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Books about relationships: with yourself and others

These are books I have enjoyed and recommend to clients wanting to work on their relationships with themselves and others. 

πŸ“š Your relationship with yourself is the longest and most important relationship of your life, but so often overlooked. Part memoir, part self-help, Glennon Doyle’s Untamed is  a beautiful  book that is both fierce and tender. As she says, stop pleasing and start living. It’s not easy making huge changes to your psychological programming, but it could be the most liberating gift you could possibly give yourself.

πŸ“š Attached by Levine and Heller uses attachment theory to explore common struggles in relationships. As the sub-title says… “Are you Anxious, Avoidant or Secure? How the science of adult attachment can help you find – and keep – love”. Understand yourself better and what might be getting in the way of how you relate to others.

 πŸ“š Eight Dates is full of insight, activities and conversation starters for those in committed relationships. Based on considerable research, this is a book for those wanting to explore what it is that helps relationships endure. 

πŸ“š Some relationships have a shelf-life and that is completely ok too. The idea that we meet one person, fall in love and stay together forever is lovely for some but should not be an expectation for all of us. Re-writing the Rules by Meg John Barker is a marvellous book that challenges many of the love and relationship ‘norms’ we grew up with. Written with self-exploration exercises, this is a lovely book to explore your own preconceptions about relationships and think through the kind of connections you have / want to have. If you like their approach, you could also download and work through these sex and relationship user guides.

πŸ“š Relationships are an important part of the fabric of life. As a species, we need relationships with others. This desire for love and connection is hard-wired into the functioning of our nervous system… But to be vulnerable, we need to feel safe. And being truly vulnerable with another can be the most terrifying thing we’ll ever do. Bit of a paradox!  Learning about how your nervous system works can really help. More than Words by John Howard is a great place to start for this.

πŸ“š Open Monogamy by Tammy Nelson is a practical guide for couples who wish to explore new directions in their relationships – to bring in excitement, variety, and fresh experiences without sacrificing trust, security, and respect.

πŸ“š Esther Perels’  Mating in Captivity is a classic relationships book. Amongst many things, the book  talks about the need for separateness in relationships in order to connect (we can’t connect when we are merged with another): “separateness is a precondition for connection: this is the essential paradox of intimacy and sex”.

πŸ“š If you like journalling and using a workbook, Start Where You Are by Meera Lee Patel is a gorgeous book bringing creativity and mindful activity to the practice of self love.

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If you would like some more suggestions, feel free to get in touch

Photo by Krista Mangulsone on Unsplash.