The Defy Aging Newsletter

Anti-aging psychology, holistic health, and wellness

a biweekly e-mail newsletter for helping you think, feel, look, and be more youthful and live with purpose.

March 27, 2007 Number 162

This issue:

Mutual Love Stories


Check to see if you and your partner share a similar love story. If not, see if you can develop a mutual love story.


People all over the world crave love stories in books, magazines, television, music, theatre, and fairly tales. They play a big role in our culture and our psyches. When you pair off with a lover or partner, you probably have some stories in your mind that validate your beliefs about love.

There are many types of love story scripts. For Dr. Zhivago love was a passionate poetic adventure. In The African Queen, Captain Allnut (Bogey) and Miss Sayer (Hepburn) found that fighting adversity together brought admiration, respect, and even love. "I never dreamed any mere physical experience could be so stimulating!" says Ms Sayer. Romeo and Juliet saw love as a compelling force as did Tony and Maria in the remake, West Side Story in which they sing, "When love comes so strong, there is no right or wrong."

Love stories can emphasize pure sensuality as in Tristan and Isolde, being drawn to character as in Frank Capra movies, or destiny as in Aida. Gilbert and Sullivan suggest love is folie B deux. Many Western and hero movies have the man as hero and protector. In Fiddler on the Roof, Goldie and Tevye find love comes from sharing experiences and following traditions over the years.

O'Henry's Gift of the Magi suggests love is mutual self-sacrifice. You'll recall the poor wife sold her hair to buy her husband a watch chain for Christmas and he sold his watch to buy her combs. Perhaps the sappiest script for love is “love means never having to say you’re sorry.” from Love Story.

So what story results in the best marriages? Psychologist Robert Sternberg’s research found that all kinds of stories can bring happy, fulfilling relationships. Couples are more likely to be happy and fulfilled, however, when they subscribe to the same story.

American couples in the nineteenth century usually had a story with traditional roles and lifelong fidelity. In the 1960s, the women’s liberation movement affected a lot of divorces when many wives’ scripts for marriage changed and their husbands wanted to keep the traditional scripts. Today we have even more varied stories. You can determine your love story script by considering your favorite love stories and movies or simply thinking about what your relationship or marriage would be like if it were exactly as you would like it to be. How does that compare with your partner’s story? If it is different, can you develop a mutually fulfilling story?


Suffering is the true cement of love.

~Paul Sabatier

The cat and the love you give away come back to you.

~(source unknown)


Soldier leaving base, "This has got to be love at first sight. I'm on an eight hour pass."

Platonic love is the interval between events.

Bachelors are the bootleggers of love.

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