Cover image for Unrequited : women and romantic obsession
Title:
Unrequited : women and romantic obsession
Author:
Phillips, Lisa A., author.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollins, 2015.
Physical Description:
x, 291 pages ; 24 cm
Summary:
"The summer Lisa A. Phillips turned thirty, she fell in love with someone who didn't return her feelings. She soon became obsessed. She followed him around, called him compulsively, and talked about him endlessly. One desperate morning, after she snuck into his apartment building, he picked up a baseball bat to protect himself and began to dial 911. Her unrequited love had changed her from a sane, conscientious college teacher and radio reporter into someone she barely recognized - someone who was taking her yearning much too far. In Unrequited, Phillips explores the tremendous force of obsessive love in women's lives. She argues that it needs to be understood, respected, and channeled for personal growth - yet it also has the potential to go terribly awry. Interweaving her own story with frank interviews and in-depth research in science, psychology, cultural history, and literature, Phillips describes how romantic obsession takes root, grows, and strongly influences our thoughts and behaviors. As she illuminates this mysterious psychological experience, placing it in a rich and nuanced context, she offers compelling insights to help any woman who has experienced unrequited obsessive love and been mystified and troubled by its grip." -- Publisher's description.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780062114013
Format :
Book

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Central Library HV6594 .P45 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Audubon Library HV6594 .P45 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Hamburg Library HV6594 .P45 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Kenmore Library HV6594 .P45 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Orchard Park Library HV6594 .P45 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Julia Boyer Reinstein Library HV6594 .P45 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

Blending memoir, literary exposition, and revealing case studies, Unrequited is a powerful, surprising, and empathetic cultural and psychological exploration of one-sided romantic obsession.

The summer Lisa A. Phillips turned thirty, she fell in love with someone who didn't return her feelings. She soon became obsessed. She followed him around, called him compulsively, and talked about him endlessly. One desperate morning, after she snuck into his apartment building, he picked up a baseball bat to protect himself and began to dial 911. Her unrequited love had changed her from a sane, conscientious college teacher and radio reporter into someone she barely recognized--someone who was taking her yearning much too far.

In Unrequited, Phillips explores the tremendous force of obsessive love in women's lives. She argues that it needs to be understood, respected, and channeled for personal growth--yet it also has the potential to go terribly awry. Interweaving her own story with frank interviews and in-depth research in science, psychology, cultural history, and literature, Phillips describes how romantic obsession takes root, grows, and strongly influences our thoughts and behaviors.

Going beyond images of creepy, fatally attracted psychos, male fantasies of unbridled female desire, and the platitudes of self-help books, Phillips reveals a powerful, troubling, and surprisingly common phenomenon. As she illuminates this mysterious psychological experience, placing it in a rich and nuanced context, she offers compelling insights to help any woman who has experienced unrequited obsessive love and been mystified and troubled by its grip.


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Having once faced a boyfriend who, brandishing a baseball bat, threatened to call the police on her for stalking, Phillips chases down the history of unrequited love, from courtly love to online courtships in which the interested parties may never meet. She also fills the book with examples from literature (Beatrice and Dante), history (Alexandra and Nicholas), and studies and quotes from contemporary researchers, historians, therapists, and educators. As she notes, even our physiology gets in the way as our brains light up with the primal, dopamine-fueled rush' of romantic desire. Fleshing out this study of desire unmet are personal stories from many woman (and a few men) talking about their feelings, rationales, suffering, and resolutions. The heart, indeed, is a lonely hunter. As Phillips shows, the hunt may be more engrossing, more thrilling, but more disappointing than the catch. Unrequited lovers will learn they are not alone, and they will also acquire useful tips on ways of letting go for good.--Kinney, Eloise Copyright 2015 Booklist


Library Journal Review

In the telling of her own story and those of numerous other women, Phillips (journalism, State Univ. New York at New Paltz; Public Radio: Behind the Voices) pieces together a fascinating journey into the minds of those who have been spurned. The author maintains that feelings of romantic love can lead to obsessions which share similarities with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and addiction, and are, in fact, profoundly narcissistic. Because unrequited love is frequently a result of different interpretations of the nature of a relationship (i.e., one person pursuing simple friendship and the other, romance), the inevitable rejection can lead to shame, humiliation, and a desire for retaliation. Phillips points out that narcissists use other people to fulfill parts of the self. To counteract that leaning, she encourages women to gain insight into their underlying needs and emotions and to channel those in more productive directions. VERDICT Phillips neither pathologizes nor minimizes the damage of female harassment and stalking; she emphasizes that the societal tendency to see female pursuit as humorous can keep male victims from receiving the support they need. Her firsthand experience and compassionate advice will be appreciated by the romantically rejected and fans of self-help books alike.-Linda F. Petty, Wimberley, TX (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Introduction: The Unwanted Womanp. 1
1 Do You Love Me?: The Allure of Unsatisfied Desirep. 13
2 Holding Out: Following the Script of Unrequited Lovep. 39
3 Erotic Melancholy: Lovesickness as a Label of Shamep. 64
4 Boy Chasers: The (Fe)Male Urge to Pursuep. 93
5 Falling from the Stars: Losing Yourself to the Narcissism of Unrequited, Lovep. 118
6 The Gender Pass: Female Stalkers and Their Invisible Victimsp. 141
7 Crush: Unrequited Love as Girl Powerp. 161
8 Primal Teacher: The Transformational Power of Unrequited Lovep. 185
9 Letting Go: How Obsession Endsp. 208
Acknowledgmentsp. 233
Notesp. 237
Selected Bibliographyp. 275
Indexp. 281

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