Notes & Quotes: The Truth by Neil Strauss

The following are my favorite quotes from Neil Strauss' The Truth: An Uncomfortable Book About Relationships.
  1. More than 3% of babies are not actually fathered by the male parent who thinks he did.
  2. Each gut reaction tells a story.  It is a story about who you are and what you believe.
  3. Questions are powerful: The right question can expose flaws in the system.
  4. Many a man has shot himself in the head rather than face up to the consequences of what he's done in his secret life.
  5. Nothing's going to change until you take deliberate and committed action to change.
  6. People are what matter, not things.
  7. A lot of times, people in a family think it's just one person who causes all the trouble.  But a family is a system, and a sick person is the product of a sick system.
  8. Only when our love for someone exceeds our need for them do we have a shot at a genuine relationship together.
  9. Life's not worth living if you're living someone else's life.
  10. The goal is not monogamy or nonmonogamy.  It's for you to be living a life that brings you happiness.
  11. If you can't control your lust, the universe will take care of it for you.
  12. Doctors used to claim there was a disease called drapetomania -- a disorder in which slaves were seized by the irrational and pathological desire to be freed from their masters.  They're all just words, made up by people with degrees, to enforce social norms.
  13. "For the majority of its history, marriage was an economic and political institution, mostly about merging resources, forming alliances, or creating a bloodline for inheritance.  Not until the late eighteenth century did people marry for love.  And it took until the late twentieth century for marriage to start becoming an intimate partnership rather than a patriarchal institution." Stephanie Coontz
  14. Anything that doesn't bring you alive is too small for you.
  15. The whole notion of classifying certain behaviors as normal and abnormal hurts people more than it helps them.
  16. A far better way to encourage a partner to open a relationship is to start by giving her the freedom that you want for yourself.
  17. Guys bring their dating problems on themselves.  They program their daughter with an aversion to men and sex for fear that she'll meet someone just like her father, then they meet someone else's daughter and expect her to just jump into bed without anxiety or reservation.
  18. Once fear and loss is taken away, you get past jealousy.
  19. One of the unfortunate axioms of human behavior is that what others shame people for the most is usually what they're doing in secret themselves.
  20. Perhaps the problem with most relationships is that the rules start to become more important than the values they're supposed to be representing.
  21. It's not society that holds us back, it's ourselves.  We just blame society because not only is it easier but it's a nearly impossible weight to move.  This way, we don't actually have to change.
  22. I used to think that a good relationship meant always getting along.  But the secret, I realize, is that when one person shuts down or throws a fit, the other needs to stay in the adult ego state.  If both people descend to the wounded child or adapted adolescent, that's when all of the forces of relationship drama and destruction are unleashed.
  23. Perhaps that's the price of making your fantasies a reality.  You realize pretty quickly that they were more fun to imagine.
  24. For me, the best way to understand what actually transpired in any given situation is to write about it until the truth emerges.
  25. In the dance of infatuation, we see others not as they are, but as projections o who we want them to be.  And we impose on them all the imaginary criteria we think will fill the void in our hearts.  But in the end, this strategy leads only to suffering.
  26. What being a woman is: to become one's own mother.
  27. The universe listens -- and it gives you not just what you want, but what you deserve.
  28. The only relationship that's truly a failure is one that lasts longer than it should.  The success of a relationship should be measured by its depth, not by its length.
  29. Relationships are like divining rods for locating one's faults and weaknesses.
  30. It seems I've mistaken being out of control for freedom.
  31. It's a lot to take in and I struggle to understand it all.  Then I decide I don't need to understand it.  I just need to do it.
  32. I realize that I made a mistake by equating variety with freedom.
  33. Six Core Needs: physical, emotional, social, intellectual, spiritual, and sexual.
  34. Don't trade long-term happiness for short-term pleasure.
  35. Turns out that relationships don't require sacrifices.  They just require growing up -- and the ability to stop clinging to immature needs that are so tenacious, they keep the mature needs from getting met.