BOOKS : RELATIONSHIPS
FOR THOSE CONTEMPLATING A RELATIONSHIP:
Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How it Can Help You Find-and Keep-Love by Amir Levine- Gives an easy to follow explanation of the different attachment styles and how you can find and sustain love through better understanding your own attachment style as well as the people you are attracted to. Just.Read.It.
Getting the Love You Want by Harville Hendrix - A well-known book that helps you understand the unconscious processes at work in relationships. Kind of a mind-blower. (Also see Keeping the Love You Find).
Calling in 'The One' by Katherine Woodward Thomas - From the author who later became famous for "Conscious Uncoupling," this book is great for those who are drawn to unavailable people. My blog post here.
Wired for Dating by Stan Tatkin - How you become attracted to certain people, ways in which you move toward or away from them, and how the brain and nervous system play a part. (Also see Wired for Love).
FOR THOSE IN RELATIONSHIP:
Mating in Captivity by Esther Perel - No one writes about sex (especially sex in long term relationships) better than Esther Perel. And even better than reading her is listening to her. You can start with my blog post & her video here.
After the Honeymoon: How Conflict Can Improve Your Relationship by Dan Wile - This should be required reading. The #1 issue I see with couples is not talking about the small stuff and withdrawing from each other. This book helps you to express the subtext - what you and your partner are feeling but not saying - in every conversation.
Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships by Sue Johnson - By the pioneer of the very successful Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy. Dr. Johnson is pro-monogamy and her work is based on each partner’s attachment style (ex: anxious, avoidant, secure).
Facing Codependence and Facing Love Addiction by Pia Mellody. Fun reads! 😉 But, really, she's the expert on these two very important issues. You may be unaware of the ways these are sabotaging your life. Figuring that out can be pretty transformational. Blog post here.
Tell Me No Lies: How to Stop Lying to Your Partner – and Yourself – in the 4 Stages of Marriage by Ellyn Bader & Peter Pearson - How the small ways we lie to ourselves and our partners dismantle our relationships.
The Heart of Tantric Sex: A Unique Guide to Love and Sexual Fulfillment by Diana Richardson - Sexuality could be its own section, but this is the author I recommend for discovering, building, exploring, deepening your own sexuality and your erotic relationship with your partner. Mostly it involves slowing down and being less goal-oriented. (Also see Tantric Orgasm for Women and Tantric Sex for Men).
I feel like authors such as Sue Johnson (who argues that monogamy is our natural state), Stan Tatkin, Harville Hendrix come from an attachment-focus, meaning that they believe personal growth and development best occur within a relationship. You learn to love yourself by being in a relationship.
Whereas authors such as Esther Perel (who argues that monogamy is perhaps not our natural state), Katherine Woodward Thomas, Margaret Paul, Terry Real believe that it's important to learn to love yourself before being in a relationship and not look to a relationship to do that for you.
Try both approaches for yourself and see what feels right!