The 5 Best Books On Cultivating Healthy Relationships

Sometimes I read a book and I’m like, “HOLY JEEBUS I AM TEN PAGES IN AND THIS THING HAS ALREADY CHANGED MY LIFE!”

The following five books are some of my favourites of those kinds of books.

Some of them primarily help you with your relationship to yourself (#’s 1, 2, and 3), and others primarily help you with your relationship to your partner (#’s 2, 4 & 5). Either way, they’re all fantastically written and each have their own unique, brilliant thoughts that I think the world needs to absorb more of.

Enjoy!

1. Deeper Dating: How To Drop The Games Of Seduction And Discover The Power Of Intimacy by Ken Page

This book is the least known of this list and I believe that that needs to change. There is some dense and elegant wisdom in this little book that you can read in a day or two.

The Big Idea:

The world tells you to get in shape, become rich, and improve your external circumstances in order to convince someone to love you… when in reality, the things about you that are already hiding in plain sight are the things that will lead you to a deeply nourishing, and emotionally fulfilling love life.

What You Will Get From It:

The realization that finding the right partner for you is a lot easier than you’ve been led to believe.

Highlights:

Ken Page’s “gift theory” is an elegant way of telling you that the things that have been most heavily shamed throughout your life are actually your unique “core gifts” and that these things about you are the keys to your long-lasting relationship fulfillment.

Why You Should Read It:

Because it’s well written, simple, and has some really easy to digest meta-level relationship concepts drilled down into a short and sweet workbook-style read. It takes you by the hand and it teaches you self-acceptance like only a talented and compassionate close friend would be able to do. I highly recommend this book to anyone, but especially people who are currently single.

You can check out Deeper Dating by clicking here.

2. The Mastery Of Love: A Practical Guide To The Art Of Relationship by Don Miguel Ruiz

One of the best overall primers on healthy relationships, written in a semi-hippy-ish way that reads as half poetic truisms and half no-bullshit advice on the healthiest possible relationship mindset you could have throughout your life.

The Big Idea:

Love yourself like crazy. Figure out what you want in a partner and only settle for that. All healthy relationships take genuine effort through action.

What You Will Get From It:

Depending on if you like the author’s tone or not (preview the book on Amazon before you buy it), you will either get a headache, or you’ll feel like god is beaming sun-rays through your spine.

Highlights:

The “Magical Kitchen” analogy is the stuff of legends and is worth the price of admission in itself.

The synopsis of which is this…

Imagine you had a magical kitchen that gave you any kind of food, from anywhere in the world, in any volume that you desired. If someone came to your door and offered you cold pizza, and all you had to let them do was control you, you’d laugh in their face… and likely feed them some of your amazing, abundant food. BUT… if you were starving and had no such magical kitchen, then this deal would seem appealing to you.

Ruiz argues that this is our reality of life. The magical kitchen is our heart. If we have abundant love for ourselves and others then no one will be able to manipulate us with their cold, unsatisfying pizza. So everything in life starts with us finding a genuine, wholeheartedly accepting love of ourselves. Even then, this summary doesn’t do it justice. Read the full passage, or just pick up the book and let Ruiz’s words wash over you.

Other quotes that I adore from the book…

“To master a relationship is therefore about action.”

“Happiness never comes from outside of us.”

“You have a limit to the amount of abuse you will accept, but no one in the whole world abuses you more than you abuse yourself. The limit of your self abuse is the limit that you tolerate from other people. If someone abuses you more than you abuse yourself, you will walk away, you run, you escape.”

Why You Should Read It:

Because there are simple and effective quotes scattered throughout the entire book that might just change your life. And the ones that I selected above might be mere foot notes compared to the others that resonate with you.

You can check out The Mastery Of Love by clicking here.

3. The Six Pillars Of Self Esteem by Nathaniel Branden

This is one of those books that, since I discovered it years ago, I have read and re-read every year. It’s the most dry in the way that it’s presented compared to the other four books in this list, but it’s so totally worth it.

The Big Idea:

Self-esteem is not something that you achieve, it is an ongoing practice. And your self-esteem is largely a byproduct of the self-generated action that you commit to in your life. Put simply, your self-esteem comes primarily from the things that you DO in your life, when those things are aligned with your desires.

What You Will Get From It:

This book essentially outlines a single technique (sentence completion exercises), presented in multiple different ways, that gives you the answer to every question you’re asking yourself either consciously or subconsciously.

Highlights:

I’ll let the book speak for itself on this one. Here are some of my favourite quotes from Six Pillars:

– “To trust one’s mind and to know that one is worthy of happiness is the essence of self-esteem.”

– “Of all the judgments we pass in life, none is as important as the one we pass on ourselves.”

– “Self-esteem has two interrelated components. One is a sense of basic confidence in the face of life’s challenges: self-efficacy. The other is a sense of being worthy of happiness: self-respect.”

– “No one is coming to save me; no one is coming to make life right for me; no one is coming to solve my problems. If I don’t do something, nothing is going to get better.”

Why You Should Read It:

You should read The Six Pillars Of Self Esteem because it is the ultimate filter through which to screen your life. It will give you direction, clarity, and every answer you’re looking for if you commit to doing the exercises that are contained within the book.

(Side note: this is the only book in this list that stood the test of time from the list that I put out last year.)

(Second side note: in case you haven’t read the book, the six pillars of self-esteem are living consciously, self-acceptance, self-responsibility, self-assertiveness, living purposefully, and personal integrity. But, as with most books, this abbreviated summary won’t mean much unless you go read the book – which I strongly recommend you do.)

You can check out The Six Pillars Of Self Esteem by clicking here.

4. The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work by John Gottman and Nan Silver

A classic book on making marriage work from the grandfather of the relationship industry.

The Big Idea:

The most highly successful couples have an overarching pattern of their positive sentiments for their partner overriding and outnumbering their negative sentiments. More praise, less criticism.

What You Will Get From It:

A scientifically validated approach to strengthening any intimate relationship you engage in for the rest of your life.

Highlights:

– The concept of “The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse” (criticism, contempt, stonewalling, and defensiveness)

– How to nurture fondness and admiration for your partner

– Successful marriages don’t depend on creative conflict resolution… they thrive when you nurture the positive romance and connection

Why You Should Read It:

Because Gottman basically invented the relationship industry, and he’s a genius. The insights in this book are worth ten times what you’ll pay for the book.

You can check out The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work by clicking here.

5. Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations For A Lifetime Of Love by Dr. Sue Johnson

This book is a practical guide on how to use one of the most well-received therapeutic modalities (EFT aka emotionally focused therapy) of our time.

The Big Idea:

Most emotions that are felt and are expressed between couples (especially during times of conflict) are secondary emotions. The primary emotions are the ones that need to be accessed, communicated, and received by your partner. By getting to a place of “here’s the real, deep, scary emotion that I’m actually feeling underneath everything” and having the courage to communicate your feelings you can transform your relationship overnight.

What You Will Get From It:

You will gain greater awareness of yourself and your partner by reading it, and you’ll gain courage and relationship harmony by taking action on the steps outlined throughout the book.

You will also begin to understand your core-level emotions from an entirely new, and less judgmental or resistance-based vantage point.

Highlights:

– The two, insanely simple questions that will shift how you access your emotions and relationship needs for all time

– The realization that the safety of you and your partner’s emotional connection defines your relationship in bed

– A solid framework for healing any past emotional pains/arguments/transgressions in your intimate relationship

Why You Should Read It:

Because it’s simply amazing. And it’s been a long-time best seller for a reason.

You can check out Hold Me Tight by clicking here.

The Best Books For Cultivating Healthy Relationships

Five books might be an overwhelming place to start, but simply scroll through the books, preview them on Amazon, and check out whichever one you find the most appealing. I believe that books come to us exactly when they’re meant to, so listen to your gut on which one to check out first.

Happy reading!

Dedicated to your success,

Jordan

Ps. Want to check out the seven books that I recommended last year? You can check that out here.

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