As some of you may know- we are both single and just dating, hence why we started our podcast- Just Dating!  But what you may not realize is that we have always had a deep interest in relationships and relationship dynamics. This natural curiosity has led us to not only start a podcast but it has led us to seek out as much education as we can-in  both formal and informal settings. In particular, during our college and grad school days we found ourselves much more hyper focused on those supplemental readings that discussed psychology behind whatever material we were learning. For one of us, Maddie, this led to graduate courses in couples therapy and family therapy, and while neither of us are professionals in this department we do, however, feel we can share the resources that we use and find most helpful to recommend to y’all. No matter if you are single, in a relationship or married- learning about relationships will always be of value because, well, we are social human beings and no matter if its platonic or romantic- we all have relationships and therefore we are all impacted by them. So without boring y’all and getting too geeked out on this topic that we love- we are sharing with y’all those particular resources that were must reads in our educational courses that were also the ones that were most interesting and informative that no matter your background or interest in the topic- you can be sure that these will peak your interest and give you some good food for thought!

The Three Books To Read On Relationships

  1. The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work by Dr. John Gottman and Nan Silver – Again, no matter your relationship status
    Image of the seven principles for making marriage work book by John m. gottman

    This may say for marriage but we feel that this is a must read regardless of your relationship status! Both of us read this while single and took so much from it to apply to dating and of course to learn for future relationships! 

    this is a must read if you want to better understand relationships and marriage and what makes a happy marriage/ couple. This helps you gain more insight into relationships. This book gives you so much information based on the research done by Dr. John Gottman who, if you haven’t heard of, is well known in couples therapy/ therapy world and started The Gottman Institute along with his wife Dr. Julie Gottman. They have both dedicated their work to studying couples and sharing the research and as a result of Dr. John Gottman’s work came this very informative, easy to read and insightful book. What I (Maddie here) found particularly interesting was learning about the four horseman and how fighting and its occurrence aren’t a predictor of unsuccessful marriages but rather how they are processed together and how the couple moves forward is the most important part to the couples functioning and well being. There is so much more that I could get into but I’ll stop there and just say that this is a must read for anyone looking to find a book on relationships and dating and that is why it’s our first on this list!

  2. The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman – While we won’t make assumptions, we will take a guess that some readers have heard of love languages before. If you are wanting to know more about the five love languages and why they matter in your relationship and how you communicate with your partner- check out this book! Additionally, there is a quiz that we think any individual can benefit from taking to learn more about how they experience, interpret and show love. It wasn’t until a few years back that the two of us found out about this and since discovering we have been made aware as to how even our friendships can be impacted by lack of understanding how we perceive or express love and vice-versa! If you don’t have tons of time to read definitely consider taking the quiz to at least gain a better understanding on relationships.
  3. Hold Me Tight by Dr. Sue Johnson –  This is the other key component to better understanding relationships as this book goes into detail on emotionally focused therapy as it pertains to couples and relationships! The author, Dr. Johnson has written a lot about attachment theory which is something that highly impacts our well being- those attachments we make as infants to our guardians and how they go on to impact our adult relationships is something that is very helpful to learn about yourself and your potential partner! 

What are some of the resources that you have found to be particularly helpful in understanding relationships?

If you enjoyed this list of the three books to read on dating and relationships- feel free to share it!  🙂 

For more on relationships- check out our dating and relationships posts here