Giorgio Nardone is considered one of the fathers of Brief Strategic Therapy. This psychotherapist has written a number of books in which he addresses complex issues like eating disorders, fear, and important findings in psychology. To get a better understanding of his ideas, we will look at five Giorgio Nardone quotes taken from one of his books. The book is in Spanish and is called Los errores de las mujeres en el amor (Mistakes Women Make in Love).
In this book, Nardone proposes 17 different ways that women interpret love. They have funny names, like “The Fairy”, “Sleeping Beauty”, or “Frog-kisser”. It’s easy to identify with these scenarios. They describe the way we learn to relate to each other that is normalized by society.
1. Every stimulus needs a change
“If reocurring, even the most exciting stimulus becomes less effective in virtue of our perceptive and physiological adaptation. For attraction to remain alive, it needs constant change.” [translation]Share
This first Nardone quote busts open one common belief about romantic love: that passion will never die. This isn’t true. Without change, the attraction will fade and die, like the flame of a candle. Nardone proposes two options to resolve this problem:
- Variety of stimuli. Without diversity, there’s boredom. Including new activities is key. You can introduce toys in the bedroom, for example. That will help maintain or even increase passion.
- Alternating stimuli or the absence of stimuli. Doing absolutely everything together can wear out the relationship. It can also make you and your partner end up arguing about trivialities. Start doing things separately so you have a chance to “miss” the other person. You can also try sending sexy texts or leaving a suggestive note in the house for your partner to find.
2. Self-deceiving love
“In the beginning of a relationship we only see in the other person what we want to see. Love is the most sublime deceit. When this initial impulse of the relationship loses strength, disappointment is inevitable.”Share
When you’re falling in love, you idealize the other person. The expectations that you have about that make it possible to ignore what you don’t like. However, the beginning stages of a relationship will always end. When they do, this “ideal partner” will fall off their pedestal.
That’s when you’ll be surprised by the person in front of you. You’ll become annoyed by the things you used to tolerate. This disappointment can be such a heavy blow that the relationship can start to decline steadily. For that reason, it’s important to be aware of this self-deception and work hard to identify it before you fall into its trap.
3. Selfishness in a relationship
“To sustain itself, a relationship has to satisfy every need and desire. In a romantic relationship, the selfishness of each individual has to coincide with the other. If they don’t, the relationship won’t work.”Share
This third quote from Giorgio Nardone allows us to reflect on the selfishness inherent in a relationship. Think of it as the needs and desires that you expect the other person to satisfy.
For example, imagine that your idea of a couple is two people who are affectionate with each other. In addition, it’s something that makes you feel good. You give affection and you expect affection in return. But then imagine that your partner is cold, distant, and uninclined to show much affection.
In this case, the “selfishness” of each partner doesn’t coincide with the other. As a result, over time it will become obvious that the couple can’t move forward. The reason is that conflict will come up and each partner will demand things that the other can’t give.
4. Complementing each other’s traits isn’t necessarily a good thing
“That one person complements the other in a relationship is not a good thing. What’s more, most of the time if someone “complements” someone else in a relationship, it’s because there are dysfunctional elements in the interaction between two people who feed off of each other.”Share
When we think about people who complement each other in a relationship, we think about two people who get along well. But according to Nardone, when two people complement each other, it’s because something dysfunctional is happening. For example, there might be a dominant person and a submissive person in the relationship.
The fact that these two people complement each other doesn’t mean it’s necessarily healthy. An emotionally dependent person can be attracted to someone with an avoidant personality (the coyote and the roadrunner). As you can see, there are “complementary” couples that are clearly dysfunctional.
5. The couple should adapt
“A relationship is a living system. In order to maintain equilibrium, both partners have to learn to adapt. They must evolve together with the changes that time will inevitably bring.”Share
This last Giorgio Nardone quote tells you that a couple must change over time. This isn’t negative at all. It’s actually quite the contrary. Knowing how to adapt to change is a sign that the couple is capable of success.
Nevertheless, there are always problems. Lack of passion, routine, children… All of that can cause a relationship to wear out. That being said, it isn’t the end if the couple knows how to adapt and find solutions. If they can’t, and instead start blaming each other, they’re doomed to fail.
Each one of these Giorgio Nardone quotes helps us see love in a relationship differently. It stresses the things every relationship has to go through. Which of these quotes will you remember from this article? Is there one that resonates with you in a special way?