Dan Shapiro's Blog

Where we yap about parenting, psychology and media

Dan Shapiro

Dan Shapiro
Hershey, Pennsylvania, US
September 09
A psychologist and writer, Shapiro has written a few books and for the NY Times, Salon.com's old "mothers who think" section, NPR, and lately consults for Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice. Author of Mom's Marijuana (Harmony/Vintage) and Delivering Doctor Amelia (Harmony/Vintage). He chairs a dept at the Penn State College of Medicine when he isn't roaming Salon. Four essays published back in the day on Salon are in the links below. If you like this essay, you'll love Dan's book: Mom's Marijuana. http://www.danshapiro.org

MARCH 6, 2010 7:58AM

A few words for my daughters about love and relationships.

Rate: 3 Flag

Dear Daughters,

GirlglowsYou and I know two young women, sisters, who have different approaches to love. The first is deeply in love with a groovy guitar playing underachieving pot smoking intriguing counter culture kid. She loves him with every fiber of her being. She treats him how she hopes to be treated. She loves him completely and gives him everything she has.

This is a very romantic idea, but it also turns out to be misguided.

See, her key relationship strategy is hope.

He isn’t committed to her, he comes and goes and he wants, and half-loves her. She wishes and hopes -- someday he will realize he is truly in love with me -- and then he will treat me like I treat him. Meanwhile, she’s a little depressed, her grades have slipped and her academic future is uncertain.

Her little sister is in love too – but she demands to be treated well and on her terms. Her schedule dictates when they get together and she has a major say on what they do.

She doesn’t treat him how she hopes to be treated. She demands to be treated well and with respect at all times. Period. When they are together there is the easy ebb and flow of early love. She seems happy in her own skin and colleges are opening their arms to her.

When you love someone, it is brutally hard to say “No” to something they want, to make demands, or, in any way, prevent them from their immediate goals. And yet, the ironic thing is – the only way the older sister will get what she wants is to do this exact thing.

So, my girl. Fall in love. Fall with every fiber of your being. Fall until your bones ache. But never for a moment believe that you deserve anything less than to be treated brilliantly by men. And when they don’t – and sometimes they won’t –shape them up. Yell, indignantly. Wave your hands. Stomp your little feet.

But please. Don’t just hope.

Your tags:


Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:


Type your comment below:
I'm the first.Your daughters are all good girls i thinkstock market today.