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Perfect Love: Imperfect Relationships

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  522 ratings  ·  62 reviews
Paperback, 224 pages
Published May 3rd 2007 by Shambhala Publications Inc (first published December 27th 2005)
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Average rating 4.27  · 
Rating details
 ·  522 ratings  ·  62 reviews

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Steev Hise
Jul 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Steev by: Jane Martin
Shelves: spirit-self
This is a great book if you're truly interested in understanding intimate relationships and why they're so hard and how to make them work.

Welwood's book "Journey of the Heart" is what got me first interested in his work. He is on the verge of being a little too "oovy-groovy" for me, and a little Christian, but he avoids getting to much into that and keeps it non-denominationally spiritual and psychological.

Basically he's all about the idea that people are mostly pretty wounded and imperfect and
Nora Berzawi
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Now I have the answer for the question: which book has much added up to your life? (At least in the perspective score).
Oct 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
**To love and be loved…wounds and all**

Being human can often be a strange dilemma, especially in the realm of love. We deeply crave love, but have trouble fully giving and receiving it. The heart of the matter is that our woundedness around love—and the defenses that naturally follow—get in the way of our being able to truly love and be loved.

This is the dilemma the author addresses in _Perfect Love Imperfect Relationships_:
“How then can brokenhearted people like ourselves heal this woundedness
May 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Read this last night...and it floored me. I think is might be one of the most important books I've read in a while. When the student is ready...
"All the beauty and horrors of this world arise from the same root: the presence or absence of love. Not feeling loved and then taking that to heart is the only wound there is. It cripples us causing us to shrivel and contract. Thus, apart from a few biochemical imbalances and neurological disorders, the diagnostic manual for psychological afflictions kn
Oct 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I was hooked at the introduction and bought 20 copies of the book before I had finished to give to friends. I now have two of this author's books and will place them on my shelves of books to read over and over again. It's right up there with my copies of "A New Earth," "The Power of Now," "Mindfulness in Plain English" and "Breath by Breath." I hope I'm contributing to world peace by sharing this book with others. ...more
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book about exploring the debts of where love and process of obtaining such comes from. It’s quite simple. I enjoyed the simplistic ways in which he broke it down and presented exercises at the end! I’m so happy I chose this book I just don’t know what to do.

I’m realizing that I am however on the right track and in time, I’ll know what to do if past emotions find themselves on the rise. This is a part of my tops collection and I stand behind it being recommended reading for the WORLD.
Emilija Dukauskaite
Sep 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful book that helps to understand why you and others around you might be afraid of love. Also, why some lovers are too attached when others are too distant. Overall, it helps you not only understand yourself a little bit more but be more empathetic towards others as well.
Nov 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not a “perfect” book (it’s worth pushing through the stuff on forgiveness and taking it at face value rather than as a judgment), but very much what I️ needed right now. Helped me synthesize a bunch of insights I’ve been poking away at for a while. Five stars because it made such a difference for me.
Jan 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The best book on relationships I've read. Highly recommend. ...more
Feb 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I started reading this book when I was a really sad and conflicted state of mind. I had recently gone through a breakup with a guy I had really strong feelings for, who I might even describe as my first real love. I felt betrayed and abandoned in the end, and I was incredibly hurt. This experience triggered my old fears that I was worthless and that nobody would ever appreciate me or love me as much as I did for them. I always feel like the loser in the end, giving all my love and loyalty to peo ...more
A very beautiful and wise book with many passages about human/relative love and absolute/divine love that are sheer gems. Those many priceless passages alone warrant a 5 star review.

I question, however, whether the exercises that focus on the feeling of unlove and the sense of lacking love in order to connect to the absolute love within us are truly necessary and even recommendable. We can go straight to connecting with absolute love without having to subject ourselves to feelings of lack, I th
Michael-David Sasson
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance
"At the bottom of my grievance against a world gone mad, I discovered the vulnerable child who still didn't know that love was fully available or truly reliable." p6 introduction *Also see Deb's 2012 review for important quotes*

This book is an exploration of what human nature desires from love and how romantic relationships are both a gateway to getting that (if viewed correctly) while also a disappointment to realizing those things if seen as an end in themselves. It's interesting that Welwood
Nov 09, 2018 rated it liked it
I have to remain pretty neutral on this one. Not because it wasn't good. It may be outstanding, but I wasn't ready for this. This book asks you to do a lot of introspection. A lot of looking within, time with yourself, examining your feelings as they come naturally. Trying to feel love and other emotions through conjuring them in a time of calm.
I want to be here with myself and my feelings. I want to do these things, feel these things, know these things.... but I'm not in that place right now, I
Feb 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I found this book so transformational (not a word I use lightly) in understanding our relationship to ourselves and to our partners. I’ve studied Buddhist teachings and read books on Self Compassion and self love which never connected with me, but the way & depth John Welwood frames these ideas just made sense to me. There’s so many ideas to reread and digest here, it’s made quarantine more like a retreat.
Usama Saeed
May 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The most wonderful book i have ever read , I profoundly invite everyone who is interested in spirituality and discovering the true self to read this masterpiece . Thank you so much John Welwood , I wish if you were alive and thank you personally for the great amazing efforts you put in this book
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An amazing book with alot of gems to discover and reflect on
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: brain
Read and re-read slowly and deliberately. Often through tears.
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Lovely and profound. Deeply therapeutic.
MamaBear Cross
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
A great relationship book! Why relationships are so hard, and love isn't so simple. ...more
Dec 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
so powerful and though provoking.
how to acknowledge the hurts of not receiving love and connecting to love
I want to come back to it and the exercises in the future.
Apr 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Really approachable book about opening ourselves to love. Uses more of a Buddhist lens, but I think most people would get something from it, regardless of religious background. I really appreciated his compassionate focus on how we are all imperfect and show up in various, unhelpful ways in relationships--depending on the unhealthy patterns we have--- and that we really can't expect 'perfection' from ourselves or our partners in relationships. ...more
La Gazelle
Apr 15, 2015 rated it liked it
The book offers insight and new perspectives upon love and the problems related to it. It states the obvious things like how love is our greatest source of happiness and joy and how relationships can go bad for so many reasons; tHat you should not give up on love, that things can work our again, with patience, attention and will.
Paradoxically and against us all, while in one sense love conquers all, war nonetheless remains the governing force in world affairs. In life we have two choices, it
Jul 20, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: inspirey
I liked this book, but I didn't feel it was as unique as it claimed to be. I enjoyed the focus on letting yourself love, and be vulnerable, and all that, but felt there was too much emphasis on wounds inflicted as a child by imperfect parents, and not enough on wounds resulting from previous relationships. My parents weren't perfect, but I've already come to terms with that. I was looking for something a little more.

Despite my reservations, I am giving it four stars, since there were some usefu
very quick enjoyable read. the only thing i didn't like was how he wrote about our limited ability to exhibit love in such a way that it 'blamed' parents rather then emphasizing that it is a human condition. yes our first experience of love, or lack thereof, is as children from our parents but it is bigger then that. it should be seen as human condition. the book is about not blaming/creating antagonists in our lives which removes 'blame' but i think the point could have been handled better with ...more
Dec 30, 2013 rated it liked it
Most people know that I can be a granola-liberal Seattle kind of guy (although not always). This book was a little too much so, even for me. The most helpful parts were actually talking about the wounded heart and about how learning to love better isn't the task, the task is learning to be loved, or let love in. I would have prefered more vignettes. They were more concrete and easily relatable. The rest of the book was just a little too Eastern/Mystic/Abstract for me. After reading it I was more ...more
Jul 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
Gets cheesy but has an uplifting message:
When you find your solid foundation of authentic love for yourself, relationships become easier.

The book talks about common obstacles in relationships. Even though we may want to have a perfect relationship, all kinds of little things can get in the way. When you start learning that you can be the source of perfect love for yourself, you appreciate and allow your romantic relationship with another person to flourish - without making that person responsib
Jun 13, 2008 rated it liked it
In his introduction, John Welwood wrote, "Countless books have been written about how to do a better job of loving. This book is different because it will help you focus instead on your capacity to receive love and how you can go about opening up that capacity." Instead of a traditional relationship self help book, this book really focus on exploring our individual core wound. It gave me many new meditation exercises. ...more
Joyce Yarrow
Feb 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book offers an opportunity to explore the nature of love, and provides grounded advice on how to heal the wounds inflicted by personal relationships by opening ourselves to a deeper connection with spiritual love. Written by a psychotherapist, this is a practical guide that clearly addresses some of the self-destructive aspects of what we call "love" and challenges us to break free from these habits. I found it to be well written, illuminating, and helpful. ...more
May 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: self
This book gets better as it goes along. It opens up and delineates the way to accept your experiences/yourself in order to effectively give and receive love. I think the biggest thing I'll take from this book is: As the sky is to the clouds, openness is to emotions. No emotion is bigger than the space you can meet it with to accept it.

The book All About Love by bell hooks brought me to this book. I'm really looking forward to reading Welwood's other books as well.
teri Ciacchi
Oct 08, 2008 is currently reading it
I use this book every week and refer my counseling clients to it constantly. Direct and clear. Exercises to identify our grievances and see how we keep ourselves from being love. Exercises that allow you to increase your inner resource of love. Smart, compassionate and effective. I re-read it to keep myself awake.
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John Welwood is an American clinical psychologist, psychotherapist, teacher, and author, known for integrating psychological and spiritual concepts.

Trained in existential psychology, Welwood did his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Chicago in 1974.

He has been the Director of the East/West Psychology Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, and i

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“The less you demand total fulfillment from relationships, the more you can appreciate them for the beautiful tapestries they are, in which absolute and relative, perfect and imperfect, infinite and finite are marvelously interwoven. You can stop fighting the shifting tides of relative love and learn to ride them instead. And you come to appreciate more fully the simple, ordinary heroism involved in opening to another person and forging real intimacy.” 14 likes
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