As much as you may love and trust your besties, chances are they're not going to have all the answers when it comes to romance. They can tell you that your ex sucks or that you shouldn't send that text, but some dating struggles — such as codependency, trauma recovery, and setting boundaries — are better left to the experts. If you're looking for books about dating and relationships that are actually relevant to your life, then I've got some recommendations you're sure to find useful, no matter your current relationship status.
Maybe you're single and dealing with dating fatigue. Perhaps you're recovering from a breakup and hoping to get back into the game. It's also possible you're already boo'd up but feel like your relationship could be stronger. Talking to a therapist about dating and relationships can help you get out of a rut, but self-help books about dating can offer plenty of wisdom as well (and they don't require an appointment or co-pay).
No one has all the answers when it comes to dating, but these wise relationship guides definitely have a lot of them. Anyone currently on the dating scene (or looking to get into the dating scene) should add these to their TBR list ASAP.
'Just Send the Text: An Expert's Guide to Letting Go of the Stress and Anxiety of Modern Dating' — Candice Jalili
Dating culture in the 2020s is a lot to handle, but luckily, Elite Daily senior sex and dating writer Candice Jalili is here to help. Her guide to modern dating will teach you how to navigate the complexities and pitfalls of social media, texting, hookups, and dating apps while attempting to find your person.
'How to Not Die Alone: The Surprising Science That Will Help You Find Love' — Logan Ury
Not sure why you can't seem to find love? Based on years of research, behavioral scientist and dating coach Logan Ury's practical (and LOL-worthy) dating guide allows you to discover and address the behaviors holding you back in your love life so that you stop standing in your own way.
'Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love' — Amir Levine & Rachel Heller
This groundbreaking book theorizes that the way you interacted with your parents or caregivers as a baby has a huge impact on the way you form relationships today. Psychiatrist and neuroscientist Dr. Amir Levine and Rachel Heller's revolutionary guide helps you determine your attachment style (as well as your partner or future partner's style) so that you can build stronger, longer-lasting relationships.
'Breakup Bootcamp: The Science of Rewiring Your Heart' — Amy Chan
Bouncing back from heartbreak isn't easy, but Renew Breakup Bootcamp creator Amy Chan's book provides tools for turning your most devastating breakup into a powerful tool for growth. If you can't seem to move on from that ex, then this is the guide for you.
'Ask a Queer Chick: A Guide to Sex, Love, and Life for Girls Who Dig Girls' — Lindsay King-Miller
Whether you're new to dating women or a veteran in the scene, advice columnist Lindsay King-Miller's hilarious book offers tips for queer readers looking to live their most authentic, informed, satisfying, and sexy lives.
'The Game of Desire: 5 Surprising Secrets to Dating with Dominance—And Getting What You Want' — Shan Boodram
Want to become a master dater in just 60 days? Certified sexologist and intimacy coach Shan Boodram how-to guide teaches you how to determine what you want out of both a partner and relationship, as well as how to proactively pursue those things.
'How to Date Men When You Hate Men' — Blythe Roberson
Yes, it's possible to be attracted to men while simultaneously thinking they suck. New Yorker writer and comedian Blythe Roberson's book is all about navigating heterosexual dating in the age of #MeToo, because good men do exist (if you know where to look).
'Unf*ck Your Intimacy: Using Science for Better Relationships, Sex, and Dating' — Faith G. Harper
Dr. Faith's handy and humorous guide delves into topics like kink, consent, shame, and trauma recovery, and whether you're healing from past wounds or currently struggling with intimacy issues, her book can help you heal.
'She's Just Not That Into You: The Fab Femme's Guide to Queer Love and Dating' — Aryka Randall
Written by The Fab Femme's Editor-in-Chief Aryka Randall, this candid guide for queer folks offers tough-love advice on a variety of topics, ranging from serial dating to open commitments to toxic relationships. Randall's not afraid to give you the reality check your friends won't give you.
'Love and . . .: Bad Boys, the One, and Other Fun Ways to Sabotage Your Relationship' — Jen Kim
If you haven't found "The One" yet, then science may have some answers for you. Journalist Jen Kim's self-help book focuses on the science and psychology behind the behavior and choices that lead to failed relationships, and don't worry — this book is definitely a judgment-free zone.
'Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself' — Nedra Glover Tawwab
Healthy boundaries are essential in healthy relationships — but do you know how to set them? Licensed counselor and relationship expert Nedra Glover Tawwab's guide offers advice for expressing your needs in relationships without apology, which can help you avoid codependency, power struggles, and other common issues.
'The Codependency Recovery Plan: A 5-Step Guide to Understand, Accept, and Break Free from the Codependent Cycle' — Krystal Mazzola
If you're looking to build a healthy, happy interdependent relationship and aren't sure where to start, then licensed marriage and family therapist Krystal Mazzola has your back. Her actionable book provides a five-step plan for breaking out of your codependency cycle so you can love and be loved without sacrifice.
Get ready to impress your friends with all your newfound wisdom after reading these books.