February 22, 2002 at 05:00 AM EST

Can Love Last? The Fate of Romance Over Time

Current Status
In Season
Stephen A. Mitchell
Nonfiction, Self-Help and Psychology
We gave it an A-

Conventional wisdom has it that romance can’t last: Familiarity eventually dims the fireworks, leaving partners to make do with friendship—an erotically numbing fate. But in this lissome little query into the nature of love, the late psychoanalyst Mitchell debunks common assumptions. Mixing case studies of commitment-phobes, bored marrieds, and cheating hearts with fresh interpretations of Freud and Tolstoy, Mitchell shows the many ways in which sex in stable relationships is far more emotionally risky (and potentially exciting) than throwaway trysts. As for the title’s timeless question, Mitchell invites ”each of us to come away with our own personal answer.” A-

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