To my young daughters, Meghan and Lydia, in case you have questions in your future that might be helped by these ideas I have had in my past. May you and the friends you develop give each other joy, comfort, wisdom, strength, and compassion; and may you appreciate each other for doing so.
And to Karen, for whom love was first and most intensely reflected on; who brought out my best; and who set the standard for what love means to me.
Lives cross and part, and the impressions they make on each other are not always known or expressed at the time. Many conversations, many, often fleeting, experiences with friends, acquaintances, and total strangers inspired the ideas in this book. I cannot name everyone who sparked those ideas or who aroused the feelings that led to them. Many names I never even knew; sometimes during long, intense conversations with strangers, we never introduced ourselves to each other by name. There are some people, though, whom I would now like to let know they did play special parts in creating these ideas.
Bonnie Best was the first person I met who verbalized concerns about love, ethics, and sex. She and I had many interesting conversations in high school study hall when we were supposed to be studying about less interesting things. A warm and beautiful girl, she had a natural and instinctive gift for doing philosophy and psychology on a personal level about the dating experiences and emotions she had and had heard about from others.
Joan Droppers had one particularly special conversation with me at a very significant time in my life. I was, and am, most grateful for that conversation.
Jan Dixon, Jan Reid, and Leslie Shifron discussed insights, feelings, and concerns about people and about the subject of love that were very important.
Judy Salisbury Armstrong, Faith DeManicore, Nicky Peacock, and Nan Gallup are cherished friends that evoke a special, warm feeling of undemanding, gentle affection requiring no more than its own felt emotional bond
Judy Huckestein Trubiroha and Charlot Limberg are two very dear friends who, at one period, read what I had then written, listened to what I discovered, questioned what I thought, confirmed what they accepted, debated (sometimes for hours on end) what they disbelieved, fostered new ideas, and forced clearer language by emphatically pointing out what was unintelligible and vague or ambiguous. Especially at the beginning of my writing about these ideas, more of this was written in response to things they said more than any other single factor. I am not certain I have yet convinced either of them of all, or most of, the truths herein. If there are any mistakes in the work, I would like to hold them responsible for not changing my mind about them. Unfortunately, however, the mistakes will have to remain my responsibility.
I would also like to express appreciation here to the students I have taught who were interested enough in the subject of love from a philosophical standpoint to show me there was reason to write my ideas as a book. And to Katerina DiChiara whose persistent praise of the manuscript, and insistence it would benefit others, rekindled my enthusiasm for making the book available to an audience, and who helped with the details to make that possible.
And always, there is appreciation to (and for) the girls and women I have loved or had crushes on, who taught me much about love and about myself, and who inspired many of these ideas, or provoked the need for them, in the first place. The people named above are not necessarily excluded from this category.
Special thanks to Troy University staff in support from Dr. Glynn Cavin, Associate Vice Chancellor for Troy Online, and Dr. Deborah Fortune, Director for the Center for Excellence in eTeaching, to the following individuals for Open Educational Resources publishing support and editorial assistance; Instructional Designers Joshua Hill M.Ed., Linda Jordan M.Ed., and assistant Abbi Sanders. I would also like to acknowledge the contributions of Shannon Carolipio MSPSE, Jonathon Williams, and Mikala McCurry of the Online Writing Center.