Books are our closest companions when life is hard. David Sedaris’ “Me Talk Pretty One Day” will make you laugh, Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist” can help discover the profundities of everyday life, and Virginia Woolf’s “To the Lighthouse” will show you that the world is still beautiful — even if you’re feeling a little glum.
But what about your love life? Can books really help you revive your own love story?
In a word: yes. You may not want to take dating advice from Hemingway, but reading the right book at the right time can help you understand your partner and navigate the relationship troubles that you may be facing.
Long Distance Love
Deciding to enter a long-distance relationship can be tough. You know that you’ll spend more time apart and your heart will yearn for the company of your partner. However, it is possible to make long-distance love work if you’re willing to put in the time and effort.
If your decision to relocate has put doubts in your mind about your relationship, consider picking up “Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Adichie’s novel spans multiple continents and focuses on the long-distance relationship of Ifemelu and Obinze. Adichie’s work is powerful because it shows that long-distance relationships are often messy. Ifemelu and Obinze even separate for a lengthy period during the novel due to the strain of distance.
Reading a relationship-help novel like Americanah is particularly helpful if you’re thinking about relocating for work. The book drives home the pros and cons of relocating for work and can help you imagine the process of uprooting your family or leaving your friends. However, it also shows that there is much to be gained by moving, as you’re sure to grow as a person when you’re given a “fresh start” in a new location.
Getting stuck into a relationship-help book can improve your mood and help you become a better partner for your long-distance lover, too. Reading helps you cope with the stress of separation and tap into powerful topics like thankfulness, positivity, and gratitude. This can be particularly helpful if you’re having a hard time holding your relationship together and want to move on.
Deciding to Move On
Sometimes, reviving your love story means that you have to move on. Difficult as this may be, leaving a partner who puts you down or makes you feel bad about yourself can open the door to more fruitful relationships. However, you may find that you need to work up the courage to say “goodbye” before making the move.
If you’re thinking about moving on from a toxic relationship, consider picking up a classic novel like Emily Brontë’s “Wuthering Heights”. “Wuthering Heights” is a gothic novel that follows a love triangle on the West Yorkshire moors. It explores themes like manipulation and domestic abuse from the perspective of a weary traveler who has wandered into the plot. This detachment can help you see how toxic relationships form and may help you better understand your own love life.
If you’re simply not seeing eye to eye with your partner, you may find that a good book can help you navigate relationship troubles. Common issues, like excessive use of sarcasm or constant blaming, are constant themes of novels like Sally Rooney’s “Normal People” and Ernest Hemingway’s “A Farewell to Arms”. Reading these novels can help you talk about important issues with your partner and own up to your own wrongdoings.
Falling in Love Again
If you do decide to end a relationship, you may find the idea of falling in love again fills you with dread rather than joy. Dating people takes time and effort and most people get rejected a few times before finding their life partner. This can put you off the idea of love altogether for a while.
There’s nothing wrong with leading a single life indefinitely. However, if you do want to revive your love story, consider picking up a few novels that can help you see the joy of a loving relationship again.
Pick up a copy of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” to get you back in the mood for romance. Even if you’ve read the classic novel before, you’re sure to get invested in the back-and-forth budding love of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet. As a relationship-help book, the novel also proves that the road to love is often a rocky one, but that the pursuit of a meaningful relationship is always worth the effort in the end.
If you feel that you need a jolt to restart your love life, you may want to get stuck into Kazuo Ishiguro’s “The Remains of the Day”. If Austen’s classic is about finding love when love looks unlikely, Ishiguro’s novel is about failing to take the initiative when you feel strongly about someone. Nobel-prize-winning author Ishiguro shows the reader how restraint can backfire when it comes to love and will leave you with a renewed motivation to ask your crush out on a date.
Books can revive your love story by teaching you to navigate the trials that every partnership faces. Some novels double as relationship-help books, too. Even if you don’t end up falling hopelessly in love, you’re sure to benefit from the science-backed health benefits of reading.