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Relationship Reads: The 6 Best Books to Improve Your Love Life

* Trusted classics and new releases available on paperback or for your device
* Improve your love life — and yourself
* Hitched, dating, or on Tinder, these books help make relationships more meaningful

If you’re in a relationship, married, or even living the single life, you know that maintaining a healthy love life can be a challenge. Regardless of whether you’re attached or swiping through dating apps to find the one, balancing work, a social life, and making time for matters of the heart can feel like a second job. These 6 books will help you gain new perspectives on love and relationships, regardless of your current status.

1. The Seven Principles for Making a Marriage Work

John Gottman’s best-seller aims to clarify some of the common myths about why marriages fail, offering alternatives ways to strengthen, repair and maintain a happy marriage. Gottman outlines his advice with a straightforward approach, delineated by seven core principles: enhancing love maps, nurturing fondness, turning towards each other, accepting influence, solving solvable problems, overcoming gridlock, and creating a shared meaning. It offers suggestions on how to make and break key habits in your marriage, providing new ways to solve problems and diffuse conflicts, whether related to sex or finances.

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2. The 5 Love Languages

Gary Chapman’s best seller, The 5 Love Languages explains how we can love better through his idea that everyone has one of five different ways that they show love: gift giving, touch, words of affirmation, acts of service, or quality time. According to his theory, each person has a primary and secondary “language.” Understanding which languages your partner unconsciously has can help you better understand one another and improve the way you communicate with one another, through more than just words.

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3. Get The Guy

Cosmopolitan columnist and Today show dating expert Matthew Hussey discusses how to overcome the challenges of finding a quality partner in the modern world. Rather than telling you what not to do, Hussey tells you what you can do to find the relationship you’re looking for. Hussey’s up-to-date advice is informed by contemporary culture and reflects the modes of communication we use today. For example, he offers suggestions for how to respond to certain texts and gives advice on how to establish sexual boundaries without coming off as uninterested or rude when you’re first seeing someone.


4. Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How You Can Find It

In Attached, Amir Levine and Rachel Heller tackle the task of improving relationships through a scientific lens. The book’s premise is largely based on the Theory of Attachment, positing that every individual has an attachment “style,” which can often predict how they behave in a relationship. These styles are rooted in biological facts rather than a sociological perspective, making it a refreshing outlier in the dating and relationship advice genre. Levine and Heller’s insightful book will help you better understand your own distinct style (anxious, avoidant, or secure), find compatible partners, or improve your current relationship.

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Image courtesy of Amazon


5. Modern Romance

Comedian Aziz Ansari teamed up with sociologist Eric Klineberg for this “research novel” about love and relationships in the digital age. The book examines the how love and technology interact, and how this interplay has shifted the way we date, fall in love, and think about relationships. Klineberg interviewed over a hundred people in different cities across the U.S. and even posted a Reddit forum to compile his data, asking questions like “Do you do research online before a first date?” and “Has anyone started an affair or cheated on someone through social media?”

Yes, Ansari has had a rough year, but don’t let that dissuade you from reading this #1 Bestseller. Modern Romance blends the genres of comedy and social science, making it a really compelling read that offers new ways of understanding culture of dating and love.

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6. Permanent Partners

Unfortunately, much of the current literature on dating and relationships is largely written for a gender-binary audience and heterosexual couples. Psychotherapist Betty Berzon is known for her work with LGBTQ community, and was involved in the removal of homosexuality’s classification as a mental illness from the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM in 1973. In Permanent Partners, Berzon offers advice for LGBTQ couples focusing on dealing with emotional, legal, and financial issues, and offers perspectives and strategies for finding and maintaining happy same-sex relationships.

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