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A Socratic Dialogue: Love In A Romantic Relationship

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A Socratic Dialogue

The following is an imaginary dialogue between Dr. Phil, and I, in which we discuss love and its relevance to romantic relationships using the Socratic Method. Dr. Phil is a professional psychologist popularized by his appearances on the Oprah Winfrey Show, where he has demonstrated his expertise on healthy human relationships. Though some statements are based on Dr. Phil's actual precepts, statements in this imaginary dialogue expressed by Dr. Phil are exaggerated and may not be significant to his actual philosophy on romantic relationships.

Me: Hello, are you Dr. Phil?

Dr. Phil: Yes ma'am. I am Dr. Phil.

Me: From what I hear, you are an expert when it comes to love in romantic relationships.

Dr. Phil: I guess you could say that. I help people that love each other with their relationships.

Me: Would you consider yourself a love doctor?

Dr. Phil: In some sense. I do know a great deal about love and relationships, especially what is necessary to stay in love when in a romantic relationship, and I am in fact a doctor.

Me: If that is so, perhaps you would be so kind as to cure my curiosity. I am curious to know how you would define love, particularly in a romantic relationship. How does someone know they are in love?

Dr. Phil: We all know that there are many definitions of love. However, in order to make a relationship work, or for someone to love you back, you must first love yourself. Being in love with someone also means loving yourself.

Me: So if someone does not love them-self, they cannot be in love?

Dr. Phil: Yes, but you are missing my point.

Me: I apologize if I misunderstood. If you would please clarify then what you mean.

Dr. Phil: You see, if someone is self-destructive, or is always seeing the bad versus the good in themselves, then someone cannot love them for who they are in return, because they are not their true self. If one cannot appreciate themselves with self-respect, how do they expect another to as well? If they cannot be true to them-self, then they cannot be true to the one they love; they cannot be loved for who they truly are. Does that make sense to you now?

Me: Yes it does make sense though I am unsure if that is all a matter of fact. Although I do agree, that it is important for someone to have self-respect, and know their true self in order to be loved for who they are, as opposed to someone they are not. On the other hand, it does not always mean that one will not love be loved



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