The process of falling in love is deeply personal and often complex. Some people experience the instant attraction of love at first sight, while others may take weeks or months to develop an emotional attachment to the person they’re dating.
While there is no one-size-fits-all formula for finding love, psychologist Robert Sternberg’s triangular theory of love identifies intimacy, passion, and commitment as the three key components of this powerful emotion.
Understanding ourselves and knowing what we want out of life also plays a pivotal role in attaining happiness in a committed relationship. These seven inspiring books focus on the pursuit of love and serve as a reminder that love can appear in different ways and at different points in our lives.
By loving ourselves, remaining open to possibility, and nurturing our most important relationships, we can all find the love we desire.
“How to Not Die Alone” by Logan Ury
Great relationships are built, not discovered.
Despite the tongue-in-cheek title, How to Not Die Alone, written by Harvard-educated behavioral scientist Logan Ury, offers science-based insights on finding — or building — lasting love. Ury explains how the decisions we make impact our lives and how we can make choices that put us on the path to finding our ideal relationships.
Ury’s guide is filled with inspiring real-life anecdotes, original research, and data-driven advice, offering an encouraging, practical view of what it takes to achieve “happily ever after.”
“All About Love: New Visions” by bell hooks
The mutual practice of giving and receiving is an everyday ritual when we know true love … In the midst of such love we need never fear abandonment. This is the most precious gift true love offers — the experience of knowing we always belong.
In this work of creative nonfiction, notable social critic and author bell hooks offers a unique perspective on the concept of love.
Through an examination of the relationship between love and sexuality, as well as the intersection of the public and private spheres, hooks confronts the idea that romantic love is the most valuable connection we can experience. She contends that love, in all its many and varied forms, has the potential to bring about profound and lasting change in our lives.
“Why Him? Why Her?” by Helen Fisher
There will always be magic to love. But knowledge is power. If you know who you are, what you seek and how you and others love, you can capture that magic, find and keep real love, and make your dreams come true.
Helen Fisher is an expert on romantic love who believes the key to finding love and building a lasting relationship is to first know who we are. Fisher has identified four unique biologically based personality styles: the Explorer, Builder, Director, and Negotiator.
In this book, Fisher includes a detailed questionnaire to help readers determine which of the four they are and advises each personality type on how to find the right match for them. By understanding our own thought and behavioral processes, we can better know ourselves and precisely what we’re looking for in our love lives.
“The Choice for Love” by Barbara De Angelis
All you need to do to love is to feel the love that is already burning inside you, a fire whose spark cannot be extinguished no matter how many storms have tried to swallow its light.
In The Choice for Love, relationship expert Barbara De Angelis says we can “find” a relationship, but we can’t “find” love because it’s already inside us — we just need to learn how to connect with it. She explains that love isn’t just an emotion, but a conscious decision that can lead to personal growth and fulfilling relationships.
By letting go of fear and cultivating a deeper connection with ourselves, we can change our relationship to love and invite more love into all areas of our lives.
“How to Fall in Love With Anyone” by Mandy Len Catron
The abundance of how-we-met stories means we know a lot about falling in love — how it should feel and what we might say or do to influence its intensity and direction — but we don’t have many scripts for making that love last.
In 2015, Mandy Len Catron wrote an essay for The New York Times’ “Modern Love” column, titled “To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This.” In it, she documented her attempt to induce the feelings of romantic love on a first date by using 36 questions designed by psychologist Arthur Aron for that very purpose.
Catron’s essay went viral, inspiring her to further investigate what it means to fall in love and, perhaps more importantly, what it takes to make that love last. The result is a collection of thoughtful essays about falling in — and out — of love and how we can set aside the mythical tales of soulmates and meet-cutes to create a love story that’s uniquely our own.
“Love in the Time of Cholera” by Gabriel García Márquez
Always remember that the most important thing in a good marriage is not happiness, but stability.
Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel García Márquez’s timeless novel tells an unforgettable story of lifelong love. Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall in love at a young age, but fate conspires to keep them apart.
As the years pass, the pair are changed by time and circumstance, but their love for each other endures. García Márquez’s powerful storytelling captures the complexities, trials, and resilience of love over time.
“8 Rules of Love: How to Find It, Keep It, and Let It Go” by Jay Shetty
The way you perfect love is not by waiting to find or have it, but by creating it with everyone, all the time.
In this book, author and former monk Jay Shetty combines ancient wisdom and modern science to provide a framework for mastering the art of love. Shetty writes that by cultivating the necessary skills, we can learn to nurture and sustain love across all aspects of our lives and strengthen our bonds with others.
His guide is infused with practical insights regarding real-world situations, from the importance of self-love and the value of solitude to knowing when to let go and learning how to sidestep the pitfalls that can undermine our relationships.
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