The premise in, Getting the love you want, is very much that we are looking for our romantic relationships to provide the unconditional love, acceptance and attention that we didn’t get from our first families. Since no family is perfect, we’re all looking for more than we received when we were children. It’s quite a big claim yet the authors use their years of counselling and anecdotal evidence to support their theories.

The material in the book tends to focus on two extremes. Those parents who were overly engaged in their children’s lives and limited their children’s freedom and ability to make their own choices. Or parents who were disinterested, inattentive and lacked emotional warmth. When we choose our partners we’re often attracted to someone who is like the parent we had the most difficulty with. However, these similarities may be quite shallow and not obvious.

The authors, Harville Hendrix & Helen Hunt, offer couples a great deal of hope in addressing difficulties in relationships. At the end of the book, eighteen different exercises are provided which help participants understand what they are looking for from their partners and how to express those needs. They explain that the brain is very elastic and can learn new ways of relating. Their encouragement is always to start with small changes and not expect too much change too quickly.

The book is well written and well explained with lots of relatable illustrations.

Overall a good resource.