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The Seven Levels of Intimacy: The Art of Loving and the Joy of Being Loved
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The Seven Levels of Intimacy: The Art of Loving and the Joy of Being Loved

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  703 Ratings  ·  85 Reviews
Matthew Kelly The "New York Times" bestselling author of "The Rhythm of Life" brings a timely approach to the subject of relationships, revealing a seven-level process that creates strong bonds, deep contentment, and lasting connection.
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published November 1st 2005 by Touchstone (first published 1388)
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Chelsea
Jul 31, 2008 Chelsea rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is killing me. I have to force myself to read it. I've actually started reading it twice because it just bores me to death. I feel like the idea's are probably good, but each paragraph is so redundant that it could be whittled down to half the length just by taking out all the repetition. I just want to scream, "I get it! We're supposed to be the-best-version-of-ourselves! Now what?!" If I have to see that hyphenated phrase one more time I may throw the book across the room and never f ...more
Jay
Jan 21, 2013 Jay rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: news-you-can-use
There are some worthwhile concepts here, but their value is cheapened by Kelly's repeating his points over and over again. This stylistic bludgeoning is aggravating because it's deliberate. Moreover it's hard to be receptive to the message when you feel like slapping the messenger because he talks to you like you're a moron. A decent editor, who should have given this book an enema, was sorely needed. Good ideas; poor packaging.
Thomas
Jan 22, 2008 Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All my friends!!!
Recommended to Thomas by: Gloria Callejas
Shelves: relationships
This book is outstanding, and it deserves to be read again and again. In a society where everything is supposedly getting bigger, faster, and better, we haven't had nearly as much success with our relationships. Matthew Kelly's Seven Levels of Intimacy addresses this topic head on and offers profound insights that can put us back on track.

The book is divided into three sections. The first part contains holistic analysis and far and away the best content. The second part imparts "The Seven Levels
...more
Stacey Lynn
At first I thought his book was a redundant nightmare simply because the author uses too much repition with his statements. But I gave the book a shot and realized there was much insight to be learned from the chapters further in. The book even inspired me to create my own handmade "Dream Book" which I think will have a greater impact on the focus of my life.
Melody
Jan 29, 2015 Melody rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book really got under my skin in a good way. I hope I remember all the parts that resonated with me so I can put them into practice more often (ideally on a daily basis). The ending was really great, too. This is a fantastic book and I'm glad I picked it up at random at the library, because otherwise I would have probably brushed it off as another cheesy self-help book on love. He does a really good job of making you think. Making you feel a little uncomfortable as you compare various scena ...more
Sandra
Jan 18, 2009 Sandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent book. I finished it about a week ago. It deals with connecting on 7 different levels in a relationship. I felt a calm come over me as I read this book and I felt very peaceful.
Rif Saurous
Full of good things and crazy things. Fascinating and infuriating. Poorly written but not entirely useless. If you talk to me about it I will refer to it as "the seven-layer cake of intimacy." Claims that the purpose [not a purpose, but *the* purpose] of life is to become the best version of you you can be, which is obviously right, but stated over and over again in a way that doesn't carry as much water as Kelly wants. Yes, if you can always figure out what choice will help you become the best ...more
Eric
Jan 02, 2016 Eric rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was suggested as part of a Men's group in which I participate. While much of our culture equates Intimacy with physical sex, Kelly's book quickly by-passes this single aspect of Intimacy and explores the deeper needs and manifestations of Intimacy in relationships - whether with our spouse, close friends, family members and God. While not written as a resource specifically for those in addiction recovery, Kelly's insights are closely tied to the truths found in 12-Step programs. With m ...more
Danielle
Mar 23, 2010 Danielle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Great idea...but not such a great read. Truly it should be called "Becoming the best version of yourself" since this was the true theme. The seven levels were vague and forgettable but this statement was used over and over and over. And over. It probably should have more than 2 stars, as I did get some good insights on how to strengthen relationships in general. But that is kinda what is was...very general. It seemed like the author was trying to compile a book of profound one-liners. There was ...more
Maren
Apr 15, 2015 Maren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A life changing book. I have read it and now listened to it. It has completely transformed how I look at relationships for the better. I can't say enough good things about this book. If you don't like reading self-help books, this is the one you actually need to give a chance. I hope for everyone to read this. Powerful. Worth it.
Molly
Apr 05, 2010 Molly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was recommended by a friend - good follow-up to 5 Love Languages. It had some good points, but like most of these kinds of books, it was very repetitive and wordy. I read it on the beach and got to ask Charlie a bunch of questions, so all in all, a good time!
Céline
Jun 22, 2014 Céline rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
I was pleasantly surprised because it goes beyond the scope of physical intimacy. And the book is not centered on couples. There are a lot of ideas that can apply to single people too.
Chrystal
Nov 06, 2009 Chrystal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think he does a great job of evaluating relationships and the building blocks towards true close and thriving relationships vs. shallow, empty or dying relationships.
Stephanie
Jul 30, 2014 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great advice for everyone, not just couples. I read it when I was single
Amy
Oct 30, 2012 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author makes several interesting points throughout the book and gave me some ideas to share with my husband. However, it's far too redundant. The last two chapters were basically repeats of themselves, and I wanted to pull my hair out because it just seemed like a waste of time to re-read what I already read. Another thing I found frustrating were the lack of anecdotal examples. There were a couple, but not enough to make the book more interesting. I was also a perturbed that the author gave ...more
Clayton
Apr 18, 2013 Clayton rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
My biggest gripe with the book is that a majority of the content is written without concrete examples. When there were concrete examples, it seemed like they were kind of tacked in and just didn't work as effectively. It flowed without any breaks.. a lot of watery and abstract descriptions of things that sure I "got" what he was saying but I felt like it lacked the punch. I skimmed through certain sections too that were topics I was already familiar with.

Funnily enough, the last 30 or so pages w
...more
Jenny Dombroski
Jan 02, 2016 Jenny Dombroski rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Matthew Kelly's repetitive style is the only detraction to this thought-provoking self-help book. It's the kind of book you will get out of it what you put into it, and I plan to go back through after this first read-through to journal about many of the questions he asks.

There is no one who cannon benefit from this book. As Kelly describes, intimacy is the pinnacle of the human experience and we cannot thrive without experiencing it in our primary relationships, whether that's with a parent, chi
...more
Rheena
Jan 17, 2016 Rheena rated it it was amazing
This book was referred by a colleague in the faculty. If there is one thing that human beings crave for and can't live without, that's intimacy. We all yearn for an authentic experience of intimacy and Mr. Kelly in his lucid presentation started the book by showing how the four aspects of a person namely, physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual affects intimacy and vice versa. Mr. Kelly's simple and direct-to-the-point explanations display deep wisdom and practical guidance about relatio ...more
Will Holcomb
(Any one else notice the publish date for this book is 1388?)
This is a hard book to rate. It was well written and had some good information but the information was not all that revolutionary. What it did well though was to bring known ideas and thoughts to the surface of my brain so I could think about them more. It also did a good job of putting a definition to some un-categorized thoughts. I would recommend reading it as long as people don't expect revolutionary ideas. I would also recommend r
...more
Duc
Aug 16, 2007 Duc rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
My first books about self help and relationship. This is an area I'm increasingly interested in yet no little about. I like that the author began with a story. He also ask the question: "What is your story?" Reading about intimacy, I ask myself and recall some scene in a movie or a work of fiction, have I seen this before? Often it's not spelled out but I can see many examples of people relating to each other in intimate and non-intimate ways. The thesis seems to be happiness is related to intim ...more
Megan
Jul 26, 2008 Megan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Decent book. The beginning is redundant. However Kelly does well outlining how each of us can have dynamic relationships of our own. Not only romantic relationships, but all of our relationships.
However, Kelly only helps in creating dynamic relationship, he does not say anything about what if you are on the way to a dynamic relationship and the other person falls into the trap of running when faced with adversity. The levels and approaches only work if both people are willing to fight for the r
...more
Rosanne
The message of this book was positive, and I agreed with most of what Kelly suggested about how to achieve a deeper level of emotional intimacy in any primary or high-level secondary relationship. However, his style was a bit grating. He's a public speaker, and the book was written as if he were speaking to an audience. Sometimes that style works, but in this case it just annoyed me. He repeated sentences, word for word, multiple times on one page, I'm sure to get his major points across, but on ...more
Linn
Dec 17, 2013 Linn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had this book sitting out when I man I was dating saw it. He commented on the book and I explained what it was talking about. He proceeded to make fun of me. Needless to say I am still reading parts of it and decided not dating him was one of my better choices. I tend to read the self help books expecting some divine intervention. I have to put them down and go back to them and read sections and re-read sections. Please read if just to give yourself some self love and know that how you want to ...more
Doug
Jan 29, 2017 Doug rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An easy read, confusing structure, and an interesting set of concepts. Part manuscript for building a meaningful life (intimate relationships should be purposeful in helping you become the best version of yourself you can be), part marriage manual, part model on what real intimacy is. It may have been confusing, and doesn't give credit to F Scott Peck for some core ideas, it nevertheless has stayed with me for >10 years.
Alicia
Aug 19, 2008 Alicia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Defn. the best book I have ever read. This should be a must read for everyone. It tells you straught up why your relationship is going through what it is going through. how you can help the relationship and all your relationships. So many of us spend are whole lives with the people we beleive to be the closest to us not really knowing those people. Knowing who they are, what their dreams, are and you helping them chase those dreams. Good book to help with anytime of relationship.
Anna Fityo
Sep 25, 2016 Anna Fityo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: relationships
Love is a choice, not a feeling. Feelings come and go, and if we choose to base our most important relationships on how we feel at any particular moment, we are in for a rough and rocky journey.
Love is a verb, not a noun. Love is something we do, not something that happens to us.

"'Come to the edge,' he said. They said, 'We are afraid.' 'Come to the edge,' he said again. They came. He pushed them... and they flew..."
Tom Wascoe
Jan 06, 2017 Tom Wascoe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent exploration of intimacy, love and relationships. The author is following the model of "Seven traits of leaders" and, a little too easily, categorizes the levels of intimacy. Interesting but forced. He then details the need for success in relationships-particularly the primary relationship. The author is a little too structured for my taste-wants you to write everything down-but provides some good advice, insights and anecdotes about relationships.
David
Mar 03, 2008 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book that makes you reexamine relationships and helps you set yourself up for dynamic relationships. The seven levels are fairly simple but some of the practical application and spots where Kelly has you stop and do an activity to take a deeper look at what's driving your relationships and how relationships should be mutually concerned with helping another become the best-version-of-themselves.
Jessica Gallegos
Anyone who longs for real intimacy and truly loving relationships should read this. Easy read with realistic very understandable ways to improve all your relationships and especially create the best one with your significant other. Great if you are single, great prep and if already in a relationship ways to create what you really long for with them.
Tia
Mar 07, 2009 Tia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All I can say is that this book was amazing and is definitely a personal classic for me. I need to buy it and read it over and over and use and apply it. If you're looking for a good book on relationships, this is definitely worth a try. Read it, make a plan, follow through. Have a great relationship!
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Matthew Kelly was born in Sydney, Australia, where he began speaking and writing in 1993. Since that time he has travelled in more than fifty countries and spoken to over four million people. He has written twelve books which have appeared on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestseller lists and have been published in twenty-five languages. His titles include: The Rhythm of L ...more
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“Love is the wanting, and the having, and the choosing, and the becoming. Love is the desire to see the person we love be and become all he or she is capable of being and becoming. Love is a willingness to lay down our own personal plans, desires, and agenda for the good of the relationship. Love is delayed gratification, pleasure, and pain. Love is being able to live and thrive apart, but choosing to be together.” 98 likes
“In fact, the more each person can remove his or her ego from the discussion and focus on the subject matter, the more fruitful the conversation will be for all involved.” 41 likes
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