There are many kinds of books on relationships out there to help people lead long-lasting marriages, couples, and lives. But out of the vast selection of them, some of the most impactful books to pick up are the ones about love and how to love.
As you know, 50% of marriages end in divorce—which is terrible—and I think it comes down to love. People don’t quite know what it means to love someone else properly.
So, to help, I’ve picked out some of the best books to help with understanding love on a deeper level than you can imagine.
The best kind of books on relationships I find are ones that have the following specifications to them:
- Backed by research – This is based on whether the author is a professional or someone who does a lot of research. A reliable book is one that has plenty of facts to back up claims.
- Clarity – Clarity not only in readability but also in the actionable advice that it gives. You don’t want to deal with too much jargon.
- Easy to read – You want a book to be engaging and entertaining to read. Information sticks better if the writing is amusing and can keep readers invested.
- Solvability – The book provides clear advice that solves some of the common relationship problems and struggles.
- Non-Cliche – It isn’t filled with typical cliches or theories that many people know about. The book should provide a new perspective on something familiar.
Now let’s dive in to the 10 essential books on relationships:
1. Difficult Conversations
One of the most frequent problems with couples is communication. To that extent, not having difficult conversations is also a problem. If couples want a relationship to last, they need to have those difficult conversations. But the reason most couples avoid those conversations is that they’re not sure what to do or are worried about these conversations hindering the relationship.
If you’re in that situation, I suggest you take a look at this book. While there are many books out there that teach you to be a great conversationalist, this book is a simplistic guide to help you navigate through every kind of difficult conversation or fight you may have—not just with couples, but with other people as well.
2. The 5 Love Languages
This is a top-tier relationship book that’s been on many lists before, and this won’t be the last. This book has a unique spin to what love is all about, and it helps you understand it in a profound manner.
According to the book, how we give and receive love can be divided into five parts. While we deliver love with these five “languages,” there are one or two of them that are more dominant than the other. This book helps you to identify your and your partner’s love languages to help communicate your love for one another better.
3. Mindful Relationship Habits
Relationships have ups and downs, of course, and there are several ways to handle them. Sometimes, it’s being able to have those conversations and smooth things over. Other times, you get unique solutions like developing mindful relationship habits with your partner.
The idea with the habits mentioned in these books is to help you communicate clearly, avoid arguments, and better understand each other in thoughtful ways. All in all, it addresses the small relationship issues that you and your partner have to deal with.
4. The Science of Happily Ever After
Growing up, the hope of relationships is to be able to live happily ever after—like what you’ve read in so many children’s books. This book is more of an adult expansion from that concept. But instead of filling you up with all kinds of hope with no rhyme or reason, the book is founded on science and hard facts.
The author, Dr. Ty Tashiro, translates years of research and analysis of how we look for a partner to live “happily ever after” with and simplifies it. Using real-life scenarios, this book paints a path to guide you to your other half.
This book still applies to couples as well since this provides unique perspectives on how one can find enduring love for one another.
Another science-based book, this one takes a different approach to the search for love. Instead, the research from this book talks about the “attachment theory.” The premise of the theory states why we need to be a relationship at all times and how we behave in those relationships as well.
The theory outlines three categories: anxious, avoidant, and secure. Written by a neuroscientist and a psychologist, you get a unique perspective in those fields and how it involves love. Overall, you’ll learn which of the three categories you fall into and how you can build your relationship around that.
6. First Comes Love, Then Comes Money
One particular struggle I want to highlight in relationships is money. Finances alone cause a lot of disruption for couples. The reason for this is that couples don’t talk about money until it is a problem and by that point, you have two people arguing about money with no real way to steer the conversation or manage it.
Since many people don’t know how to talk about money—let alone to their partner—this book provides great insight into how people think about money. The book also explains the different kinds of money personalities and how you’re meant to interact with one another based on that information.
7. Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus
This is an older book on relationships, but it still holds up to this very day. The overall thesis of this book revolves around the idea that Martians (men) and Venusians (women) are at their happiest in relationships when they accept the differences as positives. Even though this is a familiar concept, it addresses some of the main struggles and complications in relationships—understanding one another and working through problems.
On top of that, this was written by a former marriage counselor, so the book draws experience and insights from real-life couples.
8. The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work
With over a million copies sold, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work is a book that’s revolutionized the way we think and understand, repair, and improve marriages. John Gottman Ph.D. conducted an extensive study spanning a period of years and distilled the results into this book that author Nan Silver supported.
He narrowed his research down to habits that either build marriages up or tear them down. From those habits, he created the seven principles that help guide marriages down a path to long-lasting relationships.
9. Relationship Goals
Regardless of what stage you are in in your relationship, this book is a serious game-changer. Published in late April 2020, this book on relationships is based heavily on the viral, multi-million view sermon series on the topic of dating, sex, and marriage.
The book focuses on the author’s—Michael Todd—story of his own heartache and healing. He unpacks it with powerful truths and tells you directly how to win at relationships in every aspect of your life.
He’ll also go into detail about the common pitfalls you’ll find in relationships and give you advice on how to overcome them immediately. Even if you’re not an overly religious individual, the book provides profound knowledge and an interesting point of view to consider.
10. What Makes Love Last?
From the same authors as The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, comes another interesting book to look at: What Makes Love Last?
While the previously mentioned book focused on things that make or break marriages, this book dives into more profound matters of love. Based on John Gottman’s famous “Love Lab,” the book answers four core questions:
- Where does love come from?
- Why does some love last?
- Why does some fade?
- How can we keep it alive?
Overall, this book on relationships provides more information on why the principles work so well and further encouragement in practicing those principles. Furthermore, you’ll be able to identify signs, behaviors, and attitudes that suggest a crumbling relationship and learn strategies for fixing it even if it seems lost or broken.
There are many kinds of books on relationships that share advice, but these ones provide unique perspectives beyond the traditional methods you’ll find. I encourage you to pick up some of these books and read through them as they will change the way you think about love, your partner, and your relationship with them.