Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino
Discover How to Be Your Best
Meet Bobby Roth

Celebrity Interviews:

By Bobby Roth

Bobby Roth is an independent filmmaker who directs network TV (LOST, PRISON BREAK, CRIMINAL MINDS, etc...) in his day job, and this year he is directing FLASH FORWARD, HAPPY TOWN, and V, as well.

I have struggled with “love” all my life. My “loving” mother foisted the word upon me and I grew up feeling ungrateful for my inability to return it in kind. Nonetheless, I used it to describe the crushes I had on my playmates until I truly “fell in love” my high school sweetheart. It was not to last. It was a time of “loveins” and “free love” and I was swept up in Berkeley’s counter-culture of lustful promiscuity.

I “loved” a great deal but I don’t know that I understood the word as more than desire. I tried not to use the word lightly
or in vain with those I coveted, but I thought I had “fallen in love” when I married my son’s mother, who was gorgeous, smart, and owned her own condominium. This “true love” lasted for twelve years in various permutations of infidelity until we both decided there was no longer any “love” there.

I proceeded to “fall madly in love” with a lovely young assistant director on location who seemed to love me back... until I got divorced.

Then she wasn’t so sure.

I began Jungian therapy, which led me to read Robert A. Johnson’s ‘We’’ also known as ‘The Psychology of Romantic Love.’ Johnson used the Myth of Tristan and Isolde to describe how we fall prey to the “tragic notion of romance.” I responded, having long subscribed to the theories of Frederich Engels’ ‘Dialectics of Nature;’ that monogamy was simply a concept men created to control women’s sexuality so they would be able to identify their heirs I wondered why so many marriages failed and why monogamy was so hard to maintain. Perhaps just because you desire someone didn’t necessarily mean you were meant to live together and raise children.

Love and Lust seemed entwined in a confusing way in my society.

I desired dozens... perhaps hundreds of women without feeling what I supposed love was meant to be.
And then, through a curious twist of fate and custody, my ex-wife remarried and moved overseas, leaving me alone to raise my son. I came to understand love in a whole new way. It was selfless, exciting, and it asked nothing back that I wasn’t prepared to give a hundredfold. I felt good giving this “love.” At the same time my father became ill, and as he approached death, I found myself consolidating my feelings into what I came to name as “Love.”

And then came Ruby, my daughter. It became abundantly clear that what I was experiencing was something far more authentic and powerful... and through loving both of my children, neither of who asked for anything from me, I became more and more aware of how I wanted to love.

I don’t know if I will ever have the unconditional freeness I’ve experienced with my kids or my dad, but perhaps now I can learn to truly love a woman for the first time. After all, I’m still growing. In recent years I’ve become closer and closer to my remaining childhood friends, truly appreciating and “loving” them. The other night we went around the dinner table each saying what we were grateful for, and I know I experienced something I was comfortable identifying as love, for the first time.

John Lennon’s words resonated for me in an entirely new way: “LOVE IS ALL THERE IS...”