Falling in Love by Francesco Alberoni

http://www.alberoni.it/versione-inglese/default.aspIt should come as no surprise that the subject of this book is of course, love. More specifically, Alberoni deals with those all-too-brief and utterly captivating moments when one first falls in love. He attempts to unlock all the rather bizarre and, sometimes, completely diotic, forces that drive our behaviour in this frenzied state.

For those lucky enough to be experiencing the first signs of true love, I doubt that this book will do the sensations they experience any justice, simply because words are no match for the real thing. For the rest of us (sigh), there is some element of truth in Alberoni’s analytical minefield.

The book transcends any real field that one may attempt to box it into. Instead, it incorporates psychology, sociology, science, philosophy, religion and plain and simple opinion. Written in poetic (though sometimes dreary) language, it transports the reader through time and place and asks questions not regularly given the time of day.

Falling in love, according to the author, is a universal experience. To Alberoni, it is the meeting not just of souls, but of minds as well. The book is particularly optimistic (and I mean that as a compliment) in its observances about human potential and the possibilities, within us all, to experience love, should we allow ourselves the opportunity to do so.

The book applies its theory to adolescent and adult, to man and to woman and to homosexual and heterosexual alike. Falling in love, according to the author, happens as the result of a basic feeling of inadequacy, shame and dissatisfaction with one’s existence. This dissatisfaction is, then, what leads one to seek out love in a sincere fashion, unlike many who wish to find love but are not willing to surrender themselves to that fundamental need to improve their condition. So depression and low self-esteem are, indeed, good for something. How comforting. It is a feeling of insecurity, then, that Alberoni sees as a prerequisite to falling in love. He uses the example of teenagers and their desperate desire for acceptance as a means of illustrating how this desire is translated into the “ignition state” of falling in love. For most of us, adolescence brings with it the most turbulent (read nerve-wracking) and exciting moments in our lives. During this period, we find ourselves at our most insecure and, yet, we feel the first and most frequent flutters of love. To Alberoni, this is no coincidence.

The author extracts from history the nature and structure of group dynamics throughout the book. He likens the couple to the most basic form of a group. The influence of our partners may thus be the influence of us forming an identity as part of the couple, sacrificing (wilfully or not) our individuality and becoming one with the other member of this rudimentary grouping.

Alberoni maintains that this fusion is then countered by the desire within each of us for individuality and independence, resulting in conflict. Sound familiar? This conflict, though, is not necessarily a negative. Instead, it creates that essential and most human of emotions, passion. What would love be without passion? Essentially, then, where would one find passion if there was no conflict? I know, I never thought of it that way either.

So what does it mean to fall in love? What happens to us? Where does it take us and, more importantly, how do we get there? Alberoni’s book is more a study than a guide. Falling in love seems like the easy bit. What so many of us need is a book (or a trick of some sorts, perhaps a magic potion even) on how to find it. In this case, the answer, supposedly, lies in the human drive to better one’s existence, which sounds like a lot of hard work. In love then, as in life, there seem to be no shortcuts. Damn. “Falling in Love” is a unique and stimulating piece of literature. Alberoni, with his background in sociology, provides insight and, importantly, hope. He is alarmingly honest, ensuring that the audience understands the pitfalls of love and the potential for failure. Romantics, though, will not be disappointed either. I leave you with a little trinket of wisdom from the book, “Life is like riding in a canoe…We don’t make the waves and we can’t change them…We manage to stay afloat…until we finally arrive back at shore…happy to have made it back.”

Download free ebook Falling in Love by Francesco Alberoni


Black Monday Lovesong by ASJ Tessimond

My friend, former massage therapist and South Africa’s leading chirologer Jenny Hirsch sent me this poem once. It resonated so much with me because of the Taoist inspired structure, I based on my research into attraction, dating and social dynamics between male and female on this.

Black Monday Lovesong by ASJ Tessimond

In love’s dances, in love’s dances
One retreats and one advances.
One grows warmer and one colder,
One more hesitant, one bolder.
One gives what the other needed
Once, or will need, now unheeded.
One is clenched, compact, ingrowing
While the other’s melting, flowing.
One is smiling and concealing
While the other’s asking, kneeling.
One is arguing or sleeping
While the other’s weeping, weeping.

And the question finds no answer
And the tune misleads the dancer
And the lost look finds no other
And the lost hand finds no brother
And the word is left unspoken
Till the theme and thread are broken.

When shall these divisions alter?
Echo’s answer seems to falter:
“Oh the unperplexed, unvexed time
Next time…one day…one day…next time!”

more poems by ASJ Tessimond


So close but yet so far

I took a walk tonight just to clear my head. Trying to write 10,000 words for an assignment is no mean task. Well it was around 8pm and the sky in Johannesburg was clear. I tried to identify Orion’s Belt as I have been doing in recent months whenever there is a clear sky. I thought to myself it’s so vast, the sky that is, but yet so simple. It has a calming effect on me. I wish I could become a star gazer and look it more often with a better understanding. Maybe I’ll do that Astronomy for Beginners course from Wits anyway.


Westlife at The Dome in Johannesburg

Went to see the Westlife concert at The Dome in Northgate today. Wow! I never thought much of this boy band and considered them a fad for a while. But hey they’re really slick bunch and the music is very catchy. They put on a great show but sad to say it was a bit short for the money paid. Total show must have been less then 1.5 hours and lets just forget Heinz Winkler opened for them. Who is he again?


DatingBuzz website review

DatingBuzz has been around since 1997 as its previous incarnation Matchmaker (www.matchmaker.co.za NOT matchmaker.com). Not to be confused with the international Matchmaker.com website which is owned by Lycos, the DatingBuzz brand was launched in 2002. The main website is www.datingbuzz.com but a brilliant marketing strategy has allowed DatingBuzz to rebrand its website and create partnership opportunities major media companies in South Africa like Sunday Times, Mail & Guardian and 5FM. So anyone registering with these and over 70 other websites is pooled into one big database therefore giving everyone a lot more choice. At last count they had over 130,000 registered users. The website rated 70% in the Webagility analysis performed in July 2004.

Before you even register with the website you can browse the Gallery with all the pictures of newly registered members or members that have updated their pictures in their profiles. A cheat that I use to get more “hits” on my profile is to change my primary photo to get into the Gallery. I also do this on Sundays so I can get into the Gallery on Mondays and therefore get maximum exposure. You can also access the full profile of anyone from the Gallery but full access to photos is limited to registered members. As with most online dating websites registration is FREE.

Registration is a two step process with a confirmation sent to your email with an activation code. Once you’ve confirmed your registration from the email you must complete your profile. Once the initial registration with activation is complete DatingBuzz sends you a very nice introductory email which explains the basic next steps with useful tips on how to get the most out the website. The “About Me” and “My Ideal Match” sections are both compulsory. These are the most important items used in the matchmaking technology. The colours used (red) allows for quick navigation to answer the most important questions. You are allowed to upload a maximum of five photos that must be less then 600KB which is allows you to post really high quality photos.

Before you start searching for that ideal match, the front page shows you very useful information to help keep track of your progress and popularity. This can be a bit of a vanity trip but don’t get stuck on it. You get “quick stats” on number of “favourites”, “fans” and the amount of messages “sent” and “received” through the website. You also get a popup banner when you have a new message waiting for you; and when you click on it you’re taken directly to this message. Additional stats in the amount of times your profile was viewed is also presented on the front page once you’ve logged in.

Now that you’re ready to search you can find people by the following criteria:

  • name: If you know the name of the user you can search directly for them
  • favourites: You can search the list of your favourite profiles
  • fans: You can search the list of fans (people who added you to their favourites list)
  • matches: Using the matchmaking technology you can find matches based on your criteria
  • search: Search the database based on any criteria you specify
  • keyword: Using a specific keyword e.g. “Mariah Carey” you can find people who like her music
  • gallery: Browse through the new photos of profiles in the database
  • popular profiles: Based on amount of people who added these profiles to their favourites list today’s birthdays:
  • new profiles: A list of the latest profiles, mostly with no photos approved yet
  • recently modified profiles
  • currently logged in members

Overall DatingBuzz creates a superior experience to those who want to get the most out of online dating. The subscriptions range from R79.95 for one month to R479.95 for 12 months (works out to R40 per month). There is a variety of payment options credit card, electronic funds transfer (via Internet banking), EasyPay, direct deposit and Cheque or Postal Order. An added bonus is a great Affiliate program which pays a 10% commission on subscribers referred to DatingBuzz. Once you’ve experienced how easy it is to use this system to meet great people you can make a few bucks from referring your friends.