Reading is fundamental, not just for your education — but for your entire life. Relationships are always a hot topic, and there are numerous authors who have developed books around the subject. From the psychology of influence to the candid takes on relationships, here are coBlossom’s picks for a thriving relationship. The topics these books cover can be expanded and apply beyond romantic relationships — into friendship, family, and even professional life.
Connect: Building Exceptional Relationships with Family, Friends, and Colleagues
David Bradford & Carole Robin
Stanford Business School’s professors want everyone to have a really great relationship — MBA style! Based on the classic interpersonal dynamics course, colloquially named “Touchy Feely” by their students, this book will take your emotional intelligence to the next level. With chapters on the power of vulnerable sharing, owning your emotions, and using conflict productively — this book will teach you how to be a master of influence and connection. The writing truly stands out for its broad applicability across your home and work life. Connect is a truly amazing read if you aspire to be someone with an EQ that surpasses their IQ.
The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why it Matters
Everyone knows that date night is important. Sometimes, we forget that great dates require great intentionality. Priya Parker challenges us to define our reason for gathering, and to make the most out of every moment with loved ones. The premise of the book stands on our societal addiction to routine, and how spontaneity is the secret sauce to memorable moments and even great relationships. Throughout the book she teaches us how to gather with a spirit of positivity and celebration, using examples from conferences to flash mobs. The goal is to make readers better hosts and attendees, using our humanity to create the moments that truly define us and our relationships.
How Will You Measure Your Life?
Based on the speech to Harvard Business School graduates, Clayton Christensen’s book is a best seller that forces us to dig deep and look into ourselves. With topics covering career and life purpose, building fulfilling relationships, and integrity — this is a read that will transform how you view your relationship and life. Christensen forces the readers to consider their life’s impact above all else. As you grow within your relationship, you will be challenged to answer questions that are extremely profound. How does your relationship impact your life? Are you invested in your individual success above enriching the life of your partner? Reading this book with a partner can set the stage for deep conversation and greater vulnerability.
Eight Dates: Essential Conversations for a Lifetime of Love
Dr. John Gottman & Dr. Julie Schwartz
Struggling to come up with date ideas that actually move your relationship forward? Tired of talking about the same work and family topics at dinner? Dr. Gottman and Dr. Schwartz invites you to take a journey through their book. With a slew of fun activities, questions, and resources; they promise your relationship will transform in eight dates. If you want to feel the happy butterflies of a new love at any stage — this might be quite good to check out. It only takes eight dates to create a long and lasting love!
Happy Together: Using the Science of Positive Psychology to Build Love That Lasts
Dr. James O. Pawelski, Suzann Pileggi Pawelski, MAPP
These Penn professors want you to know that happiness and love are built over the long term. This husband and wife team of positive psychologists want you to know the secrets to a happy and healthy relationship. They believe that lasting love is built day by day, through the seeds we sow in our own lives. The book covers topics such as promoting healthy passion and choosing to see each others’ strengths. Their goal is to help couples grow happier as the time goes on, without feeling as if their partner has become distant or that they have “grown apart.”
If you ever want to curl up by the fireplace with a good book — choose one that will make you a better partner. Commit to showing up as a better person in your relationships. Change starts with seeking knowledge — and these books will keep your relationship acumen sharp!
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