Mister Right is Out There

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Chapter One: Love and Relationships

After you meet Mr. Right, at some point in the relationship you will both say, "I love you." What do you mean when you say, "I love you"? What does he mean when he says, "I love you"? What does anyone mean when he says it? Love is a word we have all used at one time or another, but it is also a word that carries many meanings.

I have asked hundreds of gay men, "What is love?" and there has been no shared or agreed-upon answer. Even lovers have different answers. When I ask male couples who are experiencing major problems why they are staying together, they usually say, "Because we love each other." This answer doesn't tell me much.

What does love mean to you? Your answer is important and may help you understand your past, present, and future relationships. It may also help you figure out why you may have trouble forming and developing long-term relationships.

What You May Have Learned About Love

As a child, you learned that if you were really good, your mother said, "I love you." If you were punished for being bad, you may have been told, "Mommy still loves you." Early in life you learned what you needed to do to be loved. You conformed to your parents' expectations, which guaranteed your parents' love and protection. You believed you wouldn't be abandoned if you met their expectations. You believed you were safe if you were loved. As a child, you tested your parents' love and their limits. You placed demands on them to make sure they continued to love you. You learned from your parents about love.

As an adolescent, you learned about love from television, movies, and friends. You found yourself attracted to someone, and you were told you were in love. You may have also been told this was puppy love or adolescent love and that it would not last long. You saw sexual intimacy and were then told this was love. You learned the word love and associated it with various definitions.

Love has different meanings for different people, which makes it almost impossible to know how the word is being used by anyone. Some of the following expressions are just a few uses of the word love:

o "I fell in love the moment I saw you." (Love means being sexually attract

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Contents

Being Emotionally Intimate
20
Mr Right or Mr Wrong?
64
Finding Mr Right
77
Copyright

5 other sections not shown

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About the author (2000)

Kenneth D. George, Ph.D., is the author of Mr. Right Is Out There: The Gay Man's Guide to Finding and Maintaining Love. He is a former professor at the University of Pennsylvania and runs a private practice in psychotherapy, working with gay men and male

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