Throwing my relationships away was a lot easier than fixing them. I didn’t know what I was doing so working things out was something I didn’t have the patience for. I didn’t want to sit down and talk when I was angry; I wanted us to go our separate ways. “Obviously we aren’t meant to be” is usually what I told myself to justify leaving. But now that I’m a little older and a lot wiser, I know that even people who were made for each other still have to make a daily, conscious decision to choose their relationship.
Once the length of my relationships started to become embarrassing, I decided that I wanted in on the code to a healthy, romantic, lasting love. “How do people stay put and work things out?” “How do I talk to my partner?” “How do I communicate my needs?” “How can I be more patient?” These are all questions that I used to ask myself in hopes that I would get the hang of the partnership thing. Sometimes I still get it wrong, but here’s four books that helped me get it right:
4 Books For Women Who Suck At Love
God Help the Child by Toni Morrison
About: “Spare and unsparing, God Help the Child – the first novel by Toni Morrison to be set in our current moment – weaves a tale about the way the sufferings of childhood can shape and misshape the life of the adult.”
God Help the Child was the first book to teach me about healing my inner child. The older you get, the more you’ll see your upbringing play out in your adult life. This book taught me about getting to the root of pain so that I can make better decisions in love.
Get it here for $0.99.
Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding
About: “Bridget Jones’s Diary is the devastatingly self-aware, laugh-out-loud account of a year in the life of a thirty-something Singleton on a permanent doomed quest for self-improvement. Caught between the joys of Singleton fun, and the fear of dying alone and being found three weeks later half eaten by an Alsatian; tortured by Smug Married friends asking, “How’s your love life?” with lascivious, yet patronizing leers, Bridget resolves to: reduce the circumference of each thigh by 1.5 inches, visit the gym three times a week not just to buy a sandwich, form a functional relationship with a responsible adult and learn to program the VCR. With a blend of flighty charm, existential gloom, and endearing self-deprecation, Bridget Jones’s Diary has touched a raw nerve with millions of readers the world round. Read it and laugh—before you cry, “Bridget Jones is me!”
Do you feel like you’re the only one who’s struggling with romance? The good news is that you’re not; Bridget Jones is just like you! This book invites you to laugh at her pain while you take a mental break from yours.
Get it here for free.
About: “Based on years of successful counseling of couples and individuals, Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus has helped millions of couples transform their relationships. Now viewed as a modern classic, this timeless book has helped men and women realize how different they can be in their communication styles, their emotional needs, and their modes of behavior, and offers the secrets of communicating without conflicts, allowing couples to give intimacy every chance to grow.”
John Gray changed my life. Literally. In my post, How to Find a Good Man if Your Dad Never Taught You, I talked about how he took my communication skills from amateur to expert. This book taught me how to communicate my needs in a way that my partner could understand. Women and men are from different planets; we don’t speak the same language! Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus breaks a relationship down in a way that minimizes feelings of being unheard or misunderstood.
Get it here for free.
About: “With a father she’s never met and a mother that blames her for his absence, Edmignon’s love life is proof that no one ever taught her how to love and be loved. With her 30th birthday around the corner, she’s eager to get to the root of her unhealthy attachments and build something she’s never seen or felt growing up. Along the way, she learns just how painful healing can be and that some habits – and people – are a lot harder than others to let go of.”
Similar to God Help the Child, Edmignon taught me the importance of exploring my childhood and its effect on my love life. Was the love that I’m looking for present when I was a child? Am I holding on to anything that’s hindering my ability to love and let love in? Did I feel validated growing up? All of these things matter when you’re trying to merge with another person. BLKGRL inspired me to start the deep and insightful conversations with not only other people, but myself as well.
Get it here for $12.99.
Thanks for reading.
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