l e - b o o k e d i t , so t h a t t h i s o t h e r woman t h o u g h t t h a t i t was h e r s f o r a p e r i o d o f t i m e , whereas i n f a c t I was i n i t . And I l a t e r found out from t h e woman i n my r e l a t i o n s h i p t h a t she was p u t out t o f i n d t h i s man l i v i n g i n h e r c a b i n when she a r r i v e d ! But we i m m e d i a t e l y r e c o g n i z e d t h a t we had some t a l k i n g p o t e n t i a l . J u s t , you know, a t f i r s t i t was b e i n g s e t back, "Oh, were you supposed t o be i n t h i s c a b i n ? " "Yeah, I was supposed t o be i n t h i s c a b i n . " But we j u s t s t a r t e d t a l k i n g . And w i t h i n t e n m i n u t e s we were s t a r t i n g t o argue. And n o t argue about t h e s i t u a t i o n i n t h e c a b i n , j u s t argue about an o u t l o o k on l i f e . And f u r t h e r t h a n t h a t , j u s t t h e n a t u r e o f me, more t h a n h e r . Because, b e i n g — a c o m b i n a t i o n o f b e i n g , I t h i n k , an e x c e p t i o n a l l y i n s i g h t f u l p e r s o n and g i f t e d p e r s o n , she was a l s o f i f t e e n y e a r s o l d e r t h a n me. She was t h i r t y - t h r e e , and I was e i g h t e e n . So I g u e s s — I c a n ' t remember e x a c t l y what q u e s t i o n s she s t a r t e d a s k i n g , b u t t h e y were v e r y p r o v o c a t i v e , and t h e y caused me t o d e f e n d m y s e l f , t o q u e s t i o n . She knew t h i n g s about me t h a t I d i d n ' t know about me. Or she c o u l d see t h i n g s about me t h a t I c o u l d n ' t see t h a t I f e l t about m y s e l f . She c o u l d c l a r i f y t h a t . K: A r e you s a y i n g t h a t she had p e r c e p t i o n — i n s i g h t i n t o you? R: Yeah, r e m a r k a b l e i n s i g h t i n t o me. Where she c o u l d a r t i c u l a t e an emotion t h a t I was f e e l i n g b u t c o u l d n ' t a r t i c u l a t e , and do i t f a i r l y i n t u i t i v e l y , I suppose, w i t h o u t enough i n f o r m a t i o n about my p a s t o r p r e s e n t o r i d e a l s a t t h a t t i m e . So I found h e r j u s t so c o m p e l l i n g by t h a t i n s i g h t . And, I don't know, i t t o o k me about t h r e e h o u r s from t h e t i m e she a r r i v e d t o make a p h y s i c a l move f o r h e r . I j u s t was drawn t o h e r t h a t s t r o n g l y . And she responded. A l t h o u g h she was m a r r i e d and had c h i l d r e n , t h e y weren't t h e r e . They were back E a s t . 173 K: By " p h y s i c a l " move, I'm assuming you mean " s e x u a l . " R: S e x u a l , yeah. And she was v e r y r e s p o n s i v e . I d i d n ' t f i n d h e r o v e r w h e l m i n g l y a t t r a c t i v e , i n t h e sense o f somebody t h a t ' s o u t r a g e o u s l y b e a u t i f u l , o r a c o m m e r c i a l t y p e o f a t t r a c t i o n , I g u e s s — y o u know, t h e i d e a l woman—or even one o f t h e young n u b i l e g i r l t h a t ' s e x t r e m e l y a t t r a c t i v e . And she wasn't, i n t h a t sense. You know, she wasn't l i k e a t a r g e t o f s e x u a l d e s i r e l i k e somebody e l s e might have been. But I d i d f i n d h e r v e r y a t t r a c t i v e , so i t worked o u t . And we j u s t became v e r y p a s s i o n a t e l o v e r s f o r t h e n e x t t h r e e months. K: What was i t t h a t s t o o d out f o r you about h e r ? R: (pause) Her i n s i g h t . Her i n t u i t i o n . And h e r a b i l i t y t o speak my mind, l i k e I d i d n ' t know my mind. And, you know, i t was j u s t t o o f a s c i n a t i n g f o r words. I mean, she c o u l d p r o b a b l y t e l l me what passages i n a book I had r e a d t h a t had a p p e a l e d t o me, t h a t s t o o d o u t . J u s t an i n c r e d i b l e range o f knowledge o f l i t e r a t u r e , t o o . So i f I mentioned a n y t h i n g t h a t I had found v e r y i n t e r e s t i n g , she c o u l d remember what i t was, t o o , i n t h a t g i v e n book, o r something, and r e l a t e i t t o my c h a r a c t e r as t o why I found t h a t so f a s c i n a t i n g . K: So you b o t h had a common i n t e r e s t as w e l l . R: Yeah, a l t h o u g h I guess i t wouldn't b e . . . I t was more, I g u e s s , a common i n t e r e s t i n s p i r i t u a l p s y c h o l o g y . That was i t . But she was f u n . I mean, we l a u g h e d so s p o n t a n e o u s l y , as w e l l as f o u g h t s p o n t a n e o u s l y . Because I guess I was enough o f a m e n t a l c h a l l e n g e t o h e r t o be s t i m u l a t i n g company. Or, I guess, j u s t i n t e r e s t i n g enough t h a t she would be w a n t i n g t o be w i t h me t w e n t y - f o u r h o u r s a day as w e l l . K: How d i d you f e e l about y o u r s e l f when you were w i t h h e r ? R: V e r y h i g h . A t t i m e s v e r y despondent, though. Because, I t h i n k , as you s t r u g g l e t h r o u g h you own l i m i t a t i o n s , you become aware o f y o u r own l i m i t a t i o n s — o r what you t h i n k a r e y o u r own l i m i t a t i o n s — y o u s t a r t s e e i n g , you know, p a r t s o f y o u r s e l f t h a t y o u ' r e s c a r e d o f , o r t h e t h i n g s t h a t a r e h o l d i n g you back, o r f e a r f u l p a r t s o f y o u r s e l f , n e g a t i v e p a r t s o f y o u r s e l f . And a l t h o u g h t h o s e t h i n g s s t a r t coming o u t , you can become d e p r e s s e d o r whatever f o r a p e r i o d o f t i m e , and f r u s t r a t e d and angry. And I would become l i k e t h a t . But she seemed t o know how t o manage t h a t , so t h a t I wasn't t h r e a t e n e d t o t h e p o i n t o f d e p a r t u r e . K: How d i d you r e l a t e t h o s e f e e l i n g s t o a r e l a t i o n s h i p ? R: Those f e e l i n g s i n t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p ? . 174 K: Yes, when you t a l k about t h e anger and t h e d e p r e s s i o n , and t h a t t h i s was happening w i t h i n y o u r s e l f . Do you r e l a t e t h i s a l s o t o what was happening between t h e two o f you? R: (pause) Not t h a t much, no. There was a s i d e t h a t . . . Our r e l a t i o n s h i p between each o t h e r was j o y f u l one, i n t h a t we b o t h gave each o t h e r j o y t o be i n each o t h e r ' s company. The p a r t t h a t would have been d i f f i c u l t , and would have d e p r e s s e d me f o r a p e r i o d o f t i m e , would be some t h i n g p u r e l y i n me, n o t t o do w i t h t h e break-up o f t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p o r an i n a b i l i t y t o communicate w i t h i n t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p , a l a c k o f s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h t h e o t h e r p e r s o n , o r a n y t h i n g l i k e t h a t . I t was j u s t coming t o terms w i t h m y s e l f , p u r e l y . K: So y o u r own growth. R: My own growth, yeah. Whereas i n t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h h e r , i t was a sense o f c o n s t a n t j o y r e a l l y . L i k e I n e v e r , I t h i n k , had f e l t b e f o r e , and v e r y r a r e l y s i n c e , e x c e p t maybe i n terms o f o u t d o o r r e c r e a t i o n . I mean, l o o k i n g back on i t now...I don't t h i n k about i t t h a t much, because i t used t o t e a r me up, t h i n k i n g about i t t h e n , and t h e n s e e i n g how t h i n g s have changed and how i t ' s b e h i n d me and t h a t . B u t , yeah, i t was g r e a t a d e a l o f j o y . I mean we swam t o g e t h e r and w a l k e d t o g e t h e r and shopped t o g e t h e r and cooked t o g e t h e r and e v e r y t h i n g , as much as p o s s i b l e . A l t h o u g h w i t h i n t h e c o n t e x t . . . I mean, she had f r i e n d s , mutual f r i e n d s o f my p a r e n t s and e v e r y t h i n g , and everybody knew she was m a r r i e d . I t was d i f f i c u l t t o c a r r y on an a f f a i r i n l i g h t o f t h a t . You know, h e r f r i e n d s and my mother, and my mother knew...So we k i n d o f had t o sneak around a b i t , a l t h o u g h I t h i n k i t became p r e t t y o b v i o u s , because i t j u s t was. K: Because t h i s f e e l i n g s p i l l e d o v e r ? R: Yeah. (pause) I f e l t v e r y s p e c i a l i n t h a t , i n b e i n g h e r f r i e n d and h e r l o v e r . I f e l t v e r y l u c k y t o be i n t h a t p o s i t i o n w i t h h e r . Because she had a l o t o f a t t e n t i o n b e i n g thrown h e r way from o t h e r men, and from p e o p l e i n g e n e r a l who wanted t o j u s t t a l k w i t h h e r t o f i n d o u t about t h e m s e l v e s . Because she had t h a t a b i l i t y t o see t h i n g s i n p e o p l e t h a t t h e y d i d n ' t know about t h e m s e l v e s , and ask q u e s t i o n s t h a t would stump them f o r t h r e e days, and when t h e y found t h e answer, i t would open up a door i n t h e i r p syche t h a t was so l i f e - g i v i n g t h a t t h e y l o v e d i t . And whenever I became l a z y about t h a t , though, she used t o g e t mad, w h i c h was funny. I t happened a c o u p l e o f t i m e s , where I s o r t o f , I guess, j u s t g o t t i r e d o f d e a l i n g w i t h a s p e c t s o f m y s e l f t h a t I d i d n ' t . . . I j u s t wanted t o have f u n , o r whatever. And sometimes t h e r e was a demand t h e r e t o t a k e t h i s s e r i o u s l y , and i f I d i d n ' t . . . W e l l , once she s a i d , "You know, y o u ' r e n ot g o i n g t o be i n t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p f o r e v e r . You might as w e l l t a k e advantage o f i t w h i l e i t ' s h e r e . " And i n d e e d i t o n l y l a s t e d from A p r i l — A p r i l , h a l f o f A p r i l , 175 May, June, J u l y , August. So f o u r and a h a l f months, I g u e s s , o f b e i n g t o g e t h e r a l m o s t a l l t h e t i m e . K: Uh-hum. R: And t h e n a f t e r t h a t she moved back E a s t , and went back t o h e r husband, and t h a t p a r t o f our r e l a t i o n s h i p ended t h e r e . But we c o n t i n u e d t o be f r i e n d s , when she came back o u t west, f o r a n o t h e r f i v e y e a r s . K: By " f r i e n d s " do you mean a s e x u a l r e l a t i o n s h i p as w e l l ? R: No. The s e x u a l r e l a t i o n s h i p ended. She ended up g e t t i n g m a r r i e d a g a i n , and t h e n t h e r e wasn't room f o r t h a t anymore. The t h i n g t h a t remains c o n s t a n t , though, t o t h i s d a y — a n d I ' l l t a l k t o h e r t w i c e a y e a r o r s o m e t h i n g — i s t h a t q u e s t i n m y s e l f t h a t she h e l p s t o c l a r i f y . K: I n r e t r o s p e c t , when you t h i n k about t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p , do you f e e l you had any c o n t r o l , o r were you swept away by t h e f e e l i n g s ? R: (pause) W e l l , I d i d n ' t want t o . . . I d i d n ' t want t h i n g s t o p r o c e e d any d i f f e r e n t l y t h a n t h e y were, so I guess I n e v e r t h o u g h t o f c o n t r o l o r n o t c o n t r o l . I j u s t t h o u g h t t h a t we were d o i n g w o n d e r f u l t h i n g s i n t h e h e r e and now, and I d i d n ' t want t o change a n y t h i n g . When i t came t i m e t o b r e a k up, I was b r o k e n up, and I w i s h I'd maybe had more c o n t r o l o f t h a t . I w i s h I would have had t h e c o n t r o l , I g u e s s , t o p e r p e t u a t e t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p . K: By " p e r p e t u a t e " you mean...? R: Keep i t g o i n g . J u s t s t a y i n i t . You know, keep t h i n g s g o i n g as t h e y were. Because we were more i n l o v e e v e r y d a y . We were more i n l o v e t h e day t h a t we l e f t — o r p a r t e d — t h a n we'd been t h e day b e f o r e t h a t , o r t h e month b e f o r e t h a t . So we l e f t a t an a b s o l u t e h i g h o f l o v e f o r each o t h e r . K: Can you d e s c r i b e , t h e n , what y o u r f e e l i n g s were l i k e when i t ended? R: (pause) They were, I guess, t h e d e e p e s t p a i n and s o r r o w t h a t I've e v e r f e l t . I mean, I d i d n ' t have a n o t h e r r e l a t i o n s h i p a f t e r t h a t f o r two y e a r s . My h e a r t was j u s t i n agony a t l e a v i n g , and I must have c r i e d , you know, g a l l o n s o f t e a r s . I j u s t f e l t l o n e l y , I f e l t c o n f u s e d , I f e l t t o t a l l y l o s t . And no m a t t e r now much p s y c h o l o g y I ' d gone t h r o u g h , none o f i t h e l p e d i n terms o f a l l a y i n g t h e k i n d o f p a i n t h a t I was g o i n g t h r o u g h . You know, t h a t was s uch a p a i n f u l e x p e r i e n c e . I d i d n ' t have t i m e f o r anybody, c l o s e s t f r i e n d s , my p a r e n t s , a n y t h i n g . I was j u s t l i k e a wreck. K: Sounds as though you w ithdrew. 176 R: I d i d n ' t w i t h d r a w from t h e s o c i a l o b l i g a t i o n s . I mean, I s t i l l went t o d i n n e r h e r e , s t i l l d i d my s t u d i e s , you know, t h a t f a l l , and c o n t i n u e d t o r e a d and e v e r y t h i n g . But I t h i n k I j u s t . . . I wasn't a b l e t o h a n d l e a n o t h e r r e l a t i o n s h i p , t h a t ' s f o r s u r e . That was one t h i n g I d i d n ' t . . . I c o u l d n ' t m a n i f e s t i t . I mean, even i f I'd wanted t o , w h i c h I ' d t h o u g h t would be g r e a t , i f I c o u l d move i n t o a r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h somebody e l s e . But I t h i n k t h a t I was s u c h an i n t e n s e i n d i v i d u a l a t t h a t p o i n t t h a t any woman would have r a n on f e e l i n g t h a t k i n d o f energy. Because i t was p r o b a b l y v e r y n e e d f u l e n e rgy; i t was t a k e , t a k e energy, r a t h e r t h a n a sense o f contentment i n m y s e l f , and something o f a s t r e n g t h t h a t would draw somebody e l s e t o you. K: So you d i d n ' t f e e l you had a n y t h i n g t o g i v e t o someone e l s e . R: No, no, I d i d n ' t . I guess I'd been t a k i n g , and b e i n g t h e r e c i p i e n t o f so much, t h a t t h a t was my mode o f o p e r a t i n g . A l t h o u g h , you know, I had a l o t o f w e a l t h i n c h a r a c t e r . You know, as much as anybody e l s e i n h a v i n g t r a v e l l e d and, you know, h a v i n g an i n t e r e s t i n g background and s t u f f . You know, I don't t h i n k I was l i k e a p e r s o n o f no v a l u e o r a n y t h i n g , b u t I guess, you know, w i t h i n t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p I maybe was t o o s e l f - c e n t e r e d a t t h a t p o i n t t o be i n one. I was l u s t f u l as e v e r , b u t I wanted t h e s p i r i t u a l d i m e n s i o n t o t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p a t t h e same t i m e . And t h a t ' s why, I suppose, I had problems w i t h f o r m i n g o t h e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s f o r y e a r s . I was u s i n g t h e one I'd had as an example o f what a r e l a t i o n s h i p c o u l d o r s h o u l d be. And, i n f a c t , i t ' s n e v e r m a t e r i a l i z e d i n t h a t same way a g a i n . K: Can you e l a b o r a t e more on how t h a t r e l a t i o n s h i p a f f e c t e d o t h e r s ? R: W e l l , f o r t h e f i r s t few y e a r s , I t h i n k my demands, a l t h o u g h s i l e n t , f o r a r e l a t i o n s h i p t h a t I was i n were p r o b a b l y t o o h i g h . I mean, w a n t i n g t h e woman t o be more t h a n she was i n t h e way o f a m e n t a l s t i m u l u s . S e x u a l l y , t h e y were f i n e and g e t t i n g b e t t e r . A t t h a t l e v e l , t h e y were b e i n g h e l d t o g e t h e r v e r y w e l l . But I guess as t h e y became more...I s o r t o f r e a l i z e d I c o u l d n ' t have t h a t same k i n d o f s t i m u l a t i o n m e n t a l l y a g a i n v e r y e a s i l y . I mean, i t ' s h a r d t o f i n d somebody a g a i n l i k e t h a t . So, a c k n o w l e d g i n g t h a t , I j u s t , I guess, a c c e p t e d t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p s t o be d i f f e r e n t . Not so i n t e n s e , maybe? K: By " i n t e n s e " you mean...? R: I mean p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y , s p i r i t u a l l y i n t e n s e . They c o u l d be p h y s i c a l l y i n t e n s e , t h e y c o u l d be f u n . D i d I say s e x u a l l y i n t e n s e ? 177 K: Uh-hum. R: Yeah, s e x u a l l y i n t e n s e . They c o u l d be f u n . They c o u l d be m e n t a l l y s t i m u l a t i n g , w h i c h I've always i n s i s t e d on, I guess . I mean, I've t r i e d e v e r y now and a g a i n t o go f o r a woman p u r e l y on s e x u a l a t t r a c t i o n , and i t d o e s n ' t work o u t . You know, i t ' s n i c e , b u t i t j u s t n e v e r works o u t . I've t r i e d t o go t o b a r s a t v a r i o u s t i m e s o v e r t h e l a s t t e n y e a r s , you know, t o p i c k up some r e a l l y l o v e l y woman, and i t d o e s n ' t work. K: By n o t w o r k i n g — t h e s e x u a l i s j u s t n o t enough? R: Yeah, and I t h i n k what I've g o t t o do i s , I've g o t t o f i n d somebody i n t h e c o n t e x t t h a t I e n j o y . . L i k e , most o f t h e p e o p l e I've met have e i t h e r been t h r o u g h o u t d o o r r e c r e a t i o n o r , perhap s , movies. Something t h a t I'm i n t e r e s t e d i n . And i n t h a t c o n t e x t somebody comes out c o m p a t i b l e w i t h me. But, you know, on a p u r e l y s e x u a l a t t r a c t i o n l e v e l , I mean, you can l o o k around t h e s t r e e t s o r something, b u t t h e chances o f b e i n g c o m p a t i b l e w i t h somebody t h a t y o u ' r e a t t r a c t e d t o p u r e l y p h y s i c a l l y a r e f a i r l y remote. I t would be n i c e i f i t happened a t t h e same t i m e . S o mebody—the i d e a l p h y s i c a l p e r s o n f o r you, and t h e i d e a l m e n t a l p e r s o n , as i d e a l as i d e a l g e t s , would be g r e a t . So t h a t r e l a t i o n s h i p a f f e c t e d my e x p e c t a t i o n s o f o t h e r s . But I've become much more f o r g i v i n g , I guess, o f m y s e l f and everybody e l s e i n t h e w o r l d i n g e n e r a l i n t h e l a s t f i v e y e a r s . I'm not n e a r l y so demanding on m y s e l f o r o t h e r p e o p l e . K: A r e you s a y i n g t h a t you don't e x p e c t . . . ? R: I don't e x p e c t as much, no. K: So t h a t i n - l o v e f e e l i n g t h a t you e x p e r i e n c e d w i t h t h i s p e r s o n h a s n ' t happened a g a i n f o r you then? R: Not t o t h e same e x t e n t . K: I wonder, R., t h e n , i f you c o u l d d e s c r i b e a g a i n what t h i s i n - l o v e f e e l i n g means t o you. R: ( l o n g pause) There a r e d i f f e r e n t p a r t s o f i t . I mean, d i f f e r e n t t h i n g s . On t h e one l e v e l , i t ' s a j o y a t b e i n g w i t h somebody t h a t you r e a l l y e n j o y and a r e a t t r a c t e d t o , and t h a t makes you f e e l w o n d e r f u l . So, i t means f e e l i n g v e r y good i n y o u r s e l f , j u s t e m o t i o n a l l y f e e l i n g good. I guess, I . . . T h a t ' s what i t f e e l s l i k e . T h a t ' s t h e t h i n g , i n terms o f an emotion, t h a t ' s what i t f e e l s l i k e . I have d i f f e r e n t i d e a s about what i t means. K: W e l l , a r e you s a y i n g i t ' s been m i s s i n g i n t h e o t h e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s f o r you, then? 178 1 R: No, n o t t h e f e e l i n g o f b e i n g happy and c o n t e n t e d and j o y f u l . No. I mean, my h e a r t i s c a p a b l e and w i l l i n g t o f e e l t h o s e t h i n g s a g a i n , g i v e n t h e r i g h t r e l a t i o n s h i p . And I d i d f e e l i t a g a i n . The o n l y problem has been, and what's become k i n d o f a q u a l i f i c a t i o n t o t h a t , i s t h a t r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n my e x p e r i e n c e have o n l y l a s t e d between s i x months and two y e a r s and a h a l f o r something. And I g o t t o o h e a r t b r o k e n t o o many t i m e s t o , I guess, go t o t h e p o i n t o f t h e f i r s t one a g a i n . I t never happened a g a i n . I don't know why. I t ' s maybe j u s t n o t me e t i n g t h e r i g h t p e r s o n , more t h a n an i n a b i l i t y o r u n w i l l i n g n e s s on my p a r t t o g i v e and g i v e . I j u s t , you know, met t h i s p e r s o n . We were a t t r a c t e d t o each o t h e r ; we found each o t h e r s t i m u l a t i n g . S l e p t t o g e t h e r and s t a r t e d s p e n d i n g more and more t i m e t o g e t h e r . F e l l i n l o v e t o a p o i n t , and t h e n , f o r some r e a s o n , t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p ends. And t h a t ' s been t h e p a t t e r n . You know, f o r some r e a s o n , b e i n g , w e l l . . . o n e o f them...I l i v e d w i t h a woman f o r a y e a r and a h a l f . I became j u s t n o t a t t r a c t e d t o h e r p h y s i c a l l y anymore. And t h a t was v e r y d i f f i c u l t , s l e e p i n g t o g e t h e r . I wasn't s t i m u l a t e d enough t o s t a y w i t h h e r . And t h a t ' s why t h a t r e l a t i o n s h i p ended. A n o t h e r woman I l i v e d w i t h f o r a y e a r and a h a l f , h e r c a r e e r a m b i t i o n s and p e r s o n a l a m b i t i o n s g o t i n t h e way, where she d i d n ' t want t o be i n a r e l a t i o n s h i p , because she found t h a t i t was an o b l i g a t i o n t h a t she c o u l d n ' t h a n d l e on t o p o f an e i g h t e e n -hour day. So t h a t one ended. A n o t h e r one ended, you know, a p e r s o n moves back E a s t . Or you meet somebody camping, and you have a f l i n g . I t might be a g r e a t r e l a t i o n s h i p , b u t she might want t o have had k i d s r i g h t away, and she knew t h a t I wasn't r e a d y . So t h a t one ended. You know, p i c k i n g t h e wrong p e o p l e o r something ( l a u g h t e r ) . K: I t sounds as t h o u g h — w h a t happened i n t h e f i r s t one, t h e c o n d i t i o n s have never been q u i t e t h e same f o r you. R: No. The q u a l i t y has nev e r been q u i t e t h e same. (pause) But I t h i n k i t ' s a h a r d one t o compare t h i n g s t o . Because s h e ' s — a n d s t i l l i s — s u c h a magnetic and p o w e r f u l p e r s o n , t h a t t o be i n a r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h h e r was, you know, d o u b l y p o w e r f u l as j u s t b e i n g i n a f r i e n d s h i p w i t h h e r , as a l o t o f p e o p l e a r e . And t h e y t e n d to...You know, p e o p l e who a r e j u s t i n f r i e n d s h i p s w i t h h e r have moved a c r o s s t h e c o u n t r y t o s t a y nearby, so t h e y can s t i l l see h e r . And, you know, so i t ' s a h a r d p e r s o n t o compare t h i n g s w i t h , and use as an example o f a r e l a t i o n s h i p , because i t ' s more h e r maybe t h a n t h e e f f e c t o f a r e l a t i o n s h i p . K: A l t h o u g h t h e c o n n e c t i o n between you seemed v e r y s t r o n g . R: Uh-huh. Yeah, i t was. Yeah, i t was. So I was v e r y d i s a p p o i n t e d t h a t i t ended f o r t h a t r e a s o n . Because we were so c o m p a t i b l e , m e n t a l l y c o m p a t i b l e . And I wasn't ...I'm n o t 179 t h e m a g n e t i c p e r s o n she i s , o b j e c t i v e l y — a t l e a s t o b j e c t i v e l y - — b u t between us, we're v e r y c o m p a t i b l e , yeah. K: I s t h e r e a n y t h i n g e l s e t h a t we haven't t a l k e d about, i n terms o f y o u r f e e l i n g s , t h a t you can say something about? R: Yeah, I . . . ( l o n g pause) I guess i t ' s j u s t t h a t . . . S l o w l y I'm b e g i n n i n g t o b e l i e v e t h a t r e l a t i o n s h i p s a r e n o t j u s t b e i n g i n l o v e , a f e e l i n g o f b e i n g i n l o v e . They're a mechanism f o r u n v e i l i n g y o u r s e l f , and u n v e i l i n g t h e o t h e r p e r s o n . I guess, b r i n g i n g l i g h t on t o each o t h e r , each o t h e r ' s b e t t e r n a t u r e , each o t h e r ' s p o t e n t i a l . So I don't have t h e e x p e c t a t i o n o f c o n s t a n t l y b e i n g h i g h , o r b e i n g p a s s i o n a t e . I guess, t h e r e a r e more d i m e n s i o n s t o i t , and t h o s e have t o do w i t h coming t o u n d e r s t a n d y o u r s e l f . K: So t h r o u g h t h e c o n n e c t i o n w i t h t h e o t h e r p e r s o n . . . R: Through t h e c o n n e c t i o n w i t h t h e o t h e r p e r s o n , yeah. You can e i t h e r do i t a l o n e , o r you can do i t w i t h somebody e l s e . And i t ' s a l o t e a s i e r t o do i t w i t h somebody e l s e . I n a r e l a t i o n s h i p , I t h i n k you go t h r o u g h so many t h i n g s t h a t a r e p o t e n t i a l s f o r i d e n t i f y i n g y o u r s e l f , and f o r i d e n t i f y i n g what you r e a l l y a r e . I d e n t i f y i n g what you can do b e s t i n t h e w o r l d , s o c i a l l y ; what i s t h e b e s t o f y o u r a r t i s t i c c r e a t i v i t y ; what i s t h e b e s t p a r t o f y o u r n a t u r e . They can b r i n g t h a t out i n b o t h p e o p l e . G i v e n a commitment t o t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p and e x p e r i e n c i n g l i f e t o g e t h e r , t h e r e ' s g o i n g t o be e n d l e s s c o n f l i c t s , as t h e r e i s i f y o u ' r e s i n g l e o r i n a r e l a t i o n s h i p o r whatever. But b e i n g a b l e t o work them o u t i n a r e l a t i o n s h i p t e a c h e s you a l o t . And I guess I t r u s t t h a t as t r u e . K: So t h r o u g h t h i s o t h e r p e r s o n , i t opens up u n e x p l o r e d d o o r s f o r y o u r s e l f . R: Uh-huh. Yeah, yeah. ( l o n g pause) And h a v i n g k i d s would be a n o t h e r mechanism f o r t h a t t o happen. L i k e , i t ' s more t h a n j u s t , you know, c r e a t i n g progeny, i t s . . . A g a i n , g o i n g t h r o u g h t h a t e x p e r i e n c e , opening up p a r t s o f y o u r s e l f . I mean, i t ' s not s e l f i s h ; I mean, you a r e b r i n g i n g o t h e r p e o p l e i n t o t h e w o r l d , you a r e g i v i n g j o y t o a n o t h e r p e r s o n , b u t . . . I suppose I t r u s t t h a t i t moves you c l o s e r t o s e l f -r e a l i z a t i o n . That has t o be t h e o b j e c t i v e o f a r e l a t i o n s h i p . M u t u a l s e l f - r e a l i z a t i o n . T h a t ' s what I t h i n k t h a t t h e f u n c t i o n o f a r e l a t i o n s h i p i s now. K: A n y t h i n g e l s e you'd l i k e t o add? R: (pause) I guess t h e s e x u a l n a t u r e o f m y s e l f . . . I ' m n o t s u r e , i n t h a t c o n t e x t , where s e x u a l energy f i t s , because you want t o have a f l i n g a t t h e same t i m e ! K: By " f l i n g " you mean... 180 R: Oh, I guess, b e i n g w i t h somebody t h a t ' s s u p e r a t t r a c t i v e p h y s i c a l l y t o you, who j u s t r a i s e s y o u r p a s s i o n s . Yeah. R a t h e r t h a n somebody t h a t y o u ' r e s u p e r c o m p a t i b l e w i t h f o r a l o n g - t e r m t h i n g . K: So t h a t ' s d i f f e r e n t t h a n b e i n g i n l o v e w i t h them? R: Yeah, yeah. I t h i n k so. Maybe n o t . Maybe y o u ' r e i n l o v e w i t h a c e r t a i n p a r t o f them, and y o u ' r e i n l o v e w i t h them i n a c e r t a i n way. But i t ' s n o t t h e b e s t t a r g e t i f y o u ' r e g o i n g t o have a l o n g - t e r m r e l a t i o n s h i p o r m a r r i a g e r e l a t i o n s h i p . You know, I t h i n k you g o t t o l o o k a t more t h a n how t h e y l o o k f o r t h a t . You have t o . I t j u s t won't work o u t . But you were a s k i n g about how I " i m a g i n e " — i s t h a t r i g h t ? — t h e p e r f e c t l o v e a f f a i r r e l a t i o n s h i p . K: Uh-hum. R: I guess i t would be a c o m b i n a t i o n , o r a r e l a t i o n s h i p t h a t would i n c l u d e b o t h p h y s i c a l a t t r a c t i o n and s p i r i t u a l g rowth. L i k e , i f I were t o p i c t u r e t h e p e r f e c t p e r s o n f o r me, I t h i n k I would use words l i k e " g r a c e f u l , " " p o i s e d , " " s o f t , " " s e l f - c o n t a i n e d , " " s e l f - c o n f i d e n t , " " l i g h t " — i n terms o f o u t l o o k , and a l s o p h y s i c a l l y , I s u p p o s e — " s l i g h t " — t h e way t h a t t h e y c a r r i e d t h e m s e l v e s . Somebody t h a t s m e l l e d v e r y n i c e . Somebody who c o u l d l o o k a t me i n t h e eyes and see my--how t o p u t i t , w i t h o u t b e i n g c l i c h e ? — s e e me, l i k e , see me beyond any f e a r o r any a m b i t i o n . See me i n t h e b e s t p a r t o f m y s e l f a l w a y s . B e i n g a b l e t o l o o k a t me and always see t h a t s e l f , t h a t h i g h e r s e l f t h a t s i t s t h e r e always b u t i s n ' t a l ways acknowledged and a c t e d on. K: That i s n ' t a lways known. R: Not a l w a y s known, yeah. That g e t s l o s t . I guess somebody who sees i t , as opposed t o a n y t h i n g e l s e . Sees i t as opposed t o anger o r f r u s t r a t i o n o r w hatever m o d i f i c a t i o n on f e a r t h a t I might be e x p e r i e n c i n g . And I guess r e i n f o r c e s t h a t p o s i t i v e s e l f , h i g h e r s e l f . But a l s o somebody who i s n o t a s a i n t ! Somebody who's t h e m s e l v e s v u l n e r a b l e , t h e m s e l v e s s u b j e c t t o , you know, t h e r i g o u r s o f e v i l , f o r l a c k o f b e t t e r word. And who needs my p r e s e n c e f o r t h e i r growth and w e l l - b e i n g as w e l l . R a t h e r t h a n somebody who d o e s n ' t need me t o e n j o y l i f e more, o r somebody, I guess, who i s so s e l f - p o s s e s s e d t h a t a l l I am i s somebody t o h e l p . You know, t h e r e ' s something a t t r a c t i v e i n weakness. K: By "weakness" you mean... R: V u l n e r a b i l i t y . I n s e a r c h i n g , i n n o t knowing. I n a s k i n g , i n q u e s t i n g , as opposed t o , I guess, s e l f - p o s s e s s i o n , c o n t a i n m e n t . I guess, t h e d i m e n s i o n o f humanness t h a t i s n ' t 181 p e r f e c t , t h a t i s s e a r c h i n g f o r more, who's b a f f l e d by t h e c o m p l e x i t y o f l i f e . Those t h i n g s , you know, t h e y ' r e human and t h e y ' r e b e a u t i f u l . And I guess t h e y ' r e i n e v i t a b l e , because we l i v e i n such a huge, complex, m i r a c u l o u s t h i n g . And our minds and o u r s e l v e s a r e so s m a l l and so young, t h a t we c o n s t a n t l y have t o be e x p l o r i n g and e n t e r i n g new f i e l d s . And as we do, we're bound t o be b a f f l e d and c o n f u s e d a t t i m e s . K: So a r e you s a y i n g t h a t you'd l i k e t o e x p l o r e w i t h someone t h o s e untouched depths? R: Yes. Yes. And t h e y ' r e n o t o n l y o f t h e w o r l d , b u t how t h e i n d i v i d u a l responds t o them. L i k e , t h e m a t u r i t y i s how you r e s p o n d t o t h e c h a l l e n g e s o f t h e w o r l d ; how you r e s p o n d i n d i f f i c u l t s i t u a t i o n s , as somebody s a i d . So, you know, as you go t h r o u g h l i f e , i f y ou're d e v e l o p i n g t h e t o o l s t o d e a l w i t h t h a t k i n d o f e x p l o r a t i o n , t h e n you a c t u a l l y e n j o y t h e e x p l o r a t i o n r a t h e r t h a n b e i n g overwhelmed by i t . And, I suppose, i d e a l l y I'd l i k e t o be w i t h a woman who r a n w i t h t h a t k i n d o f c o n f i d e n c e . But, you know, a t t h e same t i m e , t h e r e ' s n o t a p e r f e c t p e r s o n . There's no such t h i n g , I guess. You have t h e t o o l s t o d e a l w i t h t h e w o r l d , b u t y o u ' r e n o t i n c o n t r o l o f t h e w o r l d . But I guess I'm v e r y v i s u a l i n terms o f my i d e a l i z a t i o n o f t h i s t h i n g . I do see a c e r t a i n p e r s o n , and c e r t a i n c l o t h i n g , and c o o k i n g — I see h e r c o o k i n g . Which i s something t h a t r e a l l y drew me t o t h e woman t h a t I f e l l i n l o v e w i t h f i r s t , t h e o l d e r woman. She had a way o f s t i r r i n g f o o d w h i c h s a i d so much about h e r c o n t r o l o f h e r s e l f , and h e r l o v e , I guess, f o r f o o d , w h i c h i s p a r t o f l i f e . So, l i k e , I cook w e l l m y s e l f , b u t I l o v e s e e i n g a woman c o o k i n g and l o v i n g t h a t p r o c e s s . T o s s i n g s a l a d o r a d d i n g o i l o r , you know, t h o s e k i n d o f t h i n g s . I guess I see somebody d r e s s e d i n a gown, p o i s e d , c o o k i n g . And e n j o y i n g i t , and r e v e l i n g i n company, more t h a n one p e r s o n i n t h e room. And l a u g h t e r and music and a p p r e c i a t i n g a l l t h o s e e n r i c h m e n t s t h a t a r t b r i n g s , I g u e s s — a r t and s c i e n c e and knowledge b r i n g s . K: Sounds l i k e you l i k e a l l t h e senses t o be i n v o l v e d . R: Mm. You mean l i k e s m e l l and s i g h t and s o u n d — m u s i c , y e a h — a n d p a i n t i n g . A l l t h o s e t h i n g s , I guess, somebody who a p p r e c i a t e s t h o s e t h i n g s and sees them a l l as p a r t o f a network o f t h e r i c h n e s s , a f a b r i c . K: So t h e s e would enhance t h e i n - l o v e e x p e r i e n c e f o r you? R: Uh-hum. Yeah. K: A n y t h i n g e l s e , R.? 182 R: I guess w i t h somebody l i k e t h a t t h e need f o r a f l i n g on a c a r n a l l e v e l would be t o t a l l y u n n e c e s s a r y , and n o t even c o n s i d e r e d . . . ( p a u s e ) . K: Okay, thank-you v e r y much. 183 T r a n s c r i p t #1 (Case B) K: Take a few m i n u t e s t o t h i n k back t o a t i m e when you were f e e l i n g i n l o v e . And I'd l i k e you t o d e s c r i b e what i t was l i k e f o r you b e f o r e t h e e x p e r i e n c e , d u r i n g and a f t e r . B: Uh-hum. Okay. P r e t t y much what I have done i s , s i n c e I knew j u s t a v e r y l i t t l e b i t about what you were d o i n g , I was a l r e a d y t h i n k i n g o v e r t h e l a s t week o r two, " I f I can s e l e c t j u s t one p e r s o n , who would t h a t be?" So I have t h o u g h t o f t h a t p e r s o n a l r e a d y . And l e t ' s s e e . . . I met h e r i n 1980, i n J a n u a r y , and h e r name's E.. And I met h e r a t a t r a i n i n g s e s s i o n f o r t h e c r i s i s c e n t e r h e r e i n 0., b u t I ' l l back up a l i t t l e b i t and e x p l a i n , you know, what happened b e f o r e t h a t . I n June, I ' d s a y — y e a h , i n June o f 1979 was when...At t h a t t i m e I was m a r r i e d , b u t I a l s o became s e p a r a t e d d u r i n g t h a t month from my w i f e , and s o r t o f went t h r o u g h about t h r e e o r f o u r months o f . . . n o t so much m i s e r y as s o r t o f r e a l l y j u s t s o r t o f a s k i n g m y s e l f what was g o i n g on, and v e r y a c t i v e l y t r y i n g t o pursue my w i f e , from whom I was s e p a r a t e d . Because I f e l t t h a t I had been wronged, and t h e r e was no c l e a r e x p l a n a t i o n as t o why she had l e f t . And I was r e a l l y w o r k i n g , t r y i n g t o work v e r y h a r d , a t some s o r t o f s i t u a t i o n where we c o u l d t a l k , t o t a l k about some s o r t o f r e c o n c i l i a t i o n . And d u r i n g t h a t p r o c e s s , I would spend t i m e w i t h some o f my male f r i e n d s . And, on one o c c a s i o n , we ended up downtown a t o n e — I f o r g e t t h e name' o f t h e h o t e l — i n one o f t h e l o u n g e s . And, a t t h a t t i m e , I met...I was w i t h a f r i e n d who r a n i n t o one o f h i s f r i e n d s , a woman, who had a f r i e n d o f h e r s a l o n g — two women. And so I met b o t h t h o s e women, and s u b s e q u e n t l y went out w i t h one o f t h o s e women f o r about two months, a l i t t l e b i t more t h a n two months. That t a k e s me up t o j u s t t h e f i r s t week o r so o f J a n u a r y , 1980. And t h a t r e l a t i o n s h i p was v e r y d i s t u r b i n g t o me. I d i d n ' t r e a l l y l i k e t h a t much. K: D i s t u r b i n g ? B: D i s t u r b i n g , yeah. I t seemed t o o much o f a r e a c t i o n t o b e i n g s e p a r a t e d . K: A rebound. B: Yeah, yeah, l i k e a rebound, I guess. And, you know, t h e r e were s e v e r a l elements o f t h a t r e l a t i o n s h i p t h a t I d i d n ' t l i k e . So I wasn't r e a l l y t o o s u r e about i t from t h e b e g i n n i n g . And when t h a t ended...Again, when t h i s woman t h a t I had been g o i n g out w i t h f o r a c o u p l e o f months, when she s a i d t h a t she d i d n ' t want t o c o n t i n u e s e e i n g me, i n a way I was r e l i e v e d . K: Uh-hum. 184 B: So t h a t was a c t u a l l y okay. I t was s o r t o f l i k e , "I'm g l a d t h a t ' s o v e r . " You know, I c e r t a i n l y l e a r n e d what I d on't want i n any s o r t o f r e l a t i o n s h i p . So t h i s i s t h e l o n g roundabout t o g e t t i n g me up t o E., whom I met i n t h e f i r s t week o f J a n u a r y . And, as I mentioned, I f i r s t n o t i c e d h e r d u r i n g t r a i n i n g s e s s i o n s f o r t h e c r i s i s c e n t e r . We were b o t h i n a group o f p e o p l e b e i n g t r a i n e d t o be v o l u n t e e r s . And my i n i t i a l r e a c t i o n t o h e r was, " I don't l i k e t h i s woman." She was t o o l o u d , t o o o p i n i o n a t e d , t o o s u r e o f h e r s e l f , t o o c o n f i d e n t . E v e r y t h i n g was j u s t t o o much. And I do remember s o r t o f s i n g l i n g h e r o u t f r o m — o h , t h e r e must o f been a t l e a s t t w e l v e o r f o u r t e e n o f us i n t h i s group. , And she was one t h a t I remember s i n g l i n g o u t r i g h t away a s , "Boy, I don't want t o have a n y t h i n g t o do w i t h t h i s woman." So she g o t my a t t e n t i o n i n a n e g a t i v e way. As i t t u r n e d o u t — i n i t i a l l y , i t was s o r t o f . . . W e l l , as i t t u r n e d o u t , she l i v e d i n t h e same d i r e c t i o n t h a t I l i v e d . A t t h a t t i m e I was l i v i n g i n D., S.D., and she was l i v i n g a t U.N.C.. And she had no c a r . And I was t h e o n l y one o f t h i s whole t r a i n i n g group t h a t l i v e d i n t h a t d i r e c t i o n , anywhere n e a r U.N.C.. So, when she a s k e d — I mean, t h i s was p a r t o f h e r too-much b e h a v i o r — I t h i n k a t t h e end o f t h e f i r s t s e s s i o n , I t h i n k she s a i d , " I s anybody d r i v i n g out t o w a r d U.N.C., because I need a r i d e ? " And, I mean, t h i s was l i k e . . . I t h o u g h t t h i s was j u s t a l i t t l e t o o much. I mean, t h i s j u s t s o r t o f c o n f i r m s e v e r y t h i n g I had a l r e a d y t h o u g h t about t h i s woman. And t h a n k f u l l y , somebody e l s e s a i d , "Yes, I'm g o i n g t h a t d i r e c t i o n . " But, you know, t h e y s a i d where t h e y were g o i n g , and i t wasn't n e a r l y as a l o n g t h e i r r o u t e as i t would have been f o r me, t o go r i g h t a l o n g . . . I t r e a l l y would have been v e r y l i t t l e out o f my way, an e x t r a t e n m i n u t e s d r i v i n g , t h a t ' s a l l . And so I was g l a d t h a t t h i s o t h e r guy gave h e r a r i d e . But t h e n , maybe p a r t o f b e i n g a r o m a n t i c , p a r t o f b e i n g a n i c e guy, I t h o u g h t , " I t ' s n o t r e a l l y f a i r t h a t t h i s guy has t o go way out o f h i s way, you know, compared t o me, t o d r i v e h e r home." So t h e n e x t m e e t i n g — i t was t h e n e x t m e e t i n g o r t h e t h i r d m e e t i n g , I f o r g e t — b u t a g a i n , she needed a r i d e home. She always needed a r i d e . So I o f f e r e d t o g i v e h e r a r i d e home. And i t was a v e r y i n t e r e s t i n g r i d e home. I t t o o k a b o u t — I don't know—maybe h a l f an hour, t w e n t y - f i v e m i n u t e s , h a l f - h o u r d r i v e . And I don't know whether i t was d u r i n g t h a t f i r s t d r i v e t h a t I gave h e r h o m e — I gave h e r a r i d e h o m e — o r maybe t h e second t i m e , b u t p r e t t y q u i c k l y I r e a l i z e d t h a t , a l t h o u g h t h e r e ' s a l o t I don't l i k e about h e r , t h e r e ' s a l o t t h a t I do l i k e about h e r . K: So when you say " i n t e r e s t i n g , " on t h e r i d e home, something caught y o u r a t t e n t i o n ? B: Yeah, yeah. Now what, I guess, what caught my attention...Hmm, o k a y . . . I c a n ' t remember i n , s o r t o f , what o r d e r t h e y were most i m p o r t a n t o r n o t . But one t h i n g i s t h a t she's J e w i s h , and a number o f p e o p l e i n my l i f e have 185 b e e n — a number o f p e o p l e who have been v e r y i n f l u e n t i a l i n my l i f e - - h a v e been J e w i s h . And t h i s was s o r t o f something t h a t , from a d i s t a n c e , I c o u l d say, " W e l l , t h i s i s something g o i n g f o r h e r . " But she s o r t o f e x h i b i t e d a l o t o f what p e o p l e might c o n s i d e r t y p i c a l J e w i s h c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , w h i c h would be: q u i t e outspoken, q u i t e c o n f i d e n t , l o u d — w h i c h , o f c o u r s e , a r e not t r u e , b u t i n t h i s c a s e she had a l o t o f t h o s e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . And o t h e r J e w i s h f r i e n d s and p e o p l e who've been i m p o r t a n t t o me a l s o had t h e s e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , and o t h e r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , b u t t h i s wasn't u n u s u a l t o me. So I w a s n ' t . . . I was p l e a s e d , I guess, when...Because I t h i n k we s t a r t e d t a l k i n g about r e l i g i o n , somehow. Because t h a t ' s i m p o r t a n t t o me, s p i r i t u a l i t y . And t h a t ' s how i t came o u t , t h a t she would have s a i d t h a t she was J e w i s h . So t h a t was q u i t e f a s c i n a t i n g f o r me. A l s o t h a t she, you s e e , she s o r t o f r e c l a i m e d h e r J e w i s h n e s s , because she wasn't r a i s e d J e w i s h . Because h e r p a r e n t s , who had managed t o g e t out o f Y. a l i v e , d u r i n g t h e second war, t h e y were so f r i g h t e n e d o f b e i n g J e w i s h t h a t t h e y d i d n ' t r a i s e any o f t h e i r k i d s J e w i s h . And a t . . . I guess she would have been i n h e r l a t e t e e n s , e i g h t e e n o r n i n e t e e n , when she d e c i d e d t h a t she was g o i n g t o become J e w i s h a g a i n . And h e r p a r e n t s c o u l d n ' t h e l p h e r v e r y much, because t h e y had j u s t s o r t o f b l o c k e d so much o u t , t h e y were j u s t so f r i g h t e n e d o f b e i n g r e c o g n i z e d as J e w i s h . K: The f a c t t h a t she was J e w i s h was an a t t r a c t i o n f o r you? B: Uh-huh. Yeah. K: And were t h e r e o t h e r t h i n g s about h e r t h a t . . . ? B: Oh, y e s . Yeah. P h y s i c a l l y she was v e r y p r e s e n t . You knew when she was i n a room. P a r t o f h e r c o n f i d e n c e , p a r t o f h e r . . . H e r p h y s i c a l p r e s e n c e was a v e r y s o l i d p h y s i c a l p r e s e n c e . I mean, she was h e r e . You knew i t , i f she was i n t h e room. Now, t o c o m p l i c a t e m a t t e r s . . . V e r y q u i c k l y , we were a t t r a c t e d t o each o t h e r p h y s i c a l l y , s t a r t i n g o u t on t h e i n t e l l e c t u a l s t u f f — y o u know, t a l k i n g about J u d a i s m , C h r i s t i a n i t y , s p i r i t u a l i t y i n g e n e r a l — a n d a l o n g w i t h t h a t a p h y s i c a l a t t r a c t i o n , t o o . Which was f i n e by me, because I had v e r y q u i c k l y s o r t o f f o r g o t t e n about t h i s p r e v i o u s two-month o r so r e l a t i o n s h i p , w hich was v e r y u n s a t i s f a c t o r y . I t was c o m p l i c a t e d a l i t t l e b i t , though, because she happened t o be m a r r i e d . A n d — I f o r g e t — i t would have been about t h e t h i r d o r f o u r t h t i m e t h a t I had d r i v e n h e r home, I guess. And, you know, by t h i s t i m e I knew she was m a r r i e d . I a l s o knew she was v e r y unhappy w i t h h e r husband. And she a l s o had a d a u g h t e r , an e i g h t e e n - m o n t h - o l d d a u g h t e r . When I f i r s t met h e r d a u g h t e r , she was e i g h t e e n months. I t would have been t h e t h i r d o r f o u r t h t i m e t h a t we had g i v e n h e r a r i d e back. And, i n s t e a d o f me j u s t d r o p p i n g h e r o f f — a n d she went i n t o r e s i d e n c e a t U.N.C., where she and h e r husband and d a u g h t e r were l i v i n g — w e went f o r a w a l k i n s t e a d . And 186 on t h a t walk was where we f i r s t k i s s e d . And down on t h e t r a c k up a t U.N.C.. Which was, I t h i n k , more, i n a way maybe more e x c i t i n g — n o t t e r r i f y i n g , b u t j u s t e x c i t i n g f o r h e r — b e c a u s e t h i s was l i k e a s t o n e ' s throw from where she l i v e d . And even though i t was a t n i g h t t i m e , anyone w a l k i n g a round t h a t a r e a most l i k e l y l i v e d i n one o f t h e r e s i d e n c e s t h e r e , and t h e r e was a v e r y good chance t h a t she would be r e c o g n i z e d . So she was a l i t t l e edgy about t h i s , b u t i t d i d n ' t r e a l l y seem t o b o t h e r h e r a t a l l . I t d i d n ' t r e a l l y . . . P a r t o f h e r c o n f i d e n c e i n j u s t s o r t o f moving ahead: she j u s t s a i d , " W e l l , t h i s i s happening, and i f someone r e c o g n i z e s me, w e l l , t h a t ' s , you know, t h a t ' s t o o bad. I ' l l d e a l w i t h t h a t . " K: How d i d you f e e l about i t ? B: Oh, I would h a v e . . . I f I were h e r , I would have been f a r more c a u t i o u s . I mean, I would n o t have had t h a t a t t i t u d e . K: But what about y o u r f e e l i n g s ? B: Yeah. My f e e l i n g s were t h a t t h i s was r e a l l y moving v e r y , v e r y q u i c k l y . E s p e c i a l l y when she s t a t e d t h a t , " W e l l , now t h a t we have s o r t o f e x p r e s s e d o ur t r u e f e e l i n g s t o each o t h e r , t h i s i s i t . There's no t u r n i n g back." And t h a t k i n d o f c o n f i d e n c e t h a t s o r t o f , once t h e r e had been a c e r t a i n u n d e r s t a n d i n g between h e r and me, t h a t was i t . E s s e n t i a l l y , b a s i c a l l y s a y i n g t h a t t h a t was i t ; she was l e a v i n g h e r husband. And, I mean, I was l i k e , " A y - y i - y i ! T h i s i s a l i t t l e b i t t o o f a s t f o r me!" Because I was s t i l l . . . A l t h o u g h I wasn't t r y i n g t o pursue my e x - w i f e w i t h t h e same f e r v o r , t h a t was s t i l l t h e r e . I was s t i l l s o r t o f t h i n k i n g , " W e l l , what's g o i n g t o happen t h e r e ? " A t t h e same t i m e , I was aware t h a t what was g o i n g on between E. and me was o b v i o u s l y f a r more s o l i d i n some way. K: A r e you s a y i n g t h a t you were a l s o caught up i n t h e f e e l i n g s , b u t a b i t c a u t i o u s ? B: Oh, yeah. I was v e r y much caught up i n t h e f e e l i n g s , b u t I had t h e b r a k e s on f u l l a t t h e same t i m e I was moving ahead. I t was more l i k e I w a s — c e r t a i n l y , a t t h a t t i m e , and i t ' s t a k e n me many y e a r s t o s o r t o f u n d e r s t a n d t h i s — b u t v e r y much s a y i n g , Yes-Yes, No-No, b o t h e q u a l l y s t r o n g l y . K: F e e l i n g caught. B: (pause) No, not r e a l l y c aught. Because I e n j o y e d i t . I e n j o y e d i t immensely. I don't t h i n k I was f u l l y aware o f t h e consequences, a t t h a t t i m e , o f s a y i n g Yes. No, no, no. Not s a y i n g Yes. Behavin g Yes, and s a y i n g No. So I was v e r y good a t t h a t . That, you know, "No, I don't want t o c o n t i n u e t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p , " you know, as I won't l e t h e r l e a v e . There was j u s t a stream o f me g i v i n g a l l t h e r e a s o n s why 187 t h i s was i m p o s s i b l e , wouldn't make sense. My sense o f honour toward h e r husband was...I mean, I j u s t d i d n ' t know what t o do w i t h t h a t . I f e l t t e r r i b l e . And, i n t h e l o n g r u n , she ended up d o i n g a l o t t o c o n v i n c e me t h a t she was l e a v i n g anyway. I mean, t h a t was something t h a t had been i n th e p r o c e s s f o r q u i t e a w h i l e b e f o r e she even met me. And m e e t i n g me was r e a l l y j u s t s o r t o f a f i n a l r e a s o n f o r h e r t o l e a v e h e r husband. But I f e l t t e r r i b l e about t h a t . K: So you f e l t b a d l y about t h e f a c t t h a t she had a husband. B: Oh, yeah. I t h o u g h t I was a home-wrecker. K: Can you d e s c r i b e more about y o u r f e e l i n g s t owards h e r ? B: V e r y , v e r y p a s s i o n a t e . (pause) Yeah, j u s t . . . B y about t h e end o f J a n u a r y , t h e t h i r d o r f o u r t h week o f J a n u a r y , I mean, t h a t was, I was...very, v e r y , v e r y p a s s i o n a t e . I t h i n k she was s t a r t l e d by t h e s t r e n g t h o f my s t a t e m e n t s o f l o v e f o r he r , and a l s o my p h y s i c a l e x p r e s s i o n o f i t . She had t o d r a g me i n t o bed, v e r y , v e r y r e l u c t a n t l y . L o o k i n g back on i t , i t ' s h i l a r i o u s , what happened. But she r e a l l y , l i k e l i t e r a l l y , dragged me i n t o bed. And even t h e r e , I wasn't about t o do a n y t h i n g t h a t I d i d n ' t want t o do. And she r e a l l y j u s t had t o b a s i c a l l y say, "Look, t h i s i s what y o u ' r e g o i n g t o do, because t h i s i s what's g o i n g t o happen." And, I mean...Because I was, p h y s i c a l l y I was s a y i n g Yes, b u t i t was a b s u r d . I mean, I don't know i f you want...No, y o u ' r e no t g o i n g t o g e t t h e d e t a i l s o f . . . I mean, b u t i t was i n c r e d i b l y . . . I t was b i z a r r e l y p i c k y . I s a i d No a t a b s o l u t e l y e v e r y s t e p o f t h e way. K: Do you know why you were s a y i n g No? B: Because she was m a r r i e d . That was what I s a i d t o m y s e l f . " T h i s i s a m a r r i e d woman. The f a c t i s t h a t I'm v e r y p a s s i o n a t e l y i n v o l v e d w i t h t h i s woman, b u t she i s m a r r i e d . And how can I , as an h o n o u r a b l e man, do what I'm d o i n g t o b r e a k t h a t up?" K: So even though she was c o n v i n c i n g i n t h a t she s a i d you weren't b r e a k i n g i t up, you s t i l l were d e a l i n g w i t h y o u r own f e e l i n g s about how you would f e e l i f i t happened t o you? B: Su r e , yeah. That w a s . . . ( p a u s e ) . I mean, i t was compounded a l i t t l e b i t , because, d u r i n g t h a t month o f J a n u a r y , some few t i m e s I would come up t o v i s i t h e r on a weekend o r something, and h e r husband sometimes would s t i c k around t o c h a t w i t h me. And he was so i n c r e d i b l y n a i v e . He was p a i n f u l l y n a i v e . The poor guy, a l l he had known a l l o f h i s l i f e was s c h o o l . I guess he would have been t w e n t y -seven o r so. Twenty-seven, t w e n t y - e i g h t y e a r s o l d t h e n . And he had l i t e r a l l y been i n s c h o o l a l l o f h i s l i f e . He was busy d o i n g some d o c t o r a l work i n l i n g u i s t i c s . He had 188 l i t e r a l l y n e v e r had a j o b . He asked my a d v i c e on whether he s h o u l d t a k e t h i s o r t h a t j o b t h a t had been o f f e r e d t o him a t t h e u n i v e r s i t y , a t h o r r i b l y low wages! And, I mean, I j u s t c o u l d n ' t b e l i e v e t h a t t h i s guy...I j u s t c o u l d n ' t b e l i e v e h i s n a i v e t e . K: So he wasn't aware o f any f e e l i n g s between t h e two o f you? B: No, n o t t h a t he e v e r l e t on a t a l l . No. K: Were you a b l e t o c a r r y on w i t h y o u r own work a t t h a t t i m e ? Or were t h o u g h t s o f E. i n t r u s i v e ? B: I t was easy t o c o n t i n u e work, because my j o b was n o t demanding a t a l l . You know, r e a l l y , h a l f o f my energy was g o i n g i n t o . . . L e t ' s see, what...Okay. I'm j u s t t r y i n g t o t h i n k now. Yeah, a t t h a t t i m e , you know, I was d o i n g t h e t r a i n i n g f o r t h e c r i s i s c e n t e r . And r e a l l y a l o t o f my energy was g o i n g i n t o t h a t . Because I was w a n t i n g t o l e a r n how t o do t h a t . That was s o r t of...You know, because my m a r r i a g e had b r o k e n up, I was w a n t i n g t o l e a r n how t o do t h a t . That was s o r t o f a good r e a s o n ; i t gave me t h e t i m e . And I had been s o r t o f w a n t i n g t o l e a r n how t o h e l p p e o p l e f o r a l i t t l e w h i l e , f o r a few y e a r s , a t t h a t t i m e . And s o , r e a l l y , h a l f my energy went i n t o t h e c r i s i s c e n t e r work, and I was a b l e t o c o n c e n t r a t e on t h a t p r e t t y w e l l , even though E. was t h e r e i n t h e t r a i n i n g s e s s i o n s . I have no r e c o l l e c t i o n o f t h a t b e i n g a problem. And my o t h e r j o b j u s t had no demands on me a t a l l , r e a l l y . K: So t h e f e e l i n g s t h a t you were e x p e r i e n c i n g f o r E. d i d n ' t a f f e c t o t h e r p a r t s o f y o u r l i f e ? B: They d i d n ' t a f f e c t my work l i f e . I mean, I was a b l e t o do my work f u n c t i o n s . I mean, I c a n ' t r e c a l l e x a c t l y , b u t I would be p r e t t y s u r e t h a t I would be c o n s t a n t l y g o i n g o v e r my c o n c e r n about b r e a k i n g up t h i s home. And most l i k e l y s p e n t a f a i r amount o f t i m e wondering how my p a r e n t s might r e a c t t o what I was d o i n g . (pause) Yeah, b u t t h a t . . . B u t I don't r e c a l l b e i n g d i s a b l e d i n t h e way t h a t I have been d i s a b l e d from o t h e r s i t u a t i o n s . K: From o t h e r i n - l o v e s i t u a t i o n s . B: Yeah, yeah. K: And what was i t about t h i s s i t u a t i o n t h a t was d i f f e r e n t , t h a t you would d e s c r i b e as b e i n g " i n l o v e " ? B: (pause) I t h i n k because E. was so much s o r t o f on t h e edge o f l e a v i n g h e r husband, t h a t t h a t was s o . . . That r e a l l y p r e o c c u p i e d me, i n t h e way t h a t I t h o u g h t , " W e l l , i f she l e a v e s , t h e n i t seems l i k e she's l e a v i n g because o f me, 189 l a r g e l y . And i f she does, t h e n , i n a way, I f e e l bound t o be w i t h h e r . And I don't know i f I want t o be w i t h h e r r i g h t now, because I 'm s t i l l t r y i n g t o s o r t o u t t h e o t h e r s t u f f . " So t h i s was a l l what I was t h i n k i n g and s a y i n g , b u t i t was t h e o l d , "I'm s a y i n g No, b u t t h e r e s t o f me s a y s Yes, I want t o be w i t h you." K: C o u l d you d e s c r i b e how t h e r e s t o f you f e l t a t t h e t i m e ? B: What, t h e Yes p a r t ? K: Uh-hum. B: (pause) I'm d o i n g i t r i g h t now. I s o r t o f w o u l d . . . I guess I would pause, and I would s t o p , and I would j u s t f o c u s e n t i r e l y on h e r . And r e a l l y j u s t r e v e l and... j u s t be t o t a l l y i n v o l v e d w i t h h e r . I mean, t h e r e would be t i m e s when e v e r y t h i n g e l s e would be t o t a l l y f o r g o t t e n , and i t would j u s t be E.. I t was j u s t l i k e a t o t a l i n v o l v e m e n t . K: I t sounds as though i t was a e u p h o r i c f e e l i n g . B: A t t i m e s . A t t i m e s i t would be e u p h o r i c . A t t i m e s i t would j u s t be a — w h a t ? — a . . . W e l l , you know, we r u n i n t o t r i t e c l i c h e s h e r e , don't we? L i k e a l l - c o n s u m i n g , b u t sometimes i n a f a i r l y s t e a d y way. I t would be l i k e she would be a c o n s t a n t , a c o n s t a n t t h o u g h t , a c o n s t a n t . . . ( l o n g p a u s e ) . I don't know. I t ' s — w h a t i s i t ? I keep coming back t o h e r J e w i s h n e s s a l s o . Because t h a t was v e r y i m p o r t a n t . I m p o r t a n t t o t h e e x t e n t t h a t , you know, because o f h e r , and o t h e r J e w i s h p e o p l e who have been v e r y i m p o r t a n t i n my l i f e , t h a t I was a c t i v e l y g o i n g t h r o u g h a whole p r o c e s s o f t h i n k i n g , "Okay, h e r e i s t h i s J e w i s h woman w i t h h e r J e w i s h d a u g h t e r , and how f a r am I w i l l i n g t o change t o accommodate t h i s J e w i s h f a m i l y ? " And so t h e r e was a l a r g e amount o f t h e r e l i g i o u s / s p i r i t u a l a s p e c t t h e r e . K: So t h e s p i r i t u a l p a r t o f i t e n t e r e d i n t o y o u r r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h h e r ? B: Yeah. Oh, yeah, yeah, v e r y much. K: How would you d e s c r i b e t h i s s p i r i t u a l i t y ? B: ( l o n g pause) W e l l , we would t a l k about i t a l o t . I'm g e t t i n g . . . I ' m h a v i n g d i f f i c u l t y t h i n k i n g o f j u s t t h i s one s i t u a t i o n . Because s p i r i t u a l i t y i s l i k e a b a s i c f o u n d a t i o n t o my l i f e , i t ' s h a r d f o r me t o s e p a r a t e j u s t what i t was w i t h E. compared t o t h e whole o f my l i f e . I t h i n k t h a t a l o t o f i t had t o do w i t h t h e f a c t t h a t t h i s w o u l d n ' t j u s t be t a l k i n g about some s p i r i t u a l s t u f f . I t would be l i v i n g w i t h i n a f a m i l y ; i t would be a f a m i l y s i t u a t i o n . K: A c o n n e c t e d n e s s . 190 B: Yeah. Because, you see, I mean, I'm j u s t r e a l i z i n g h e r e t h a t I hav e n ' t t a l k e d much about h e r d a u g h t e r , about H.. And she was a l s o e x t r e m e l y i m p o r t a n t t o me. I mean, t h e r e was v e r y much a r o m a n t i c f a l l i n g i n l o v e w i t h H., t o o . An you know, i n i t s own way, t h a t r e l a t i o n s h i p was v e r y , v e r y r o m a n t i c . K: D u r i n g t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h E. and H., how d i d you f e e l about y o u r s e l f ? B: How d i d I f e e l about m y s e l f ? V a c i l l a t i n g back and f o r t h between f e e l i n g l i k e a r e a l h e e l , someone who was d o i n g — y o u know, I was d o i n g my p a r t t o a c t i v e l y d e s t r o y t h e f a m i l y . And me d o i n g t h i s r i g h t on t h e h e e l s o f my own m a r r i a g e b r e a k i n g up. I t h o u g h t , " T h i s i s c r a z y . T h i s d o e s n ' t make any sense. How can I l o o k a t m y s e l f i n t h e m i r r o r ? " But a t t h e same t i m e , t h e r e was j u s t a sense t h a t I had t o be w i t h h e r . So p a r t o f me j u s t had t o be w i t h h e r . The o t h e r p a r t s a i d t h a t , "No, t h e r e a r e l o t s o f r e a s o n s why you ca n n o t be-- l o t s o f r e a s o n s why you s h o u l d n o t be." K: When you say you "had t o be w i t h h e r , " can you e l a b o r a t e on what you mean by t h a t ? B: Uh-hum. I t h i n k a l o t o f t h e s p i r i t u a l i t y would have been hooked up w i t h t h e s e x u a l i t y a l s o . There's a v e r y c l e a r c o n n e c t i o n t h e r e , because s e x u a l l y we were v e r y c o m p a t i b l e . What a b l a n d way t o say t h a t ! S e x u a l l y , t h i n g s were w o n d e r f u l , and, you know, t o t a l l y u n l i k e my m a r r i a g e . T o t a l l y , u t t e r l y d i f f e r e n t . K: By " w o n d e r f u l , " do you mean a sense o f f u s i o n ? B: Yeah, yeah. I mean, t h a t ' s where a l o t o f t h e p a s s i o n e x p r e s s e d i t s e l f a l s o . Q u i t e an abandonment t o t h a t f u s i o n , t o t h a t c o n n e c t i o n . Now t h a t was q u i t e i m p o r t a n t . That was e x t r e m e l y p o w e r f u l . And a l s o f o r E. a l s o , t h i s was q u i t e u n u s u a l i n i t s i n t e n s i t y , t h i s s e x u a l r e l a t i o n s h i p . So t h e c o m b i n a t i o n o f t h e s p i r i t u a l i t y and t h e s e x u a l i t y , t h e i n t e n s i t y o f i t . . . (pause) I'm t h i n k i n g t h a t , l i k e , I know t h a t t h e way my l i f e goes, o r t h e way I r u n i t o r whatever, i t r e a l l y does go i n b i g c y c l e s , where I w i l l be a hundred p e r c e n t consumed, p a s s i o n a t e l y consumed, e i t h e r w i t h an i d e a , p e r s o n , p r o j e c t o r you name i t , and t h e n i t j u s t s o r t o f d i s s i p a t e s a f t e r a w h i l e , and I do n o t h i n g . K: D i d t h a t happen w i t h t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p , t o o ? B: (pause) No. No. I t was...You see, t h i n g s c o n t i n u e d on as t h e y . . . T h i s p a s s i o n a t e i n t e n s i t y was...I mean, because she l e f t . . . N o , when d i d she l e a v e h e r husband? Okay, she was s t i l l w i t h h e r husband i n A p r i l , May. She was s t i l l w i t h h e r husband i n May. And by t h a t t i m e , we had f i n i s h e d 191 our t r a i n i n g , and, you know, I was s t i l l . . . B y t h i s t i m e , I was p i c k i n g h e r up a t U.N.C., and d r i v i n g h e r t o t h e t r a i n i n g , and t h e n d r i v i n g h e r home. Onl y , by t h i s t i m e , we were making a l l s o r t s o f one- and two-hour s t o p o v e r s a t my house on t h e way back t o h e r house. T h i s was r e a l l y g e t t i n g r e a l l y b i z a r r e . I mean, i t was h a r d on h e r , i t was h a r d on me. You know, i t w a s . . . w o n d e r f u l . Because i t was i l l i c i t . T h a t ' s good word. And t h a t , i n i t s own way, added a r e a l , r e a l t h r i l l . A r e a l , l i k e , "What i f we g e t c a u g h t ? " sense t o i t . K: An e n t i c e m e n t . B: (pause) Ah, no. Not i n t h e sense o f e n t i c i n g b e i n g t o s o r t o f draw on o r t o a t t r a c t . That was a l r e a d y t h e r e . T h i s was more l i k e a . . . T h i s was j u s t l i k e , "Okay, throw a n o t h e r s h o v e l f u l l o f c o a l i n t o t h e f i r e , h e r e . " I t was j u s t a sense o f "Put some more f u e l on t h e f i r e . " I t h i n k I had a sense t h a t t h i s k i n d o f s i t u a t i o n c o u l d n o t c o n t i n u e f o r e v e r . Something had t o g i v e . And I t h i n k I was d r e a d i n g h e r l e a v i n g h e r husband. More so f o r me: what was I g o i n g t o do then? My m i s e r a b l e sense, my m i s g u i d e d s e n s e , o f honour came back h e r e p r e t t y s t r o n g l y , s a y i n g t h a t , "Because I was t h e a g e n t " — a n d i n my megalomania, t o o — " b e c a u s e I was t h e agent f o r h e r l e a v i n g h e r husband, I t h e n had a r e s p o n s i b i l i t y t o be w i t h h e r . " Which, o f c o u r s e , d i d n ' t make any sense. I t do e s n ' t make any sense. But I t o l d m y s e l f t h a t my sense o f honour s a i d , " I must do t h i s . " Y e t , a t t h e same t i m e , I wanted t o . I t was v e r y c o n f u s i n g . So what happened i n May was, t h e company I was w o r k i n g f o r h e r e — I mean, I had a v e r y . . . l o w - p r e s s u r e j o b i s t o o v e r s t a t e t h e j o b . I was w o r k i n g f o r a p l a s t i c p i p e company, and my j o b was t a k e o r d e r s o v e r t h e phone, p r e p a r e o r d e r s o f p l a s t i c p i p e and f i t t i n g s , and send them o u t . T h i s was a j o b I was d o i n g s o r t o f w h i l e I was s o r t o f r e c u p e r a t i n g from my m a r r i a g e f a l l i n g a p a r t . And i t was a l s o v e r y good t o have t h i s v e r y low p r e s s u r e j o b w h i l e t h i s i n c r e d i b l e a f f a i r was g o i n g on. But, a t t h a t t i m e , t h e company s a i d , Do I want t o move t o Q . ? — b e c a u s e t h e i r salesman i n Q. was l e a v i n g , and t h e y needed someone t o do t h e s a l e s j o b f o r A l b e r t a . Which would be a p r o m o t i o n f o r me. I t h i n k I h a t e d t h a t j o b , j u s t h a t e d i t . Hated t h e company, h a t e d t h e i d e a o f s e l l i n g p l a s t i c p i p e . But I d i d n ' t have t o work f o r i t r e a l l y . I t was l i k e I d i d n o t h i n g , and I g o t p a i d f o r i t . And I d e c i d e d t h a t , Yes, I would t a k e t h i s j o b i n Q.. Which meant, o f c o u r s e , I would move t o Q.. And E. d i d n ' t l i k e t h a t , b u t i t was a way f o r me t o g e t some d i s t a n c e somehow. L i k e I wanted some d i s t a n c e , b u t I wanted t h e i n t e n s i t y ? K: I'm wondering i f you f e l t t h e r e wasn't a f u t u r e f o r you and E. r i g h t from t h e b e g i n n i n g ? 192 B: I m ight have t h o u g h t t h a t , b u t i f I had been l i s t e n i n g t o my body, I would have known t h a t , o f c o u r s e t h e r e ' s a f u t u r e . I r e a l l y , p a r t i c u l a r l y a t t h a t t i m e , had s uch a p o w e r f u l s t r u g g l e between t h a t Yes and No. Now I've l e a r n e d t o l i s t e n t o my body more, because I no l o n g e r t h i n k t h a t i t ' s j u s t some w i l d t h i n g roaming around on i t s own. I t i s c o n n e c t e d t o me; i t i s p a r t o f me. But, a t t h a t t i m e , I would have t h o u g h t t h a t , yeah, t h e f u t u r e would be v e r y d i f f i c u l t . And I was a l s o t e l l i n g m y s e l f t h a t I would w a i t f o r t h e t h r e e y e a r s t o e l a p s e t o g e t a n o - f a u l t d i v o r c e , and t h e n I would f e e l f r e e t o t h e n be w i t h E.. And I t h i n k I used t h a t as a way t o buy t i m e , because I was f r i g h t e n e d . I was f r i g h t e n e d a l s o o f t h e i n t e n s i t y , because I had n e v e r e x p e r i e n c e d a n y t h i n g t h i s i n t e n s e b e f o r e i n my l i f e . The c o m b i n a t i o n between t h e i n t e l l e c t u a l — s h e ' s a l s o e x t r e m e l y b r i g h t , one o f t h e b r i g h t e s t p e o p l e I k n o w — s o t h e c o m b i n a t i o n o f t h e i n t e l l e c t u a l i n t e n s i t y and t h e p h y s i c a l i n t e n s i t y was amazing. K: How d i d i t f i n a l l y end? B: V e r y l o n g , drawn o u t . I moved t o Q., and w i t h i n a w e e k — week? yeah, w i t h i n a week o f me moving t o Q . — I g o t a phone c a l l from E., s a y i n g t h a t she had l e f t h e r husband. And she and H. w e r e — I f o r g e t where t h e y w e r e — b u t t h e y were on t h e i r own, anyway. R e a l l y , r e a l l y d i f f i c u l t f o r h e r , and f o r H., and f o r h e r husband. And I was s a f e l y i n Q.. I was d i s t a n c e d away from t h i n g s . And t h a t began p r e t t y much two y e a r s o f us h a v i n g a d i s t a n c e d r e l a t i o n s h i p , a good l o n g -d i s t a n c e r e l a t i o n s h i p . T h i s i s something I've done s i n c e t h a t t i m e a l s o . I seem t o have...Okay, I ' l l t r y and s t i c k t o t h i s one s i t u a t i o n . Where, I was i n Q., and she e v e n t u a l l y ended up i n I . , where h e r f a m i l y i s , and we'd have b i g t e l e p h o n e b i l l s . E v e r y c o u p l e o f months, e i t h e r she would f l y t o Q., o r I'd f l y t o I . . So we'd see each o t h e r about once e v e r y two, o r e v e r y t h r e e months. Which was enough t o keep t h i s . . . I mean, i t was l i k e , you know, t h e f i r e would d i e down, but t h e n f a n i t a b i t and ka-phoomph!, h e r e we go a g a i n , w h i c h E. was g e t t i n g i n c r e a s i n g l y t i r e d o f . She b a s i c a l l y was s t a r t i n g t o say, " E i t h e r y o u ' r e w i t h me o r y o u ' r e n o t . " And I k e p t on s a y i n g , " W e l l , when t h e t h r e e y e a r s a r e up, t h e n I w i l l g e t my d i v o r c e . And t h e n I would f e e l c l e a r t o l i v e w i t h you." I t ' s j u s t a b s u r d , t h a t r e a s o n i n g , when I t h i n k back on i t . So a f t e r about a y e a r and a h a l f — I s t a y e d i n Q. about a y e a r and t h r e e months o r s o — I t h e n moved back t o P . I . , w h i c h , I t o l d m y s e l f , " T h i s i s p a r t o f t h e p r o c e s s o f moving toward E.." But i n a way i t wasn't. ' Because a c t u a l l y , I c o u l d g e t from Q. t o I . f a s t e r t h a n I c o u l d g e t from P . I . t o I . , as i t t u r n s o u t . So t h e r e I was on P . I . f o r s i x months i n 1981. So t h i s i s about a y e a r and a h a l f a f t e r we've been t o g e t h e r , one way o r t h e o t h e r . The l e t t e r s t h a t we w r o t e back and f o r t h a r e amazing, t o o . I mean, t h e y ' r e . . . I t a k e g r e a t j o y i n w r i t i n g , and l o v e l e t t e r s a r e a w o n d e r f u l t h i n g . I j u s t 193 l o v e t o w r i t e l o v e l e t t e r s . And a g a i n , maybe t h a t ' s t h e way I k e p t t h i n g s a t a d i s t a n c e somehow. K: But s t i l l k e e p i n g t h e p a s s i o n a l i v e . B: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. V e r y much. And i f a l e t t e r would come back t h a t was s o r t o f not so h o t , I would make s u r e I w r o t e something back r e a l l y h o t , t o compensate f o r t h e n o t -s o - h o t . And yeah. To keep t h i s p e r s o n a t a d i s t a n c e , t o keep E. f a r enough away, but t o keep...And maybe t h e r e I was d o i n g t h e e n t i c i n g , s a y i n g , "When I am f e e l i n g c l e a r t o be w i t h you, you know, t h e n a l l t h i s w i l l happen." And I would've d e s c r i b e d r a p t u r e s , a l l t h e s e p r o m i s e s i n t h e f u t u r e . But, you know, she became a l i t t l e t i r e d o f t h e postponement. K: And y o u r f e e l i n g s ? B: I d i d n ' t want t o l o s e t h a t p a s s i o n , t h a t i n t e n s i t y . That was e x t r e m e l y i m p o r t a n t t o me. I t s t i l l i s e x t r e m e l y i m p o r t a n t t o me t o have a l o t o f p a s s i o n i n my l i f e . And I d i d n ' t want t o l o s e h e r . So, i f she was s o u n d i n g t h a t , i f she g e t t i n g t i r e d o f w a i t i n g , t h e n I would do something t o move c l o s e r . Or somehow t o r e v i v e t h e p a s s i o n . K: How d i d you f i n a l l y l e t go o f y o u r f e e l i n g s ? B: Oh, have you g o t l o t s o f t a p e ? ( l a u g h t e r ) Because what happened n e x t was...While I was l i v i n g on P . I . , and I was s t i l l . . . I t was e a s i e r i n t h e sense t h a t , a t t h a t t i m e , I d i d n ' t have a j o b t h a t I had t o r e p o r t t o . I was j u s t w r i t i n g on my own t i m e . And I c o u l d go o v e r and spend t h r e e o r f o u r days w i t h h e r . She c o u l d come o v e r t o P . I . and spend t h r e e o r f o u r days. So we d i d g e t t o see more o f each o t h e r . And i t was g e t t i n g c l o s e r and c l o s e r t o me...You know, we were l i v i n g w i t h each o t h e r . You know, we were becoming a f a m i l y . H. was s t a r t i n g t o c a l l me "Dad." And I had t o p a t i e n t l y e x p l a i n t o h e r t h a t , "You know t h a t I'm n o t y o u r dad." And she s a i d , "Yeah, I know. But I w i s h you were." So t h i n g s were r e a l l y becoming v e r y much c l o s e r . And i t was t o t h e p o i n t where E. was h a v i n g t o do c u s t o d y t h i n g s i n c o u r t r e g a r d i n g H., and h e r husband was b e i n g a b i t o f a j e r k . And i t was s t a r t i n g t o h i n g e on t h a t , i f I was p a r t o f t h i s f a m i l y , t h a t would l o o k good i n c o u r t . R e a s o n a b l y good. Some s t a b i l i t y t h e r e , i n E.'s l i f e . But I s t i l l wasn't w i l l i n g t o commit m y s e l f t o t h a t e x t e n t . I a l s o knew t h a t i f I was w i t h E. t h a t I would n o t be a b l e t o t r a v e l . T h i s was t h e n e x t one I p u l l e d out o f t h e bag. L i k e , " I want t o go t r a v e l l i n g . " I have n e v e r gone t r a v e l l i n g b e f o r e , r e a l l y , o u t s i d e o f Western Canada and t h e S t a t e s . I want t o go t o P.. I a l s o want t o make i t v e r y c l e a r t o E. t h a t I know who I am, and p a r t o f me i s , from t i m e t o t i m e . . . I want t o j u s t go p l a c e s , and I may want t o 194 go somewhere f o r a month o r two o r h a l f a y e a r . And t h a t ' s j u s t me. T h a t ' s a l t e r e d a l s o now. K: So you were p u l l i n g away? B: I w a s — w h a t was I d o i n g ? — I was b a r g a i n i n g . I was b a r g a i n i n g . A g a i n , I j u s t wanted t h a t p a s s i o n . K: By " b a r g a i n i n g " you mean? B: I wanted t o m a i n t a i n t h a t p a s s i o n a t e c l o s e n e s s , b u t , a t t h e same t i m e , I d i d n ' t want t o say, "Yes, h e r e I am, c o m p l e t e l y , one hundred p e r c e n t . " Maybe I was p l a y i n g h a r d t o g e t i n a way. L i k e , I c e r t a i n l y was h a r d t o g e t , as i t t u r n e d o u t . But, you see, because o f t h e c u s t o d y t h i n g s , I t o l d m y s e l f — a n d i t was r e a l l y p r e t t y o b v i o u s — t h a t , t h e way t h i n g s were l o o k i n g , H.'s f a t h e r would not a l l o w H. t o l e a v e M. And I t h o u g h t , w e l l , i t would be a t l e a s t t e n y e a r s , I i m a g i n e d t h e n , b e f o r e we might be a b l e t o do any t r a v e l l i n g . And I s a i d I wanted t o do some t r a v e l l i n g , " b e f o r e I came back t o be w i t h you." So t h i n g s a r e l o o k i n g good now, r i g h t ? Okay, t h e guy wants t o go t r a v e l l i n g b e f o r e he comes back t o be w i t h E. and H.. Okay. "How l o n g a r e you g o i n g t o go t r a v e l l i n g f o r ? " " I don't know." So anyway, I went ahead, I b o u g h t — i s n ' t t h i s s i c k e n i n g ? — I went ahead and bought my t i c k e t t o f l y t o L., and managed t o g e t a one-year open r e t u r n . And b a s i c a l l y s a i d — y o u know, t h i s t o o k p l a c e o v e r a few months, p r e p a r i n g f o r t h i s — a n d b a s i c a l l y s a i d t o E., " W e l l , h e r e I go. I'm g o i n g t o go t r a v e l l i n g , and when I know t h a t i t ' s t i m e f o r me t o come back, I w i l l come back." And i t wasn't an easy p a r t i n g a t t h a t p o i n t . So I went. Went t o P.. And was t h e r e a t o t a l o f f o u r m o n t h s — j u s t a c o u p l e o f days under f o u r months, because I was o u t o f t h e c o u n t r y e x a c t l y f o u r months. By t h e t i m e t h r e e months had gone by, I knew p r e t t y c l e a r l y — y o u know, I was i n P . — I knew p r e t t y c l e a r l y , " I don't l i k e what I'm d o i n g h e r e . Where I want t o be i s i n I . w i t h E.." And d u r i n g t h e whole t i m e I'd been t h e r e , I had w r i t t e n maybe o n l y about a l e t t e r e v e r y two o r t h r e e weeks. Sometimes o n l y a s h o r t one, b u t sometimes, you know, twenty pages. M a i n l y f u l l o f me, what I was d o i n g , how w o n d e r f u l i t was f o r me t o be i n P., e t c . , e t c . And h e r e ' s E., who's h a v i n g t o . . . I mean, she was on w e l f a r e , h a v i n g t o d e a l w i t h s o c i a l w o r k e r s . I mean, now I know j u s t how h a r d t h a t i s . And h e r e I was w i l l i n g t o say, i n e s s e n c e , I mean, i t must have been l i k e , "Good l u c k w i t h t h e w e l f a r e system, t h e guy you've g o t t o go t o c o u r t w i t h f o r c u s t o d y and so f o r t h . Good l u c k w i t h a l l t h a t , I'm g o i n g t o P., and I'm g o i n g t o have a good t i m e . " H i n d s i g h t i s w o n d e r f u l . So a f t e r about f o u r months, j u s t under f o u r months t h e r e , I was i n Z.. And I hadn't r e c e i v e d a l e t t e r from E. f o r a l o n g t i m e . M a t t e r o f f a c t , I ' d o n l y r e c e i v e d one l e t t e r from h e r d u r i n g whole f o u r months, because i t seems l i k e I was always moving ahead a l i t t l e f a s t e r t h a n t h e l e t t e r s were c a t c h i n g up t o me. 195 K: And y o u r f e e l i n g s f o r E. a t t h i s t i m e were? B: A t t h i s t i m e , t h e y were, "I'm on my way back home." And home was I . . I had w r i t t e n h e r l e t t e r s s a y i n g , you know, " I ' v e done what I wanted t o do h e r e , and I want t o be w i t h you and H.." And, you know, I had a s k ed h e r , f o r example, t o g e t i n f o r m a t i o n about c o u n s e l l i n g programs a t U o f I . . And a l o t o f t h e t h i n g s I asked h e r , j u s t , you know, " C o u l d you s t a r t t o check t h e s e t h i n g s out f o r me, so t h a t when I come back t o I . I can s e t t l e down? I now want t o s e t t l e down. I'm on my way back home." And I ' d s e n t o f f a c o u p l e o f l e t t e r s l i k e t h i s , and I t h o u g h t , " I want t o phone h e r t o say I'm on my way back." R i g h t around C h r i s t m a s t i me. And, l i k e , I had done t h i n g s . F o r example, I had bought a c o u p l e o f s m a l l r u g s , you know, l i k e t h i s , i n Z.. And I chose t h e design...The d e s i g n t h a t I r e a l l y l i k e d was s uch t h a t i t was l i k e , t h e r e were l i k e , s o r t o f l i k e , a r r o w s g o i n g i n a c e r t a i n d i r e c t i o n . And I bought them s p e c i f i c a l l y because, as I s a i d t o m y s e l f , "These s y m b o l i z e t h a t I now know what d i r e c t i o n I'm g o i n g i n . I'm g o i n g t o I . , and I'm g o i n g t o be w i t h E. and H.." And I was so happy t o be a b l e t o g e t t h e s e r u g s , w h i c h I would take, back w i t h me, r a t h e r t h a n m a i l t h e m — a c t u a l l y , I d i d m a i l them. But I would be a b l e t o e x p l a i n t o them t h a t , you know, "The r e a s o n I g o t t h i s p a t t e r n i s because, a t t h a t t i m e , I knew t h a t I was w i t h you." K: As a symbol f o r g o i n g back. B: Yes, y e s . And, you know, t h a t a l o n g w i t h l e t t e r s s a y i n g , " P l e a s e check U o f I . , " and b l a h - b l a h - b l a h , and how I had f i n a l l y r e s o l v e d any i s s u e s t o do w i t h t h e d i f f e r e n c e s between J u d a i s m and C h r i s t i a n i t y i n terms o f o u r r e l i g i o u s and s p i r i t u a l l i f e t o g e t h e r as a f a m i l y , and t h a t I was l o o k i n g f o r w a r d t o c e l e b r a t i n g , you know, a l l o f t h e s e f e s t i v a l s and h o l i d a y s and what-not. And t h e s e were a l l i n t h e m a i l . And I t h o u g h t , " I want t o phone h e r and t e l l h e r t h i s . " So I phoned h e r . And i t was i n t e r e s t i n g . I t was my f i r s t e v e r "Dear, John" t e l e p h o n e c a l l — h a l f w a y around t h e w o r l d , i n a p u b l i c t e l e p h o n e exchange i n Z.. V e r y , v e r y p r i m i t i v e , i t seemed. And you know, l i k e , I p l a c e d t h e c a l l , and t h e n t h e y s a i d , "Come back i n two h o u r s , and we s h o u l d have t h e c a l l r e a d y f o r you t h e n . " And so I came back, and t h e y c a l l e d me. And you go t o phone b o o t h number 9, down t h i s l i t t l e row, you know, p i c k i t up, and, you know, so-so c o n n e c t i o n , and, " H e l l o , h e l l o ! " And, you know, " I t ' s good t o h e a r y o u r v o i c e . " And, you know, " I want t o t e l l you I'm on t h e way back." And s i l e n c e from t h e o t h e r end. And b a s i c a l l y what she s a i d was, " W e l l , d i d you g e t my l e t t e r ? " And " W e l l , I g o t t h e l e t t e r t h a t s a i d b l a h - b l a h -b l a h - b l a h - b l a h . . . " " W e l l , d i d you g e t any l e t t e r s a f t e r t h a t ? " "No, no, not y e t . " "Hm." So t h e n , she t h e n e x p l a i n e d t o me t h a t , a c t u a l l y two months p r e v i o u s l y , she 196 had moved i n w i t h some o t h e r guy. Someone t h a t she had m entioned v e r y b r i e f l y , because she worked a t t h a t t i m e f o r t h i s s i n g l e p a r e n t r e s o u r c e c e n t e r i n I.. And I was s t u n n e d . You know, h e r e i t was i n . . . T h i s would have been about J a n u a r y 1 t h a t I was c a l l i n g , I t h i n k . And h e r e she was t e l l i n g me t h a t a t t h e end o f O c t o b e r , t h a t she had moved i n w i t h t h i s o t h e r guy. And she was adamant t h a t i t was o v e r between us, t h a t t h e r e was n o t h i n g t h a t c o u l d be done. That she had d e c i d e d she was moving i n w i t h t h i s guy. I t h o u g h t t h i s was a b s u r d , t h a t w i t h i n l e s s t h a n two months o f me l e a v i n g t h a t she had d e c i d e d t h a t she would be moving i n w i t h t h i s guy. I mean, now I know t h a t she was j u s t so f r u s t r a t e d w i t h my d i s t a n c e - m a k i n g t h a t she j u s t s a i d , you know, "Even though I want t o be w i t h him, I c a n ' t t a k e t h i s k i n d o f b e h a v i o r anymore." Anyway, i t was a t e r r i b l e t i m e . My f e e l i n g s t h e n were t e r r i b l e . I c r i e d a l o t , and w a s . . . c o u l d n ' t e a t . I was v e r y a f r a i d f o r m y s e l f . I knew I had t o g e t back home i m m e d i a t e l y . V e r y a f r a i d . K: By " a f r a i d " . . . ? B: By " a f r a i d , " I'm t h i n k i n g . . . L i k e , I wasn't a f r a i d t h a t I would k i l l m y s e l f , out o f t h i s d e s p a i r , b u t I was v e r y a f r a i d t h a t I would...I mean, my sense o f d i r e c t i o n went. I mean, my sense o f d i r e c t i o n i s n o r m a l l y v e r y good, b u t I s o r t o f s t u m b l e d out o f t h i s t e l e p h o n e exchange b u i l d i n g , and I wasn't s u r e where I was. I mean, I knew I was on Z., and I knew t h e town I was i n , b u t where was I s t a y i n g ? You know, so I found where I was s t a y i n g , b u t I was j u s t u t t e r l y , u t t e r l y d i s o r i e n t e d . I mean, I d i d n ' t b e l i e v e t h a t she meant t h a t t h i s was i t . And I s a i d t h a t I was on my way back, and she t r i e d t o t a l k me i n t o - - s a y i n g , "No, no, no. S t a y i n P.. You know, you're t h e r e ; e n j o y y o u ' r e t r i p . " R i g h t . I mean, t h i s i s when I had d e c i d e d I was on my way back anyway. I mean, I was back i n t h i s town en r o u t e t o go back. I was g o i n g t o t a k e two t o t h r e e weeks t o g e t back t o L., and t h e n f l y home. So, you know, no way I'm g o i n g t o s t a y . So I s a i d I would be g e t t i n g back as soon as I c o u l d . So o v e r t h e n e x t day, you know, I managed t o g e t a p l a n e t i c k e t from Z. t o X.. I mean, t h a t was a h o r r o r show i n i t s e l f . J u s t t r y i n g t o g e t a b l o o d y p l a n e t i c k e t j u s t from Z. t o X. w a s . . . I t seemed i m p o s s i b l e , u t t e r l y i m p o s s i b l e . Hm. I c o u l d n ' t e a t a l l t h a t t i m e . I t r i e d . I would go t o a r e s t a u r a n t , t e l l i n g m y s e l f t h a t I had t o e a t . I ' d o r d e r s o mething r e a l l y s i m p l e , and i t would a r r i v e , and I ' d l o o k a t i t and I'd a l m o s t throw up. And t h e n I t h o u g h t , " W e l l , okay, maybe I can d r i n k something." So I would o r d e r a b e e r . And I c o u l d , I t h i n k — y o u know, I was a b l e t o d r i n k a b e e r v e r y , v e r y s l o w l y . You know, t h e f i r s t day. That was i t . And my stomach was j u s t , j u s t . . . a h ! K: I n k n o t s . 197 B: Hm, h o r r i b l e . So I g o t v e r y , v e r y edgy. V e r y , v e r y i r r i t a b l e . I was...On t h e s h o r t l i t t l e hop from Z. t o X., I was i n a non-smoking s e c t i o n o f t h e p l a n e , and t h i s m i s e r a b l e I t a l i a n b e s i d e me l i t up i m m e d i a t e l y , as soon as we were a i r b o r n e . And I j u s t s a i d , "Put i t o u t . " And he s o r t o f l o o k e d a t me l i k e , l i k e , "What?" And I s a i d , "Put i t o u t . " And he s a i d , "Ah, man, don't w o r r y . " But I c o n v i n c e d him t h a t I was v e r y , v e r y s e r i o u s , and he p u t i t o u t . And a l o t o f o t h e r I t a l i a n s s i t t i n g around s o r t o f l i k e , "Whoa, what's w i t h t h e c r a z y guy from S . A . ? " — y o u know? And i n X., I went from t e r m i n a l t o t e r m i n a l , t r y i n g t o g e t a t i c k e t t o L.. F i n a l l y g o t one, a t i c k e t t o L., on s t a n d - b y , b u t I had t o w a i t and w a i t and w a i t . And I had t h i s sense o f t r y i n g t o p r o t e c t o t h e r p e o p l e . I so d e s p e r a t e l y wanted t o p r o t e c t and h e l p o t h e r p e o p l e a t t h i s p o i n t . You know, a l i t t l e g i r l was p l a y i n g w i t h some w e i g h t s e n s o r s t h a t would open a door. And i t ' s dangerous w i t h l i t t l e k i d s , because t h e y don't know t h a t , and t h e y can g e t squashed. And i t ' s l i k e