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As a dating expert, I’ve read my share of dating books – the good, the bad, and the painfully unoriginal. I love reading dating and relationship books, and often learn something new from each one I read. However, there are a handful of dating/relationship books I recommend often, either because they’re classics I go back to over and over again, or because they offer a fresh perspective. They have shaped how I think, made me more successful in dating, and have become reference books for my business. Here’s my list of of must-read dating books, and why I like them:

1) Are You the One for Me? Knowing Who’s Right and Avoiding Who’s Wrong by Barbara DeAngelis PhD. Barbara DeAngelis is one of the original relationship self-help authors, and one of the best-selling of all time. She is amazingly insightful and a neat person (yes, I’ve met her). Are You the One for Me leaves no stone unturned when discussing why we pick the people we do, the myths we believe about love, the red flags to pay attention to, and how to find the right person for you. Barbara helps everyone find love: with a partner, and within yourself. A classic.

2) Mars and Venus on a Date: A Guide for Navigating the 5 Stages of Dating to Create a Loving and Lasting Relationship by John Gray, PhD. I admit it took me a LONG time to come around to the Mars/Venus thing. But once I did, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve benefited from it. Gray, who was once colleagues with (and married to, briefly) Barbara DeAngelis, also ranks up there as one of the best dating/relationship authors ever. This book goes into how men and women date differently, how to succeed with the other sex, and how to navigate the 5 stages of dating. You may not agree with everything he says (I don’t), but the insight and information he provides is priceless. Another classic.

3) Why Him? Why Her? How to Find and Keep Lasting Love by Helen Fisher, PhD. It’s very rare to find any dating or relationship book that’s scientifically-based. Fisher is a scientist and academic who’s written a fantastic book on the four different love types and what they’re like, how they love, what types they click with, and their commitment style. I’ve used this system in my coaching business with good success. And, Fisher has a refreshingly optimistic view of love, a nice change from the more jaded, critical attitudes of some other experts.

4) Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough by Lori Gottlieb. Gottlieb is not a dating expert, but a journalist who, after finding herself alone with no man in sight at 41, decided to look into why. A well-researched book, she delves deeply into the tendency many modern women have of expecting too much from men and relationships. She goes on a great journey, putting herself through matchmaking, dating coaching, online dating, speed-dating, and every other modern dating tool we have. Although her basic premise is very fear-based and a bit whiny, and the book focuses on the “dark side” of dating, it will make you re-evaluate your views on marriage and men.

5) How to Make Anyone Fall in Love with You by Leil Lowndes. Lowndes has several books, any one of which I could have mentioned because they’re all great. She’s a communications expert and her books, while not dating books per se, will teach you the MOST IMPORTANT thing you need to succeed at dating: social skills. In other words, she teaches you what makes people (including the other sex) like you. A lot of her stuff is research-based, and she talks about eye contact, flirting, compliments, first dates, sex, and everything that matters in dating. Highly recommended.

6) He’s Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys by Greg Behrendt. If you haven’t already read this book, it’s worth checking out. Behrendt is a comedian, not an expert, but he’s tapped into a basic principle that applies much of the time in dating: if a guy isn’t stepping up to the plate, he probably isn’t that interested, so move on. Knowing how interested men behave is key in dating! While the advice here isn’t always on the mark, it’s still worth reading.

Each of these books has benefited me in some way, so hopefully they will do the same for you. What are your favorite dating or relationships books? Share with us.

Happy reading!