Eight Dates: Essential Conversations for a Lifetime of Love by John M. Gottman and Julie Schwartz Gottman is a book about how to create healthy, loving and long-lasting relationships.

Dr. John Gottman and Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman are two of the leading marriage researchers in the world. This book was published in February 2019, bringing together more than forty years of research from their LoveLab!

This book was gifted to me and my first reaction was, “What! Why?!” It felt a bit insulting, why did I need a book to guide me through a relationship? My initial complaints dissipated quickly as I read the first few pages. This was the next big insight and research on connection after Brené Brown. I was captivated by what the goal of Eight Dates was. To inspire happier and healthier relationships and marriages, no doubt, but I also saw Gottman’s deeper mission of creating a kinder, more loving and caring world. When he wrote, “Please share this book with anyone who is trying to create or re-create their relationship. Whether they become a master or a disaster doesn’t just affect them, it affects their children, it affects their community, and it affects our world,” I knew I had to write a book review and share it with all my friends and family.

To put this book on a scale of 1-10 – 1 being indifferent to whether you read it and 10 being a must read – I give Eight Dates an 11. For anyone wanting to improve themselves, what they bring to a relationship, and how they bring themselves to that relationship, this book is the place to start. After reading Eight Dates, I’ve decided that I probably won’t date anyone who hasn’t read it and isn’t open to reading it. There are many lessons, rules and guidance within it’s 224 pages that shouldn’t be ignored.

Out of all eight of the dates, I definitely had my favourites. The dates that really stood out to me were; Date 1 – Lean on me: Trust & Commitment, Date 6 – Play with me: Fun & Adventure, and Date 8 – A lifetime of love: Dreams. In Date 2, Agree to disagree: Addressing Conflict, Gottman talked about “perpetual problems” which was eye opening to read and learn more about. Did you know, “…research has shown that 69 percent of the time, when couples talk about that one thing they always argue about, it’s what we call a perpetual problem. It’s not going to be resolved.” That was a shocking statistic. What that means is, knowing how to disagree and be in conflict over things will be a huge factor as to whether or not the relationship works.

Overall, I rated Eight Dates 5/5 and will continue to recommend the book along with the LoveLab in Seattle. You don’t have to be in a relationship to start studying how to be good at one! 

One of the great gifts of relationship and marriage—and there are many—is the ability to see the world through the eyes of another person, intimately, deeply, profoundly, in a way we’re almost never able to do with another human being.

― John M. Gottman

Book Description

“Two of the world’s leading marriage researchers and clinicians, Dr. John Gottman and Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman, bring their deep understanding of what makes relationships work to couples looking for help in navigating the often-challenging dynamics of long-term commitment. Drawing on forty years of research from their world-famous LoveLab, they show readers what separates the relationship masters from the disasters.

With their coauthors, Doug Abrams and Dr. Rachel Carlton Abrams, the Gottmas invite couples on eight fun, easy, and profoundly rewarding dates, each one focused on a topic crucial to a joyful relationship. The dates prepare couples to better address the challenges that inevitably arise in the make-or-break issues of work, money, sex, family, trust, adventure, spirituality, and dreams. Partners will discover (or rediscover) each other like never before and be able to build a life of joy and intimacy.

Whether just starting out, newly engaged, newly married, or needing to renew their relationship, couples will find that this playful, step-by-step guide offers empowering ways to realize their hopes and dreams for the love they want and deserve.”

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