SoulMating: The Secret to Finding Everlasting Love and Passion, by Basha Kaplan, Psy.D. and Jeffrey S. Kaplan, Ph.D. Collage Books. 352 pages. Trade paperback $19.95.
This highly readable, accessible, and comprehensive guide to life-long romantic friendships is going to bring many people surprising insights and powerful inspiration. Rooted in experience, research, common sense, and compassion, “SoulMating” fights to counter the pitfalls of romantic illusion. For those with a spiritual orientation or longing, it offers steps to something even more profound than successful companionship – it mentors partnerships of the soul.
The Kaplans, once again residents of Naples, are great boosters. Their enthusiasm for assuring their readers and clients that happier, more creative, and more fulfilled lives are possible is contagious. However, they are not dreamers and do not encourage idle daydreaming. Finding a life partner is difficult work. Distrusting the longevity of pairings based in erotic attraction, they over and over again preach that emotional intimacy must precede – and dominate over – physical intimacy. In fact, they insist that emotional intimacy, in a situation of emotional safety, is the factor that gives physical intimacy its meaning.
Much of the book’s early going introduces concepts and a carefully wrought vocabulary in which everyday words take on somewhat specialized meanings. Readers would be wise to review these terms and definitions frequently as they journey through the book. Most of terms are presented as polar opposites – like the what and the who, or doing and being – most often distinguishing between surface attributes (career status, appearance, assets, acquired mannerisms) and essential inner components of selfhood.
The authors insist that one must prepare for a successful mating by performing a rigorous self-assessment and truly getting in touch with one’s actual and potential self. That is, the seeker must bring a whole, completed self to the challenge of seeking and building a relationship. Without true self-knowledge and a willingness to befriend oneself, the likelihood of creating a viable, prolonged romantic friendship is practically nonexistent.
The strength of the couple’s teaching lies, however, not so much in the generalizations and wisdom statements (though these are important), but rather in the specifics that are revealed in a logical, progressive order.
The techniques that the Kaplans offer are concrete, and readers can grasp the issues and the action steps because of the narrative illustrations (informal case studies) that are provided throughout the book. Some of these stories are drawn from the Kaplans’ own lives as individuals, prospective mates, and eventually soulmates. Their openness invites and justifies an openness that they demand from those who would seek blossoming relationships. . . .
To read the entire review, as it appears in the December 25, 2014 Naples Florida Weekly, the December 31 Fort Myers edition, and the January 1, 2015 Punta Gorda/Port Charlotte edition, click here Florida Weekly – Kaplans 1 and here Florida Weekly – Kaplans 2.