If there's one thing I know about love, it's that it can be extremely confusing. Whether you're agonizing over a crush or questioning your sexuality or ruminating over whether or not you might be alone forever, your romantic life can cause a lot of emotional distress. How does anyone do this love thing anyway?
Everyone's love life has its own complications, so there's no one-size-fits-all advice for feeling better about things. But fortunately, romance has been rough since the dawn of time, and there are plenty of books out there to help you explore all the ups and downs of your love life.
And let's face it: Sometimes the best medicine for your romantic troubles is reading about somebody else's problems. It can be a great reminder that you're not the only one who doesn't have love figured out; everyone's just stumbling through in their own way. Plus, sometimes reading about other people's problems in love can lead you to unexpected solutions in your own life.
So, if your love life has got you seriously mixed up, pick up one of these books, from excerpts, authors, and people who have been in love before — and lived to tell the tale.
'Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar' by Cheryl Strayed
Cheryl Strayed used to write what is perhaps the greatest advice column of all time, Dear Sugar. In this collection of Dear Sugar's best column, Strayed doles out the kind of compassionate but firm advice you need when love has you feeling down.
'Everything I Know About Love' by Dolly Alderton
If there's such a thing as a dating professional, then Dolly Alderton is it. A former Sunday Times dating columnist, Alderton has seen it all. In this raucous and endearing memoir, she takes you through all the misadventures of her romantic life on a journey towards becoming comfortable in herself.
'Advice from a Wild Deuce: The Best of Ask Tiggy' by Tiggy Upland
Speaking of great advice columns, this book compiles all the gems from Tiggy Upland's former advice column for the Bisexual Resource Center, Ask Tiggy. Compassionate, informative, and entertaining, this is the perfect book for any bi person with questions about love.
'Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date' by Katie Heaney
Katie Heaney made it to her mid-20s without ever having been in a real relationship. In this fun read, she takes you through her entire love life — and all the crushes that never quite panned out. It just takes one look at all the raving Goodreads reviews to see that this book has resonated with so many people.
'It's Not You: 27 (Wrong) Reasons You're Single' by Sara Eckel
In this eye-opening read, Sara Eckel debunks all the classic excuses, explanations, and advice given to single people, from "you're too picky" to "you're too desperate." Drawing from research and interviews, Eckel makes a case that single people don't need to pick apart their own personalities, and that they should start "tapping into their own wisdom" about who is right for them.
'Love And . . .' by Jen Kim
In this compelling book, Jen Kim turns to science to figure out why dating and relationships are so damn difficult. Drawing from her own experiences, Kim analyzes why her own dating life hasn't quite panned out yet, reserving judgement only for herself.
'Things You Should Already Know About Dating, You F*cking Idiot' by Ben Schwartz and Laura Moses
This fun book contains 100 pieces of advice for single millennials, complete with illustrations. With words of wisdom like "Why are you texting in just Emojis, dummy?!," this book is the perfect release for anyone who's fed up with the dating scene. It will definitely make you laugh.
'Labor of Love: The Invention of Dating' by Moira Weigel
In this fascinating read, Moira Weigel dives into how dating was "invented," and why we search for love in the ways that we do today. As Weigel takes you through the "age-old quest" for love, you'll definitely get a better understanding of all the weird forces that affect modern dating.