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The Doc gives some tips at his famous ‘Love Talk’


On February 21, I sat down in the Reading Room to listen to Dr. Charles LoPresto, also known as “The Doc,” give some personal advice about the mysterious world of love. Doc’s annual Love Talk, sponsored by The Psychology Club, has grown quite popular over the years and gives any interested students the opportunity to hear some of his tips about relationships, communication, respect, and, of course, love. The talk is funny, informative, and honest.

This year was my second time attending the Love Talk. Although it was the same great guy giving exactly the same great talk, I still feel like I walked away with something new. And, if nothing else, I walked away in a brighter mood.

1) Texting is the bane of relationships.

Doc says, “We should have to face people and use our language to express.” Too many people text their significant other 24 hours of the day. Put the phone down for a minute, live your life, and let yourself miss that person for a little while. It will make the experience of seeing them at the end of the day that much more fulfilling.

2) Treat your significant other like a dear friend.

This means having a mutual respect for one another, but also have respect for yourself. If your significant other is in a bad mood and treating you badly, let them know, just as you would a friend.  Doc says (quoting his mother), “In this life, you only get as much respect as you demand.” Don’t let yourself get treated like dirt just because you think you’re in love. The person who really wants to be with you won’t treat you that way.

3) Relationships are interdependent.

This is different that codependent. Codependence is out of balance – one relies too much on the other whether it be for care, emotional support, intellect, etc. Interdependence is a healthy situation in which the two people involved are equally capable of functioning as individuals. This ability actually makes them more capable of mutual respect and intimacy.

According to Dr. LoPresto and multiple studies, having certain similarities with your partner, such as level of intelligence, is important for interdependence.

4) Don’t morph into each other.

Some couples end up fusing lives so much that they lose some of the qualities that originally attracted them to each other. It’s important to maintain separate lives: keep up your hobbies, keep up your work. Just because your partner hates going to the movies or gardening doesn’t mean you should stop doing those things. It’s important to accept that just as you have things only for you, your partner also has things only for them. Trust each other, and let each be their own person.

5) Courtship is necessary.

Get dressed, smell good, and get out on a date. Getting to know each other is an important part of relationship development. When the passionate love fades and transforms into companionate love, you’ve gotten to know this person and will still want to be with them despite their flaws. If somewhere in this process you discover that you actually don’t feel that way about this person, it can’t be helped. Doc cites a Gestalt Prayer in saying, “I am I and you are you and if by chance we find each other, it’s beautiful, and if not, it can’t be helped.” Doc also stressed an important point: No matter how long you’re together, even if it’s over 40 years, “never stop courting.”

6) Trust your intuition. Listen to your heart, and don’t get caught up in your mind.

7) “Sex is so overrated. Intimacy is not.”

It’s a whole different experience when you’re doing it with someone you really care about. Doc says, “Making love and orgasms are different… You can’t be intimate with someone you don’t know.”

8) Relationships are work.

That’s why when you get married, you have to take the vows. Doc says, “If you didn’t [take vows], there would be times when you would just wanna say ‘I’m done with you.’” Couples have their ups and downs just like any relationship, but they talk about it and work it out. People in love process things together.

9) Learn their communication styles.

Doc says, “Open a woman’s head and there are a bunch of complicated, interconnected wires. Open a man’s head and there’s one wire: top of his head to his mouth to his penis.” Everyone has different ways of communicating. Often, these miscommunications lead to troubles and arguments, even if two people ultimately want the same things. Rather than expecting your significant other to change the way they see the world, learn their ways of thinking. Use that knowledge to better communicate with and understand them.

You can’t really experience The Doc’s Love Talk without being there — and I highly recommend going next year if you missed it — but I gathered together a few of his tips to share with those who couldn’t make it.

Keep in mind that these are just one man’s suggestions and my takeaways from them. Not all his advice will apply to everyone, but I bet everyone can learn something from what he has to say.


Feature Image: Gerald Oskoboiny Photo, Courtesy of Flickr

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The Doc gives some tips at his famous ‘Love Talk’