November 30, 2016

To Members of the Men's Group, Dating & Relationship Group, and Buddhism & Romantic Love Group:

Unfortunately, due to a workshop I have been asked to deliver, groups will not be held on Saturday, December 3, 2016.  Our next groups will occur on Saturday, December 17, 2016. 

Please rest assured that I will make a greater effort as we move into 2017 to protect our meeting times on the first and Saturdays of every month, as I value the important work we have been doing in our groups. 

In the meantime, below are some interesting readings and presentations on issues that we have been discussing in recent sessions, for your review.  I hope your perusal of these keeps you actively thinking about the ways in which your relationships may be improved and how obstacles to acceptance, growth, and intimacy may be overcome.      
In my discussion of the framework of "The Erotic Hinge," I champion the value and importance of courtship and suggest it actually promotes the self-esteem of men. This article provides a troubling account of the diminishment of courtship in contemporary culture.

I continue to search the scientific and popular literatures on evidence gained from couples who have stayed together for many years.  This article features the secrets of a few couples who have sustained their love for decades. 

Narcissism continues to be the single most common reason why people contact me for psychotherapy.  Here are articles that (1) describe the characteristics of narcissistic men manifested in relationships, and (2) provide one writer's view of the phases of a relationship with a narcissist.  
In recent groups and elsewhere, I have been talking about the Oedipal Complex and its significance in relationships; this YouTube video features a succinct and accurate account of this Freudian construct.
In recent groups, we have discussed how attenuation of sexual desire in relationships may correspond with unhealthy role dynamics set in motion by unresolved parent-child issues.  This blog account from Psych Central provides a sketch of the numerous causes for reduced sexual desire in married couples. 
In this controversial YouTube video, the concept of "Zeta Male" is presented.  In some ways, the idea of the "Zeta Male" reflects the rising levels of anxiety, confusion and ambivalence about ever-changing gender roles and sociopolitical factors currently impacting how some men perceive their personal power and value.  While I do not endorse the views expressed in this video, and in fact oppose many of them on a variety of levels, I believe that awareness of the notion of the "Zeta Male" and the views it represents is useful for any consideration of modern relationships and role dynamics. 

While the resurgence of male psychology in recent years has generated numerous radicalized perspectives, there have also emerged significant, appealing reflections on revised notions of masculinity and what it means to be a man.  This YouTube presentation describes the importance of healthy self-esteem and a stable sense of self among men. 
This brief but robust article captures the essence of Buddhist psychology and its application to relationships.
This article documents the rather disturbing but increasingly prevalent trend in the way people part ways in contemporary relationships. 

In this talk, I draw from Freudian theory to articulate a structure for heterosexual romantic love that organizes the male and female partners into viable revisions of archaic erotic positions.  The couple's capacity to attain this structure, i.e., the "Erotic Hinge," diminishes the risk of the relationship devolving into dysfunctional dynamics, role confusion, narcissistic conflict, and maternalizing patterns so common in contemporary life.   

Thanks for reading and I hope you found something useful and informative in this material.  As always, please know that I welcome feedback, ideas, comments, and questions. I will continue to bring you notable ideas from experts in psychology and the related disciplines, as well as from my own clinical experience, on the dynamics of relationships, human development, and personal fulfillment.  

Dr. Tobin
James Tobin, Ph.D., PSY 22074 | 949-338-4388 |