Whether you’ve already blasted through your summer reading list or you’re gathering titles for fall reads, I always find it grounding and refreshing to sprinkle in some non-fiction books alongside those page-turners – especially ones tackling some of life’s most important themes: relationships, love language and the technology trying to help us out with both.
And like most things in life, these themes have undergone universal upheaval throughout the past few years. Love, relationships and online dating look entirely different now than they did pre-2020, and because all of us have undergone intense personal changes as well, I say it’s about time to check in on ourselves and dive into some text on how to make sense of it all.
Here are five books I recommend to take a closer look at life’s most important relationships:
1. Attached by Amir Levine & Rachel Heller
If scientific research can reveal the inner workings of the universe, who’s to say it can’t reveal new findings about how our psyches function as well? A relatively new field of research, attachment theory has taken the psychology community by storm, and for good reason: it can help explain behavioral patterns in our pursuit of romantic relationships and ultimately lead to the discovery of sustainable love.
In this book, psychiatrist and neuroscientist Amir Levine and psychologist Rachel S. F. Heller team up to dive into the theories originally pioneered by psychologist John Bowlby in the 1950s, applying them to the modern dating scene. From page one, you are invited to reflect honestly on how you typically approach romantic connections and how you’ve learned to love as a result.
So which are you – anxious, avoidant or secure? How have these patterns served you in life? How have they held you back? Where do they come from?
With research, quizzes, case studies and more, you can learn the answers to these questions, new things about yourself, and a whole lot about how the brain works while falling in love.
Click here to buy Attached
2. The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
Thirty years ago, relationship counselor Gary D. Chapman forever changed how couples around the world would communicate with the release of The Five Love Languages. An iconic dive into different ways each person demonstrates love, The Five Love Languages is a must-read for anyone hoping to improve interpersonal communication.
If you haven’t checked out the original, I highly recommend it (there’s a reason it’s sold 10 million copies), but I specifically wanted to share the equally insightful Singles Edition. While the original is written for partners, this one helps singles unpack what was missing in previous relationships, how to better express and receive love, and how to gather the courage to properly express affection with others.
So, which love language is yours? Check this read out to see if you’re into words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, gift giving or acts of service. Whether you want to improve communication with family, coworkers, friends or partners, identifying your own love language and that of those around you can radically change the quality of your relationships, and maybe even increase the odds of finding romantic love.
3. I will make you click by James Preece
If the mere thought of opening a dating app conjures up an array of anxieties, you are far from alone. As the entire world adapts to digital life, dating has evolved online as well – and not always for the better. As easy as it is to download an app and swipe, those in the trenches of online dating know how much more complicated (and disheartening) it can really be.
Fellow UK dating expert James Preece wrote this book to help you wade through the muck of online dating and come out on the other side victorious. Like the apps themselves, there really is a formula to it all, and if you take the time to understand online dating techniques, you might just start to meet some of the most amazing people.
This killer how-to will tackle everything from the root of dating app failures to choosing the perfect site to designing a killer portfolio – he’ll even walk you through how to have interesting chats, how to plan perfect first dates and how to avoid unsafe situations.
Dating apps aren’t going anywhere, so check this one out to navigate the world of online dating in true confidence.
4. Have Him at Hello by Rachel Greenwald
There are a lot of people on the face of the earth, and you probably meet new ones every day. The meeting is the easy part, but the meeting again? That’s the hard part. How many times have you gone on a first date (which you thought went well), just to never rendezvous again?
Harvard MBA Rachel Greenwald was determined to crack the code on what makes men come back (or not come back) for more, and after 10 years of in-depth research interviewing over 1,000 single men, she compiled her findings into the downright fascinating Have Him at Hello. Instead of settling for bland explanations like “we had chemistry” or “we didn’t quite click,” Greenwald ruthlessly gets to the bottom of attraction amongst marriage-minded men.
The best part of the book? You don’t need to change a thing about yourself – only how you navigate that critical first meeting. The sooner you read “Top 5 Date Makers” and “Top 10 Date Breakers” in this book, the sooner you’ll be set up for magical success.
5. Make your Move by John Berger
It almost goes without saying the world has changed drastically in the last few decades, but one major thing that has yet to catch up? Dating. Yes, we have dating apps now to ease things along, but the missing ingredient is the reality that we’re all still playing by the rules of a bygone world; a world where men are expected to court women, women are expected to wait idly by to be chosen, and a woman coming on strong is a no-no.
Why are we still pretending like that outdated system is working? In a world where women can be anyone they want, and men can hide behind screens, it doesn’t make much sense for delightful young women to wait around for a Mr. right that’s likely too scared to make that first move.
Make Your Move is an encouraging, delightful book focused on helping women strategically and unapologetically pick their own partners. For a refreshing and hopeful take that’s sure to inspire confidence in proactive dating, you can’t miss this one.
If you need a little help finding love, Drawing Down the Moon is a London based dating agency with a team of dedicated matchmakers ready to help you find the person you are looking for.