Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Conscious Loving: The Journey to Co-Commitment: A Way to Be Fully Together Without Giving Up Yourself” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
Conscious Loving: The ...
Gay Hendricks
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Conscious Loving: The Journey to Co-Commitment: A Way to Be Fully Together Without Giving Up Yourself

4.23  ·  Rating Details  ·  420 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
Here is a powerful new program that can clearaway the unconscious agreements patterns thatundermine even your best intentions. Through their ownmarriage and through twenty years' experiencecounseling more than one thousand couples, therapistsGay and Kathlyn Hendricks have developed precisestrategies to help you create a vital partnershipand enhance the energy, creativity, ...more
Hardcover, 287 pages
Published October 1st 1990 by Bantam (first published 1990)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Conscious Loving, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Conscious Loving

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,081)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Gavin White
Feb 29, 2008 Gavin White rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: you.
Recommended to Gavin by: Nathaniel Tucker White
Shelves: books-to-live-by
I picked up a copy of this book when my brother gave his to our father, saying, "I couldn't find another one, but this is so important that I'm giving you my own."

Since then, I've filled it with underlines, markings, and marginal notes, built long and loving relationships on its principles, and loved it so thoroughly that I've rebound it a few times with medical tape from my first-aid kit.

And the book has returned the favor; it has restored the binding of myself – that which keeps me together, m
Iona  Stewart
Dec 25, 2011 Iona Stewart rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I ordered this book, I did not realize that it dealt with love within marital relationships and not love in general, as in the book ”Love for no reason” by Marci Shimoff, but nonetheless I was by no means disappointed once I got into it. I have learnt much from it – it provides material that I have not found elsewhere.

We learn how to transform co-dependent relationships into co-committed relationships.

Co-dependence is “an agreement between people to stay locked in unconscious patterns”. Co-
Dec 31, 2013 Desinka rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It has taken me a while to read and assimilate this book but it was worth the time and effort. This work presents a concise and easy to understand guide to the working of our conscious and unconscious minds, the roles we play and the projections we make that prevent us from having genuine and meaningful relationships. It also outlines the path to achieving an authentic relationship with oneself and others. I was very grateful for the final part of the book which provided exercises meant to help ...more
Susan Rutter
Jul 10, 2011 Susan Rutter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this while visiting my father in Ohio. No relationshippy book has ever spoken so urgently to me -- and I've read a few. Self-help is my guilty pleasure -- some adults read romance or Harry Potter on the sly. I like the Why Martian Men Who Love Too Much Are Peter Pans In The Bedroom, and Is Your Dog Co-Dependent genre.

The authors write matter-of-factly about many taboo subjects in relationships that have frankly puzzled me for years. What's really happening with us when we begin to (again
Jan 05, 2009 Zinta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No, nothing new. Which is precisely what makes this so good. This is the stuff of time-tested common sense, the stuff of that inner voice of wisdom, the one that is always trying to steer you in the right direction, even as you kick and scream and resist, intent on remaining on the old path of repeated and repeated and repeated cycles. We repeat them until we learn the lesson. Resolve the dilemma. Solve the puzzle.

If the Hendricks message is to be boiled down to one catch-phrase, it would simpl
Jul 24, 2008 Nickjames rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably the most profound relationship book written. Very deep and dense, but worth the read. I think this is the staple for anyone interested in a conscious relationship. What I love about this book as it addresses, what I believe the only real problem in life: how much fun can you have, both in relationship and life? The Hendricks call it the "Upper Limits Problem" and by far the most advance tool I've ever had in enjoying my life. Totally recommend it. Plus, the appendix has so many processe ...more
Paulo Flores Chico
hmm. what can i say. i highly recommend this for anyone who wants to truly work on a honest relationship. after numerous of self help books, this one in particular is special because its so positive, hopeful and the ultimate goal is co-creativity. but after three years I am still on step 2 of the 7 steps to co-comittment. but watch out, you might not be ready for how good it is. gay and catherine might blow your mind.

Kari Metzger
Jun 22, 2014 Kari Metzger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh wow. I think this is the *the best book I have ever read* on relationships. It tackles the hard topics like co-dependence, projection, entanglement, and more not only in a clear, succinct way where you finally say "OHHH! I get it now!', but also gives you practical exercises and advice to then break free and challenge some of these relationship-threatening tendencies on the journey to 'co-creation'. Absolutely fabulous.

And I won't lie. Sometimes hard to look straight in the face. This book aw
Oct 18, 2015 Jodi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: couples
Meh! Nothing earth-shattering.
Jan 29, 2008 Jeff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book. I used this book for all my relationships, work, etc. It would be good for me to re-read it.
Sara Sherzad
Dec 02, 2013 Sara Sherzad rated it it was amazing
I loved the book, full of "science" I call, due to it's much significance!
This book talks about close and intimate relationships (It could be between any two (e.x two friends, you and your mom...etc) but mostly between two intimates ( A husband & wife) ). Though am single but I got a tremendous benefit from the book, cause it talks about different psychological patterns hidden maybe in subconscious that you may want to solve and other reasons related to those points that I liked alot from t
Sep 30, 2013 Judy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
I have always liked answers, knowing what makes people tick, and this holds universal truths that makes humankind predictable, interesting and a little crazy on the edges. As such, this is the kind of book where you think to yourself, "that is like so-and-so", or "my friend always says this.... I wonder..." If you read long enough, you'll trip upon yourself, and exclaim - "Oh, that is me!" I found this book on the shelves of a psychiatrist doctor I worked for, decided to take notes, and before I ...more
Aug 08, 2015 Bholdsworth7 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
All I can say is I wish my ex-wife and I had read this when it first came out. Granted I may not have understood it or been able to summon the courage to do the exercises, but I do know the insight and guidance presented is powerful and life changing.
Mark Austin
May 14, 2016 Mark Austin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
- Most books with this rating I never finish and so don't make this list. This one I probably started speed-reading to get it over with.
- Average. Wasn't terrible, but not a lot to recommend it. Probably skimmed parts of it.
- Decent. A few good ideas, well-written passages, interesting characters, or the like.
- Good. This one had parts that inspired me, impressed me, made me laugh out loud, made me think - it got positive reactions and most of the rest of it was pretty decent too.
- Amazing.
Jul 27, 2014 Cara added it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: life
p. 186 "When we examine closely the origin of that helpless role [seeing yourself as a victim], we see over and over a choice point in childhood: 'Either they're crazy or I am.' The child moving toward autonomy decides, 'They're crazy; I'm going to make my own rules.' The victim decides, 'I'm crazy; they're bigger and must know better.'"

I don't know that this is a childhood issue for me, but there's one area of my life now where I've been trying to figure out whether the other people are crazy o
Marco Pavan
Jun 25, 2015 Marco Pavan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
During our childhood we are exposed to many subjects and topics in school: Math, sciences, literature etc. nobody however teaches up emotions and how they impact our growth and our life. This book has opened my eyes on many aspects of my life, helped me complete my unresolved traumas and did miracles for my relationship with my wife and my family. Sometimes the reading might be a little clumsy but the content is gold nonetheless.
Jun 22, 2016 Brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help, psychology
I read this book many years ago. It's excellent not just for couples but also for individuals looking for insight into their own lives.
May 14, 2014 Darlene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This changed my relationship with my husband. Life of living a co-committed relationship is easier than a non-committed. Adore.
Nov 04, 2014 Heron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
bell hooks mentioned this book as one of her favorites in her conversation with Laverne Cox at the New School. It has so many good thoughts about mindfulness and full presence. I love the thoughts on claiming 100% creativity of one's "now." Little discussion about privilege or PTSD.
Mar 30, 2008 Zoe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Should be required reading for anyone involved with a significant other, or who's single and looking, or even single and not looking. OK, everyone should read this book. It's an eye-opening look at the way we often sabotage our relationships on a level we're not aware of. The idea is to look at conflict and tension as symptoms of deeper issues... the argument about who was supposed to pick up the dry cleaning has to do with a lot more than just clean clothes for Monday morning. Once these issues ...more
Dec 30, 2011 Natalie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What makes this book valuable is the emphasis it puts on the somatic experience of intimacy. While I didn't connect much with the style of writing or the constant emphasis put on formative childhood experiences, the practical excercises it offered felt refreshing and helpful. It offeres lots of suggestions about how to connect with the messages of the body, and how we can deepen our experience of closeness and trust. This book is a valuable tool for anyone wanting to understand and transcend the ...more
Sep 16, 2007 Jonathan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone wanting a great relationship

This book provided me tools and frameworks from which i have been able to cultivate my ability to truly be present to a woman, something i believe every woman deeply wants.

Its a guidebook for men and woman, including experiential exercises. My mentor coach, diana chapman studied with the authors for her training, and she is now one of the most powerful and effective women that i know. I am honored to study under her, and to be able to learn directly from her teachers through books like this.

Ben Owens-filice
This book changed my life!
Mario Sanchez
Jan 13, 2016 Mario Sanchez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book, a must read!
Apr 10, 2014 Alison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first of two books by this couple that I have signed out from the library to read. It was recommended to DP and I by a therapist friend of ours. The second (much smaller) part of the book is actually exercises to work through with your partner or by yourself to help heal relationships. It was very different from other relationship books I've read, a lot more of feeling your feelings as deeply as you can, and not hiding from them or hiding them from your partner. I enjoyed it.
Jennifer Tong
Mar 20, 2012 Jennifer Tong is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
After reading a lengthy excerpt of the book and interview with the author, I decided it would be a worthwhile read. I was not born a relationship expert! I/we have much to learn. The good news is we see it as an opportunity.

The only mistake I made was buying this on the kindle. This feels like the kind of book you read and (hopefully) want to share with friends! Major kindle drawback.

Stay tuned.
Pam Brown
Jan 07, 2014 Pam Brown rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: keeper
4.26 rating, with 523 reviews. Maybe there's something here I missed.

I'm keeping this book even though I only give it 3 stars. Maybe some of the lessons just didn't sink in, but they might if I re-read after having gained some maturity. Seem odd to say that at the age of 58, but there you go. Maybe I don't embrace some of the points because I'm in denial. Aren't we all...
Apr 01, 2010 April rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
You know, sometimes these deep "hold me and fix all the old patterns from my childhood and I'll do the same for you" books kind of make me want to gag after awhile. I love this couple, and based on their writing, I think they are really sweet and sincere, but ick.
Apr 04, 2009 Kathryn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I'm not a fan of self-help books. Basically, I hate self-help books. This was simple common sense wrapped up for people who have little common sense.
Ami Howard
Aug 17, 2010 Ami Howard is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: relationships
The author's are not the best writers, so it's not an easy/fun read, but there is really good information tucked in the cracks
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 36 37 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Be the Person You Want to Find: Relationship and Self-Discovery
  • Wired for Love: How Understanding Your Partner's Brain and Attachment Style Can Help You Defuse Conflict and Build a Secure Relationship
  • Undefended Love
  • Homecoming: Reclaiming and Healing Your Inner Child
  • The Survivor's Guide to Sex: How to Create Your Own Empowered Sexuality After Childhood Sexual Abuse
  • Victims No Longer: Men Recovering from Incest and Other Sexual Child Abuse
  • Fully Human, Fully Alive: A New Life Through a New Vision
  • Arousal: The Secret Logic of Sexual Fantasies
  • Love For No Reason: 7 Steps to Creating a Life of Unconditional Love
  • How to Be an Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving
  • Intimacy & Desire: Awaken the Passion in Your Relationship
  • The Science of Trust: Emotional Attunement for Couples
  • Messages: The Communication Skills Book
  • Legacy of the Heart: The Spiritual Advantage of a  Painful Childhood
  • Breaking Free of the Co-Dependency Trap
  • Healing Your Emotional Self: A Powerful Program to Help You Raise Your Self-Esteem, Quiet Your Inner Critic, and Overcome Your Shame
  • Bad Childhood--Good Life: How to Blossom and Thrive in Spite of an Unhappy Childhood
  • The Journey from Abandonment to Healing: Turn the End of a Relationship into the Beginning of a New Life
Dr. Gay Hendricks has served for more than 30 years as one of the major contributors to the fields of relationship transformation and body-mind therapies. Along with his wife, Dr. Kathlyn Hendricks, Gay is the author of many bestsellers, including Conscious Loving, At the Speed of Life, and Five Wishes.

Gay received his PhD in counseling psychology from Stanford University in 1974. After a 21-year
More about Gay Hendricks...

Share This Book

“True independence is not based on fear. It contains within it an ability to be close to others, coupled with a choice to be free and autonomous.” 2 likes
“Co-commitment is made possible when two people deal with their sense of responsibility and integrity. Being alive to the full range of your feelings, speaking the truth at the deepest level of which you are capable, and learning to keep agreements: all of these actions are required to master a co-committed relationship. When these three requirements are met, the real intimacy begins to unfold. A co-committed relationship may look like magic, but it really is composed of tiny moments of choice. Choosing to tell the truth. Noticing that you are projecting, and finding the courage to take responsibility. Choosing to feel rather than go numb. Choosing to communicate about a broken agreement. Choosing to support your partner as he or she goes through deep feeling. Ultimately, once these skills are practiced and internalized, the relationship flows effortlessly. Once your nervous system learns to stay at a high level of aliveness and does not need to numb itself by lying, breaking agreements, and hiding feelings, the creativity starts to flow.” 0 likes
More quotes…