There isn’t one rule book, one magic potion, or one secret formula – having healthy relationships is something we all need a little help and support with from time to time. There seems to be a popular myth that true love conquers all or a spicy sex life can hold a relationship together, but in reality – it’s probably more like ‘healthy love leads to stronger partnerships with higher intimacy levels and less risk of co-dependency.
However, this doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.
For those who want to take a good look at a few resources to help them have healthier relationships, we have rounded up some of our firm faves to share.
We already did an amazing round-up on the best relationship podcasts. From words of wisdom from Cheryl Strayed to covering all the trials and taboos from Dan Savage, not to mention our fave relationship guru Esther Perel, check out this list of podcasts for having stronger, healthier relationships.
Back to Esther Perel, her book Mating in Captivity shines a light on unlocking erotic intelligence and brings into being how couples can strike that balance between domesticity and desire.
Another book or concept that people have been turning to for years is The Five Love Languages. This bestseller from Gary Chapman delves into the belief that most people express their love through one of the five channels of communication; words of affirmation, gift-giving, acts of service, touch, and quality time. Check out our introduction to the five love languages here.
The All or Nothing Marriage from Eli J Finkel is another firm favourite topping the lists of all the best marriage counsellors out there. Taking a historical look at marriage right back to the 15th century into modern-day, it's also full of practical tips and techniques that you can apply to your own real-life relationships.
Come as you Are from Emily Nagoski also takes an unflinching look at female desire by breaking down how women’s sexuality is said to work based on brain science and tons of research. Understanding our own and our partner's sexuality is, of course, a ground-breaking step in having healthier relationships.
Hollywood heartthrob or indie intimacy, the silver screen serves up a few lessons about how to have (and how not to have) healthy relationships. We already penned a piece on our favourite fictional couples which you can read here, but we are throwing down a few more.
Richard Linklater's trilogy; Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight explores what happens to love across fifteen years – from affair to marriage. Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy star in this conversation heavy heart-rendering film series that shines a light on the complexities of two people coming together.
We are also going to do a shout out to Pam and Jim from The Office. While later in the series they do have some issues regarding dreams, parenthood and long-distance living, they work together to overcome their problems in a positive yet fairy-tale free way.
The World Wide Web is also brimming with wonderful advice, thin-pieces, websites and tool-kits on how to have healthier relationships. We have listed a few to start you off underneath…
Taking a research-based approach to relationships, this website is jam-packed with articles, stories, and advice designed to reach the broadest spectrum of people and experiences possible. Workshops, therapist recommendations, and more make this a one-stop-shop for couples.
Another data heavy approach to love, life and dating – the Science of Relationships gives you a solid ground to build on your techniques.
What it says on the tin – an endless array of super helpful articles, advice, online courses, mini-guides and workbooks that cover everything from partnerships to emotional wellbeing, sex, intimacy and more.
What are your favourite relationship tools? Let’s build a list together so we can all enjoy cleaner, calmer levels of intimacy and support with our loved ones.