Flourishing Love: A Secular Guide to Lasting Intimate Relationships

Author(s) : Enrico Gnaulati

Flourishing Love: A Secular Guide to Lasting Intimate Relationships

Book Details

  • Publisher : Karnac Books
  • Published : October 2023
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 248
  • Category :
    Family, Couple and Systemic Therapy
  • Catalogue No : 97143
  • ISBN 13 : 9781800132085
  • ISBN 10 : 1800132085
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Flourishing Love is a secular defence of marriage and long-term intimate partnership. It rejects a moral–religious code to govern love lives and instead puts its faith in the human potential for couples to be benevolent, loyal, and forgiving to preserve and enhance their romantic union.

Dr Gnaulati draws on a variety of sources to present the joint emotional upkeep necessary to make an intimate relationship not just satisfactory, but vital, and to illustrate what these lasting bonds look like. The latest science, anecdotes from his own 30-year marriage as well as from his psychotherapy practice, the musings of ancient and contemporary philosophers, real-life interviews from partners in long-term happy marriages and intimate unions, and reflections on what can be derived from couples therapy are all used to reveal the secrets to a successful romantic partnership.

The result is a how-to of engaging in attentive and sensitive communication; employing a fairness habit of mind around household chores, childrearing responsibilities, and finances; optimally moving through and beyond conflict; keeping an erotic spark alive; and ethically handling urges to stray outside the couple. A must-read for all those who crave meaning, happiness, and fulfilment in life and need their romantic partnerships to help, not hinder, in this endeavour.

Listen here to Enrico Gnaulati in conversation on Rising Up with Sonali

Reviews and Endorsements

At last a book on marriages that endure. At last a book on marriages that stresses the depth and quality of relationships, along with their quantity in years. Gnaulati’s Flourishing Love is a breath of fresh air for those of us (including the author) who have been blessed with enduring, quality marriages. In this era of quick fixes and fleeting encounters, Gnaulati’s voice is a welcome counter-narrative, particularly for those who have become cynical about the virtues–or even possibilities–of gratifying, lasting bonds. Replete with examples and humanistic sensibilities, Flourishing Love is a must for anyone yearning for deep and enduring partnership.
Kirk Schneider, Adjunct Faculty at Saybrook University, 2022 Candidate for President of the American Psychological Association, President of the Existential-Humanistic Institute and author of Life-Enhancing Anxiety: Key to a Sane World

With humor, frankness, wisdom born of deep personal and therapeutic experience, Gnaulati—in equal parts philosopher and psychologist—teaches us how to be better lovers and partners. Every married couple should read this book in bed together. Belongs on the bedside table with Stendhal’s On Love and The Joy of Sex.
Clancy Martin, Professor of Philosophy, University of Missouri, Kansas City and author of How Not to Kill Yourself: Portrait of a Suicidal Mind

My first two marriages were based on extreme self-sacrifice, a sense of overbearing duty, and the hope that I could live up to the religious values of my parents and grandparents. Of course, these relationships fell apart. I wish I would have read Flourishing Love in my early twenties and avoided unnecessary heartache. I am married again and, with Enrico Gnaulati’s help, giving lasting love another shot, this time with the understanding that settling into love is not the same as settling for less.
John Kaag Professor of Philosophy, University of Massachusetts at Lowell and author of Hiking With Nietzsche: On Becoming Who You Are

Enrico Gnaulati delivers a clear and comprehensive guide to flourishing long-lasting intimate relationships in a witty and approachable style. [...] Flourishing Love: A Secular Guide to Lasting Intimate Relationships is a frank and grounded self-help book. The use of cultural references, comedian’s quips and anecdotes opens up the conversation while highlighting that anyone that may be experiencing these problems are far from alone. The guidance offered promotes mutual respect and communication, the path to a flourishing relationship is laid out in a way that feels not only approachable but achievable. I wouldn’t say that there were any ground-breaking claims made throughout the book, but it serves as a potent reminder that not neglecting the little things is vital in a successful relationship. A book for those in a relationship to refresh and assess their foundations and an interesting read for those looking for a relationship to guide them moving forward.
LoveReading, 2023

Gnaulati, pulls from an exceptionally wide range of literature, clinical experience, and his own life to build the readers agency to write or rewrite their own conceptualization of life, love, and successful relationships. Written with a clear audience in mind Gnaulati is precise in his goal of empowering emerging to early adults to find their own narrative around relationships that serves their own relational goals. [...] As a clinician, this book is light on theory but well researched and full of interesting studies and philosophical insights about human relationships. The writing is pragmatic, engaging, and thoughtful. Gnaulati strikes a non-judgmental tone to create a space for the reader to consider their own experiences in the context and framework of the book's narrative.
McKenna Walsh, Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 2024

Table of Contents

About the author

Chapter One
Aspiring to flourishing love

Chapter Two
Surviving domesticity

Chapter Three
Doing conflict well

Chapter Four
Humor me

Chapter Five
Lust is a must

Chapter Six
Wrangling with roving desires

Chapter Seven
Getting the right sort of help


About the Author(s)

Enrico Gnaulati, PhD, is a clinical psychologist based in Pasadena, California, and Affiliate Professor of Psychology at Seattle University. He has authored many acclaimed books and published a host of articles in academic journals as well as popular online magazines like The Atlantic, Salon, and The Huffington Post. His work has been featured on Spectrum News, China Global Television Network, Psychology Today, and more, as well as reviewed in Pacific Standard, the Huffington Post, The Australian, and the New Yorker. He is a blogger for Mad in America, an internationally recognized reformer of mental health practice and policy.

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