High-Level Thoughts

Every guy should read this book, especially after reading The Game. It covers the struggle between monogamy and desire, and how Neil experience and dealt with it.

Summary Notes

“When I’m single, I want to be in a relationship. When I’m in a relationship, I miss being single. And worst of all, when the relationship ends and my captor-lover finally moves on, I regret everything and don’t know what I want anymore.”

“Perhaps marriage is like buying a house: You plan to spend the rest of your life there, but sometimes you want to move— or at least spend a night in a hotel. “So if you were so happy with this other woman and so unhappy with your wife, why didn’t you just get divorced?””

“You don’t have time to think. If you ever want to be truly happy in this lifetime, you have to recognize that you’re using sex like a drug to fill a hole. And that hole is your self-esteem. Deep down, you feel unlovable. So you try to escape from that feeling by conquering new women. And when you finally go too far and hurt Ingrid, all it’s going to do is reinforce your original belief that you’re not worthy of love.”

“In this life, we don’t meet many people who truly love us, who accept us for who we are, who put us before themselves. Maybe a parent or two if we’re lucky, perhaps a couple of previous partners. So what kind of person rewards someone’s love with lies, betrayal, and pain? A selfish person. A coldhearted person. A thoughtless person. An asshole. A liar. A cheater. A guy who thinks with his dick. Me.”

““Exactly. To survive painful beliefs and feelings, we often mask them with anger. That way, we don’t have to feel the shame behind it.””

““Being overcontrolled as a child sets you up to lie as an adult,” she concludes. “So the theory of sex addiction is that when you feel out of control or disempowered, you sneak around and act out sexually to reestablish control and regain your sense of self.””

““Intimacy problems come from a lack of self-love,” she continues. “Someone who fears intimacy thinks, unconsciously, If you knew who I actually was, you’d leave me.””

““I’d be willing to bet that after the high of the intensity, there’s a comedown, and you feel not so great and you need that next hit of intensity,” Lorraine responds coolly. “So ultimately, you can live your life like a hamster on a wheel, chasing after the next hit to keep yourself spinning. Or you can realize that ultimately it’s all a distraction to avoid the harsh reality that you are not connected to yourself.””

“I used to think that intelligence came from books and knowledge and rational thought. But that’s not intelligence: It’s just information and interpretation. Real intelligence is when your mind and your heart connect. That’s when you see the truth so clearly and unmistakably that you don’t have to think about it. In fact, all thinking will do is lead you away from the truth and soon you’ll be back in your head, groping with a penlight in the dark again.”

“There’s one thing I’ve been striving for all my life: with sex, with writing, with surfing, with partying, with anything and everything. And that is to be free. It’s the one feeling I never had growing up.”

“So far, it sounds like their open relationship has just as much drama as a closed relationship. And the drama is about the same thing: trust. Perhaps the reason friendships tend to last longer than relationships is that most of them don’t come with rigid rules and exclusivity clauses.”

“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 the forces of relationship drama and destruction are unleashed. I share this with Veronika and teach her about the different ego states. Soon, we’re connected again.”

“I sit in silence, processing this. In my heart, I know she’s right. I spent all year thinking that if somehow I found the right relationship, my problems would magically disappear. But the one relationship I didn’t try was the one with myself. For a love avoidant, I’ve done a good job of constantly having some sort of girlfriend for the last eight years. Maybe that’s because there’s no better place to hide from intimacy than in a relationship.”

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