7 Books To Change Your Love Life
Books that helped me learn to love and date better.
“Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence.”
― Erich Fromm
That’s my favorite line from The Art Of Loving; one of the many books I’ve read on matters of the heart.
Love makes life worth living; it’s what connects us in a modern world that can feel isolating.
But love also doesn’t come easily for everyone. It’s confusing and messy and vulnerable and ridden with pains from our past. Two unique individuals coming together and letting their guard down is uncharted territory for many, so it makes sense that maybe you need a little help in this part of your life.
Throughout my years of heartaches and woes, I noticed patterns I kept making when choosing who to give my heart to. Relationships started and ended in the same way; I felt similar pains, over and over.
So when I took a year off from dating to really focus on myself, I did two important things:
- I discovered that I love to read; everything from memoirs to thrillers.
- I realized that all the pains I felt when it came to love were already written.
I read through various books on romantic love and human communication. Everything from why people seek similar romantic interests to how to honoring one’s values throughout dating.
And the words I read changed my love life significantly.
These books helped me understand the convoluted world of modern romance while simultaneously making me consider the hard questions.
So if you want to change your love life for the best, I recommend you check out these books:
“Attached” by Amir Levine and Rachel S. F. Heller
I talk about attachment theory all the time in my articles. Reading Attached by Amir Levine and Rachel S. F. Heller helped me understand why I get so anxious in relationships and put a world to that feeling: anxious attachment.
Attached made me aware of how I seek avoidant men and how our personalities always clashed horribly. If there is one book I’d recommend to help guide you in the dating process, I’d suggest this one.
“The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman
If you haven’t heard of love languages, I’d dare to say you’re living under a rock. People have been talking about The Five Love Languages because their theory of love drastically changes the lives of couples.
As the book says, “Falling in love is easy. Staying in love — that’s the challenge.”
The book suggests that the way to being a better partner is by learning their love language. The theory says people give and receive love in five different ways: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch.
Understanding both how you give and receive love, communicating this to your partner, and understanding theirs can alter your relationship in the best ways.
“Modern Romance” by Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg
Modern dating is crazy. I’m a millennial, and I still don’t totally understand it.
But Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari helps make sense of it all. Along with sociologist Eric Klinenberg, Ansari interviewed people from all backgrounds and parts of the world to help make sense of how modern dating functions.
Modern Romance covers everything from ghosting to the new “emerging adulthood” to why it is people want to text so much on dating apps. Plus, the added humor of Ansari makes you keep turning the pages.
While the book pinpoints the pitfalls of dating in our modern world, it also offers hope. If you want to understand why dating works the way it does today, you can’t go wrong with Modern Romance.
“Eight Dates” by John Gottman and Julie Schwartz Gottman
Eight Dates is written by researchers John Gottman and Julie Schwartz Gottman, researchers and clinicians studying relationships.
I’ve followed their research facility, Gottman Institute, for some time now. When they came out with their latest book, Eight Dates, I was more than intrigued.
The book outlines eight dates to go on with your partner, each pertaining to a theme you both talk about. It doesn’t matter if you recently started dating or have been together for ten years; the book is meant to be a fun way to gain a deeper understanding of your partner or see if you’d make a great match long-term.
I’m currently working through the book with my boyfriend, and we’re both a fan. The activities are insightful and intimate. With so many cookie-cutter relationship quizzes out there, Eight Dates is a breath of fresh air.
“The Art Of Loving” by Erich Fromm
Erich Fromm is a psychoanalyst and philosopher who wrote The Art of Loving in 1956. You may be thinking, hold up, that’s so long ago. But hear me out.
Fromm is a philosopher that took on the task of understanding a human experience that can unite or isolate us all: love.
Instead of breaking love down into specific theories, he views love as a whole, not just the romantic kind, but the art of giving love to everyone, rather than focusing so intently on receiving.
Everyone has the opportunity to love on a level of self-awareness and courage. With The Art Of Loving, Fromm makes this a possibility for his readers.
“How To Fall In Love With Anyone” by Mandy Lee Catron
This collection of essays, based off the wildly popular essay from The New York Times, will slap you in the face with a dose of reality.
In How To Fall In Love With Anyone, author Mandy Lee Catron unravels her own 10-year relationship along with her parent’s 28-year one. Through dissecting how things went wrong, she dismisses the notions of love told in fairytales and media.
Catron asks you to question the love you’ve known up until now; the scripts you’ve been given and all too often blindly follow.
Her personal anecdotes are ones that any person can resonate with and learn from.
How To Be Single and Happy by Jennifer Taitz
I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, your happiness is your own! And How To Be Single and Happy runs with this underlying theme into the world of modern dating.
If you’re sick and tired of feeling hurt and hopeless in your search for a “soulmate,” give this book a try.
Your happiness starts with yourself, and once you’ve created that confidence, you’re able to move forward authentically. Author Jennifer Taitz explains how you don’t need a partner to finally be happy.
Taitz discusses how taking a deeper look into your issues can help you realize what’s holding you back in love. But more importantly, she helps her readers create a life that feels fulfilling even while they’re still single.
How To Be Single and Happy is great for single people, obviously, but can also do wonders for people in relationships. After all, you show up as the best partner you can be by taking care of your happiness first.
Love doesn’t have to be scary or hopeless. In fact, limiting yourself to such a diluted view of one of the miracles of human existence further proves you just need to crack open some of these books.
Because all of us can learn a little more about the thing called love.
And doing so will change your love life forever.