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Best Relationship Books: 16 Best Books About Love, Lust and Partnership (2020)


Best Relationship Books

Looking for the best relationship books ever written? You’re in the right place!

I still remember walking into the kitchen, aged 14, and announcing to my mum that I was pretty sure that nobody would ever love me. I was disconsolate. No matter what she said, I knew the truth. I was destined to go through life alone.

Silly, right? 😅

And yet this moment of crushing insecurity was probably the least alone I’ve ever been.

Because we’ve all been there with 14-year-old Arthur, haven’t we?

We all know what it feels like to wonder if we’ll ever find what the whole world is looking for; if we’ll ever truly penetrate the secret machinations of love.

It’s a complicated subject. And it doesn’t help that we only have one word to describe a HUGE range and depth of attachments.

But the good news is, there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

Because if there’s one passion I never realised would so impact the way I think, feel and go about lust, love and relationships it’s been my life-long love-affair with books.

From fiction to nonfiction to poetry, from the sad to the wise to the scintillating there is almost no part of the wonderful world of love and partnership that hasn’t been beautifully captured in writing.

This reading list focusses on the best practical, nonfiction in that canon.

So here they are, the 16 best relationships books that everyone should read.

I hope you enjoy them, I hope they inspire you and (if you haven’t found them already) I hope the best friend and partner out there looking for you has the good fortune of finding you soon.

And until next time, be awesome, love yourself and go well. 🙌


(P.s., You might also like these book recommendations on the best books on emotional intelligence and the best books on communication.)

The 16 Best Relationship Books Ever Written

Why these best relationship books and not others? The best relationship books below are the top picks from my master database, ranked by a combination of Goodreads rating, the number of Goodreads reviews and first publication date. The goal is to give a good balance of what’s most loved, what’s most popular and what’s delivered timelessly relevant advice.

Where should you start? Treat this list of the best relationship books ever written like a menu. Start at the top, work your way down and begin with the first couple of titles that jump out at you. Remember, you can always come back for more later.

Think something’s missing? Leave a comment or email me and I’ll add it to the next round of updates. I honestly love hearing from you so please, do get in touch!

  1. The 5 Love Languages (1990), Gary Chapman
    The Secret to Love that Lasts
    209 pages. Rated 4.3 over 282,400 reviews on Goodreads.
  2. The Art of Loving (1956), Erich Fromm
    192 pages. Rated 4.0 over 49,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  3. The Mastery of Love (1999), Miguel Ruiz
    A Practical Guide to the Art of Relationship
    240 pages. Rated 4.3 over 34,900 reviews on Goodreads.
  4. Codependent No More (1986), Melody Beattie
    How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
    276 pages. Rated 4.2 over 26,200 reviews on Goodreads.
  5. The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work (1999), John M. Gottman
    A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert
    271 pages. Rated 4.2 over 16,200 reviews on Goodreads.
  6. Love and Respect (2004), Emerson Eggerichs
    The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs
    336 pages. Rated 4.2 over 43,500 reviews on Goodreads.
  7. Models (2011), Mark Manson
    Attract Women Through Honesty
    246 pages. Rated 4.4 over 9,400 reviews on Goodreads.
  8. Mating in Captivity (2006), Esther Perel
    Reconciling the Erotic and the Domestic
    272 pages. Rated 4.2 over 16,100 reviews on Goodreads.
  9. For Women Only (2004), Shaunti Feldhahn
    What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men
    224 pages. Rated 4.1 over 24,000 reviews on Goodreads.
  10. On Love (1993), Alain de Botton
    194 pages. Rated 4.0 over 20,500 reviews on Goodreads.
  11. Attached (2010), Amir Levine
    The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love
    304 pages. Rated 4.1 over 16,800 reviews on Goodreads.
  12. Come as You Are (2015), Emily Nagoski
    The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life
    400 pages. Rated 4.3 over 13,600 reviews on Goodreads.
  13. The State of Affairs (2017), Esther Perel
    Rethinking Infidelity
    352 pages. Rated 4.4 over 7,400 reviews on Goodreads.
  14. Getting the Love You Want (2005), Harville Hendrix
    A Guide for Couples
    336 pages. Rated 4.1 over 7,800 reviews on Goodreads.
  15. Hold Me Tight (2008), Sue Johnson
    Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love
    300 pages. Rated 4.1 over 7,400 reviews on Goodreads.
  16. Sex at Dawn (2010), Christopher Ryan
    The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality
    400 pages. Rated 4.0 over 22,400 reviews on Goodreads.

Frequently Asked Questions

The secret to picking the best book on dating for YOU is to understand what you want out of dating in the first place. If you’re looking for love, then check out books like Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages (#1) or Mark Manson’s Models (#7). If you’re more interested in the sexual side of dating, you might enjoy Esther Perel’s State of Affairs (#13) or Christopher Ryan’s Sex at Dawn (#16). For more suggestions, explore my full reading list.

The top marriage books on my reading list are John Gottman’s Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work (#5) and Emerson Eggerichs Love and Respect (#6). For more suggestions, explore my full reading list of the best books on relationships. You might also enjoy these book recommendations on the best books on emotional intelligence and the best books on communication.

By far my favourite book on love ever written is Erich Fromm’s The Art of Loving (#2). But if you want something super-practical then Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages (#1) is also excellent. For more suggestions, explore my full reading list.

The best relationship books on my reading list are Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages (#1), Erich Fromm’s The Art of Loving (#2) and Miguel Ruiz’s The Mastery of Love (#3). For more suggestions, explore my full reading list.

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Enjoyed these best relationship books? You might also like…

II. Best Books Of All Time

These are the overall best books to read (by type).

III. Best Nonfiction Books (A-Z)

These are the best nonfiction books to read (by topic).

IV. Best Fiction Books (A-Z)

These are the best fiction books to read (by genre).

Or, you can read all my book recommendations.
Arthur Worsley
Arthur Worsley
Arthur is a productivity coach and writer who helps top young execs and entrepreneurs be more productive, find more balance and live more meaningfully. Want to know more? Take this 2-minute quiz to discover your Productivity Quotient (PQ) and learn how to get BIG things done. Take the Quiz →

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