Reviews

Following reviews of the book Learn to Love: Guide to Healing Your Disappointing Love Life by Thomas Jordan, Ph.D. appeared on the Reader’s Favorite website (readersfavorite.com) Author Program.

Review by Christian Sia

Review Rating: 5 Stars

In the opening lines of this groundbreaking self-help book, Learn to Love: Guide to Healing Your Disappointing Love Life, Thomas Jordan, Ph.D., the author, cautions that: “This is a book about love relationships. About the relationships we form, healthy or unhealthy, when we fall in love.” Falling in love is an experience that happens to most, if not everyone, but the big question is: Why does love hurt so much in many people? How can they heal from painful relationships? And how can they transition from people who develop destructive and sabotaging attitudes to persons who build relationships that reach deeper levels of intimacy, joy, and healing? This book provides surprising answers to these questions and explores similar questions.

This book combines a strong psychological approach with a unique understanding of social and personal issues to create a roadmap to building love relationships that are healthy and enriching. In this book, readers will learn how their first experience of relationships — even as babies — determine the way they love; they will understand just how they have been taught (or conditioned) to love and those lessons that set them up for failure or success in their relationships. They will understand how to unlearn the bad habits that spoil relationships and develop those that are positive, and a lot more. Learn to Love is one of the best books I have read on relationships, after The Five Love Languages.

The author clearly defines an unhealthy love life, explains why some people repeat relationship problems and why they replicate unhealthy relationship experiences and shows readers how they can take control of their relationships and their life. Thomas Jordan, Ph.D. writes beautifully and renders a complex message so simple that readers clearly understand how to transform their relationships. The book is packed with tips that help anyone to improve their relationship. A powerful guide, especially for those with painful love relationship experiences.

Review by Grant Leishman

Review Rating: 5 Stars

Learn to Love: Guide to Healing your Disappointing Love Life by Thomas Jordan, Ph.D. delves into the world of the subconscious, analyzing the way in which our learned experiences affect our beliefs and feelings about love relationships. Why do 50% of marriages end in divorce? Why do so many of us struggle to find love relationships that work? Why do we often end up perpetuating the same mistakes in our love relationships, over and over again? Why does it seem that so many men marry a woman just like their mother or why do so many people who are abused end up marrying abusers, or are abusers themselves? Dr. Jordan examines what motivates us when we become involved in a love relationship. He looks at what experiences we have had of “love” from those within our life experience and concludes that our beliefs and feelings about love are a learned experience. As such, these experiences can be unlearned and new, positive expectations of love relationships can be learned and acted upon instead. The author draws on his thirty years of clinical experience in dealing with patients who have relationship issues and also on his own personal failure to form successful love relationships and what he learned about himself through counseling and psychotherapy.

This book is long overdue in the world of love relationships, especially now with the internet and online dating becoming such a large part of finding that perfect partner for us. Thomas Jordan takes the reader through some practical and easy to follow steps to turn your love life around. What I particularly found enlightening and useful was that the author didn’t just tell us the negative things we seem to seek out in a partner from our own life experiences, such as abandonment, abuse, control, dependency, dishonesty, etc. He also explained the opposite feelings that we need to relearn or learn to replace the beliefs we are rejecting. These feelings include attachment, respect, freedom, independence, honesty, etc.

The text was easy to read and understand from a lay perspective with little psycho jargon and I think the author did a tremendous job of clearly laying it out. A couple of takes from this book that will serve me wonderfully in life are 1/ there is no point in looking for the “perfect” partner – that person simply doesn’t exist - and 2/ you can NEVER change someone else. The only person you can ever change is yourself. Those two thoughts alone should improve your outlook on dating and love relationships. This truly is a self-help book we could all use. I can highly recommend this book to all readers.

Review by Mamta Madhavan

Review Rating: 5 Stars

Love is vital and is an unbelievably important part of psychological and physical life. Learn to Love: Guide to Healing Your Disappointing Love Life by Thomas Jordan, Ph.D. is an insightful book that speaks about healthy and unhealthy love relationships and makes readers aware of how love relationships are insufficiently understood. The author's years of clinical research prove that love is difficult because the health and success of a love life are determined by what the person has learned about love relationships in life. The love life psychology, as the author puts it, is the study of love lives from the inside out. The book is a good tool to increase the chances of finding and sustaining a healthy love life.

Reading this book is a good way for readers to examine their love lives and see how they relate to both healthy and unhealthy love, and what can be done when it is unhealthy. It is a good book to make changes to unhealthy love lives and to look at the love life formula in a positive way. The author's techniques and suggestions will help readers learn to relate to love in a healthy way. It is a good book for readers to understand their psychological love life and make changes there. I like the way the author speaks about the topic, looking at it in a unique way and dealing extensively with every aspect of a relationship. Once readers have identified with their love relationships after reading this book, they can do something about it so that their love life is healthy.

Review by Sarah Stuart

Review Rating: 5 Stars

So, you think you have a good love life? I did, I have, but Learn to Love: Guide to Healing Your Disappointing Love Life by Thomas Jordan Ph.D. was a revelation. More than that – a series of revelations. If you love, you will grieve. This assumes that you lose the one you love before he or she loses you, but it is a valid observation to which Dr Jordan returns in his conclusion. Learn to Love is divided into three main sections: The Unhealthy Love Life, Psychological Love Life, and Unlearning Method. Each comprises easy to read, detailed, chapters with lists and tables. The first enables the reader to identify the root cause or causes of their disappointing love life. The second digs deeper into the psychological effects of early trauma, and the third is a step-by-step route to recovery and happiness.

Learn to Love asks first from whom you learned to love and discusses whether what you learned was healthy or unhealthy. Both learned behaviors are repeated and for those who need this book, it is likely they were unhealthy without the person being aware of it. A frightening thought – you can’t change something you didn’t realize was affecting you. Dr Jordan gives you the tools to find answers, goes into each possibility in depth, and then shows you how to change: “Remember, the only person you can change is yourself”. I recommend Learn to Love: Guide to Healing Your Disappointing Love Life with confidence; Thomas Jordan Ph.D. has included his personal experience of practicing what he preaches.

Review by Gisela Dixon

Review Rating: 5 Stars

Learn to Love: Guide to Healing Your Disappointing Love Life is a non-fiction book on love relationships and how to understand and improve them. In this book, Thomas Jordan, Ph.D. has analyzed the reasons why people choose to fall in love or love the people that they do and how their past conditioning affects their present love life and choices. After an introduction to the topic, the book is organized into three major sections: The Unhealthy Love Life, Psychological Love Life, and Unlearning Method. Each of these broad sections contains several chapters that discuss the impact of early upbringing, parental relationships and how these affect a child, how we unconsciously “learn” to love and learn certain behaviors, how to break out of this pattern if it is unhealthy, treatments and “solutions” to learning healthy behaviors, and much more. There is a psychological profile analysis provided that enables readers to understand their own inner conditioning when it comes to love relationships. The book also contains references, an index, and author bio at the end of the book.

Learn to Love by Thomas Jordan, Ph.D. is a good book and is obviously needed in a world where the divorce rate is as high as 50% in America. Thomas makes some good points and I appreciated the various examples he has provided throughout the book that show how parental conditioning affects who we are today. The writing style is casual and the book flows at a fast pace. I think a book like this may serve as a substitute for actual therapy or counseling and is definitely worth a read for people who feel discouraged or disappointed about their love life or choice of partners. Overall, this is a book that I would recommend.

Review by Sue Maggie

Review Rating: 4.5 Stars

Learn to Love: Guide to Healing Your Disappointing Love Life is a book about love relationships rather than a book about love. The two greatest emotions are love and grief and love, is the opposite of grief: if you love, Dr. Thomas Jordan tells us, you will inevitably grieve. Your love relationships begin the moment you're born and end only when you die. Whilst we all come into the world hoping to give and receive love there are many people for whom love is not quite so simple. Some people suffer multiple disappointments - sometimes repeating the same mistakes - and this eventually becomes resignation. For people who are making the same mistakes repeatedly, self-preservation, in the form of resignation is a necessity.

It's simplistic to think that our love lives only begin in adolescence: our earliest experience of love begins with our parents, or those in loco parentis. We learn about love relationships by observing them, by being in one, or by receiving instruction. What we've learned about love relationships translates into an unconscious blueprint for how to relate in love.

We replicate what is familiar in our experience of the interpersonal relationships in our love lives.

It's strange how often a child forms a love relationship with someone who physically resembles a parent. And so, the problems of one generation are replicated in the next. A child who has seen his parents being abused and/or abusive will replicate this in his or her own relationships. Cheating is seen as normal. And so, it continues: Dr. Jordan details ten areas where problems are repeated and shows how they affect love relationships.

If we are to have sound love relationships, we need to ensure that the relationships we form are healthy enough to nurture and sustain the love we feel. The emotion in itself is insufficient.

Dr. Jordan shows us how to recognize the unhealthy practices we've learned and then how to unlearn them and replace them with practices which will form healthy relationships: he even - at the end of the book - gives us a 'recipe' for a healthy relationship.

Learn to Love should be a quick read, but it's heavy on content and if you're serious about making changes you will have to do a lot of homework, a lot of honest thinking. I started the book with a culprit in mind - an abusive, controlling parent - but was shocked to find that my experiences as a 'victim' had not left me immune to the expectation that I could control. From thinking that the book would vindicate me, I came to the conclusion that there were quite a few areas where I could - must - make improvements.

This book concentrates on 'love' life - intimate personal relationships - but I found myself considering my friendships and how my own experiences affected those relationships and I've areas I need to work on there too. This is one of the most thought-provoking books I've read for a long time. There were areas which I found painful, and I found a well of anger which I hadn't appreciated was there, and which needs to be emptied.

I did think I was going to have a criticism of the book: I really wanted to read some examples of relationships, but Dr. Jordan is a clinical psychologist and on reflection, I was rather glad that we didn't get to hear what he'd been told by his clients. But then he went one better - he gave a lot of details about his own love life, how his relationship with his mother had affected him and what he had to do to correct matters.

Summary: This is a book about love relationships, how to unlearn bad habits and learn new ones. It's thought-provoking and enlightening in equal measures. Highly recommended. I'd like to thank the publisher for sending a copy to the Bookbag: it was a fascinating, enlightening read and one to which I'll return.

Review by Dr. Tom Ferraro

Review Rating: 5 Stars

Dr. Thomas Jordan is a psychoanalyst living and working in Manhattan and his book, “Learn to Love: Guide to Healing Your Disappointing Love Life,” is a primer on what can go wrong in your love life, why it happens, and what to do about it. His thesis is a simple one. He explains that we learn all about love in our childhoods, and the problems we absorb. We may experience abandonment, abuse, control, dependency, dishonesty, exploitation, mistrust, neglect, rejection or self-centeredness in our family of origin. He lays out a map that allows you to assess with some degree of accuracy which of these problems you may have and explains how one goes about changing things.

Like all good analysts, he suggests that you must face your own issues rather than attempting to change your significant other. He references the late great Leo Buscaglia, who taught the famed Love Class at Berkeley. Buscaglia was one of the first celebrity/academics who was often featured on PBS to discuss the wonders and draw of love. When I was in graduate school, I earned extra money by evaluating all the arts and humanities that run out of the Suffolk County BOCES and I was assigned to evaluate a million-dollar grant called “The Love Lesson” that the Roslyn School district created.

The grant was a thing of joy and to this day asks the question: why don’t schools put more time into teaching about love. Perhaps the subject of love is too complicated or maybe it’s not practical enough or maybe educators think that love is the exclusive domain of the family. Our search for love is akin to finding the Holy Grail or the golden city of El Dorado. Sir Lancelot spent a lifetime looking for the Holy Grail and Francisco Pizarro spent years in the jungles of the Amazon in search of the golden city of El Dorado.

As Dr. Thomas Jordan tells us, many spend a lifetime in a confused and desperate search for love, going down blind alleys and ending in discouragement. It is a welcome thing indeed to come across a treasure like his book, a friendly guide book helping the reader get through the jungle of confusion of the heart. His book is an easy captivating message that can hold your hand as you continue along your search to find love. What better time to do so than on Valentine’s Day.