Dating & Relationship Books
We’ve made a zillion mistakes. Learned from some and learned zilch from others. But we’re learning. Some of those insights came from a few incredibly helpful (and non-cheesy) dating and relationship books. These books have given us valuable tools to finding and maintaining a healthy relationship. Here’s some of our favourites…
Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How it Can Help You Find – and Keep – Love
By Amir Levine & Rachel S. F. Heller
According to Wikipedia attatchment theory is the science of how “human beings respond within relationships when hurt, separated from loved ones, or perceiving a threat.”
Don’t be fooled into thinking that Attached is a book exclusively aimed at those in long term relationships. This is an incredibly helpful book for single people trying to learn some lessons from past relationships while preparing themselves for entering a new relationship with their head (at least partly) screwed on.
Attached breaks relationships down into three major attachment styles: anxious, avoidant and secure. Not sure which category you might fall under? Take this compatibility quiz set up by the authors to determine your own attachment style.
Your Brain on Love: The Neurobiology of Healthy Relationships
By: Stan Tatkin
Couples therapist and researcher Dr. Stan Tatkin delves into the worlds of attachment theory and neurobiology to help us improve our relationships.
Did you know that you’re technically insane during the honeymoon period of a relationship? Learning about the effects of falling in love on your brain can help you prepare for the inevitable blind spots (especially if you’re prone to making poor relationship choices).
Find out if your attachment style is more Island, Wave or Anchor… and how the impact it could have on your relationships. A wonderfully insightful, practical and eye-opening book that we highly recommend.
Tiny Beautiful Things
By Cheryl Strayed
Between 2010 and 2012 Cheryl Strayed was the anonymous agony-aunt at The Rumpus – known only to her readers as Sugar. People would write in questions about relationships, love, heartbreak, pain and struggle and were met with frank honesty, kindness and empathy and a beautiful way with words. Tiny Beautiful Things is a collection od some of the best letters and answers from Dear Sugar.
While this doesn’t neatly fall into the category of dating and relationship books there’s so much hard won wisdom on relationships here we couldn’t leave it out. The entire Dear Sugar column is still available at The Rumpus and a new podcast with Cheryl and Steve Almond revives the Dear Sugar format in a new and exciting format.
Hold Me Tight
By Sue Johnson
Losing that connection is at the root of just about every struggle and drama in our relationships. Hold Me Tight sets out to teach us some of the tools we can use to keep that connection alive and how to repair it when broken.
Dr Sue Johnson is a Psychologist, Researcher and Professor who developed Emotionally Focused Therapy which is based on attachment theory as it applies to our relationships. There’s so much excellent advice here on the soothing and comforting effects of touch and how it can help restore connection. A heartfelt and important book for couples and singles alike.
The Five Love Languages
By Gary Chapman
It’s hard to compile a list of relationship books without including Gary Champan’s ubiquitous bestseller The Five Love Languages.
There’s a reason The Five Love Languages keeps making those top 10 lists and topping relationship bestsellers – it works. Chapman’s simple insights into the ways we each like to receive and give love have helped countless couples communicate more effectively.
Wondering what the 5 Love Languages are and why it helps to know yours whether you’re single or in a relationship? Find out directly by taking the test on the book’s website.
Don’t let the simplicity (or occasional religious language) put you off – the principles here are hugely practical and insightful for understanding your relationships needs and those of your partner.
Celebrate Your Self
By Dorothy Corkille Briggs
What’s a 20 year old book about self esteem doing in a list of relationship books? Beside the fact that’s it’s one of the best books we’ve read in its genre it’s hard to think of a more essential factor for successful dating and relationships than genuinely liking who you are.
It’s a cliche but true that we can only love others as much as we love ourselves. Any relationship ultimately mirrors the relationship we have with ourselves. If you’ve been single a while and down on your confidence in what can at times be an unforgiving dating world this book’s a great place to start in strengthening your belief in yourself.
Celebrate Your Self is like listening to a wise friend (we wish we had in real life!) a friend who deeply believes in us and wants us to experience that for ourselves. Chapter 12 deals specifically with relationships, the pitfalls of attraction and the tools we’ll need to make for a healthy relationship.
This isn’t one of those books you just read then forget about – there’s lots of exercises and interaction required but you’ll reap the rewards of the time and energy you invest towards the most important relationship you’ll ever have.
We hope you enjoy discovering these relationship books as much as we have and wish you the very best in life and love whether online dating or sharing your life with someone special.