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20 Relationship Books That Will Help You Be a Better Partner and Friend

books about open relationships

By Anna Borges

20 Relationship Books That Will Help You Be a Better Partner and Friend

I don’t know about you but I spent a lot of my life assuming that relationships were something you only learned about through experience and a whole lot of trial and error. They didn’t seem like anything you could study up on. Turns out, I was totally wrong. The ability to be a good partner and friend isn’t something you were born with—it’s a learned skill, and one we could all stand to brush up on from time to time. After all, so many factors impact how we function in relationships, from past baggage to personal communication styles, and the more you understand, the better equipped you are to truly connect with and show up for others.

There are many different ways to dive into your ~relational education~. Relationship books are one avenue, including books written by relationship experts like couples therapists, counselors , and psychologists. Below, find some relationship books that people (including myself) have just found really helpful for learning more about ourselves, how we relate to others, and how we can improve as partners and friends.

All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Attached by Amir Levine, M.D., and Rachel Heller, M.A.

Attachment theory basically posits that we all have a distinct attachment style that impacts how we behave in relationships: anxious attachment, where you have a difficult time feeling secure in a relationship and your partner’s feelings for you; avoidant attachment, where you often push people away to protect yourself and your independence; and secure attachment, where you feel comfortable with intimacy and have an easy time connecting with others. Attached can help you determine your attachment style—and consequently where your relationship struggles might come from—and shares tips on how to deal.

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All About Love by bell hooks

I’m not saying bell hooks’s insights about love might change your life, but I’m also not not saying that. She writes, “The word ‘love’ is most often defined as a noun...yet we would all love better if we used it as a verb,” underscoring her main argument that society fails to provide us a model for learning to love. She pushes back against the societal emphasis on romantic and sexual love and instead challenges readers to heal from cynicism and embrace love as an act of caring, compassion, and strength that can improve all sectors of our lives.

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The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John M. Gottman, Ph.D.

If you haven’t heard of him, psychologist John Gottman is one of the foremost experts in marriage . He’s written or cowritten over 200 published academic articles and more than 40 books and, together with his wife, Julie Gottman, co-designed the national clinical training program in Gottman Method Couples Therapy, an approach studied by many couples therapists. Which is all to say that he’s kind of a big deal and his work is worth reading. The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work is perhaps one of his best-known books and something of a culmination of his research. Despite the title, many readers find it to be a helpful blueprint for all kinds of committed relationships, not just marriage.

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Not Nice by Aziz Gazipura, M.D.

The full title of this book is Not Nice: Stop People Pleasing, Staying Silent, & Feeling Guilty and Start Speaking Up, Saying No, Asking Boldly, and Unapologetically Being Yourself , which is kind of a mouthful but pretty much sums up why it’s so helpful. After all, when you don’t feel empowered to speak freely in your relationships, it’s difficult to make authentic connections. Not Nice has actionable tips for leaving behind people-pleasing tendencies and insecurities.

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Fed Up: Emotional Labor, Women, and the Way Forward by Gemma Hartley

You might be familiar with the author’s viral article “Women Aren't Nags—We're Just Fed Up,” which dives into the concept of invisible, emotional labor. This book delves further into the concept, as well as offers guidance on how to navigate uneven balances of emotional labor in relationships—which may in turn help you better communicate relationship challenges.

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Big Friendship by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman

From the hosts of the hit podcast Call Your Girlfriend, Big Friendship explores all the ways friendships are formed, challenged, and maintained—and calls on readers to put the time and energy into preserving the bonds of friendship the same way we would, say, a committed romantic partner. It’s not a how-to book by any means, but through the authors’ own experiences, as well as interviews with friends and experts, there’s a lot to learn.

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Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

This collection of The Rumpus's Dear Sugar advice column by Strayed might not be your typical relationship book , but Strayed’s insights into readers’ problems are rife with life lessons that will make you want to do better across the board, including in your relationships.

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The Enneagram in Love by Stephanie Barron Hall

Any other Enneagram fans in the house? As a personality quiz enthusiast, I always like using personality archetypes like Enneagram and Myers-Briggs (Type 4 and INFJ, here!) as blueprints for self-improvement . If you connect with your Enneagram type, The Enneagram in Love might just feel like relationship advice tailored specifically to you.

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Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents by Lindsay C. Gibson, Psy.D.

Many people don’t begin to realize the impact their upbringing had on them until far later in life, and even then it can be a slow and muddy journey. So many people I know—myself included!—found this book low-key life-changing for how it articulated common manifestations of lingering feelings of anger, loneliness , betrayal, or abandonment (just read this passage from a recent viral-ish tweet). At its heart, this book is about understanding your unhealthy and damaging childhood relationships in order to better create positive new relationships now.

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How to Be an Adult in Relationships by David Richo

An oldie but goodie, How to Be an Adult in Relationships uses mindfulness as a lens through which to approach relationships. Richo’s vision of “mindful loving” is all about how to be a better, more loving partner through five core concepts: attention, acceptance, appreciation, affection, and allowing.

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Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown

You might know Brown from her viral TED Talk, “The Power of Vulnerability.” If you do, you know that her wisdom around vulnerability goes hand-in-hand with authentic relationships. Daring Greatly is about all that and more, and I recommend it to anyone whose fear of getting hurt, facing rejection, or looking less-than-perfect has stood in the way of forming meaningful bonds.

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Remember that popular New York Times essay, "To Fall in Love with Anyone, Do This" ? You know, the one that explored that study where participants answered a series of 36 intimate personal questions while maintaining eye contact. Well, the author of that essay used it as a jumping-off point for this memoir, wherein she explores love and intimacy through a mix of science and personal experience. It may be mostly cultural criticism but any romantic (or cynic) will walk away with a few lessons learned.

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Loving Bravely by Alexandra H. Solomon Ph.D.

Unlike many relationship self-help books out there, Loving Bravely focuses almost entirely on you: your personal history, your relational patterns, your strengths and weaknesses, and everything else that contributes to how you function in a relationship. It guides you through the necessary internal work needed to become more self-aware—which not only helps you be a better partner to others but also a more compassionate advocate for yourself.

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Pleasure Activism by Adrienne Maree Brown

Although it’s so much more than simply a book about connection and relationships, Pleasure Activism is required reading for anyone who wants to make a difference in the lives of others. Through her insights on making social justice sustainable through pleasure, Brown also teaches readers how to follow the fundamental advice of Put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others . This beautiful book might just leave you feeling better equipped to nourish all your connections, no matter what type of relationship it is.

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Say What You Mean: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication by Oren Jay Sofer

Say What You Mean is just as much about how to listen as it is about how to communicate. Sofer uses mindfulness and principles from nonviolent communication to teach readers how to develop healthy and satisfying communication styles—a necessary skill for any relationship.

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How to Be a Person in the World by Heather Havrilesky

If you’re a fan of The Cut’s Dear Polly , you already know that Havrilesky has a knack for helping others traverse the messy territory of human relationships. How to Be a Person in the World is a collection of all-new Q&As not found online (although there are a few of the column’s greatest hits in there).

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Tongue Tied: Untangling Communication in Sex, Kink, and Relationships by Stella Harris

Whether you’re having sex within a committed partnership or not, communication is key. Sex educator and coach Harris offers straightforward advice for asking for what you want (and figuring it out if you don’t know), as well as tips for navigating shame, insecurity, and awkwardness. Because, hey, even if you want to be a sex-positive communicator, it’s not always the easiest thing in the world.

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The Art of Showing Up by Rachel Wilkerson Miller

Adult friendships come with all sorts of tricky challenges, from creating boundaries to asking for what we need, and this guide has relatable advice for it all. Broken up into two parts—showing up for yourself and showing up for others— The Art of Showing Up reminds us that unless we’re taking care of ourselves, we can’t be very good at taking care of our loved ones.

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How to Be Single and Happy by Jenny Taitz, Psy.D.

Just as important as any relationship is how we practice self-compassion and self-love when we’re single (and don’t want to be). Drawing on her expertise as a clinical psychologist, Taitz mixes practical dating and relationship tips with a ton of myth-busting and compassion. If you’ve ever beat yourself up for being single, How to Be Single and Happy is like your savviest friend who talks you out of your spiral.

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Frientimacy: How to Deepen Friendships for Lifelong Health and Happiness by Shasta Nelson

It’s not easy to foster deep, supportive friendships that last, especially not in an increasingly lonely and disconnected society that’s wearing down a lot of us. Nelson shares advice on how to make it happen, rooted in the belief that friendships require dedication, commitment, and a whole lot of vulnerability.

books about open relationships

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The 10 Best Relationship Books of 2022, According to an Expert

Connect with others and yourself

Mary K. Tatum is a licensed mental health counselor and psychotherapist and has worked in the field of psychology for over 15 years, with seven years in the private practice setting.

books about open relationships

Rachel Goldman, PhD FTOS, is a licensed psychologist, clinical assistant professor, speaker, wellness expert specializing in eating behaviors, stress management, and health behavior change.

books about open relationships

  • What to Look For

Why Trust Verywell Mind?

Relationship skills and social skills are referred to as “skills” for a reason—they require learning, practice, and refinement. Limited engagement is leaving many of us feeling out of practice with these skills, and disconnection is leading to emotions filled with fear, stress, anxiety, and depression.

Relationships require knowledge of oneself in addition to knowledge of other people. With enough reflection, introspection, and focus on your own emotions, you can begin to strengthen romantic relationships, family relationships, friendships, and even work relationships. “A healthy relationship allows the ability to balance being a strong individual with deep intimacy,” says psychotherapist and relationship expert Dr. Jamie Brodarick .

Here are the best relationship books on the market, according to a licensed mental health counselor.

The Seven Principle for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman, Phd and Nan Silver

Research-backed

Written by expert

Easy to follow

Requires multi-person involvement

With over 50 years of research under his belt, author Dr. John Gottman is the most accredited researcher of relationships in modern-day history. His studies include long-term marriages and relationships, and his book simplifies seven relationship principles you can easily apply to your life.

Dr. Gottman describes the reasoning behind failed marriage therapy strategies and how to avoid them. He also dives into daily connection rituals that prevent couples from drifting apart. Most divorces occur when couples recognize problems too far into their relationship—Dr. Gottman offers advice to reconnect with your spouse, taking into consideration the challenges of modern-day life.

Price at time of publication: $17

4 Essential Keys to Effective Communication in Love, Life, Work—Anywhere by

Good for a variety of communication issues

Good for all relationships

Ideal for busy people

Only skims deep issues

Introduction material only

In this day and age, we could all use a refresher in terms of basic communication skills . This award-winning book —filled with how-to guides, writing prompts, and exercise challenges—is a great place to start. Written with all kinds of relationships in mind, including family, dating, friendships, and even work relationships , it's designed to help you improve empathy, listening skills, and communication skills.

The book merges a guide with a workbook that makes it ideal for couples, classes, or book clubs. It also has a lot of useful tips and relationship strategies that are easy to follow.

Price at time of publication: $12

Listen, Learn, Love by Susie Miller

Simple concepts

Easy to read and humorous

30-day progress tracker

Broad subjects

Written as a 30-day challenge with a focus on understanding individuals, author Susie Miller uses the simple disciplines of listening and learning to increase the ability to love. People may lean on the idea of compatibility to get them through relationship challenges, but Miller says that there is a lot of learning required to maintain a connection with kids, spouses, parents, and friends.

Focusing on empathy, she teaches relationship concepts that are designed to help us love those closest to us more deeply.

Price at time of publication: $15

How to Become a People Magnet by Marc Reklau

Multiple strategies included

Short in length

Good for social anxiety

Requires practice

Geared toward work relationships

Social anxiety is a prevalent issue in our modern-day world among all age groups. The condition leaves some feeling unable to have even the most basic of conversations with others. This book , written by award-winning author Marc Reklau , provides 62 simple strategies to help you improve your social skills in everything from first impressions to deeper relationships.

With a variety of strategies available, you can choose the ones that are best suited for your needs. This book is also beneficial for those working in sales or customer service—industries that frequently handle complaints or require making connections.

Price at time of publication: $16

I Hear You by Michael Sorensen

Research-backed techniques

Good for everyday relationships

Ideal for busy people 

In this bestselling book , author Michael Sorensen condenses relationship problem-solving skills into a compact, three-hour read. It reads more like a conversation to help users understand the value of listening and validation in relationships.

While arguments tend to arise when relationship issues occur, Sorensen aims to help people strengthen and deepen their problem-solving skills instead. Written from the field of experiential and positive psychology, this conflict-resolution discipline is well-supported by scientific research.

Eight Dates by John Gottman, PhD and Julie Schwartz Gottman, PhD

Written by experts

Addresses difficult topics

Requires consistent practice

Time commitment

As Dr. John Gottman's research partner and wife, Julie Schwartz Gottman PhD co-writes the author's most recent work . The couple dives into common marriage issues such as money, trust, sex, family, and spirituality while helping partners improve their ability to talk about sensitive issues.

Allowing couples to feel more connected, Gottman hopes these skills will aid in the avoidance and management of future conflicts. This is a great book for anyone in couples therapy or those wanting to dive deeper into their personal relationship connections.

Price at time of publication: $26

What the Experts Say

“A good relationship book should focus on increasing empathy and good listening skills rather than identifying faults in others. The goal is to be authentically yourself while still having the ability to let other people into your life. It is vitally important to learn how to see things from another person’s perspective and to have that in return from your partner." — Dr. Jamie Brodarick , Marriage & Family Therapist, PhD, LMFT

The Enneagram for Relationships by Ashton Whitmoyer-Ober, MA

Effective techniques  

Popular subject 

Encourages self-knowledge

The Enneagram is one of the fastest-growing personality assessments and concepts in the world right now, and rightfully so. There are nine different personality types with up to 27 subtypes to help you understand yourself—aiding in connection with those closest to you.

Through further understanding of yourself, you can be more empathetic and accommodating to those you love. Instead of focusing strictly on the nine personality types , this book focuses on how to use that understanding to strengthen relationships.

The 80/80 Marriage by Nate Klemp PhD and Kaley Klemp

Addresses modern issues  

Research-backed techniques 

 Made for busy people

Both spouses need to commit

Even the busiest of people strive for deep romantic relationships, but the problem is that a thorough connection requires time and attention. The 80/80 Marriage is written for career-driven and busy individuals who want to make the most out of their marriage.

Using data from more than 100 couples, the book focuses on how to create radical generosity and partnerships where both individuals thrive. The book also addresses modern challenges that come with a desire to establish old-fashioned connections.

Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud

Effective techniques

Bestselling author, speaker, and psychotherapist Dr. Henry Cloud teaches the importance of boundaries in all relationships—especially within the family—for those wanting a Christian perspective. While most people see boundaries as a wall built between people, boundaries are actually the gateway to connection.

Boundaries keep us safe and help us understand the needs of others, but people tend to avoid them in fear of being confrontational. This book teaches readers how to use loving and empathetic phrases to communicate honestly and directly with others—making it especially helpful for those with a people-pleasing personality.

Price at time of publication: $19  

Radical Candor by Kim Scott

Addresses work relationships

Good balance of empathy and assertiveness

Focuses on work only

As people return to the office for work, many are finding their people-managing skills a bit rusty. Without the ability to end a zoom call with the click of a button, complicated personalities are more difficult to avoid.

Author Kim Scott explains how to be an effective boss and leader without losing your sense of humanity. Used by companies and businesses all over the globe, this book is endorsed by successful businesswomen such as Sheryl Sandberg.

Price at time of publication: $30

Final Verdict

For marriage and long-term romantic relationships, “Eight Dates” by Dr. John Gottman dives deep into issues that couples often face. It's designed to help couples focus on communication to resolve problems that often turn into larger conflicts.

If you're trying to take an empathetic approach to relationships, “The Enneagram for Relationships” is a good choice. Designed to help you understand your own personality to relate to others, the book dives into individuality in couples, families, and friendships.

And if you're returning to the office in the near future, “Radical Candor” is a great managerial tool to help leaders and bosses confront (and deal with) various personality types and challenges.

What to Look For in a Relationship Book

Practical tips.

While it’s great to take a deep dive into a particular type of relationship and learn more about why people behave in a certain way, it’s difficult to make changes for the better without clear, workable tips. Some relationship books have a concise “to do” list at the end of each section or chapter, while others have an entire section dedicated to practical steps, sometimes in the style of a workbook with spaces to add your own comments or thoughts. 

Expert insights

Licensed mental health counselor GinaMarie Guarino , LMHC advises doing your research on the author of the book. ”Go for self-help books written by professionals in the field in which you’re seeking help,” Guarino says. Also, try to narrow your search down to books that were written in the last five years or so, to ensure they’re based on recent research and have updated references. 

Helpful Techniques

From working on your listening skills to learning how to argue constructively, the best relationship books offer useful techniques to help you keep your relationship on the right track or get it back to its former glory. Experts recommend giving your relationship the same care you would give your health or even your car—so certain techniques can be part of that regular checkup. And if you need a little help with that, this is where a marriage therapist can be invaluable.

Frequently Asked Questions

In a healthy relationship, each person should feel comfortable being their authentic selves while bringing out the best in the other person. It's a perfect combination of freedom and safety. Relationships take work, time, and personal growth, but dedication to a relationship can result in a deep level of connection and understanding.

A toxic relationship involves installing fear in another person in order to elicit control. Full of guilt, irrational rules, and fear, toxic relationships often result in an emotional rollercoaster rather than stability and safety. Mental, physical, and emotional abuse are also common in toxic relationships—a result of one person investing more into a relationship than the other.

Disagreements and heated moments are common in any relationship. While it's healthy to work out differences and misunderstandings, it's not healthy to resort to attacks on one's character, name-calling, or threats. Healthy fighting should focus on conflict resolution and finding a solution to the issue at hand.

Jealousy is a normal human emotion, occurring when one individual feels insecure. With that said, consistent jealousy is a red flag in relationships. If you're constantly jealous, it can be a sign of deep insecurities or trust issues stemming from childhood, partnership trust, or an irrational need for control. Finding the reason behind jealousy is important, and it may require therapy or assistance from a professional.

As a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with over 15 years of experience working with clients to improve mental and emotional health, Mary K Tatum understands the importance of finding quality resources and techniques that work for each person. Not everyone will have the same kind of healing journey, therefore, having lots of options to choose from is vitally important in creating a lifestyle that combats mental illness and promotes health and wellbeing.  

National Institute of Mental Health. Social Anxiety Disorder .

By Mary K. Tatum, MS, LMHC Mary is a licensed mental health counselor and psychotherapist with 15 years of experience working in the psychology field. She earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Bluefield College and a Master of Science in Psychology from Palm Beach Atlantic University. She began in social work and then moved to drug rehab settings, working as a therapist, group facilitator, and clinical director. She specializes in family dynamic systems, trauma recovery, improving resilience, addiction recovery, and the psychology of successful business management.

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Opening Up

A Guide To Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships

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LIST PRICE $21.95

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Table of Contents

About the book, about the author.

Tristan Taormino is an American feminist author, columnist, sex educator, activist, editor, speaker, radio host, and pornographic film director.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Cleis Press (May 1, 2008)
  • Length: 346 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781573442954

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29 Books For People Questioning The Idea Of "Happily Ever After"

Since entering into an open relationship three years ago, I've been trying to untangle myths around gender, sexuality, and love. These are the books that have helped.

Rachel Krantz

BuzzFeed Contributor

books about open relationships

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about what “happily ever after” means to me. Ever since I entered into my first open relationship, I’ve found myself questioning nearly all the romantic storylines that influenced me most — from Beauty and the Beast to Beyoncé — and trying to figure out what I would actually like my life to look like if I wrote it. (And then I decided to write a literal memoir about that fraught-yet-hot attempt, Open: An Uncensored Memoir of Love, Liberation, and Non-Monogamy. )

The more I investigate, the more I realize there is no one answer as to what kind of life would make me happiest — I just know it certainly isn’t as simple as anything I was presented as a little girl, and that happiness is not my only goal. One of the most helpful tools I’ve found to examine the “traditional” love story (besides therapy and writing a book on the topic) is reading. The books below are some of the ones that have been most helpful to me recently in untangling myths about not just about happily ever after, but gender and sexuality itself. I hope they might help you do the same.

1. Communion: The Female Search for Love by bell hooks

books about open relationships

Though it’s not one of the late bell hooks’ most famous works, Communion is one of the best examinations of the ways women are sold a fairy tale about love, and how this works to undermine our independence. Memoir mixes with deft social critiques to form this page-turner, as hooks drops one truth bomb after another. For example: “Women are not inherently more interested in or able to love than men. From girlhood on, we learn to become enchanted with love. Since the business of loving came to be identified as women’s work, females have risen to the occasion and claimed love as our topic.”

Get it from Bookshop .

2. Untrue: Why Nearly Everything We Believe About Women, Lust, and Infidelity Is Wrong and How the New Science Can Set Us Free by Wednesday Martin

books about open relationships

Untrue is an investigation into the nature of female infidelity, ethical non-monogamy, and sexual psychology. Written in a conversational tone but packed with research, this book is about female desire, cheating, and the question of whether women have an “innate” proclivity toward polyamory and/or sexual variety. My favorite moments are when Martin gets personal in her reporting, delving into her feelings when she attends a workshop on practicing ethical non-monogamy. (Her interview with Carrie Jenkins, author of the also-notable What Love Is: And What It Could Be , is also a highlight.) Untrue is a must-read if you want to understand why monogamy might not always feel “natural” — but don’t want to read something pushing any one particular relationship model’s agenda.

3. Love’s Not Color Blind: Race and Representation in Polyamorous and Other Alternative Communities by Kevin A Patterson & Ruby Bouie Johnson

books about open relationships

This book should be required reading for anyone practicing nonmonogamy. People in the global majority face tokenization, fetishization, and many other forms of racism within many majority-white lifestyle spaces — and this book isn’t afraid to talk about that. This guide is for everyone — it will make some feel seen, and others realize how they can do better. It also recognizes the privilege involved in practicing nonmonogamy in the first place, with lines like: “So, when do you engage in all that valuable relationship-affirming communication? In the limited space between your full-time, minimum-wage shift, and your part-time, minimum wage shift? Do you find time on the phone, while taking public transportation to pick your children up from school or daycare? Do you find the time after you get home from washing dishes…but before you have to write a paper for one class and study for an exam in another? Do you see the problem here?” Monogamists could also learn a lot about how to be anti-racist in their dating lives from this book.

4. Polysecure: Attachment, Trauma, and Consensual Nonmonogamy by Jessica Fern

books about open relationships

Like Love’s Not Color Blind , this is one of the best books about nonmonogamy to come out in the last few years. Attachment theory is rarely applied to nonmonogamous relationships, and Fern rights that wrong mightily. This is an incredibly useful guide to compassionate communication in nonmonogamous relationships — but really, anyone in a relationship will learn a tremendous amount from this book.

5. Cheat Day: A Novel by Liv Stratman

books about open relationships

Not only is this novel compulsively readable, sexy, and lol-funny, but it is a welcome sympathetic portrait of a woman who cheats on her (not evil) husband. There aren’t easy answers or clear bad guys to this story — just honest grappling with conflicts of love, commitment, and desire. The struggle of the protagonist to adhere to monogamous societal norms in the face of temptation is relatable, with lines like, “[b]ut for some reason, in the company of Matt Larsson, I felt my unhappiness — and my constant hunger — subside, and so I followed those moments, chased time alone with him, pressed his words and then his body closer and closer to the center of who I was until, eventually, I had a real problem.”

6. Greedy: Notes from a Bisexual Who Wants Too Much by Jen Winston

books about open relationships

Sometimes a book comes along that makes you feel so seen it changes your life. One such book for me has been Greedy, which explores through well-researched and funny essays the experience of being bisexual — especially when you’re socialized as a woman. It articulated feelings I’ve had for years as I was coming into my own queerness, like, “[b]ut at least threesomes made me feel comfortable — queer hookups seemed less intimidating when a guy was there too. Being alone with a woman raised other questions: What if I didn’t like the sex — would that prove I was straight? Or what if I liked it too much, and realized I didn’t need men at all?”

Being bisexual challenges traditional notions of happily ever after, in that you are “refusing” to pick a “side.” The label sounds binary, but the meaning behind it and lived experience are quite the opposite. Bisexuals are often told by both gay and straight populations that they somehow aren’t real as a result, and Winston is here to help us change that and affirm our identity — all while resisting being put in yet another box.

7. Girl, Woman, Other: A Novel by Bernadine Evaristo

books about open relationships

This book says goodbye to “rules” of form or relationships. It features many different characters’ perspectives, both monogamous and nonmonogamous. Each person is their own individual rather than a definitive representative of any one identity. If you’re anything like me you’ll be inspired the whole way through and underlining relatable lines like, “Penelope came to the conclusion that marrying someone when you’re in love with them was perhaps not such a good idea, better to wait a few years (ten, twenty, thirty, never?) to see if you’re still compatible after the passion has subsided and reality set in.”

8. In the Dream House: A Memoir by Carmen Maria Machado

books about open relationships

This memoir represents a relationship that begins nonmonogamous and then turns monogamous and abusive. As someone who also wrote a book about experiencing years of gaslighting, I so appreciated how Machado shows herself grappling with the fear around telling her story and making the queer community “look bad.” When you’re in any kind of relationship outside sexual norms, you can be even more prone to isolation and keeping secrets about abuse. This memoir is also filled with domestic insights worth remembering like, “A house is never apolitical. It is conceived, constructed, occupied, and policed by people with power, needs, and fears.”

9. Motherhood: A Novel by Sheila Heti

books about open relationships

Heti is known for walking the line between fiction and nonfiction, and Motherhood is no exception. Though her meditation on whether the narrator (who has her name) wants to be a mother or not can be slightly circular, Heti has said she wants to represent how thought works, and she achieves this goal. Don’t be surprised if she starts influencing your ideas too; I found myself bringing up Motherhood in conversation again and again. If you’re questioning whether motherhood is really for you — or wondering if it’s just something you’ve been taught you should do — this is required reading. Actually, read it even if you think motherhood is definitely for you, just to consider another perspective.

10. How to Love by Thich Nhat Hanh

books about open relationships

Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh is one of the most emotionally intelligent authors (well, probably people, period) out there. I’ve found all his books incredibly useful, but How to Love was my entry point. You can pick it up and put it down as you go, since each page is its own meditation, with ideas like “One of the greatest gifts we can offer people is to embody non-attachment and non-fear… Everything is impermanent. This moment passes. That person walks away. Happiness is still possible.”

11. Sex At Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha

books about open relationships

This book has become a sort of cult classic for a reason. Like Untrue , it breaks down the standard narrative we are taught about monogamy — that men “naturally” want to spread their seed, while women want to get pregnant and lock it down — and makes the case that said narrative is the result of white male anthropologists, with their own confirmation biases, rather than an objective truth. The authors argue that monogamy can be linked to the Agricultural Revolution, during which the concept of woman and animal as property was formed. Sex at Dawn is required reading for anyone, monogamous or otherwise, to remember that what we call “natural” or “inherently human” is actually incredibly subjective and influenced by culture.

12. The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish

books about open relationships

Comedian Tiffany Haddish ’s memoir may be the funniest book on this list, but that doesn’t make it any less profound. If you want to be inspired by someone who decided (against many, many odds, no less) what her life would look like and then actualized the hell out of it — while also laughing hysterically — this is for you. Haddish’s memoir is incredibly vulnerable and brave, and it details (among many other things) how ideas about marriage contributed to her entering and staying in an abusive relationship — and how rejecting those expectations and defining her own happiness helped her get out. It’s a fairy tale most of us could use right now.

13. The Smart Girl’s Guide to Polyamory: Everything You Need to Know About Open Relationships, Non-Monogamy, and Alternative Love by Dedeker Winston

books about open relationships

Winston’s practical guide is useful not just for those practicing polyamory, but really for anyone who wants to improve their communication skills and learn about different relationship models. With exercises drawing on Buddhist thought in every chapter, Winston’s guide is a straightforward but not silly read that empowers you to define your romantic life by asking yourself questions. Winston writes, “‘What is love to me? What am I going to do about it?’ The answer may always be a moving target, shifting and swaying and making sudden left turns.”

14. The Four Noble Truths of Love: Buddhist Wisdom for Modern Relationships by Susan Piver

books about open relationships

Another book I’ve found useful for its application of Buddhist thought to romantic love, Piver’s The Four Noble Truths of Love minces no words. “Thinking that a relationship will finally come to rest in a peaceful place is actually what makes it uncomfortable,” Piver writes. “We can’t actually promise each other anything. The relationship never stabilizes, ever. This is the way it works. I have no idea why.” I found myself nodding along with nearly everything she wrote; that doesn’t make it any easier to put her ideas into practice — but this is an incredibly useful book for navigating the difficult realities of long-term relationships.

15. Why I Am Not a Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto by Jessa Crispin

books about open relationships

Women today are sold a very specific, insidious aspiration: that of “having it all” as a modern feminist. Crispin’s incredibly readable manifesto could make even the most independent person question the nature of their feminism. Not only does she make the argument that feminism has essentially become another commodity sold to women, but she also examines the role narratives around romantic love have played in its evolution. “We wait for love to redeem us,” she writes. “For straight girls, that means, despite all of our talk about independence and empowerment, the goals of self-empowerment are often pursued to make ourselves in better competitive shape on the romantic market.”

16. Committed: A Love Story by Elizabeth Gilbert

books about open relationships

Committed certainly isn’t as famous as Eat Pray Love, but Gilbert’s investigation into ideas about marriage and commitment around the world are insightful and honest. If you’re examining whether marriage is for you — and want to learn more about how long-term love and partnership is defined in other cultures — Committed might be useful. It’s also made all the more nuanced in hindsight: The relationship explored in the book was the marriage Gilbert ended up leaving to be with the female best friend she realized she was in love with. (Eagerly awaiting that memoir, please.)

17. Love in Abundance: A Counselor's Advice on Open Relationships by Kathy Labriola

books about open relationships

By far the most practical book I’ve read when it comes to examining my own jealousy in my open relationship, Love in Abundance is a must for anyone who’s seriously considering any relationship model other than monogamy. Actually, it’s a must for anyone who’s ever experienced the very human emotion that is jealousy and would like to investigate it. But it goes beyond jealousy, too, and challenges other preconceived notions about what romantic love has to look like to be considered “real.”

18. Unmastered: A Book on Desire, Most Difficult to Tell by Katherine Angel

books about open relationships

Another wonderful collection of meditations on love and female desire, Angel’s unconventional memoir is at once deeply vulnerable and impressionistic, drawing upon thinkers like Susan Sontag to examine her love affair with a highly dominant man in a series of numbered observations, sometimes with only one line on a page. Angel’s book explores the traditional gender roles we fall into — and may desire even as feminists — without judgment. If you’re anything like me, you might find yourself relating to observations like “It may be a compulsion to be what I think he must want, given that he is A Man. A compulsion to make him what we both need him to be.” Angel’s newest nonfiction book, Tomorrow Sex Will Be Good Again , is also an incredibly astute examination of love and consent in a “post” Me Too world. I highly recommend it as well.

Get it from Amazon .

19. Moody Bitches: The Truth About the Drugs You're Taking, The Sleep You're Missing, The Sex You're Not Having, and What's Really Making You Crazy by Dr. Julie Holland

books about open relationships

One of the most destructive parts of the happily ever after myth is the “happily” part — and if we feel anything but in our relationships or broader lives, we’re made to feel something must be wrong. But in fact, Dr. Holland argues, experiencing a range of emotions isn’t inherently bad — and people who live with hormonal and mood fluctuations can even be more adaptable. If you want to question your relationship with antidepressants , the Pill , or simply the way you think about happiness itself, this book is an empowering read. Moody Bitches got me to appreciate my hormonal fluctuations not as a liability but as a potentially powerful tool for self-examination , and that is no small gift.

20. Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Women Writers Explore Their Favorite Fairy Tales edited by Kate Bernheimer

books about open relationships

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall examines the fairy tale itself in a series of essays by influential writers like bell hooks, Julia Alvarez, and Margaret Atwood. Some are deeply personal essays that reflect on the fairy tale more broadly, while others read more like literary criticism of specific stories. The collection is one of the best I’ve found looking at the form that shaped so many of our lives. Still waiting for someone to write one on ’90s Disney movies , though, so in the meantime I tried to explore those narratives myself in Open ...

21. N.B. by Charlotte Shane

books about open relationships

Charlotte Shane is the author of the e-letter Prostitute Laundry (which was also compiled into a wonderful book I equally recommend), and she is one of the most lyrical, vulnerable, brave, honest-feeling writers I’ve read. N.B . covers similar ground as Prostitute Laundry, but draws on even earlier entries from Shane’s blog that’s no longer available online. Each reads like a series of beautiful vignettes on the nature of women’s sexuality, love, and bodily autonomy, unfolding like a series of perfectly composed chronological diary entries. Assembled together, they tell the story of a gifted writer’s early evolution as an artist and young woman. Her insights are relatable but also fearless, recorded so that we all might feel less alone. “I’ve realized I want one man to love me behind everything else,” Shane writes. “I want this love to be my scenery while I do whatever I want on the stage.” I can’t recommend her writing enough.

22. The Dominance Playbook: Ways to Play With Power in Scenes and Relationships by Anton Fulmen

books about open relationships

This guide is perfect for anyone who feels like they already understand/have read about BDSM 101 — and wants to level up. It is extremely practical and inclusive to those who are both monogamous and nonmonogamous. If you’ve read introductions to BDSM and kink but are looking for more ideas about how to put it into practice in your relationship in very specific ways, this book is for you. I mean, it literally teaches you to “write your own script.”

Luster: A Novel by Raven Leilani

books about open relationships

I appreciated this book for being from the perspective of a woman who is dating a man already in a non-monogamous primary relationship. It is definitely not all fun for her, or even mostly fun, and this novel shows how some of the themes in Love’s Not Color Blind might play out in life. We need more complex and flawed depictions of nonmonogamy, and this book is definitely one of them. It’s also filled with relatable lines for many women and millennials, like, “This was the contradiction that would define me for years, my attempt to secure undiluted solitude and my swift betrayal of this effort once in the spotlight of an interested man.”

24. The Companion by EE Ottoman

books about open relationships

This romance novel is so refreshing, in that it centers a nonmonogamous relationship composed of three trans characters. Too often in stories, there’s a love triangle, and it’s assumed the heroine has to choose! In this fantasy, Ottoman images what might happen if she didn’t have to, with lines like, "’I think you get to decide what enough is,’ he said finally. ‘You're a grown woman, and I can't make your choices for you. No one can, no matter how much the Church or the State might want to. If one lover satisfies you, so be it; if not, then take more. I've never believed it has to be more complicated than that as long as everyone is happy and satisfied.’" Amen to that.

25. Insatiable Wives by Dr. David Ley

books about open relationships

This book was incredibly readable, yet packed with history, research, and information about the fetishes of hotwifing and cuckolding. It’s also an excellent primer on research into nonmonogamy and sexuality, and helps debunk the idea that women have a lower sexual or romantic appetite than men, with heavily cited lines like, “Substantial research has shown that women who are more independent financially, more educated, and less dependent upon their husbands are rather more likely to have sexual affairs, and also more likely to enjoy sex and pursue it for their own pleasure.” Essential reading for anyone interested in some very specific forms of nonmonogamy often excluded from conversations.

26. Tell Me What You Want by Dr. Justin Lehmiller

books about open relationships

Speaking of sexual research, this highly-readable book distills and analyzes Dr. Lehmiller’s landmark survey of North Americans’ sexual fantasies. It is the largest of its kind, and what he found gives tremendous insight into the reality of North Americans’ inner sexual lives. It might also help you feel less like a “freak” for imagining or wanting what you do, and more, well, common. For example, he writes, “[s]ex with multiple partners is a staple of Americans’ fantasies. When asked to describe their favorite sexual fantasy of all time, group sex was by far the most common theme to emerge. In addition, when asked whether they had ever fantasized about different forms of group sex, 89 percent reported fantasizing about threesomes, 74 percent about orgies, and 61 percent about gangbangs.” So while practicing nonmonogamists might still be in the minority, those imagining nonmonogamous scenarios are the clear majority.

27. Monogamy by Adam Phillips

books about open relationships

This book, filled with roughly one brilliant thought about monogamy per page, will help you better understand what we talk about when we talk about monogamy. What are the philosophical and psychological purposes behind it? I underlined most of this book, which is filled with penetrating insights, like, “[w]e become frantic trying to keep the numbers down, trying to keep the true story of who we really are in circulation. This, perhaps more than anything else, drives us into the arms of one special partner. Monogamy is a way of getting the versions of ourselves down to a minimum. And, of course, a way of convincing ourselves that some versions are truer than others—that some are special.”

Get it from Bookshop.

28. Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

books about open relationships

This book is a novelized version of years of reporting Taddeo did into different North American women’s romantic lives. The result is three incredibly personal portraits that parallel and contrast, showing different paths, but many overlapping longings for novelty, connection, and satisfaction. Many people will relate to the feelings described in this book, like, “[s]he feels that he cares more than she does, suddenly, and this freaks her out. It makes her feel sad for him and it makes her feel she will suffocate under the pressure to reciprocate; and this feeling of suffocation in turn begins to lessen her liking of him, so the situation becomes cyclical.”

29. Do Better by Rachel Ricketts

books about open relationships

Though this book isn’t explicitly about romantic relationships, it does discuss them, and is an essential guide to imagining different societal paradigms than the ones we’ve been conditioned to believe are “right.” It will also help you understand white supremacy culture, which is often at the core of how we have been taught to think about love. “As Tema Okun outlines, white supremacist cultural characteristics include: individualism and perfectionism belief in objectivity power hoarding either/or thinking (right versus wrong) worship of the written word defensiveness paternalism and urgency quantity over quality fear of open conflict and right to comfort,” Ricketts writes. “I would also add...capitalism[,] heteropatriarchy, fatphobia, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, colorism, and pretty much every form of oppression as it currently exists (most of which originated as a means to define ‘whiteness’ as separate and superior to Blackness).”

If you want to change your own happily ever after script, you need to understand the larger context in which it was written in the first place — and work to not repeat the same oppressive patterns in new ways. This book will help you do that.

Get it from

Rachel Krantz is the author of Open: An Uncensored Memoir of Love, Liberation, and Non-Monogamy . She is the namer of Bustle, and one of its three founding editors. Her work has been featured on NPR, Vox, The Guardian, Vice, many other outlets. She’s the recipient of the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, the Investigative Reporters and Editors Radio Award, the Peabody Award, and the Edward R. Murrow Award for her work as an investigative reporter with YR Media. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @rachelkrantz.

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10 Best Relationship Books to Strengthen Your Bond

Self-help advice for those who have been married for years, people who are newly-single and everyone in between.

best relationship books

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There's no use sugarcoating it: Relationships are hard. Living with another person, or even just spending a lot of time together, reveals the good, the bad and the ugly in all involved and learning to get along can be a challenge. Maybe that's why the best relationship books hit the bestseller lists over and over again, because all of us need a little help in that department.

Because every relationship is as unique as the people in it, the genre also varies widely in approach and target audience. We've rounded up our favorites that are great for a range of different life stages, types of relationships and approaches, so you're virtually guaranteed to find one that speaks to the two of you. And let's face it: some of these aren't exactly light reading, so when you're done here, hop over to our GH Book Club for a feel-good read to balance out your TBR pile.

The All-or-Nothing Marriage by Eli J. Finkel

The All-or-Nothing Marriage by Eli J. Finkel

By doing a deep dive on how marriage has worked from 1620 to the present day, this book looks at how our relationships have evolved alongside society. It offers data-driven "lovehacks" on how to get the most out of yours, making it a must-read for those who like their advice with a side of serious research.

The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman

The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman

You've probably heard of the five love languages, and this is the book that explains what they are and how recognizing what makes your partner feel loved can help deepen your relationship. It's a pretty quick, engaging read and one with practical applications you can put into place right away, no therapist's couch required.

Mating in Captivity by Esher Perel

Mating in Captivity by Esher Perel

You may recognize Esther Perel from her popular podcast, Where Should We Begin , in which the expert therapist applies her decades of counseling experience to real-life relationship quandaries. This book about balancing the paradox of domestic life and sexual attraction is an unparalleled guide to keeping the spark alive or rekindling closeness, both in and outside the bedroom.

RELATED: The Best Podcasts to Listen to Right Now

Listen, Learn, Love by Susie Albert Miller

Listen, Learn, Love by Susie Albert Miller

If you like your self-help in an actionable package, this 30-day guide is for you. With digestible, practical and even funny tips for how to improve relationships, this book will also keep you accountable with an included progress tracker.

Attached by Amir Levine. M.D. and Rachel S.F. Heller, M.A.

Attached by Amir Levine. M.D. and Rachel S.F. Heller, M.A.

Calling all science lovers (see what we did there?): This book explains how attachment theory works in the relationships we seek out and what makes them succeed or fail. This is a great primer on how to recognize and express your own attachment style and use that self-knowledge to become a better partner and find the right one for you.

RELATED: Here's What It Means to Have an Avoidant Attachment Style in Relationships

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John M. Gottman, Ph.D. and Nan Silver

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John M. Gottman, Ph.D. and Nan Silver

Written by one of the country's foremost marriage experts and co-designed with his wife Julie Gottman of the Gottman Method , this book is basically a roadmap to how marriages should function. His findings after studying couples over a period of years are both super straightforward and deeply impactful.

Loving Bravely by Alexander H. Solomon, PhD

Loving Bravely by Alexander H. Solomon, PhD

You know the saying, "Put your own oxygen mask on first?" By that same principle, you need to know what kind of love you're looking for before you can find it. This book can help you do that, regardless of your current relationship status.

Fed Up by Gemma Hartley

Fed Up by Gemma Hartley

This isn't strictly a relationship book so much as a book about why people who shoulder the weight of the world's emotional labor are collapsing under it, how we got here as a society and where we go from here. If you're the one carrying the bulk of the mental load in your relationship, give this one a read.

Ask a Queer Chick by Lindsay King-Miller

Ask a Queer Chick by Lindsay King-Miller

More of an advice column in book form than self-help, this is the perfect read for navigating the LBGTQ+ experience, no matter where you are on your journey. Whether you've been in an LGBTQ+ relationship for years or are just dipping your toes into the dating pool, this will help debunk stereotypes, erase painful myths and offer validation that you belong in the queer community.

RELATED: Fantastic LBGTQ+ Reads

Open by Rachel Krantz

Open by Rachel Krantz

This memoir explores the author's foray into the complicated world of ethical non-monogamy, open relationships and polyamory in a book that's both practical and illuminating. It also features interviews with scientists, therapists and other people in open relationships about how it works, why it sometimes doesn't and explores the boundaries of what love can be. It's a fun and fascinating read, even if you're not part of "the lifestyle."

What to look for in relationship books

mums

If you're overwhelmed by the sheer number of relationship books in the self-help section, don't despair. Here are some things to remember.

  • Style: Look for the type of help you want, for starters. A book on staying married won't be a great fit if you're newly single and looking to get back out there, for example.
  • Issue: Pick up books that speak to your particular issue: Maybe you're interested in learning more about your love language, or you need help establishing and sticking to boundaries. Getting specific about what you want will mean a better chance of finding it.
  • Experts : Not just anyone can write an effective self-help book, so look for authors who have the bona fides. Look for psychiatrists, psychologists or researchers who have conducted research in the field or memoirs from people with extensive lived experience to share. Knowing whose advice you're taking can help ensure it's legit and applicable to your own life, too.

How can I improve communication in my relationship?

When it comes to communication, active listening is key. We’ve all gotten so wrapped up in what we want to say that we just wait for the other person to stop talking instead of actually taking in their side of the conversation. Instead, focus on really engaging with your partner, in heated discussions as well as day-to-day chats. It can help to parrot back their perspective to make sure you really get it, by saying something like, “What I hear you said is…did I get that right?” Encourage your partner to do the same, to help you both get and stay on the same page.

Why trust Good Housekeeping?

Lizz Schumer is a two-time author and writing coach, as well as the founder and curator of the Good Housekeeping Book Club , so she always has a TBR pile taller than she is and her finger on the pulse of what's new, what's good and what's worth reading in the wonderful world of books. She has also covered health and relationships for a number of outlets both as a writer and an editor, so she's got an eagle eye for what to look for in relationships advice, too.

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@media(max-width: 64rem){.css-o9j0dn:before{margin-bottom:0.5rem;margin-right:0.625rem;color:#ffffff;width:1.25rem;bottom:-0.2rem;height:1.25rem;content:'_';display:inline-block;position:relative;line-height:1;background-repeat:no-repeat;}.loaded .css-o9j0dn:before{background-image:url(/_assets/design-tokens/goodhousekeeping/static/images/Clover.5c7a1a0.svg);}}@media(min-width: 48rem){.loaded .css-o9j0dn:before{background-image:url(/_assets/design-tokens/goodhousekeeping/static/images/Clover.5c7a1a0.svg);}} All the Best Books to Read Next

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Book Reviews

'open' explores polyamorous relationships through personal experience.

Ilana Masad

Open: An Uncensored Memoir of Love, Liberation, and Non-Monogamy--A Polyamory Memoir, by Rachel Krantz

In 2015, award-winning journalist and co-founding editor of Bustle Rachel Krantz was in the midst of a breakup when she first went out with Adam.

He was somewhat older, refined, successful in his field, vegan, white and Jewish (like Krantz), and seemed to home in on her immediately with an intensity she found welcome. On their second date, he told her that, should they continue seeing each other, "[she] could still date and sleep with other people, even fall in love again. I don't want to restrict my partners' experiences."

This thrilled her, although knowing that he would also forgo monogamy eventually did not. Still, she was fascinated by and powerfully drawn to him, so she decided to give it a shot. Her first book , Open: An Uncensored Memoir of Love, Liberation, and Non-Monogamy, documents what happened next, using extensive research, interviews with experts, and her own meticulous record-keeping to flesh out and interpret her personal experiences.

I'll admit that I was trepidatious when I first approached this memoir. I've never really hidden the fact that I am polyamorous, nor that my partner of seven years and I have always had, to one extent or another, a non-monogamous relationship. Anyone who is poly (or polyam, the short form Krantz uses in the book) or non-monog knows when to share this information and when to silo it away in order to avoid the judging eyes and skeptical questions of the monogamous overculture. Knowing the memoir was about Krantz's introduction to non-monogamy — and not only that, but that she was introduced to it by a straight cis man, a demographic that is often assumed to abuse this relational preference — made me brace myself for a traditional happy ending about how it was a valid life choice but simply not for her.

I couldn't have been more wrong. It's no spoiler to say that Krantz still identifies as polyam, at least according to social media, and while Open is about non-monogamy, of course, it's neither a manifesto of polyamorous ideals nor an argument against it. Instead, more than anything else, it's Krantz's sincere and curious reckoning with the cultural messaging we all receive about gendered expectations and power dynamics in romantic and sexual relationships in general. How do we untangle those from our own desires? How do we differentiate between those desires and the things we think we should want, or that our partners want us to want? The highs and lows of a first non-monogamous relationship prove the perfect canvas on which to explore these fundamental questions.

At first, things between Krantz and Adam seem rather rosy, although readers familiar with gaslighting and manipulation in relationships may recognize the red flags early on. Adam showers Krantz with affection and sexual attention, and she moves in with him just months after they first meet. She allows herself to enjoy the power-play between them, which she recognizes as a dominant/submissive dynamic, although Adam refuses to call it that — meaning there are no clear rules to follow, nor a way for Krantz to exist with Adam outside that dynamic. She begins sleeping with other people both with him and alone, starts dating alone, and indulges finally in her long-held desire to act on her queer attractions. When Adam begins to date as well, she struggles with painful jealousy that he repeatedly dismisses as being a weakness, something she needs to just get over. His attitude plays into the common misconception that people who live and love polyamorously do not (or should not) feel jealousy — and while this is true for some, it is laughably far from universal.

As the memoir unfolds and Krantz's relationship with non-monogamy changes and evolves, Adam's behavior becomes less and less comfortable to witness. There will certainly be some readers who will find him hateful for his unrepentant emotionally abusive patterns. Yet it's clear, and in my view deeply admirable, that Krantz is seeking to elicit "a non-dualistic compassion beyond boxes and shame." She acknowledges that Adam's manipulation, while real and harmful, is not always deliberate. He is not a mastermind who gets up in the morning thinking about how he's going to be abusive to the woman he hopes to spend the rest of his life with — that's rarely how this kind of thing works. This does not mean he should be absolved of responsibility for his actions, only that it's possible to hold someone responsible while also, as Krantz writes, feeling "an immense compassion for the confusion and suffering that fuels harmful behavioral cycles."

Readers should take the word "uncensored" in the memoir's title seriously; Krantz certainly does, and she clearly means it when she writes, in her author's note: "I put myself forward for naked examination because I'm morally opposed to being told to cover up in shame." Sex parties, swingers' meetups, and drug use are unapologetically rendered, but Krantz is no less forthcoming with her anxieties, fears, and attempts to understand what is going on in her primary relationship with Adam. Her vulnerability — along with the 20/20 hindsight she's able to bring to her younger self's emotional journey — is precisely why the memoir works so well. Her warm tone throughout, laced with sometimes rueful, sometimes tender humor, helps the reader trust that she's not working to gratuitously titillate, but to examine sexuality as a vital part of many people's lives that need not be cloaked in guilt, shame, or embarrassment (unless, of course, those are part of a person's kink).

Ilana Masad is a fiction writer, book critic, and author of the novel All My Mother's Lovers.

LoveLifeSaver

Best Books About Open Relationships: Discover & Learn

Welcome to our guide on the best books about open relationships! Whether you are curious about exploring non-monogamous connections or already navigating open relationships, these books offer valuable insights and perspectives. We believe that education and resources are key to successful open relationships, and these books are the perfect place to start.

Open relationships can be intimidating, but they also offer a range of benefits, from improved communication to a deeper understanding of love and intimacy. And with the help of these books, you can gain the knowledge and tools necessary to navigate open relationships with confidence and clarity.

Table of Contents

Exploring Open Relationships: The Benefits

Open relationships can be a great way to explore different aspects of love and intimacy with your partner(s). Here are some of the benefits of exploring open relationships:

  • Improved communication: Open relationships require a great deal of communication between partners, which can lead to more honesty and trust in the relationship.
  • Increased trust: Engaging in open relationships means trusting your partner(s) to make good decisions and communicate openly with you.
  • Deeper understanding of love and intimacy: Exploring open relationships can help you gain a better understanding of your own needs and desires, as well as those of your partner(s).

There are also many misconceptions about open relationships, such as the belief that they are inherently dysfunctional or that they are simply an excuse to cheat. However, these are far from the truth. Open relationships require a lot of work and commitment, just like any other type of relationship.

The books recommended in this article can help dispel some of these myths and provide valuable resources for understanding and exploring non-monogamous connections.

Understanding Non-Monogamy: Best Books on Open Relationships

If you’re new to the concept of open relationships, it can be overwhelming to know where to start your journey. To help you out, we’ve curated a list of some of the best books on open relationships . These books will provide you with valuable insights and perspectives to help you navigate non-monogamous connections.

1. “The Ethical Slut” by Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy

Considered a classic in the non-monogamous community, “The Ethical Slut” is an excellent resource for those interested in ethical non-monogamy. With a focus on communication, trust and intimacy, this book advocates for healthy and consensual non-monogamous relationships.

2. “More Than Two” by Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert

“More Than Two” challenges the traditional societal notions of monogamy and instead promotes the idea of ethical non-monogamy. This book takes an in-depth look at different non-monogamous relationship structures such as polyamory. It’s a comprehensive guide that explores communication, jealousy, and the importance of consent.

3. “Opening Up” by Tristan Taormino

“Opening Up” is a practical guide that examines the different types of non-monogamous relationships including swinging, open relationships, and polyamory. This book is an excellent resource for those who are curious about non-monogamous relationships, but are unsure about which type of non-monogamy is right for them.

4. “Designer Relationships” by Mark Michaels and Patricia Johnson

“Designer Relationships” is a more recent addition to the non-monogamous literature. This book explores the concept of designing relationships that meet your unique needs and desires. The authors examine various non-monogamous structures such as polyamory and open relationships, and provide readers with the tools to build sustainable and fulfilling relationships.

5. “The Jealousy Workbook” by Kathy Labriola

Jealousy can be a challenging emotion to navigate in non-monogamous relationships. “The Jealousy Workbook” provides readers with concrete strategies for managing and overcoming jealousy. This book is an excellent resource for anyone looking to improve their emotional literacy and build more fulfilling relationships.

Each of these books offers a unique perspective on open relationships. By reading them, you’ll gain invaluable insights on communication, trust, intimacy, and much more. So, come on and dive in!

Navigating Open Relationships: Relationship Dynamics Books

Once you’ve established that an open relationship is for you, it’s important to navigate the unique dynamics that come with it. These books focus on the practical aspects of navigating multiple romantic relationships and the emotional challenges that come with it.

These books are essential resources for those navigating non-monogamous relationships. They provide practical tools, exercises, and insights for building healthy and fulfilling connections. By reading and learning from the experiences and advice of others, you can grow and succeed in your own non-monogamous journey.

Frequently Asked Questions About Open Relationships

Open relationships can be a complex and nuanced way of exploring love and intimacy. As a result, many people have questions about the subject. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about open relationships.

What is an open relationship?

An open relationship is a non-monogamous connection between two or more people. It can involve sexual and/or romantic relationships, with the consent and openness of all parties involved.

Are open relationships the same as polyamory?

Not necessarily. Polyamory refers specifically to the practice of having multiple romantic relationships at once, while open relationships can also include sexual relationships without romantic attachment.

Are open relationships ethical?

As long as all parties involved give their informed and enthusiastic consent, open relationships can be perfectly ethical. It is important to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that boundaries are respected.

How do you set boundaries in an open relationship?

Setting boundaries in an open relationship involves clear communication and negotiation. It is important to discuss what each person is comfortable with and what they are not. This can involve discussions about sexual health, emotional boundaries, time spent with other partners, and more.

Is jealousy a problem in open relationships?

Jealousy can be a natural emotion in any type of relationship, including open ones. However, it is important to communicate openly and honestly about feelings of jealousy and work together to address any issues that arise.

Where can I find resources for open relationships?

There are many books, websites, and communities devoted to open relationships. Some of the books recommended in this article are great resources for exploring the subject, and online communities like Reddit’s /r/nonmonogamy can also be helpful.

Open relationships can be a thrilling and rewarding way to explore love and intimacy. However, navigating these connections can be complex and challenging. That’s why it’s crucial to educate ourselves and learn from those who have experience in non-monogamous relationships.

In this article, we have highlighted some of the best books on open relationships and provided resources for those who want to learn more. We hope this guide has been helpful in your journey of exploring open relationships.

Keep Learning

Remember that the journey of exploring open relationships is ongoing, and there is always more to learn. We encourage you to continue reading and researching on the subject.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article, and we wish you all the best in your open relationship explorations.

books about open relationships

Heather, the heart and soul behind Love Life Saver, uses her personal experiences and passion for understanding relationships to guide others through the maze of love. She believes empathy and clear communication are keys to healing and growth and is committed to providing support and insights to readers navigating their love lives.

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These Relationship Books Should Be Required Reading, According to Therapists

books about open relationships

Regardless of your relationship status, it doesn’t take an expert to know that building and maintaining relationships, platonic or romantic, can be challenging. It’s why couples' therapists and relationship experts have been studying and writing relationship books (and articles—have you seen our relationships section on the site?) on the subject for decades. Despite everything we think we know to be true about relationships, though, the fact is that everyone can use some guidance now and again.

If you’re the kind of person whose method of problem solving involves cracking open a new book and doing some homework, then you probably already know that the pickings for relationship books are vast , to say the least. Which is why we asked couples therapists to share their best relationship book recommendations.

  • Erica Turner, LPC , relationship therapist and dating coach
  • Genesis Games, LMHC , couples therapist and owner of Healing Connections
  • Jeffrey B. Rubin, Ph.D, PhD
  • Jordana Jacobs PhD, Psychotherapy, PhD

Even if you’ve never thought about reading a book to improve your relationships, there is truly something for everyone among this list of therapist-approved recommendations. Prefer novels over non-fiction? No problem. Want to boost your sexuality knowledge with science-backed learnings? We have that, too. Craving something more interactive that doles out actionable to-dos for you and your partner? This reading list has all of the above.

TLDR; Whether you’re single, dating, or in a relationship, everyone can reap the benefits of the insights contained in these therapist-approved relationship books. Scroll on for your next read!

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Best relationship books at a glance:

Best novel: The Course of Love: A Novel by Alain De Botton ($10) Best book about self-love: Welcome Home by Najwa Zebian ($12) Best book for *all* relationships: Attached by Amir Levine ($15) Best book on sexuality: Come as You Are by Emily Nagoski Ph.D. ($30) Best book for couples struggling to do it all: I Want This to Work byElizabeth Earnshaw ($23) Best book for emotional connection: Hold Me Tight byDr. Sue Johnson ($21) Best book to help heal heartbreak: How To Fix A Broken Heart by Dr. Guy Winch ($14) Best book for anyone in a committed relationship: The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by Dr. John Gottman ($14) Best children’s book that adults can relate to: The Missing Piece Meets the Big O by Shel Silverstein ($17)

the course of love book cover

Alain De Botton’s The Course of Love is one of my favorite books about relationships—and NY-based therapist Dr. Jeffrey Rubin recommends it, too. “Romantic comedies and popular culture propagate various myths of intimacy—there is one person for you, you know who that person is instantaneously, and love is forever…Alain De Botton’s The Course of Love , which is at once a literary novel and a relationship book, prompts us to think of love in more nuanced and deeper ways,” he says. You’ll love how honest and relatable this book is—and if you’re the kind of person who likes to annotate their books, you’ll want to have a highlighter out for this one.

Best book about self-love

welcome home book cover

“This book is all about connecting back to yourself by helping you get to know key pillars of your identity,” explains relationship therapist Erica Turner LPC . Because the relationship you have with yourself is the most important one of them all, Turner says. Welcome Home is required reading for helping readers become their own safe space. “As you begin to feel more secure within yourself, you will feel more empowered to enter the dating world or begin to show up in your current relationship with less fear around being your authentic self,” she tells us.

Best book for *all* relationships

attached book cover

Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love, Amir Levine

It’s possible you’ve heard this book referenced more than once, and that’s because the learnings inside are simply too good not to share. Genesis Games LMHC , a Florida-based couples’ therapist, says it’s been instrumental in her own healing journey and those of her patients. “Learning about attachment styles, how they are developed, the dynamic between different attachment styles, and how to heal is very empowering,” she explains. Full of easy to digest info and actionable takeaways, Attached is a must-read no matter your relationship status, according to Games. “Everyone should understand attachment styles, whether you are single, dating, about to break up, or in the healthiest relationship yet. Attachment styles impact all of our relationships, not just romantic ones.”

Best book on sexuality

come as you are book cover

“ Come As You Are is the sex education class you never received,” says Games. “This is a must-read for anyone who grew up in a home where discussing sex was taboo…Honestly, even if you consider yourself sex savvy, I’m pretty certain you will gain a thing or two from this book.” Author Emily Nagoski debunks some of the most pervasive (and damaging) myths about cis-female sexuality, and doles out science-backed research in an easy to read format that’s bound to hold your attention.

Best book for couples struggling to do it all

i want this to work book cover

“This one is for the modern day couples juggling it all–dual careers, parenting, social life, aging parents, all of it,” shares Games. “Elizabeth Earnshaw really speaks to the complexities and struggles of modern relationships in practical terms, and arms you with tools and skills…One thing that I really love about this one is its inclusivity.” If you’re interested in building healthy relationships, I Want This to Work should be at the top of your TBR.

Best book for emotional connection

hold me tight book cover

If you and your partner are working on strengthening your relationship, Turner says Hold Me Tight will help rekindle your bond, and pave the way for meaningful convos. “This book helps couples navigate through seven major themes in all relationships to help build a true emotionally intimate connection,” she explains. “These conversations show the importance of emotional availability and vulnerability in a relationship to help build a sense of safety, trust, and a lasting bond.” What’s more, it has over 3,000 5-star ratings on Amazon, so readers love it, too!

Best book to help heal heartbreak

how to fix a broken heart book cover

Anyone who’s ever been through it knows that the pain of heartbreak is real —which is why How To Fix a Broken Heart is one of Genesis’ go-to book recommendations for clients who are struggling. “ Society does not tend to show empathy for the brokenhearted and therefore it can be a lonely process of grief…People often question why it’s so hard for them to let go and move on,” says Games. “Guy Winch explains the science behind heartbreak in a way that is so easy to understand and incredibly relatable…He also provides research-based tools to heal from heartbreak.” While it’s not a cure-all, Games says the lessons in this book will be key to your healing.

Best book for anyone in a committed relationship

the seven principles book cover

Married or not, Genesis says that The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work is a must-read for anyone in a committed relationship. “Dr. John Gottman has a wealth of knowledge about fulfilling relationships…This book is all based on over forty years of research and provides a blueprint for long-term relationships,” she says. “Throughout the book, you’ll find activities that allow couples to engage with the material and consider how the findings and concepts relate to their relationship.”

And according to readers, it really works—the book has a whopping 9,000+ 5-star ratings on Amazon! “This book changed our marriage and taught us each so much about ourselves,” wrote one Amazon shopper . “I highly recommend every couple take the time to work through this book together.”

Best children’s book that adults can relate to

the missing piece meets the big o book cover

I know what you’re thinking—and yes, this is technically a children’s book—but Jordana Jacobs, PhD , a psychologist at Alma, says the lessons inside are universal, and she actually recommends it to her adult patients all the time. “In my experience, hyper-intellectual language can at times detract from our ability to hear and listen to our heart,” Jacobs explains. “Instead, the Missing Piece Meets the Big O is disarmingly simple, expressing a truth that we all know, but all too often forget: rather than relying on another person to complete you, a healthy connection is one in which two people—together, in the context of a safe relationship—are working towards a sense of wholeness on their own.”

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Books on the open relationships: 2024 Update of the Most Influential Titles

Are you looking to explore the world of open relationships? Whether you’re curious about the concept or seeking guidance on navigating non-monogamous dynamics, there are plenty of valuable resources out there to help you on your journey. In this article, we’ve curated a list of the 20 best books about open relationships that cover a range of perspectives and insights. From personal memoirs to practical guides, these open relationships books offer invaluable wisdom and advice for anyone interested in this unique relationship style.

  • 1 The Ethical Slut
  • 2 Opening Up
  • 3 The State of Affairs
  • 4 Love in Abundance
  • 5 Designer Relationships
  • 6 The Art and Etiquette of Polyamory
  • 7 The Smart Girl’s Guide to Polyamory
  • 8 The Game Changer
  • 9 The New Love Without Limits
  • 10 The Polyamory Handbook
  • 11 Rewriting the Rules
  • 12 The Ultimate Guide to Kink
  • 13 The New Monogamy
  • 14 The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships, and Other Freedoms in Sex and Love
  • 15 Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships
  • 16 More Than Two: A Practical Guide to Ethical Polyamory
  • 17 The Smart Girl’s Guide to Polyamory: Everything You Need to Know about Open Relationships, Non-Monogamy, and Alternative Love
  • 18 Designer Relationships: A Guide to Happy Monogamy, Positive Polyamory, and Optimistic Open Relationships
  • 19 The Game Changer: A Memoir of Disruptive Love
  • 20 More Than Two
  • 21 Conclusion

best books about open relationships The Ethical Slut

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The Ethical Slut

By janet w. hardy and dossie easton.

The Ethical Slut is a revolutionary book on open relationships, written by Janet W. Hardy and Dossie Easton. This comprehensive guide challenges traditional notions of monogamy and explores the possibilities of ethical non-monogamy. The authors provide practical advice on navigating jealousy, communication, and sexual health in consensual non-monogamous relationships. The book also delves into the importance of consent, honesty, and self-awareness in maintaining healthy and fulfilling open relationships. With its candid and empowering approach, The Ethical Slut has become a go-to resource for individuals seeking to explore the dynamics of non-traditional relationships. Whether you’re curious about polyamory, swinging, or other forms of ethical non-monogamy, this open relationships book offers valuable insights and guidance for anyone interested in redefining the boundaries of love and intimacy.

best books about open relationships Opening Up

by Tristan Taormino

Opening Up by Tristan Taormino is a comprehensive and engaging book on open relationships. Taormino explores the world of non-monogamy, discussing different styles of open relationships, and providing practical advice for those interested in exploring this lifestyle. With a mix of personal stories, interviews, and research, the book offers a balanced and informative look at the complexities and rewards of consensual non-monogamy. Taormino delves into topics such as jealousy, communication, and boundaries, and provides tools for navigating the challenges of open relationships. Whether you’re curious about polyamory, swinging, or other forms of non-monogamy, this open relationships book is an invaluable resource for anyone looking to create healthy and fulfilling connections outside of traditional monogamy.

best books about open relationships The State of Affairs

The State of Affairs

By esther perel.

The State of Affairs by Esther Perel is a thought-provoking book on open relationships and infidelity. Perel, a renowned psychotherapist, explores the complexities of infidelity and its impact on relationships. She challenges traditional notions of monogamy and offers a fresh perspective on the nature of love, desire, and commitment in today’s world. Through real-life stories and insightful analysis, Perel delves into the reasons why people cheat and the emotional turmoil that ensues. She also provides guidance on how couples can navigate the aftermath of infidelity and rebuild trust. The book offers a compassionate and non-judgmental approach to understanding the dynamics of relationships, making it a must-read for anyone interested in the complexities of human connection.

best books about open relationships Love in Abundance

Love in Abundance

By kathy labriola.

Love in Abundance is an insightful and comprehensive book about open relationships, written by Kathy Labriola. This guide offers practical advice, real-life examples, and tools for navigating the challenges and joys of non-monogamous relationships. Labriola explores the dynamics of open relationships, jealousy, communication, and ethical non-monogamy with empathy, wisdom, and humor. Whether you are new to the concept of consensual non-monogamy or have been practicing it for years, this book provides valuable insights and strategies for creating healthy and fulfilling relationships. Love in Abundance is a must-read for anyone interested in exploring the possibilities of non-traditional relationship structures and deepening their understanding of love, intimacy, and connection.

best books about open relationships Designer Relationships

Designer Relationships

By mark a. michaels and patricia johnson.

Designer Relationships by Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson is a thought-provoking book on open relationships that challenges traditional ideas about love and intimacy. The authors, who are also a couple, provide a fresh perspective on non-monogamous relationships, emphasizing the importance of communication, negotiation, and consent. Through personal anecdotes and practical advice, they explore the complexities of modern relationships, offering insights on jealousy, boundaries, and sexual dynamics. This open relationships book encourages readers to rethink the conventional norms of love and to design their own relationship structures that are authentic and fulfilling. Whether you’re curious about polyamory, ethical non-monogamy, or simply looking to deepen your understanding of alternative relationship styles, this book about open relationships provides a valuable resource for anyone seeking to navigate the complexities of modern love.

best books about open relationships The Art and Etiquette of Polyamory

The Art and Etiquette of Polyamory

By francoise simpere.

The Art and Etiquette of Polyamory by Francoise Simpere is a comprehensive guide to navigating the complex dynamics of open relationships. This intriguing book delves into the art of managing multiple romantic relationships with honesty, respect, and integrity. Simpere offers insightful advice on communication, boundaries, jealousy, and the ethical considerations of polyamory. Whether you’re new to the concept or experienced in non-monogamous relationships, this book provides valuable wisdom and practical tips for maintaining healthy and fulfilling connections with multiple partners. With its thoughtful exploration of the emotional and social aspects of polyamory, The Art and Etiquette of Polyamory is an essential resource for anyone interested in exploring the possibilities of open relationships.

best books about open relationships The Smart Girl's Guide to Polyamory

The Smart Girl’s Guide to Polyamory

By dedeker winston.

The Smart Girl’s Guide to Polyamory by Dedeker Winston is a comprehensive and engaging book about non-monogamous relationships. This book provides a practical and insightful guide for anyone interested in exploring the world of open relationships. With a focus on empowerment and self-discovery, Winston offers advice on communication, jealousy, and navigating multiple partnerships. She draws from her own experiences and interviews with other polyamorous individuals to provide real-life examples and practical tips for maintaining healthy and fulfilling relationships. Whether you’re curious about polyamory or already navigating multiple partnerships, this book offers valuable insights and guidance for anyone seeking to create meaningful connections outside of traditional monogamy.

best books about open relationships The Game Changer

The Game Changer

By franklin veaux.

The Game Changer by Franklin Veaux is a groundbreaking book about open relationships that challenges traditional ideas about love and commitment. Veaux shares his personal journey of navigating non-monogamy and offers practical advice for those interested in exploring this alternative relationship style. The book delves into the complexities of jealousy, communication, and ethical non-monogamy, providing valuable insights for anyone curious about non-traditional relationship dynamics. Veaux’s candid and empathetic approach makes this open relationships book a compelling read for individuals seeking a deeper understanding of intimacy and connection outside of the conventional monogamous model.

best books about open relationships The New Love Without Limits

The New Love Without Limits

By deborah anapol.

The New Love Without Limits by Deborah Anapol is a groundbreaking book on open relationships that challenges traditional notions of love and intimacy. Anapol explores the idea of love without boundaries, offering a fresh perspective on non-monogamous relationships and the potential for deep, meaningful connections with multiple partners. Drawing on her own experiences and extensive research, she provides practical advice for navigating the complexities of open relationships, addressing issues such as jealousy, communication, and emotional growth. This thought-provoking book about open relationships invites readers to reconsider the possibilities of love and intimacy, and offers guidance for those seeking to explore alternative relationship structures. Anapol’s insightful and compassionate approach makes The New Love Without Limits a must-read for anyone interested in redefining their understanding of love and connection.

best books about open relationships The Polyamory Handbook

The Polyamory Handbook

By peter j. benson.

The Polyamory Handbook by Peter J. Benson is a comprehensive guide for anyone interested in exploring the world of open relationships. This book covers everything from communication and boundary setting to jealousy and conflict resolution in non-monogamous relationships. With insights from experienced polyamorous individuals and practical advice for navigating multiple partnerships, this handbook provides a valuable resource for anyone curious about polyamory. Whether you’re new to the concept of ethical non-monogamy or looking to deepen your understanding of open relationships, this book offers valuable insights and tools for creating fulfilling and sustainable connections with multiple partners. The Polyamory Handbook is an essential read for anyone seeking guidance and support in their journey through the complexities of polyamorous relationships.

best books about open relationships Rewriting the Rules

Rewriting the Rules

By meg-john barker.

Rewriting the Rules by Meg-John Barker is a thought-provoking and insightful book on non-traditional relationship structures. This book delves into the complexities of relationships and challenges the traditional norms of monogamy. With a focus on inclusivity and diversity, Barker explores various relationship models, including polyamory, non-monogamy, and other alternative arrangements. The book provides practical advice, exercises, and tools for individuals and couples to navigate their own unique relationship dynamics. It also addresses issues of consent, communication, and boundaries, offering a fresh perspective on intimacy and connection. Whether you’re curious about open relationships, questioning traditional relationship norms, or seeking to understand diverse relationship experiences, Rewriting the Rules is an essential read that will expand your understanding of intimate connections.

best books about open relationships The Ultimate Guide to Kink

The Ultimate Guide to Kink

The Ultimate Guide to Kink by Tristan Taormino is a comprehensive and insightful exploration of the world of kink and BDSM. This book delves into the various aspects of kink, including power dynamics, role-playing, bondage, and more, offering a wealth of information and guidance for both beginners and experienced practitioners. Taormino combines personal stories, practical advice, and expert tips to create a resource that is both informative and engaging. The Ultimate Guide to Kink is a valuable resource for anyone interested in exploring their kinky side and expanding their understanding of alternative sexual practices. Whether you’re new to kink or a seasoned pro, this book is a must-read for anyone looking to delve deeper into the world of BDSM.

best books about open relationships The New Monogamy

The New Monogamy

By tammy nelson.

The New Monogamy by Tammy Nelson is a groundbreaking book that challenges traditional views of monogamy and offers a fresh perspective on intimate relationships. This book explores the concept of ‘open relationships’ in a non-traditional way, encouraging readers to consider new possibilities for emotional and sexual connections. Dr. Nelson provides practical guidance and exercises for couples looking to redefine their relationships and create a more authentic and fulfilling connection. The New Monogamy offers a compassionate and non-judgmental approach to understanding and navigating the complexities of modern relationships. It is a must-read for anyone interested in exploring alternative models of intimacy and connection.

best books about open relationships The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships, and Other Freedoms in Sex and Love

The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships, and Other Freedoms in Sex and Love

By janet w. hardy, dossie easton.

The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships, and Other Freedoms in Sex and Love is a groundbreaking book about open relationships. Written by Janet W. Hardy and Dossie Easton, this book offers practical advice and insights for individuals exploring non-traditional relationship dynamics. It covers topics such as communication, jealousy, boundaries, and ethical considerations in polyamorous and open relationships. The authors provide a supportive and empowering guide for those interested in exploring different forms of intimacy and connection. With its non-judgmental and informative approach, The Ethical Slut has become a go-to resource for individuals navigating the complexities of consensual non-monogamy. If you’re looking for a thought-provoking and enlightening read on the topic of open relationships, this book is a must-read.

best books about open relationships Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships

Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships

Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships by Tristan Taormino is a comprehensive book on open relationships that provides readers with practical advice and insights into the world of non-monogamy. Taormino explores various forms of non-traditional relationships, including polyamory, swinging, and open marriages, and offers guidance on communication, jealousy, and negotiation. The book delves into the challenges and benefits of alternative relationship structures, drawing on real-life experiences and expert advice to help readers navigate the complexities of non-monogamous partnerships. With a mix of personal anecdotes, practical tips, and thought-provoking exercises, Opening Up is an essential read for anyone interested in exploring the possibilities of non-traditional partnerships. This open relationships book is a valuable resource for individuals seeking to understand and cultivate healthy and fulfilling non-monogamous relationships.

best books about open relationships More Than Two: A Practical Guide to Ethical Polyamory

More Than Two: A Practical Guide to Ethical Polyamory

By franklin veaux, eve rickert.

More Than Two: A Practical Guide to Ethical Polyamory is a comprehensive and insightful book on open relationships. Co-authored by Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert, this book provides a practical guide to navigating the complexities of polyamorous relationships while maintaining ethical standards. It covers a wide range of topics including communication, jealousy, boundaries, and managing multiple partners. The authors draw from their own experiences and offer valuable advice for individuals seeking to explore non-monogamous relationships in a healthy and respectful manner. More Than Two is a valuable resource for anyone interested in understanding the dynamics of polyamory and building successful and ethical relationships with multiple partners.

best books about open relationships The Smart Girl's Guide to Polyamory: Everything You Need to Know about Open Relationships, Non-Monogamy, and Alternative Love

The Smart Girl’s Guide to Polyamory: Everything You Need to Know about Open Relationships, Non-Monogamy, and Alternative Love

The Smart Girl’s Guide to Polyamory is a comprehensive book on open relationships that provides an insightful and practical look at non-traditional forms of love and intimacy. Author Dedeker Winston offers a refreshing and empowering perspective on alternative love, providing readers with the knowledge and tools they need to navigate the complexities of non-monogamy and polyamory. The book covers a wide range of topics, including jealousy, communication, and ethical considerations, making it an invaluable resource for anyone interested in exploring non-traditional relationships. With a blend of personal anecdotes, research, and actionable advice, The Smart Girl’s Guide to Polyamory is an essential read for anyone curious about open relationships and seeking to build healthier and more fulfilling connections.

best books about open relationships Designer Relationships: A Guide to Happy Monogamy, Positive Polyamory, and Optimistic Open Relationships

Designer Relationships: A Guide to Happy Monogamy, Positive Polyamory, and Optimistic Open Relationships

By mark a. michaels, patricia johnson.

Designer Relationships: A Guide to Happy Monogamy, Positive Polyamory, and Optimistic Open Relationships is a comprehensive and insightful book on non-traditional relationship structures. Written by Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson, this book explores the various dynamics of modern relationships, including monogamy, polyamory, and open relationships. Through a combination of personal anecdotes, practical advice, and psychological insight, the authors provide a guide for individuals seeking to navigate the complexities of non-traditional relationships. Whether you are curious about exploring new relationship models or looking to improve your current partnership, Designer Relationships offers valuable wisdom and guidance. This book about open relationships challenges conventional ideas about love and commitment, and empowers readers to create the relationships that best suit their needs and desires.

best books about open relationships The Game Changer: A Memoir of Disruptive Love

The Game Changer: A Memoir of Disruptive Love

The Game Changer: A Memoir of Disruptive Love by Franklin Veaux is a captivating book about open relationships. Veaux shares his personal journey through non-traditional relationships, offering an intimate and honest account of the complexities and challenges that come with navigating multiple partnerships. Through his experiences, Veaux explores the dynamics of love, jealousy, and communication, providing valuable insights into the world of polyamory and non-monogamy. The memoir is a compelling and thought-provoking read for anyone interested in understanding the intricacies of unconventional relationships and the transformative power of love. With its raw and candid storytelling, The Game Changer is a must-read for those seeking a deeper understanding of the complexities of open relationships.

best books about open relationships More Than Two

More Than Two

By franklin veaux and eve rickert.

More Than Two by Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert is a comprehensive guidebook on non-monogamous relationships. This book explores the complexities of polyamory, open relationships, and other forms of ethical non-monogamy. With a focus on communication, boundaries, and ethical considerations, the authors provide practical advice for navigating the challenges that can arise in non-monogamous relationships. More Than Two offers insights into jealousy, insecurity, and the societal stigmas surrounding non-traditional relationship structures. It also delves into the importance of self-awareness, consent, and creating healthy, fulfilling connections. Whether you’re new to non-monogamy or seeking to deepen your understanding of ethical non-monogamous relationships, this book provides valuable guidance and support for anyone interested in exploring alternative approaches to intimacy and connection.

In conclusion, these 20 best books about open relationships provide valuable insights, advice, and personal experiences for individuals navigating non-traditional relationship structures. Whether you’re seeking guidance on communication, jealousy, or ethical non-monogamy, these books offer a wealth of information to help you navigate the complexities of open relationships with confidence and understanding.

Which open relationships book is best?

The best book on open relationships can vary with personal preference, but three widely recommended titles are:

  • The Ethical Slut by Janet W. Hardy and Dossie Easton ,
  • Opening Up by Tristan Taormino ,
  • The State of Affairs by Esther Perel .

Each offers valuable insights and could be a great starting point.

What are the best books to learn about open relationships?

For those looking to learn about open relationships, there is a wealth of literature that can provide a comprehensive understanding of the subject. Some of the most highly recommended books include:

  • The State of Affairs by Esther Perel ,
  • Love in Abundance by Kathy Labriola ,
  • Designer Relationships by Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson ,
  • The Art and Etiquette of Polyamory by Francoise Simpere ,
  • The Smart Girl’s Guide to Polyamory by Dedeker Winston ,
  • The Game Changer by Franklin Veaux ,
  • The New Love Without Limits by Deborah Anapol ,
  • The Polyamory Handbook by Peter J. Benson

These books offer a range of perspectives on open relationships, covering various aspects and approaches to the subject.

What are the best books on open relationships?

The best books on open relationships include:

  • Rewriting the Rules by Meg-John Barker ,
  • The Ultimate Guide to Kink by Tristan Taormino ,
  • The Art and Etiquette of Polyamory by Francoise Simpere .

Each offers unique insights into the subject. While these books on the topic of open relationships are highly regarded, it’s important to note that any list of ‘best’ books is subjective and reflects a range of opinions.

What are the best open relationships books of all time?

Choosing the best open relationships books of all time can vary depending on who you ask, but seven titles that are often celebrated include

  • The Polyamory Handbook by Peter J. Benson ,
  • and Rewriting the Rules by Meg-John Barker .

Each of these books has made a significant impact in the field of open relationships and continues to be influential today.

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20 best books on open relationships – 2023 reading list & recommendations

Welcome to the fascinating world of books on open relationships! In a society that is constantly evolving, it is important to explore alternative perspectives on love, intimacy, and commitment. While the concept of open relationships may seem unconventional to some, it is a topic that has gained significant attention in recent years. Whether you are curious about the subject, looking for guidance, or simply seeking to broaden your horizons, this article will introduce you to some of the best books on open relationships.

While the notion of open relationships may not be widely embraced, it is important to recognize the value in exploring different relationship dynamics. These books offer unique insights and perspectives that challenge traditional notions of monogamy and provide a deeper understanding of the complexities of human connections.

From memoirs to self-help guides, fiction to non-fiction, the books featured in this article cover a wide range of genres and are written by authors who have immersed themselves in the world of open relationships. You will discover compelling stories, thought-provoking discussions, and practical advice that will help you navigate the intricacies of open relationships.

So, whether you are a skeptic or a believer, a curious reader or someone seeking guidance, join us on this literary journey as we explore the 20 best books about open relationships. Prepare to discover new ideas, challenge your preconceptions, and expand your understanding of love, intimacy, and the varying forms that relationships can take.

  • 1 The Ethical Slut
  • 2 Opening Up
  • 3 More Than Two
  • 4 The State of Affairs
  • 5 Love in Abundance
  • 6 The Jealousy Workbook
  • 7 Designer Relationships
  • 8 The Art and Etiquette of Polyamory
  • 9 The Smart Girl’s Guide to Polyamory
  • 10 The Game Changer
  • 11 The Polyamorists Next Door
  • 12 The New Love Without Limits
  • 13 The Polyamory Handbook
  • 14 Rewriting the Rules
  • 15 The Ultimate Guide to Kink
  • 16 The Jealousy Survival Guide
  • 17 The Polyamory Breakup Book
  • 18 The Jealousy Cure
  • 19 The New Monogamy
  • 20 The Game of Desire
  • 21 Conclusion

best books about open relationships The Ethical Slut

Buy the book

The Ethical Slut

By janet w. hardy and dossie easton.

Are you ready to challenge the traditional boundaries of love and relationships? Look no further than “The Ethical Slut” by Janet W. Hardy and Dossie Easton. This groundbreaking book delves deep into the world of open relationships, offering a fresh perspective on love, sex, and human connections.

Unlike any other book on open relationships, “The Ethical Slut” explores the concept of ethical non-monogamy with grace, honesty, and thoughtfulness. It invites readers to shed outdated societal norms and embrace the freedom to define their own relationships. Hardy and Easton present a wealth of ideas, strategies, and personal anecdotes that will expand your understanding of love and intimacy.

But this isn’t just a book about open relationships. It’s a guide to creating a fulfilling and ethical love life, whether you’re single, in a committed relationship, or somewhere in between. The authors tackle topics such as communication, jealousy, boundaries, and sexual exploration, offering practical advice that can be applied to any type of relationship.

What sets “The Ethical Slut” apart is its unwavering commitment to inclusivity. The authors recognize that open relationships come in various forms and cater to diverse individuals. They emphasize the importance of consent, respect, and ethical decision-making, empowering readers to navigate their own unique path.

“The Ethical Slut” challenges conventional beliefs about love and monogamy, encouraging readers to question societal norms and discover what truly works for them. It is a must-read for anyone seeking a new perspective on relationships, intimacy, and personal growth. Get ready to embark on a journey of self-discovery and embrace the possibilities of ethical non-monogamy.

best books about open relationships Opening Up

by Tristan Taormino

Are you tired of the traditional notions of relationships? Do you find yourself wondering if there could be a different way to approach love and intimacy? Look no further, because Tristan Taormino’s groundbreaking book, “Opening Up,” is here to challenge your preconceived notions about relationships.

In this eye-opening exploration of alternative love styles, Taormino delves into the world of open relationships. But this isn’t just any book about open relationships; it’s a thought-provoking guide that pushes the boundaries of what we think is possible in love.

Taormino presents a refreshing perspective that embraces the diversity of human connections. She explores the intricacies of polyamory, swinging, and other non-traditional relationship styles with an open mind and a wealth of knowledge. By sharing personal stories, practical advice, and expert insights, she shows us that open relationships can be fulfilling, honest, and deeply rewarding.

What sets “Opening Up” apart from other books on open relationships is Taormino’s emphasis on communication, consent, and self-reflection. She encourages readers to examine their desires, boundaries, and insecurities, providing tools to navigate the complexities of multiple partnerships.

This book challenges the status quo and invites readers to question societal norms surrounding love and monogamy. Taormino’s writing is engaging and accessible, making it easy for anyone to dive into the world of open relationships, regardless of their current relationship status.

If you’re ready to expand your understanding of love and explore the possibilities of open relationships, “Opening Up” is the book for you. Taormino’s unique perspective and wealth of knowledge will leave you inspired, enlightened, and eager to embark on your own journey of love and connection.

best books about open relationships More Than Two

More Than Two

By franklin veaux and eve rickert.

Are you ready to explore the uncharted territory of relationships? If so, “More Than Two” is the book you’ve been waiting for. This captivating and thought-provoking read takes you on a journey through the realm of non-traditional relationships, delving deep into the world of polyamory, ethical non-monogamy, and yes, open relationships.

Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert, the authors, bring a fresh perspective to the table, shattering societal norms and challenging the traditional model of monogamy. They provide a comprehensive guide to navigating the complexities of open relationships, offering practical advice, personal anecdotes, and valuable insights every step of the way.

What sets “More Than Two” apart is its commitment to inclusivity and consent. The authors emphasize the importance of communication, respect, and individual autonomy within relationships. They debunk common misconceptions surrounding open relationships and offer a roadmap for building strong, fulfilling connections that go beyond the confines of monogamy.

Veaux and Rickert’s writing style is engaging, relatable, and refreshingly honest. They tackle complex topics with clarity and sensitivity, making this book accessible to both newcomers and those well-versed in the realm of open relationships. Their unique blend of personal experiences, research, and practical tips ensures that “More Than Two” is not just an informative read, but a transformative one.

So, if you’re ready to challenge societal norms, explore the limitless possibilities of love, and embark on a journey of self-discovery, “More Than Two” is the ultimate guidebook. It’s time to open your mind, open your heart, and embrace the world of open relationships. Are you ready?

best books about open relationships The State of Affairs

The State of Affairs

By esther perel.

Are you ready to challenge the conventional norms of relationships? Look no further than Esther Perel’s thought-provoking book, The State of Affairs . This captivating exploration delves deep into the realm of unconventional partnerships, offering a fresh perspective on the concept of open relationships.

In a world where monogamy has long been the standard, Perel fearlessly challenges societal expectations. With her expertise in the field of relationships and human connection, she introduces us to a world where love is not confined by traditional boundaries.

Prepare to have your preconceptions shattered as Perel tackles the complexities of intimacy, desire, and trust. Through a blend of personal anecdotes, psychological insights, and expert analysis, she paints a vivid picture of the rich tapestry of open relationships.

This is not your typical self-help book. Perel’s writing is both captivating and thought-provoking, leaving readers questioning their own beliefs and values. She encourages us to examine our desires, fears, and insecurities, paving the way for a greater understanding of ourselves and our relationships.

With each turn of the page, Perel dismantles common misconceptions surrounding open relationships, urging us to embrace the unconventional. She challenges us to reimagine love and intimacy, offering a pathway to deeper connections and personal growth.

If you’ve ever been curious about exploring alternative relationship structures but hesitated to venture into uncharted territory, this book is your guide. Perel’s nuanced approach and wealth of knowledge will empower you to navigate the complexities of open relationships with confidence and clarity.

So, if you’re ready to embark on a journey of self-discovery and redefine the way you think about love, don’t miss out on this groundbreaking book on open relationships . Esther Perel’s The State of Affairs is the key to unlocking a world of possibilities, challenging the status quo, and embracing the transformative power of open relationships.

best books about open relationships Love in Abundance

Love in Abundance

By kathy labriola.

Are you tired of the same old conventional relationships? Do you find yourself yearning for something more, something beyond the traditional boundaries of love and intimacy? Look no further, because Love in Abundance is the book you’ve been waiting for.

In this groundbreaking exploration of non-traditional relationships, Kathy Labriola delves into the world of open relationships, offering a fresh and insightful perspective on love, intimacy, and connection. With her extensive experience as a counselor and therapist, Labriola takes readers on a journey that challenges societal norms and encourages them to embrace the idea of love in abundance.

Love in Abundance is not just another book on open relationships; it is a comprehensive guide that goes beyond the surface-level discussions and offers practical advice and tools for navigating the complexities of non-monogamous partnerships. Labriola explores the various types of open relationships, from polyamory to swinging, and provides valuable insights on communication, jealousy, and setting boundaries.

What sets Love in Abundance apart from other books about open relationships is Labriola’s compassionate and non-judgmental approach. She recognizes that open relationships are not for everyone, but she also believes that they can be a fulfilling and rewarding choice for those who are willing to explore beyond the confines of monogamy.

Labriola challenges the notion that love is a finite resource and argues that there is an abundance of love to be shared and experienced. She encourages readers to let go of societal expectations and embrace their desires, creating a relationship structure that works for them and their partners.

Whether you are curious about open relationships, currently in one, or simply looking to broaden your understanding of different relationship dynamics, Love in Abundance is a must-read. Labriola’s compassionate and thought-provoking insights will challenge your preconceptions and inspire you to explore the possibilities of love, intimacy, and connection.

best books about open relationships The Jealousy Workbook

The Jealousy Workbook

Are you ready to dive into the world of unconventional relationships? Look no further than “The Jealousy Workbook” by Kathy Labriola. This captivating book takes a fresh and insightful approach to the topic of open relationships, exploring the often misunderstood emotions of jealousy. Labriola, a renowned expert in the field, offers a comprehensive guide that goes beyond the surface-level advice found in other books on open relationships.

What sets “The Jealousy Workbook” apart is its emphasis on self-reflection and personal growth. Labriola delves into the root causes of jealousy, encouraging readers to explore their own insecurities and fears. Through a series of thought-provoking exercises and practical strategies, she provides a roadmap for navigating jealousy and creating healthier, more fulfilling relationships.

Labriola’s writing style is engaging and accessible, making complex concepts easy to grasp. She combines her extensive knowledge with real-life examples, offering readers relatable stories that illustrate the challenges and triumphs of open relationships. Whether you’re new to the world of non-monogamy or have been practicing for years, this book is a valuable resource that will inspire personal growth and foster deeper connections.

Unlike other books about open relationships, “The Jealousy Workbook” goes beyond the surface-level ideas and delves into the intricacies of human emotions. Labriola challenges common misconceptions and presents a refreshing perspective on jealousy, highlighting its potential for personal growth and transformation.

So, if you’re ready to embark on a journey of self-discovery and explore the depths of open relationships, “The Jealousy Workbook” is the perfect companion. Get your copy today and unlock a new understanding of jealousy, intimacy, and personal fulfillment.

best books about open relationships Designer Relationships

Designer Relationships

By mark a. michaels and patricia johnson.

Designer Relationships, written by Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson, is a captivating exploration of non-traditional romantic partnerships. This thought-provoking book challenges conventional notions of love, commitment, and monogamy, offering a refreshing and enlightening perspective on the topic of open relationships.

With eloquence and wisdom, Michaels and Johnson delve into the intricacies of what they refer to as “designer relationships.” They artfully navigate the complexities of modern love, emphasizing the importance of communication, honesty, and consent in forging meaningful connections.

Unlike many other books on open relationships, Designer Relationships goes beyond simply advocating for non-monogamy. Michaels and Johnson delve into the nuances of ethical non-monogamy, exploring the potential for deep intimacy, personal growth, and fulfillment that can be found in these alternative relationship structures.

By examining a range of relationship styles, from polyamory to swinging, the authors provide readers with a comprehensive understanding of the diverse possibilities for romantic and sexual connections. They offer practical advice, grounded in personal experiences and extensive research, on topics such as jealousy, boundaries, and navigating multiple partnerships.

What sets Designer Relationships apart is the authors’ commitment to dispelling misconceptions and promoting healthy relationship dynamics. They challenge the notion that monogamy is the only path to happiness and fulfillment, presenting readers with a wealth of knowledge and perspectives that invite introspection and personal growth.

Whether you are curious about exploring non-traditional relationships or seeking to deepen your understanding of open relationships, Designer Relationships is a must-read. Immerse yourself in this thought-provoking book, and discover a world of possibilities beyond the traditional confines of monogamy.

best books about open relationships The Art and Etiquette of Polyamory

The Art and Etiquette of Polyamory

By francoise simpere.

If you’ve ever been curious about the world of open relationships, then “The Art and Etiquette of Polyamory” by Francoise Simpere is the book you’ve been waiting for. This captivating exploration of unconventional connections offers a fresh perspective on love, intimacy, and human connections that will challenge your preconceived notions.

Unlike any other book on open relationships, Simpere delves deep into the realm of polyamory, guiding readers through the intricacies of managing multiple romantic partnerships with respect, honesty, and consent. With a mix of personal anecdotes, expert advice, and thought-provoking ideas, this book is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand and navigate the ever-evolving landscape of relationships in the modern world.

Throughout the pages of “The Art and Etiquette of Polyamory,” Simpere challenges societal norms and encourages readers to question the traditional monogamous model. By dismantling the taboo surrounding open relationships, Simpere invites us to explore the vast potential of love and connection, reshaping our understanding of human bonds.

What sets this open relationships book apart is Simpere’s unique perspective. Drawing from her own experiences and extensive research, she offers practical advice on communication, jealousy, and self-growth while emphasizing the importance of establishing healthy boundaries and respecting individual needs.

As you delve into this thought-provoking read, be prepared to challenge your own beliefs and expand your understanding of love. Simpere’s eloquent prose effortlessly weaves together philosophical musings, personal stories, and practical tips, creating a truly captivating narrative that will leave you inspired and questioning the conventional wisdom of monogamy.

Whether you’re already in an open relationship or simply curious about the possibilities that lie beyond the confines of monogamy, “The Art and Etiquette of Polyamory” is the open relationships book that will enlighten, educate, and exhilarate you. Prepare to embark on a journey that will forever change the way you think about love and relationships.

best books about open relationships The Smart Girl's Guide to Polyamory

The Smart Girl’s Guide to Polyamory

By dedeker winston.

Are you tired of traditional monogamous relationships? Are you curious about exploring the realms of open relationships? Look no further! The Smart Girl’s Guide to Polyamory by Dedeker Winston is here to enlighten and empower you. This groundbreaking book dives deep into the fascinating world of non-monogamy, offering a fresh perspective on love, intimacy, and connection.

Unlike any other book on open relationships, Winston presents a unique and refreshing take on the subject. She delves into the intricacies of polyamory, debunking common myths and providing practical advice to navigate this uncharted territory. With her relatable and empathetic approach, Winston guides you through the challenges and joys of multiple relationships, while encouraging self-discovery and personal growth.

Through insightful stories, research-based insights, and actionable tips, The Smart Girl’s Guide to Polyamory challenges societal norms and encourages readers to embrace their authentic desires. Winston explores the topics of communication, jealousy, and boundaries, providing invaluable tools to create healthy and fulfilling relationships.

Winston’s writing style is engaging and accessible, making this open relationships book a page-turner from start to finish. She combines her personal experiences with the wisdom of experts, offering a well-rounded perspective on the multifaceted nature of love and connection. With each chapter, you’ll find yourself captivated by Winston’s thought-provoking ideas and practical strategies.

Whether you’re a seasoned polyamorist or simply curious about exploring open relationships, The Smart Girl’s Guide to Polyamory is a must-read. This book will not only challenge your preconceived notions but also empower you to embrace and live your truth. So, why wait? Dive into the world of polyamory and discover a new way to love and be loved.

best books about open relationships The Game Changer

The Game Changer

By franklin veaux.

Are you tired of the same old rules and restrictions in your relationships? Do you crave a deeper connection and a greater sense of freedom? Look no further than “The Game Changer” by Franklin Veaux.

This thought-provoking book delves into the fascinating world of non-traditional relationships, exploring the concept of open relationships and challenging the conventional norms of love and commitment. Veaux’s refreshing perspective offers a fresh take on what it means to truly connect with others.

Unlike any other book on open relationships, “The Game Changer” goes beyond the surface and delves into the emotional, psychological, and practical aspects of maintaining multiple connections. Veaux navigates the complexities of jealousy, communication, and personal growth with wisdom and compassion.

Through personal anecdotes, insightful advice, and practical exercises, Veaux invites readers to step outside the boundaries of monogamy and explore the vast possibilities of love and intimacy. His writing is engaging, relatable, and thought-provoking, making it a must-read for anyone curious about alternative relationship dynamics.

Veaux challenges the notion that open relationships are solely about sexual exploration, emphasizing the importance of emotional connection and personal growth. He encourages readers to question societal norms and embrace the idea that love can be boundless.

Whether you’re considering opening up your relationship or simply curious about the topic, “The Game Changer” is a must-have for your bookshelf. Veaux’s unique insights and practical advice will empower you to redefine your own relationship boundaries and create the love life that truly fulfills you.

Don’t miss out on this captivating book about open relationships that will undoubtedly challenge your preconceived notions and open your mind to new possibilities.

best books about open relationships The Polyamorists Next Door

The Polyamorists Next Door

By elisabeth sheff.

If you believe that love should never be limited or confined, then “The Polyamorists Next Door” is the book for you. In this eye-opening exploration of non-monogamous relationships, Elisabeth Sheff delves into the world of open relationships, shedding light on a topic that is often misunderstood or overlooked.

With a captivating blend of research, personal stories, and expert insights, Sheff uncovers the truth about polyamory and its practitioners. Through her meticulous examination, she challenges societal norms and provides a fresh perspective on love, sex, and commitment.

Unlike any other book on open relationships, “The Polyamorists Next Door” offers a comprehensive look at the diverse experiences and dynamics within polyamorous relationships. Sheff explores the intricacies of polyamory, from the joys and challenges of multiple partners to navigating jealousy and maintaining healthy boundaries.

What sets this book apart is its focus on the real-life stories of polyamorous individuals and families. Sheff introduces us to a diverse cast of characters, sharing their triumphs, struggles, and personal journeys. These intimate narratives add depth and authenticity to the book, making it a compelling and relatable read.

If you’re curious about open relationships, this book is an invaluable resource. Sheff’s research-backed insights will challenge your preconceptions and broaden your understanding of love and relationships. Whether you’re considering polyamory for yourself or simply want to learn more about this alternative lifestyle, “The Polyamorists Next Door” is the definitive guide to navigating the world of open relationships.

best books about open relationships The New Love Without Limits

The New Love Without Limits

By deborah anapol.

Are you tired of traditional relationships and yearning for something more? Look no further than Deborah Anapol’s groundbreaking book, The New Love Without Limits. In this eye-opening exploration of open relationships, Anapol challenges societal norms and invites readers to embrace a different way of loving.

Anapol’s refreshing perspective on open relationships will captivate your imagination and push the boundaries of your understanding. She delves deep into the complexities of human connection, discussing the freedom, passion, and intimacy that can be found outside the confines of monogamy.

This book goes way beyond the surface-level discussions you may have encountered before. Anapol provides practical advice on navigating the intricacies of open relationships, offering tools and insights to help you create a truly fulfilling partnership.

With her wealth of knowledge and years of experience, Anapol breaks down the stigma surrounding open relationships and sheds light on the immense potential for personal growth and self-discovery within these unconventional unions.

Whether you’re new to the concept of open relationships or seeking guidance on how to make them work, this book is a must-read. Anapol’s writing is both thought-provoking and accessible, making it easy for anyone to engage with her ideas and apply them to their own lives.

So, if you’re ready to challenge the status quo and explore the boundless possibilities of love, don’t miss out on this extraordinary book. The New Love Without Limits will open your mind, expand your heart, and forever change the way you think about relationships.

best books about open relationships The Polyamory Handbook

The Polyamory Handbook

By peter j. benson.

Looking to explore the uncharted territory of open relationships? Look no further than The Polyamory Handbook by Peter J. Benson. This thought-provoking book delves into the fascinating world of non-monogamy, offering a fresh perspective on relationships that goes beyond the traditional norms.

In this eye-opening read, Benson challenges societal expectations and encourages readers to consider the possibilities of multiple partners, communication, and emotional honesty. With an open mind, he explores the intricate dynamics of polyamorous relationships, providing practical advice and guidance for those interested in venturing into this unexplored territory.

What sets this book apart is Benson’s ability to navigate the complexities of open relationships with empathy and understanding. He delves into the psychology behind polyamory, debunking common misconceptions and offering insights that will challenge your preconceived notions.

The Polyamory Handbook is not just a book about open relationships; it’s a guide to rethinking the very foundations of love and intimacy. Benson effortlessly weaves personal anecdotes, scientific research, and practical tips to create a well-rounded resource that is both informative and engaging.

Whether you’re already in an open relationship or simply curious about the concept, this book is a must-read. It offers a refreshing perspective on love, trust, and human connection, presenting a roadmap for navigating the uncharted waters of polyamory.

So, if you’re ready to challenge societal norms and explore the possibilities of multiple partnerships, grab a copy of The Polyamory Handbook and embark on a journey that will forever change the way you think about relationships.

best books about open relationships Rewriting the Rules

Rewriting the Rules

By meg-john barker.

Are you tired of the same old relationship advice? Looking for a fresh perspective on love and intimacy? Look no further than “Rewriting the Rules” by Meg-John Barker. This groundbreaking book challenges conventional wisdom on relationships and delves into the world of open relationships, exploring the possibilities and potential they offer.

Barker, a renowned expert in the field, presents a thought-provoking and insightful exploration of alternative relationship styles. They skillfully navigate the complexities of open relationships, providing practical advice, personal anecdotes, and a wealth of research to support their ideas.

Unlike other books on open relationships, “Rewriting the Rules” is refreshingly inclusive and embraces a diversity of experiences. It challenges societal norms and encourages readers to question the traditional notions of monogamy and commitment.

Through engaging storytelling and relatable examples, Barker invites readers to examine their own beliefs and desires, encouraging them to challenge the status quo and create relationships that truly reflect their authentic selves. They provide invaluable tools and strategies for negotiating boundaries, managing jealousy, and fostering open communication.

But “Rewriting the Rules” goes beyond just open relationships. It also explores themes of self-care, autonomy, and consent, urging readers to prioritize their own well-being and personal growth. Barker encourages readers to rewrite the rulebook of relationships and create their own unique path to happiness.

Whether you are curious about open relationships, seeking guidance for your own non-traditional partnership, or simply interested in expanding your knowledge, this book is a must-read. “Rewriting the Rules” is an inspiring and empowering exploration of love, intimacy, and the limitless possibilities that lie outside the boundaries of traditional relationships.

Dive into this thought-provoking journey with Meg-John Barker and discover a world of new perspectives and possibilities for your own relationships.

best books about open relationships The Ultimate Guide to Kink

The Ultimate Guide to Kink

Are you ready to explore the uncharted territory of love and relationships? Look no further than “The Ultimate Guide to Kink” by Tristan Taormino. This captivating book is not your average guide on open relationships – it dares to delve into the taboo and the unconventional, offering a fresh perspective on the complexities of human connection.

Within these pages, Taormino skillfully navigates the unexplored corners of desire, intimacy, and trust. She invites you to challenge societal norms and embrace the freedom to define your own relationship dynamics. Whether you’re new to the world of kink or a seasoned explorer, this book promises to expand your horizons and ignite your imagination.

With a blend of personal anecdotes, expert advice, and thought-provoking insights, “The Ultimate Guide to Kink” is a treasure trove of knowledge that will empower you to explore the depths of your desires. Taormino’s refreshing approach to open relationships encourages readers to embrace their authentic selves, fostering a deeper understanding of the diverse ways in which we can connect with others.

Unlike any other book on open relationships, this one dares to challenge the status quo and encourages readers to push their boundaries. Taormino explores not only the physical aspects of kink but also the emotional and psychological dimensions, reminding us that true intimacy goes far beyond the physical realm.

Prepare to embark on a journey of self-discovery and liberation. “The Ultimate Guide to Kink” is more than just a book about open relationships; it’s an invitation to embrace the full spectrum of human connection and explore the limitless possibilities that lie beyond society’s norms. Are you ready to redefine love and passion? Then this book is a must-read for you.

best books about open relationships The Jealousy Survival Guide

The Jealousy Survival Guide

By kitty chambliss.

Are you ready to embark on a thrilling journey into the world of unconventional relationships? Look no further than “The Jealousy Survival Guide” by Kitty Chambliss, a captivating exploration of the complexities and triumphs of open relationships. Chambliss takes readers on a thought-provoking adventure, delving into the depths of jealousy and offering insightful strategies for navigating this often misunderstood emotion. With her unique perspective and refreshing honesty, she challenges societal norms and encourages readers to embrace the possibilities of love and connection beyond the confines of traditional monogamy.

In this eye-opening book, Chambliss skillfully weaves personal anecdotes, expert advice, and psychological research to provide a comprehensive guide to navigating the often tumultuous waters of open relationships. She dives deep into the intricacies of jealousy, offering readers invaluable tools to understand and manage this complex emotion. With her compassionate and relatable tone, Chambliss empowers readers to embrace jealousy as an opportunity for growth and self-discovery.

Unlike many books on open relationships, “The Jealousy Survival Guide” goes beyond the surface level advice, diving into the psychological and emotional aspects of non-monogamy. Chambliss challenges conventional wisdom, offering unique insights and strategies that are rarely discussed in mainstream literature. Whether you’re new to open relationships or a seasoned veteran, this book will undoubtedly expand your understanding of love, jealousy, and the limitless possibilities of human connection.

Through her engaging storytelling and relatable anecdotes, Chambliss creates a safe space for readers to explore their own feelings and desires. Her vulnerability and authenticity shine through, making this book not just an informative guide, but also a deeply personal and transformative experience. If you’re ready to challenge societal norms, explore the depths of your emotions, and embrace a new paradigm of love and connection, “The Jealousy Survival Guide” is the perfect companion for your journey.

best books about open relationships The Polyamory Breakup Book

The Polyamory Breakup Book

Are you ready to explore the uncharted territories of love and relationships? Look no further than “The Polyamory Breakup Book” by Kathy Labriola. This captivating and thought-provoking book delves into the fascinating world of polyamory, offering unique insights and practical advice for navigating the complex dynamics of open relationships.

In this eye-opening book, Labriola challenges conventional notions of love and monogamy, inviting readers to embrace a more expansive and inclusive approach to relationships. Drawing from her extensive experience as a counselor and relationship coach, she provides a compassionate and insightful guide to understanding the intricacies of polyamorous connections.

Labriola sheds light on the often-overlooked aspect of polyamory: breakups. With her trademark warmth and empathy, she explores the challenges that can arise when multiple partners are involved and offers valuable strategies for healing and growth in the aftermath of a polyamorous breakup.

But this book is not just for those who identify as polyamorous. Its wisdom and guidance can be applied to anyone seeking to deepen their understanding of relationships and expand their capacity for love. Labriola’s engaging writing style and relatable anecdotes make this book a page-turner that will keep you hooked from start to finish.

Whether you’re new to the concept of open relationships or have been exploring polyamory for years, “The Polyamory Breakup Book” is an essential read. Get ready to challenge your beliefs, expand your horizons, and gain a deeper understanding of the complexities of love and connection.

best books about open relationships The Jealousy Cure

The Jealousy Cure

By robert l. leahy.

If you’ve ever wondered about the secrets to maintaining a fulfilling and successful open relationship, then look no further than The Jealousy Cure by Robert L. Leahy. This groundbreaking book dives into the complex world of non-monogamous relationships, offering fresh perspectives and unique strategies to overcome jealousy and cultivate trust.

Leahy challenges conventional notions and offers a refreshing take on open relationships, providing practical advice that extends far beyond the typical clichés. With his insightful expertise, he explores the intricate dynamics of jealousy, helping readers navigate the emotional pitfalls that can often arise in non-monogamous partnerships.

Unlike other books on open relationships, The Jealousy Cure delves into the core reasons behind jealousy, addressing root causes rather than just treating the symptoms. Leahy’s compassionate approach encourages self-reflection, helping readers gain a deeper understanding of themselves and their desires.

Throughout the book, Leahy provides real-life examples and relatable anecdotes, making the content accessible and engaging. He offers practical exercises and techniques to help readers build trust, improve communication, and embrace the full potential of open relationships.

What sets this book apart is Leahy’s emphasis on self-compassion and personal growth. His unique perspective challenges societal norms and encourages readers to explore their own values and boundaries, ultimately leading to more fulfilling and authentic connections.

The Jealousy Cure is not just a book about open relationships; it’s a transformative journey that will empower readers to redefine their relationships and discover a new level of emotional intimacy. If you’re ready to embark on a path of self-discovery and embrace the possibilities of open relationships, this book is an absolute must-read.

best books about open relationships The New Monogamy

The New Monogamy

By tammy nelson.

Are you tired of the same old relationship norms and looking for something different? Look no further! Tammy Nelson’s groundbreaking book, The New Monogamy, offers a refreshing perspective on love and intimacy. This thought-provoking book delves into the fascinating world of open relationships, exploring the idea of love and connection beyond traditional boundaries.

In The New Monogamy, Nelson challenges societal norms and encourages readers to question the concept of monogamy. She presents a compelling argument for open relationships, providing insights, advice, and practical tools for those interested in exploring this alternative lifestyle.

Unlike any other book on open relationships, The New Monogamy delves into the emotional and psychological aspects of non-monogamy, emphasizing the importance of communication, trust, and personal growth. Nelson’s writing is both engaging and empathetic, offering a supportive and non-judgmental approach.

Whether you are curious about open relationships, already in one, or simply seeking a fresh perspective on love and connection, this book is a must-read. The New Monogamy will challenge your preconceived notions and open your mind to the possibilities of love and intimacy beyond the confines of traditional monogamy.

So, if you’re ready to embark on a journey of self-discovery and explore the depths of open relationships, get your hands on a copy of The New Monogamy today. You won’t be disappointed!

best books about open relationships The Game of Desire

The Game of Desire

By shannon boodram.

If you’ve ever felt curious about the intricacies of relationships, then “The Game of Desire” by Shannon Boodram is the perfect book for you. This captivating read takes a fresh and unconventional approach to the topic of open relationships. Boodram fearlessly explores the nuances and dynamics of non-traditional partnerships, challenging societal norms and providing a refreshing perspective on love, intimacy, and connection.

Unlike any other book on open relationships, “The Game of Desire” delves deep into the complexities of human desires, exploring the vast spectrum of emotional and physical connections that can exist between individuals. Boodram’s insightful and thought-provoking analysis challenges readers to question societal expectations and embrace their own unique desires.

With a compelling mix of personal anecdotes, expert advice, and thought-provoking exercises, this book offers a comprehensive guide to navigating the uncharted territory of open relationships. Boodram’s writing style is engaging and relatable, making it easy for readers to connect with her experiences and insights.

What sets “The Game of Desire” apart is its emphasis on self-discovery and empowerment. Boodram encourages readers to explore their own desires, communicate openly with their partners, and establish healthy boundaries. By doing so, she argues, individuals can create relationships that are both fulfilling and authentic.

Whether you’re already in an open relationship, considering one, or simply curious about alternative approaches to love and connection, “The Game of Desire” is a must-read. Boodram’s unique perspective and practical advice will challenge your preconceived notions about relationships and leave you inspired to embrace a more open-minded approach to love.

In conclusion, exploring the realm of open relationships through literature can offer a unique and thought-provoking perspective on this often misunderstood topic. While the list of popular books on open relationships is extensive, it’s important to consider some lesser-known, yet equally insightful, works. These hidden gems can provide a fresh take on the subject, challenging traditional notions and offering alternative viewpoints. By delving into these books, readers can gain a deeper understanding of the complexities and possibilities that open relationships can present. So, whether you’re seeking inspiration, guidance, or simply a captivating read, these 20 books about open relationships are sure to broaden your horizons and leave you with new insights to ponder.

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Books to help you be better at love

Love can be a labyrinth of clichés and conflicting advice, but there are wise experts out there – whether you’re in a relationship, out of it, or just looking to understand yourself better.

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Every year Valentine’s Day rolls around, inevitably prompting us to reflect on the state of our love lives. Perhaps you’re being whisked away on a romantic retreat with your beau, perhaps you’ve forgotten about it entirely, perhaps you’re nursing a heartbreak, or perhaps you're celebrating being single.

While pink hearts and date nights take over the Western world on 14th February, checking in with your hopes, priorities, and contentment in relationships is a lifelong commitment – and rarely something that can be helped by the closing scenes of a rom-com .

With that in mind, here is a list of brilliant, insightful and inspiring books that can help you to better understand what you need from – and what you bring to – the romantic relationships in your life.

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books about open relationships

Books About Creating, Maintaining, and Leveling-Up Your Friendships

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Rebecca Joines Schinsky

Rebecca Joines Schinsky is the executive director of product and ecommerce at Riot New Media Group. She co-hosts All the Books! and the Book Riot Podcast. Follow her on Twitter: @rebeccaschinsky .

View All posts by Rebecca Joines Schinsky

Folks, the data are grim. A lack of social connections can increase a person’s risk of premature death as much as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Heart disease, stroke, depression, anxiety, dementia—the gang’s all here. Relationships aren’t a luxury. Indeed, the longest-running study on human happiness, conducted at Harvard over several decades, has revealed that  deep relationships are the strongest predictor of well-being . Correcting this problem, reconnecting our communities, and creating new ones will take a concerted effort, and we will need something more than a hearty exhortation to “get back out there!” to help us do it. Here’s a look at books that offer structures and practical advice for developing new relationships and deepening the ones you have. 

For a comprehensive look at Dr. Murthy’s work on the relationship between social, emotional, and physical health, go directly to his excellent book,  Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World.

books about open relationships

Dr. Murthy’s thesis is simple: our relationships (or lack thereof) impact every aspect of our health and every level of our society. Here, he offers compelling evidence of how dire the problem of loneliness has become and suggests small practices that can add up to significant positive change. It’s stuff like devoting just 15 minutes a day to paying  focused  attention to your loved ones, getting involved in service activities, and embracing solitude, which is distinct from loneliness in meaningful ways. For actionable insight on how to enjoy your own company (and why it makes you better company for others), take a look at Rachel Wilkerson Miller’s  The Art of Showing Up: How to Be There for Yourself and Your People. Anne Helen Petersen dives into its advice and applications in  this recent piece.  And for a spiritually-informed approach, pick up  How to Connect  by Thich Nhat Hans.

One of the keys to building and maintaining connections is making good use of the time you have with the people you care about. So much easier said than done!

books about open relationships

In  The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters , facilitator extraordinaire Priya Parker extends her expertise to explain why so many of our events and gatherings fall flat and teach us how to plan get-togethers that people will actually enjoy. Parker’s advice is applicable at work, at home, at dinner parties, birthday bashes, book clubs, family reunions, and, well, you get the picture. Whether you’re inviting two pals over for a Netflix-and-snacks night or planning a conference for thousands of attendees, Parker’s principles will help you become a next-level planner.

If your life is set up in any arrangement other than the stereotypical heterosexual couple with a few kids and a house in the suburbs, Rhaina Cohen’s  The Other Significant Others: Reimagining Life with Friendship at the Center   is for you. And if your life IS that stereotype? Good news! This book is also for you.

books about open relationships

Through a series of profiles of folks who have decided to share their lives with platonic partners, Cohen presents a compelling argument that centering romantic relationships and romanticizing the idea of an all-in-one romantic-partner-and-best-friend sets us up for loneliness and puts undue pressure on our relationships. TL;DR: everyone needs friends. The stories Cohen presents here offer a few blueprints for how we can come to more expansive ideas of family and partnership and why we should give them serious consideration. Family can be whatever you want it to be, and the possibilities are infinite. No matter the shape of your current family or the family you desire, you’ll find inspiration in these pages.

If you’re thinking, “That sounds great, but how am I supposed to become a Golden Girl if I don’t have any friends to start with?” then  Platonic: How the Science of Attachment Can Help You Make—and Keep—Friends by Marisa G. Franco is a good resource.

  • Ezra Klein  interviews Rhaina Cohen  about what it means to expand our definition of relationships
  • Emily Nagoski  recommends  books & research for couples in long-term relationships
  • Pooja Lakshmin MD  on  How to Make Hanging Out Happen
  • 6 Self-Help Books Therapists Read Themselves
  • Therapist-Recommended Books to Make Your Relationship Stronger
  • Emma Gannon   inviting your friends to leave
  • The Happiness Lab reveals  the secrets to making friends as an adult

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books about open relationships

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Removing flagged books from Palmer library shelves could violate patrons’ civil rights, city attorney warns

books about open relationships

A storm moves over the Chugach Mountains beyond the water tower in Palmer on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024. (Bill Roth / ADN)

PALMER — Palmer city officials should not block users from accessing library books flagged by community members as controversial because doing so could be a civil rights violation, an attorney for the city told the city council at a meeting Tuesday.

The recommendation came during a more than one-hour briefing by city attorney Sarah Heath on state and federal rules for removing or restricting access to books in the city’s library collection.

Under state law , library books can be removed or have their access restricted only if they can be considered “obscene” or “harmful to minors” by a “reasonable person” in any part of the U.S., not just by a group of local community members, Heath said.

Taking flagged books off the shelf or even relocating them to a different part of the library can open up the city to a lawsuit, she said. U.S. district courts across the country have ruled such actions to be civil liberties violations, she said.

“I would strongly discourage the council from making those determinations, solely because the case law has really held for it to be overwhelmingly considered a First Amendment violation,” she said.

While no such rulings have yet been made in Alaska, that could soon change, she said. An ongoing lawsuit filed late last year in U.S. District Court in Anchorage contends the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District violated students’ constitutional rights when officials removed 56 challenged books from library shelves early this year.

A hearing is scheduled April 1 on whether the school district must return those books to library shelves pending a final decision on the suit.

books about open relationships

The Palmer Library is temporarily housed in a commercial office space on East Arctic Avenue after the building was severely damaged by a collapsed roof in early 2023. Photographed Feb. 28, 2024. (Amy Bushatz / ADN) …

Heath suggested the council instead work with state lawmakers to alter what “harmful to minors” and “obscene” mean under Alaska law, a step that would give local governments the OK to reconsider books under those refreshed state legal standards, so long as such a change is not found by a federal court to be unconstitutional.

She also suggested that city officials ask Alaska Attorney General Treg Taylor to decide whether certain books should be removed or restricted statewide.

A letter from Taylor last year warned school and public library officials that they should block children’s access to books with sexual content.

Heath’s briefing Tuesday comes as officials in Wasilla and the Mat-Su Borough grapple with their own library reconsideration policies after Palmer resident Jackie Goforth, who regularly speaks on her concerns about books she views as inappropriate during borough and city meetings, requested a series of books be removed because of what the patron described as the books’ sexual content. Those books include “Identical” by Ellen Hopkins, “Let’s Talk About It” by Erika Moen and “Red Hood” by Elana K. Arnold.

Libraries in Palmer and Wasilla are overseen by the cities while those in Big Lake, Talkeetna, Trapper Creek, Willow and Sutton are operated by the borough.

books about open relationships

Signs posted on the young adult shelves at the Big Lake public library clarify the section is designed for children ages 16 and 17. (Amy Bushatz / ADN)

Borough officials late last month indefinitely suspended their challenged-book reconsideration policy after a review meeting ended in chaos . They also posted signs at the borough’s five libraries clarifying that the young adult section is designed for children ages 16 and 17. In the past, the section has been broadly considered as appropriate for ages 14 and older.

In Wasilla, city officials late last year opted to temporarily relabel a library section designed for young adults as “adult” while the city awaits the outcome of the lawsuit filed against the Mat-Su school district and additional instructions from the state attorney general.

Amy Bushatz

Amy Bushatz is a veteran journalist based in the Mat-Su covering Valley news for the ADN.

books about open relationships

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The Open Relationship Handbook: Basic Tips and Tools for Navigating Non-Monogamy

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IMAGES

  1. Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships by

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  2. ≡ 6 Relationship Books Every Couple Should Read Together 》 Her Beauty

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    books about open relationships

COMMENTS

  1. Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships

    Relationship expert and bestselling author Tristan Taormino offers a bold new strategy for creating loving, lasting relationships. Drawing on in-depth interviews with over a hundred women and men, Opening Up explores the real-life benefits and challenges of all styles of open relationships -- from partnered non-monogamy to solo polyamory. With her refreshingly down-to-earth style and sharp wit ...

  2. 20 Relationship Books That Will Help You Be a Better Partner and ...

    Amazon. $19. An oldie but goodie, How to Be an Adult in Relationships uses mindfulness as a lens through which to approach relationships. Richo's vision of "mindful loving" is all about how ...

  3. A Happy Life in an Open Relationship: The Essential Guide to a Healthy

    The whole book focuses on nothing but the "primary relationship" while using dismissive terms for other relationships like "open relationship partner" or "special friend".Her focus on sex as the main factor in non-monogamy is so prevalent it could be a drinking game, although you wouldn't make it far through the book.

  4. The Best Relationship Books, According to an Expert

    With over 50 years of research under his belt, author Dr. John Gottman is the most accredited researcher of relationships in modern-day history. His studies include long-term marriages and relationships, and his book simplifies seven relationship principles you can easily apply to your life.. Dr. Gottman describes the reasoning behind failed marriage therapy strategies and how to avoid them.

  5. Building Open Relationships: Your hands on guide to swinging, polyamory

    This book is a combination of how-to, for open relationships, with autobiographical details about how the author made mistakes - or in rare instance, how she did things right. Mostly, she takes an unsparing look at how her actions might have hurt others and not so healthy for her, as well. The style is engaging and easy to read, the font is ...

  6. Open Relationship Books

    avg rating 3.77 — 560 ratings — published 2014. Want to Read. Rate this book. 1 of 5 stars 2 of 5 stars 3 of 5 stars 4 of 5 stars 5 of 5 stars. Double Blind (Special Delivery, #2) by. Heidi Cullinan (Goodreads Author) (shelved 4 times as open-relationship) avg rating 4.04 — 2,645 ratings — published 2010.

  7. Opening Up

    Relationship expert and bestselling author Tristan Taormino offers a bold new strategy for creating loving, lasting relationships. Drawing on in-depth interviews with over a hundred women and men, Opening Up explores the real-life benefits and challenges of all styles of open relationships -- from partnered non-monogamy to solo polyamory. With her refreshingly down-to-earth style and sharp wit ...

  8. Open Deeply: A Guide to Building Conscious, Compassionate Open

    Clear, direct, and well informed, this is an excellent book for explorers and would-be explorers of the pathways that lie off the edges of our culture's tidy Ozzie-and-Harriet map." —Janet W. Hardy, coauthor of The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships, and Other Freedoms in Sex and Love "A deeply ...

  9. 29 Books For People Questioning The Idea Of "Happily Ever After"

    4. Polysecure: Attachment, Trauma, and Consensual Nonmonogamy by Jessica Fern. Thorntree Press, jessicafern.com. Like Love's Not Color Blind, this is one of the best books about nonmonogamy to come out in the last few years. Attachment theory is rarely applied to nonmonogamous relationships, and Fern rights that wrong mightily.

  10. Open Deeply: A Guide to Building Conscious, Compassiona…

    Despite its focus on polyamory, in many ways I consider Open Deeply a broad-spectrum relationship book. For me, it was a nice stepping stone following The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma.I found that Kate Loree's casual tone and her utilization of published work as well as findings from her professional and personal life made this an entertaining read.

  11. 10 Best Relationship Books of 2024

    Credit: Morgan James Publishing. If you like your self-help in an actionable package, this 30-day guide is for you. With digestible, practical and even funny tips for how to improve relationships ...

  12. 'Open' explores polyamorous relationships through personal experience

    Ilana Masad. Harmony. In 2015, award-winning journalist and co-founding editor of Bustle Rachel Krantz was in the midst of a breakup when she first went out with Adam. He was somewhat older ...

  13. The best books about polyamory and open relationships

    Dr. Deborah Anapol wrote what is recognized as the first book explicitly about nonmonogamous relationships, Polyamory: The New Love Without Limits. She had to self-publish in 1997 because no publishing company wanted to touch a book on what was, at the time, such a transgressive subject Anapol's book was a beacon of light for me and for many ...

  14. Best Books About Open Relationships: Discover & Learn

    To help you out, we've curated a list of some of the best books on open relationships. These books will provide you with valuable insights and perspectives to help you navigate non-monogamous connections. 1. "The Ethical Slut" by Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy. Considered a classic in the non-monogamous community, "The Ethical Slut ...

  15. Open Love: The Complete Guide to Open Relationships, Polyamory, and

    Why are open relationships the new way to be safe? How gay is polyamory anyway? This book is a guide to the freedom and joy of alternative relationships. At the same time, it offers words of caution about excessive expectations and the pitfalls that can lead to disappointment and failure in free love. Read more.

  16. 9 Best Relationship Books, All Couples' Therapist-Approved

    Best novel: The Course of Love: A Novel by Alain De Botton ($10) Best book about self-love: Welcome Home by Najwa Zebian ($12) Best book for *all* relationships: Attached by Amir Levine ($15) Best ...

  17. Books on the open relationships: 2024 Update of the Most Influential Titles

    Designer Relationships: A Guide to Happy Monogamy, Positive Polyamory, and Optimistic Open Relationships is a comprehensive and insightful book on non-traditional relationship structures. Written by Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson, this book explores the various dynamics of modern relationships, including monogamy, polyamory, and open ...

  18. Open Marriage Books

    avg rating 3.89 — 2,887 ratings — published 2014. Want to Read. Rate this book. 1 of 5 stars 2 of 5 stars 3 of 5 stars 4 of 5 stars 5 of 5 stars. Up for Air (Lost in Austin, #1) by. Christina Berry (Goodreads Author) (shelved 2 times as open-marriage) avg rating 4.13 — 248 ratings — published 2021.

  19. 20 best books on open relationships

    Unlike any other book on open relationships, "The Game Changer" goes beyond the surface and delves into the emotional, psychological, and practical aspects of maintaining multiple connections. Veaux navigates the complexities of jealousy, communication, and personal growth with wisdom and compassion.

  20. Books about love and relationships

    Every year Valentine's Day rolls around, inevitably prompting us to reflect on the state of our love lives. Perhaps you're being whisked away on a romantic retreat with your beau, perhaps you've forgotten about it entirely, perhaps you're nursing a heartbreak, or perhaps you're celebrating being single.

  21. Fiction Books with Polyamorous Relationships

    1 of 5 stars 2 of 5 stars 3 of 5 stars 4 of 5 stars 5 of 5 stars. 8. The Killing Dance (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #6) by. Laurell K. Hamilton (Goodreads Author) 4.13 avg rating — 72,829 ratings. score: 640 , and 7 people voted.

  22. Books on Open Relationships: Discover the Top 20 List

    From personal memoirs to practical guides, the 20 best books about open relationships cover a wide range of perspectives and experiences. These books offer insights into communication, boundaries, jealousy, and the complexities of non-monogamous relationships. Whether you're seeking advice, validation, or simply a good read, these open ...

  23. Open Monogamy: A Guide to Co-Creating Your Ideal Relationship Agreement

    She has authored several books including, "Open Monogamy; A Guide to Co-Creating Your Ideal Relationship Agreement,"(2020) and "When You're the One Who Cheats," (2019) and "Getting the Sex You Want: Shed Your Inhibitions and Reach New Heights of Passion Together" (2008) and "The New Monogamy: Redefining Your Relationship After Infidelity ...

  24. Books About Creating, Maintaining, and Leveling-Up Your Friendships

    Here's a look at books that offer structures and practical advice for developing new relationships and deepening the ones you have. For a comprehensive look at Dr. Murthy's work on the relationship between social, emotional, and physical health, go directly to his excellent book, Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a ...

  25. Removing flagged books from Palmer library shelves could violate

    Taking flagged books off the shelf or even relocating them to a different part of the library can open up the city to a lawsuit, she said. U.S. district courts across the country have ruled such ...

  26. The Open Relationship Handbook: Basic Tips and Tools for Navigating Non

    The Open Relationships Handbook is an introduction to the most common types of open relationships: swinging, non-monogamy, and polyamory. In this book, we'll cover definitions, important questions, and things to keep in mind in deciding what shape your love life will take, and how to negotiate changes with your partner.