There are many reasons to seek guidance in your relationships. Relationship books can be a good starting point. Maybe you're in a new relationship and want to build on a great start, or you've been with your partner for 20 years and want to amp up the passion. If you're single, you can also find information to get ready for your next relationship. Learning more about how to love never hurts. These are 10 of the best relationship books that will help your love thrive.
Table of Comparison
1. How Can a Book Help My Relationship?
The key to all successful and healthy relationships is to love yourself before you try to love another. The best relationship books help to you love you. Reading about strategies, learning new skills, and asking yourself the tough questions will get you there.
You could also learn what you will or won't accept from others. As you learn more about yourself, your relationship with yourself will get stronger. Having a strong relationship with yourself strengthens your relationship with others.
2. What Topics Do the Best Relationship Books Cover?
The best relationship books cover the gamut of interpersonal skills. From acceptance to communication and setting healthy boundaries, you can find endless iterations of these topics. Some books focus on already strong relationships. Other books help you walk away from bad relationships. Others focus on one area of a relationship such as sex or money. Relationship books should offer practical advice for your relationship issues and give you concrete steps to resolve it.
3. I'm Not In a Relationship: Will These Books Help Me?
Yes. Your relationships, even past ones, are a reflection of how you feel about yourself. As we said earlier, relationship books are more about how you relate to people, not how people relate to you.
4. I Don't Have Time To Read?
Don't worry: many of the best relationship books on this list come in audio format.
How We Reviewed
There are thousands of relationship books out there. We chose our top 10 list based on several factors. Does the advice stand the test of time? The best advice usually does. We wanted to present a selection of books that represented all sides of a relationship; the good, the bad and the ugly.
Overall Price Range
These books are relatively inexpensive in paperback, on kindle, and as audiobooks.
What We Reviewed
- 1The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts
- 2Couple Skills: Making Your Relationship Work
- 3Deal Breakers: When to Work on a Relationship and When to Walk Away
- 4The Relationship Cure
- 5When the Past Is Present
- 6I Love You But I Don't Trust You
- 747 Little Love Boosters for a Happy Marriage
- 8Relationships: The Ultimate Guide to Better Relationships!
- 9Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay
- 10Love, Sex and Staying Warm
Best Relationship Books
Are you and your partner speaking the same language? Dr. Gary Chapman dives into what he calls the five love languages. They are: words of affirmation, receiving gifts, physical touch, acts of service, and quality time. Each person has one of these as a dominate love language. Are you an acts of service person and your partner is physical touch? Knowing each other's love language can transform your relationship. This one of the best relationship books for rekindling a connection.
Let's face it. Life can impede love. We say "I love you," but according to the 5 Love Languages, actions speak louder than words. The book will show you exactly what you and your partner need to feel loved. If your top love language is receiving gifts, but your partner ranks gifts last on his list, it could explain why you don't feel as connected.
Why We Love It
Chapman uses a questionnaire to help you rank and identify your top love language. He also gives real-life examples of how love languages affect communication between partners. This is a practical tool that is easy to use. It might surprise you what you discover. After reading this book, you'll know yourself better, understand what your partner needs and have strategies to really say I love you.
Loving someone takes work. If you want to work smarter, Couple Skills: Making Your Relationship Work is a must-read. It will help you hone your communication skills, de-escalate conflict, and give you effective coping strategies. The easy-to-read book is organized so each skill is its own chapter.
This second edition has an added skill. Acceptance and commitment therapy, or ACT, teaches you how to accept the feelings of your partner without judging them. The technique helps you identify what you and your partner value about the relationship. Then you can commit to act in ways that support your values.
Why We Love It
The skills in this book apply to most relationships, not just romantic ones. It's a good reminder that it takes skill to build and keep relationships. Many readers say it helped them even though they weren't in a relationship. A classic, Couple Skills: Making Your Relationship Work is the best relationship book for people who want a refresher course in relating to people.
Ok, so not every relationship is worth keeping. But how do you know? This book by Bethany Marshall will help you identify emotionally unhealthy men and why you keep picking them. If you feel you make the same relationship mistakes, this book will help you break your bad habits. In the book you'll learn what your deal breakers are and how to set boundaries. You'll be able to decide when to go and when to stay in the relationship.
Why We Love It
Emotionally unhealthy men come in many flavors; some are unavailable while others like play the blame game. This book helps you think of a relationship more objectively. Dr. Marshall likens a relationship to a business deal. If a term is non-negotiable and the other party fails to meet that term, deal over. This is the best relationship book for people who want to stop old patterns and an emotionally healthy partner.
The Relationship Cure, a New York Times best-seller by Dr. John M. Gottman, is an easy-to-follow-guide on how to have better relationships with everyone in your life. Who couldn't get along better with their mother-in-law or that one coworker? Gottman breaks down his cure in 5 steps. Gottman, a prolific writer and relationship expert, should be someone you become familiar with.
In the Relationship Cure, he outlines the elements of healthy relationships. He introduces us to a love currency that people use to create an emotional connection with someone. Gottman uses his 20 years of experience as a therapist and plenty of self-assessment tools to work relationship magic. It comes in an audiobook and ebook.
Why We Love It
The Relationship Cure is a classic, straightforward book that endures time. It's the favorite pair of blue jeans of relationship help books. This is the best relationship book for people who want to stop blaming other people and take a look at themselves. It's fun, eye-opening, and you will be glad you did.
Author and psychotherapist David Richo takes us down the rabbit hole of our past. If your past haunts your present or you find yourself always making the same destructive choices, there is hope. This book will free you from old hurts and appreciate them.
If you find yourself re-playing past pain in your current relationships, this is your book. Healing childhood hurts, letting go of baggage from past relationships, recognizing other peoples' baggage, and learning to stay in the present are all covered in When the Past is Present.
Why We Love It
We all do it: we project past events, people, and feelings on to the present. We can all break free from this thinking and truly live in the now. By understanding that living in the past is a universal compulsion to make sense of the world, we can work to not let it run our lives. Who wants to repeat their horrible childhood? This is the best relationship book for people who don't even realize the past is holding them back. It is available in audio and ebook formats.
Couples therapist Mira Kirshenbaum's book is all about trust. Trust is the foundation of a relationship and it can be eroded with many lies or obliterated with one huge betrayal. Yet trust can also be rebuilt. Kirshenbaum delves into the stages of trust and how they affect your relationship. If you're in a situation where trust has been broken, this book will give you the tools to restore it or release it. Either way you win. This book is available in audio, CD, and ebook formats.
Why We Love It
Betrayal and broken trust can ruin a relationship, but with this book it doesn't have to. If you're willing to work the process, that is. The book also empathizes the pain that comes with broken trust. This is the best relationship book for someone who has been betrayed but who is willing to salvage the relationship.
This light-hearted read (or listen) is packed with ways to show you care. Whether you are in the love-struck stage of a new relationship or you've loved each other for most of your lives, these "love boosters" are fun and free! They also take no time and can be done at home. Kiss them unexpectedly or empty the dishwasher; tell them how wonderful they are in a text. This lovely read would go hand-in-hand with the 5 Love Languages.
Why We Love It
Relationship books can tread on heavy subjects. This one is a light read and comes with a free audio version. The love boosters are things that are simple to do--hold hands, prepare a favorite meal, or leave them a love note. This is one of the best relationship books for people who want to boost their already good relationship.
It's time to clean out the relationship closet. This book can help you get rid of the old toxic ones and make room for healthy new ones. The book covers a little bit of everything such as how relationships stagnate, why are some relationships strong, and what to do to have good relationships that last. This is a good starting point for people who want to do a refresh. The book comes in ebook format.
Why We Love It
This is a broom for your relationships. Sweep the dysfunctional ones out the door. It's not a fancy book, but it gets the job done. This is one of the best relationship books for people who want to take stock of the people in their lives.
Psychotherapist Mira Kirshenbaum makes our list of best relationship books again with this classic. Aimed at couples who are trying to decide if they should to stay together, this book asks the tough questions.
Why We Love It
This book is all about choices meant to find your bottom line. What do you need to be happy? Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay guides you through the process with real steps you can take to turn your relationship around. It also forces you to come to terms if the relationship cannot be saved. It's one of the best relationship books if you need a nudge either way.
Neil Rosenthal, relationship expert, newspaper advice columnist, and marriage therapist, created this instruction manual to keep your relationship close. As life goes on, even the most solid relationships can get dinged, cracked, or chipped. This book shows you how to spot the little problems before they fracture the relationship. Are you sabotaging your relationship? Do you know your romantic intelligence? You will after reading this information-packed book. Love, Sex and Staying Warm: Creating a Vital Relationship is also in ebook format.
Why We Love It
This book gives you practical skills, such as how to handle criticism, without being too serious about it. It relies on techniques and strategies to teach you how to how to keep the connection. It's one of the best relationship books for people who want to create and keep intimacy in their relationships.
When it comes to love, it's not for us to decide what you need, so there's no winner here. We hope you saw a few titles that resonated with your situation. We recommend reading all of these great books it you can. They will help you strengthen the most important relationship of all -- the one with yourself.
Author: Esateys Stuchiner
Esateys (pronounced Ee sáh teez) is an International Life Transformational Speaker, Author, Master Facilitator, Life Coach and Expert in the Human condition. She is a Nationally and Board Certified Nurse Practitioner. For over 30 years, she has practiced, taught and lectured extensively in the allopathic and alternative medicine field.
Esateys is known for her groundbreaking work in the areas of personal empowerment and health restoration using mindset and inner connection as the catalyst for all change.
Esateys describes herself as the ‘Architect of the New You’ and has dedicated her life and professional career to helping her clients create “New Beginnings” by facilitating self empowerment, economic freedom and restored health.
For more information, go to esateys.com.