We read Loving Bravely: 20 Lessons of Self-Discovery to Help You Get the Love You Want by Alexandra H. Solomon.

This book is all about the idea that in order for us to find a great partner we must ourselves first become great partners. The book aims to help readers become better emotionally and psychologically, so they can be better partners.

Why we chose it

The idea of the book sounded interesting since it’s a bit less common approach for a relationship book where the focus is on ourselves and not the relationship. It also seems to be quite popular with a lot of good reviews.

Key takeaways

The book provides guidance to recognize decision/behavior patterns, explore the root cause, and essentially face our inner demons, so we can make peace with ourselves and make a conscious decision on pursuing the kind of relationship and the love we desire. To be able to attract a great partner and to have a healthy and sustainable relationship, we need to be on good terms with ourselves and our past. Oftentimes, our childhood and past relationships affect our emotions, perceptions, and attitudes today. We subconsciously carry baggage and it affects how we attract people and are attracted to people and how we behave in our relationship with them.

Actionable advice

  1. At the end of each chapter, the book gives several questions that help readers to recognize patterns and understand where they are coming from. Take time to think about your answers and be honest with yourself. This takes vulnerability and sometimes this is not easy to do. However, acknowledgement is a fundamental first step to start working on getting better. Only you can make yourself better, no one else can.
  2. Once you are aware of where it is coming from and how it affects your emotions and perceptions, work on the cognitive side of things. You can change your perception. Be open-minded and train yourself to question why you do things the way you do. Re-discover yourself and adjust your actions consciously.
  3. Instead of focusing on attracting Mr or Mrs Right, focus on becoming Mr or Mrs Right. Consider love as a classroom. Any conflict and differences can be taken as a lesson for both parties to grow and become more intimate. When conflicts arise, express your true feelings and be clear on what makes you feel that way and why. Communicate kindly, ask questions, listen, and seek to understand.

How we liked it

Fun: 6/10 | Thought-provoking: 6/10 | Actionable: 9/10

If you’re on good terms with yourself and already have worked through how you were raised this book is not for you. We felt that many of the issues the book addresses, we had tackled already earlier in our lives and many parts of the book did not offer any new insights for us. On the other hand for people struggling with ghosts from their past this book could be great.