Top 10 Books to Read About Love

Top 10 Books to Read About Love

Developing relationships is no different from learning a new skill. It requires time, effort, and care to nurture, but what can make or break a relationship is the understanding of love.

Do you possess the essential knowledge about the nature of love? Or do you have sufficient communication skills to express your feelings and thoughts without much hesitation? Don’t worry! Here are the top 10 books you must read to learn more about love to help secure a better relationship.

Table of contents: Top books to read about love

“The Art of Loving” by Erich Fromm

 

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“Love is an art, just as living is an art” – Erich Fromm

Regarded as one of the classic books about the nature of love, “The Art of Loving” explores the nature of love and provides guidance on developing a mature, selfless love that fosters healthy relationships.

Here are some of the core ideas about love from Fromm:

  • Love is not simply a feeling or a passive state, but an active art that requires knowledge, effort, and practice. Instead, loving someone is a skill to learn, and everyone can learn it.
  • Love is primarily about giving rather than receiving. It involves giving attention, care, understanding, and respect to the other person, fostering their growth and well-being.
  • To love others, we must first love ourselves. This means being self-aware, accepting and responsible for ourselves, and prioritizing our personal growth and happiness.
  • To love someone, we need to overcome self-centeredness and focus on personal gain, as these hinder genuine love. Love requires genuine concern and empathy for others.
  • Love is an ongoing commitment that demands effort, discipline, and continuous nurturing. Love involves active engagement, understanding, and the willingness to work through challenges and conflicts.

“The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman

While not a classic in the traditional sense, “The 5 Love Languages” has become a modern classic in the realm of relationships. It explores the 5 love languages and how understanding them can enhance communication and strengthen relationships.

What are the 5 love languages?

The 5 love languages include:

  • Words of Affirmation,
  • Acts of Service,
  • Receiving Gifts,
  • Quality Time, and
  • Physical Touch.

Remember, each person has a dominant love language through which they primarily perceive and feel loved. So, it is recommended to understand your partner’s love language and express love in a way that aligns with their needs.

Although the book mainly discusses romantic relationships, Chapman states that the idea of love languages can be applied to different types of relationships, such as friendships, family dynamics, and even relationships with coworkers. By understanding and communicating in each other’s love languages, all types of connections can be improved.

Filling the “Love Tank”

Chapman also introduces the concept of a “love tank” that needs to be filled regularly.

When we feel loved and appreciated in our primary love language, our love tank is full, leading to emotional well-being and stronger relationships. Conversely, when our love tank is empty, we may feel unloved and disconnected.

The love tank concept highlights the need for consistent and intentional efforts to fill our partner’s emotional needs and have ours met as well. Understanding and speaking our partner’s love language, as explained in the book, is essential for this. When we express love in a way that aligns with our partner’s primary love language, it effectively fulfills their emotional needs and makes them feel loved and appreciated.

What are the signs when our “Love Tank” is running low?

When our love tank is running low, we may experience signs of emotional disconnection or unmet needs in our relationships. Here are some common signs that our love tank may be running low:

  • Feeling unloved or unappreciated: We may feel a lack of love and appreciation from our partner.
  • Increased sensitivity to criticism or negativity: We become more sensitive to criticism or negative comments.
  • Emotional distance and disconnection: A low love tank can lead to emotional distance and less quality time together.
  • Resentment or frustration: Unmet emotional needs can cause resentment or frustration.
  • Decreased relationship satisfaction: Overall relationship satisfaction may decline.
  • Increased need for validation: We seek validation and reassurance from our partner.
  • Reduced effort in expressing love: It becomes challenging to consistently express love or engage in behaviors aligned with our partner’s love language.

“The Art of Communication” by Thich Nhat Hanh

“The Art of Communicating” is a book by Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist monk and peace activist. It provides insights into effective and compassionate communication. Here you can find the core ideas from the book:

  • Mindful communication: Thich Nhat Hanh emphasizes being present and attentive in communication, listening deeply, and responding with clarity and compassion.
  • Compassionate listening: The book highlights the importance of fully listening to others without judgment or interruption, showing empathy and understanding.
  • Loving speech: Thich Nhat Hanh encourages kind, honest, and clear communication, emphasizing the power of words to nurture understanding, heal conflicts, and foster harmonious relationships.
  • Nonviolent communication: The book explores honest and empathetic expression, understanding others’ needs and feelings, and finding mutually beneficial resolutions to conflicts.
  • Cultivating connection and understanding: “The Art of Communicating” emphasizes building connections and understanding through communication, promoting harmony, empathy, and mutual respect.

“The Art of Communicating” offers practical guidance on mindful and compassionate communication, promoting understanding, empathy, and harmonious relationships. It helps improve communication skills, create meaningful connections, and resolve conflicts with compassion and understanding.

“How to Be a Person in the World” by Heather Havrilesky

Are you having a tough time with a date who just won’t commit? Feeling a bit confused about why you keep making the wrong choices? Well, don’t worry, because Heather Havrilesky is here to help! Her collection of advice is filled with wisdom and guidance from someone who is truly beloved. So, sit back, relax, and let Heather guide you through it all!

Here are some of her core ideas from “How to Be a Person in the World”:

  • Embrace imperfections: In this delightful book, Havrilesky encourages readers to embrace their beautiful imperfections and complexities.
  • Prioritize inner fulfillment: With wisdom and warmth, the book highlights the importance of placing inner fulfillment at the top of our priority list above seeking external validation.
  • Cultivate self-compassion: Havrilesky lovingly advocates for the cultivation of self-compassion and self-care.
  • Navigate relationships with empathy: With heartfelt guidance, the book gracefully shows us how to navigate our relationships with empathy and deep understanding.
  • Embrace uncertainty and change: Havrilesky guides readers on a journey to embrace the beautiful uncertainties and transformative changes that life brings.

“The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work” by John M. Gottman and Nan Silver

Drawing on years of research, “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work” by John M. Gottman and Nan Silver presents 7 principles for building and maintaining a successful marriage or long-term relationship.

Here are the 7 principles discussed in the book:

  1. Enhancing love maps: Know and understand your partner deeply. Continually update your knowledge of each other’s inner worlds.
  2. Nurturing fondness and admiration: Nurture a positive view of your partner. Express fondness, appreciation, and admiration.
  3. Turning toward each other: Cultivate a strong emotional connection. Actively listen and respond with kindness and support.
  4. Accepting influence: Respect and compromise. Be open to your partner’s ideas and influence.
  5. Solving problems constructively: Effective problem-solving techniques. Approach conflicts with empathy and respect.
  6. Overcoming gridlock: Address long-standing issues. Explore underlying emotions and find resolution or acceptance.
  7. Creating shared meaning: Create shared goals, rituals, and a sense of purpose. Build a strong foundation of shared values and a shared vision for the future.

“The Course of Love” by Alain de Botton

In his book “The Course of Love,” de Botton delves into the depths of romantic relationships, offering profound observations on love, marriage, and long-term commitment. By following the journey of Rabih and Kirsten, de Botton masterfully captures the complexities of love, from the early stages of dating to the sacred bond of marriage.

Along the way, he skillfully explores communication breakdowns, conflicts, and the profound influence of our personal histories on our relationships. Through his unique blend of narrative storytelling and insightful commentary, de Botton encourages readers to pause and reflect on their own experiences while also challenging societal expectations surrounding love and partnerships.

“The Course of Love” provides a refreshing perspective on long-term love, inspiring empathy, patience, and purpose.

“Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence” by Esther Perel

In “Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence,” therapist Esther Perel challenges traditional views on love, sex, and desire in long-term relationships. With psychological expertise, cultural insights, and case studies, Perel explores the connection between intimacy and eroticism.

Perel discusses how seeking security and closeness can diminish passion. She examines societal expectations that hinder eroticism, offering a fresh perspective on desire in committed partnerships.

Perel addresses routine, familiarity, and the balance between love and lust. She argues that desire and emotional intimacy can coexist. She empowers readers to embrace contradictions and find aliveness within long-term commitment.

“Mating in Captivity” goes beyond the bedroom, exploring societal taboos, gender roles, and personal histories. Perel guides readers to understand their own desires and those of their partners.

The book challenges assumptions about love, sex, and intimacy in long-term relationships. Perel sparks a dialogue about the power of embracing erotic intelligence for passion and connection.

With heartfelt stories, insightful research, and Perel’s invaluable wisdom, “Mating in Captivity” presents a delightful roadmap for rediscovering passion in enduring relationships. It enriches our comprehension of love, intimacy, and sensuality in today’s fast-paced world.

Wired for Love: How Understanding Your Partner’s Brain and Attachment Style Can Help You Defuse Conflict and Build a Secure Relationship by Stan Tatkin

“What is my partner thinking?” is a common question in romantic relationships. Every person has different habits, needs, and reactions to conflict. Understanding your partner’s brain can improve your relationship.

This book, Wired for Love, presents ten principles to strengthen any relationship. Tatkin combines neuroscience, attachment theory, and research on emotion regulation to offer 10 guiding principles that can assist you in understanding how you and your partner are wired differently and how you can improve your communication.

Some tips include creating a safe “couple bubble,” using rituals to stay connected, and learning to fight without anyone losing. By using simple gestures and words, you can help your partner feel safe and secure. This book encourages a cooperative understanding of the relationship.

It is essential for couples and anyone interested in love and trust in relationships. Discovering how you and your partner are wired differently can create a lasting connection.

“Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love” by Dr. Sue Johnson

In “Hold Me Tight,” therapist Dr. Sue Johnson presents a transformative approach to nurturing intimate relationships. Drawing from her clinical experience and research, Dr. Johnson guides readers through 7 essential conversations that strengthen emotional bonds, heal past wounds, and build lasting love.

This book delves into the emotional needs and fears that hinder intimacy, exploring the impact of attachment bonds, childhood experiences, and emotional responsiveness on adult relationships. Dr. Johnson offers strategies to break through barriers and revitalize relationships.

What are the 7 conversations?

The 7 conversations outlined in “Hold Me Tight” are as follows:

  1. Recognizing negative patterns of interaction.
  2. Exploring sensitive emotional areas.
  3. Revisiting conflicts and difficult moments.
  4. Creating a safe and secure emotional bond.
  5. Healing past wounds and practicing forgiveness.
  6. Deepening intimacy and pleasure.
  7. Nurturing love over time.

“Love and Responsibility” by Karol Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II)

“Love and Responsibility” is a profound work by Karol Wojtyla, later known as Pope John Paul II. In this book, Wojtyla explores human love, relationships, sexuality, and morality.

With philosophical depth and moral insight, “Love and Responsibility” delves into the significance of love in human life. Wojtyla emphasizes personal responsibility and moral integrity in building authentic relationships.

The book examines the challenges of sexual desire, highlighting the importance of integrating physical and emotional aspects into committed love. Wojtyla explores chastity as a virtue that fosters respect, self-control, and unconditional love.

“Love and Responsibility” also addresses the connection between love and freedom. Wojtyla argues that love liberates individuals to become their true selves and grow in maturity. He sheds light on responsible decision-making in matters of the heart.

With philosophical rigor and compassionate wisdom, Wojtyla engages with modern society’s changing attitudes towards relationships, marriage, and sexuality. He invites readers to reflect on the significance of love in shaping identity and building a just society.

“Love and Responsibility” offers a profound understanding of love and valuable insights for navigating contemporary relationships with dignity and respect. Wojtyla’s eloquent prose and compassionate approach make this book essential for understanding love’s power.

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Frequently asked questions: Top 10 books to read about love

What is “The Art of Loving” by Erich Fromm about?

“The Art of Loving” explores the nature of love and provides guidance on developing a mature, selfless love that fosters healthy relationships.

What are the 5 love languages mentioned in “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman?

The 5 love languages are Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch.

How does “The Course of Love” by Alain de Botton approach romantic relationships?

The Course of Love” follows the journey of Rabih and Kirsten to capture the complexities of love, from dating to marriage. It explores communication breakdowns, conflicts, and the influence of personal histories on relationships.

What are the 7 principles discussed in “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work” by John M. Gottman and Nan Silver?

The 7 principles are: enhancing love maps; nurturing fondness and admiration; turning toward each other; accepting influence; solving problems constructively; overcoming gridlock; and creating shared meaning.

What is the main focus of “Hold Me Tight” by Dr. Sue Johnson?

”Hold Me Tight” presents 7 essential conversations to strengthen emotional bonds, heal past wounds, and build lasting love. It explores attachment bonds, childhood experiences, and emotional responsiveness in relationships. 

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