Cover image for How to be an adult in relationships : the five keys to mindful loving
How to be an adult in relationships : the five keys to mindful loving
Richo, David, 1940-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Boston : Shambhala, 2002.
Physical Description:
xiv, 265 pages ; 23 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BF575.L8 R53 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



"Most people think of love as a feeling," says David Richo, "but love is not so much a feeling as a way of being present." In this book, Richo offers a fresh perspective on love and relationships--one that focuses not on finding an ideal mate, but on becoming a more loving and realistic person. Drawing on the Buddhist concept of mindfulness, How to Be an Adult in Relationships explores five hallmarks of mindful loving and how they play a key role in our relationships throughout life:

1. Attention to the present moment; observing, listening, and noticing all the feelings at play in our relationships.
2. Acceptance of ourselves and others just as we are.
3. Appreciation of all our gifts, our limits, our longings, and our poignant human predicament.
4. Affection shown through holding and touching in respectful ways.
5. Allowing life and love to be just as they are, with all their ecstasy and ache, without trying to take control.

When deeply understood and applied, these five simple concepts--what Richo calls the five A's--form the basis of mature love. They help us to move away from judgment, fear, and blame to a position of openness, compassion, and realism about life and relationships. By giving and receiving these five A's, relationships become deeper and more meaningful, and they become a ground for personal transformation.

Author Notes

David Richo, PhD, is a psychotherapist, teacher, writer, and workshop leader whose work emphasizes the benefits of mindfulness and loving-kindness in personal growth and emotional well-being. He is the author of numerous books, including How to Be an Adult in Relationships and The Five Things We Cannot Change . He lives in Santa Barbara and San Francisco, California.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Approaching the study of relationships from a psychotherapist's perspective is How to Be an Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving. Teacher and writer David Richo gives practical and spiritual exercises for couples and singles who want to have mature and lasting relationships. Emphasizing paying attention and letting go, Richo gently and compassionately coaches readers on what he calls the five A's: attention, acceptance, appreciation, affection and allowing. His book, which proposes "letting go of ego," will help those seeking personal transformation in their relationships. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Forewordp. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Introductionp. 1
Part 1 The Home We Leavep. 7
1. How It All Beganp. 9
The Power of Mindfulnessp. 13
A Positive Spin on How It Was and Isp. 18
The Five A's: The Keys that Open Usp. 26
Unconditional Presence versus the Five Mindsets of Egop. 40
Practices: Our Skillful Meansp. 42
2. Love and Lessp. 52
Mirroring Lovep. 52
When We Deny We Were Deprivedp. 56
What Hurts Us Comforts Usp. 58
How Good for Me Was My Family?p. 61
Light on the Hurtp. 64
A Heroic Journeyp. 69
Practicesp. 70
Part 2 Struggles Along the Wayp. 79
3. Choosing a Partnerp. 81
Am I Cut Out for Relationship?p. 82
Qualified Candidatesp. 85
What Are We Up To?p. 86
Full Disclosurep. 89
Sexualizing Our Needsp. 93
Such Longingsp. 97
Destiny Plays a Partp. 99
Practicesp. 101
4. Romance: The First Phase of Relationshipp. 106
Rising in Lovep. 108
When Romance Is Addictivep. 112
What Love Feels Likep. 116
Practicesp. 118
5. Conflictsp. 126
Working Things Outp. 128
The Past in the Presentp. 133
Men and Womenp. 136
Introvert or Extrovert?p. 138
Practicesp. 141
6. Fears Rush In--and Dangers, Toop. 153
Engulfment and Abandonmentp. 153
Learning from Our Fearsp. 155
Jealousyp. 156
Infidelityp. 158
Dealing with Disappointmentp. 161
Practicesp. 165
7. Letting Go of Egop. 174
Anatomy of the Arrogant Egop. 177
Anatomy of the Impoverished Egop. 181
The Riches of Ego and How to Find Themp. 183
A Yes to the Things We Cannot Changep. 184
Practicesp. 187
8. When Relationships Endp. 199
Ending with Grace and Moving Onp. 201
When Somebody Leaves Youp. 208
Part 3 Returning the Blessingp. 215
9. Our Commitment and How It Deepensp. 217
The Virtues of Intimate Lovep. 220
Commitmentp. 226
Soul Matesp. 228
Practicesp. 231
Epiloguep. 243
Appendix The Steps and Shifts of Mindful Griefp. 246