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Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships
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Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  1,022 ratings  ·  145 reviews
The bestselling author of Hold Me Tight presents a revolutionary new understanding of why and how we love, based on cutting-edge research.

Every day, we hear of relationships failing and questions of whether humans are meant to be monogamous. LOVE SENSE presents new scientific evidence that tells us that humans are meant to mate for life. Dr. Johnson explains that romantic
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published December 31st 2013 by Little, Brown and Company (first published January 1st 2013)
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4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,022 ratings  ·  145 reviews

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Nov 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. In therapy circles, Sue Johnson is the number one authority on improving couple relationships by strengthening attachment bonds. I use her text on Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT) for my graduate students, but this book is more accessible and is written for a general audience.

The book is well written. It is grounded in scientific research, advances in neuroscience, and years of significant clinical experience. She provides clear explanations that help demysti
Katrina Sark
Sep 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
“People think love I an emotion. Love is good sense.” (Ken Kesey)
“Unless you love someone, nothing else makes any sense.” (e. e. cummings)
p.3 – We know that love makes us vulnerable, but also that we are never as safe and strong as when we are sure we are loved.
But although, at the end of the first decade of the 21st century, our species has smarts enough to split the atom and soar into space, we still seem to have no clear or rigorous understanding of the intense connection that is so centra
Erin Henry
Mar 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, marriage
Everyone go read this book right now! This book discusses how love provides us a secure attachment which is necessary to survival. The author has a lot of research to back up her findings. What I found most amazing was how strong marriages and child-parent relationships can improve the world. I love discovering how science consistently backs up what God has taught and is teaching us. (Ps. It isn't a religious book)
Nov 25, 2016 rated it liked it
This book is dedicated to my children, in the hope
that their love relationships will be richer, deeper,
and more fulfilling.

Also, this book is dedicated to those I love -- those who
continually offer me a safe haven and a secure base from which
to joyfully leap into the unknown. You know who you are.

Provocative finding:

The first and foremost instinct of humans is neither sex nor aggression.
It is to seek contact and comforting connection.

The core of happy relationships is a deep trust that partners
Kim Blackham
Feb 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Sue Johnson has done it again! What remarkable research in the field of relationships. I think the reason I appreciate Sue’s work so much is it is not just gimmicky advice. She clearly explains, in a reader- friendly way, what the current research on love tells us. She demonstrates what we know about love and how it makes sense. And she provides real, conversational examples of couples that find their way out of disconnection to a safe and lovingly attached relationship. The examples she uses re ...more
Dawn Ellis
Nov 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
This book was fluffier than I was expecting when I decided to read it. Although the author does include case stories of couples in crisis, and close to divorce, the difficulties faced by these couples seem to not be very emotionally complex and Dr. Johnson's exercises designed to help fix the problems strike me as a bit simplistic. The author does not really discuss more challenging issues in relationships such as substance abuse, intimate partner abuse, personality disorders, etc, and how these ...more
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
The title suggests that the research cited in the book is both "new" and "revolutionary," when in fact most of it is based on John Bowlby's attachment theory work of the late 1950s and early 1960s.

An overstated subtitle notwithstanding, this book has much to offer in helping individuals and couples understand the psychological, sociological, and even physiological underpinnings of committed relationships. Combining theory from clinical and scientific literature, examples from the author's thera
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Some interesting insights, and some classical notions about brain physiology. Theme is about the capacity of willing couples, at every stage of a relationship, to overcome their own dances with disaster and making the relationship healthier and stronger. Thesis depends heavily on Attachment Theory which is now well established as fundamental to strong personal relationships. But the theory gets complicated and messy and is not adequately explained in this book. It would appear that many of us ha ...more
Blair Emsick
Mar 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Why is my single ass reading books written by marriage counselors idk kkkkkk … Johnson's writing was a bit blah but damn she discusses some fascinating studies. I enjoyed and I am ready to be a wife 💁💁
Feb 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was a really fantastic book on a fascinating topic: the relatively new scientific frontier of analyzing and understanding love; in all its various complexities, overlapping nuances, contradictions; inescapable realities and uncontrollable fantasies. The way Sue Johnson approaches the topic, which has mystified human kind throughout our existence, is entirely approachable and digestible. We all know these feelings in some shape or form as she describes them in her case studies, and it is use ...more
Ruth Hyland
Mar 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
loved this. maybe it is the time of my life but it has been so helpful to my relationship with my spouse. he is listening to it and i'm so glad. he is so much better at reading something and applying it to real life. I loved the science behind love. I had no idea how avoidant I was. I highly recommend. I purchased her other book as well Hold me Tight. and bought this for my sister who is getting married. the basic premise is that when you feel securely attached and loved by someone it frees you ...more
♥ Ibrahim ♥
Self-help yes, but science of love? I don't think so! Yes, she did her research as every author worth his salt ought to be and do but this doesn't make her a scientist. The word science is the buzzword in self-help books in order to give themselves airs that they are above those "others" who write commercially oriented self-help books. Nice try!
By the way, there is no science in love or even sex!
Dec 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Read this book - it will improve your relationship. Both my spouse and I agree that her first book was a huge turning point in our marriage and this one very much deepens my understanding of attached partnership.

Nice approachable science applicable to daily interactions with loved ones, especially your life love.
Candess Campbell
Apr 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Great book about attachment, but a little clinical for me. Even though I am a licensed mental health counselor, I would have liked for the author to share some solutions during the process of educating.
Salla Korpela
Sep 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Required reading for anyone in a relationship, dreaming of a relationship or even convinced of never entering one again.
Apr 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Went on a little longer than necessary, but very well written book on a very important subject. Well worth it.
Dec 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a really helpful book on maintaining an existing relationship.

The first quarter talks about why we need secure relationships - that is, someone we can rely on:

We need emotional connection to survive. Neuroscience is highlighting what we have perhaps always known in our hearts - loving human connection is more powerful than our basic survival mechanism: fear. We also need connection to thrive. We are actually healthier and happier when we are close and connected.

It then goes on to attachm
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed
Dr Sue Johnson is a leader in this field and she does a lot of work with couples in Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT).
More than a few very interesting findings.
She talked of a study where they put people in an fMRI machine and subjected them to pain and asked them to rate that pain in three situations: alone, holding a stranger’s hand, or holding the hand of their loved one. Guess which one they report feeling less pain? And the MRI shows exactly how much anxiety/stress their brain showed
Chuck Kollars
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A seemingly thorough and complete exploration of the implications of "attachment theory" for "romantic relationships". In my experience one of the best books available on this topic.

The case briefly: A "pair bond" greatly enhanced survival in prehistoric times, and is still very important to humans. Baby pair bonds (relationship with mother) and adult pair bonds (relationship with SO) share brain mechanisms and tend to be very similar. The ideal of an adult being "completely independent" does n
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: love, mental-health
I love love, LOVE this book. I'm no expert on love -- no really, I'm not an expert on love, seriously -- but this book makes so much sense to me. Johnson's therapy is based on attachment theory, which essentially holds that we need one another, that no matter our age, we require secure emotional attachments to flourish. Strengthening the emotional attachment between lovers, Johnson argues, is the key to great romance (not to mention great sex). Her writing style is graceful, clear, free of acade ...more
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have been on a major Attachment Theory book kick lately and I'm coming to this one after reading Attached by Amir Levine (which I loved) and Wired for Dating by Stan Tatkin (I did not love that one). I've also read a few others with loose references to Attachment. This book by Dr Sue Johnson is a very valuable read on matters of Attachment, Attunement and Attraction. Dr Johnson writes very accessibly, eloquently and with great passion for the topic. I came away from this read with even more ho ...more
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is one of the best on the topic and should be read by everyone.

Yep, everyone. This is stuff that everyone should learn and know. (I had never heard of these theories before, and I know I am not the only one - but my own experiences support their validity.)

While that is unlikely to happen, it is a *must* read for those looking for books on the topic. This book, along with a few others (The works by Gottman, How to Improve your marriage without talking about it, and It Takes One to Tang
Mar 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this is a good book for people who may not have had a long-term relationship, or who feel they can't be heard or speak their truth within their relationships.

To me, this book felt *so basic*. I did enjoy learning more about attachment theory, and seeing that theory, usually spoken about in terms of parenting, applied to adult romantic bonds.

I read this book because it was recommended to me by someone who found it extremely helpful, so maybe this book will be that thing for you too.

Sep 07, 2018 rated it liked it
It's hard to give a star rating to a book like this. I thought it had many helpful observations and suggested approaches, mixed with some illogic and idiosyncrasies. The core theme that attachment is important, perhaps fundamental, to our emotional lives, including adult love relationships strikes me as sound, as does her extrapolation into broader private and public lives, e.g.
"Loving parenting and partnering translates into a kinder, more humane society," and the call for public policies that
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is the follow-up to her first, Hold Me Tight, about couples therapy that treats the spousal relationship as an attachment bond. The first part of the book rehearses the argument of Hold Me Tight, and the subsequent sections go deeper into examples of what both initially unsuccessful couples and then successful ones sound like. It's powerful stuff. The final section takes a broader view of our highly-stressed world, distractions like mobile phones, and the need for people to live in sup ...more
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is for anyone that wants to understand the nature of love, the role of secure attachment, and the impact of relationship distress, not only in our romantic relationships, but in any important connection with a significant other. Sue Johnson, a relationship expert, doesn’t just stop at exploring the significance of our romantic relationships on our emotional and physical well-being, but speaks to the broader importance of creating a society that values connection of acquisition, love ov ...more
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a technical, non fiction book about the science of loving relationships. She specifically speaks to the kinds of bonds formed between adults and their lovers. She also examines the cycles of attachment and disillusionment we get in with our partners and what really causes problems.
I was really interested in this book because my relationship is often caught in the downward spiral and traditional methods haven’t helped break this spiral. Very informative and I am convinced she’s onto somet
Sep 24, 2017 rated it liked it
While I am a big proponent of EFT generally, and use it my practice quite a lot, I found this book largely redundant to her earlier book, Hold Me Tight. I did enjoy the research on attachment outlined in the book, but found the lengthy dialogues transcribed in the book contrived and, to be honest, boring. This does not diminish my respect for EFT as a method of bringing couples together emotionally; I just didn't love the book.
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A must-read for anyone in any type of relationship, especially a marriage, and especially if one believes that there is no hope for their relationship. There is always healing, and Dr. Sue Johnson sheds light on how relationships can be renewed and repaired. A secure attachment is key, and Dr. Johnson talks about how to identify and handle attachment needs and fears. Lots of good information on the science behind attachments, the emotions, mirror neurons, and so on.
Alyson Fortowsky
Apr 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic science-based explanation of recent developments in the scientific study of emotions. The Platonic idea that emotions are inferior to reason has persisted in Western culture since his time, but emotions are just as important, if not more important, than intellect for survival and relationship health. Life-changing.
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Dr. Sue Johnson is a world-renowned expert in the field of couples therapy. She is a clinical psychologist,researcher, professor, best-selling author. Topics Dr. Johnson addresses include: attachment and bonding, the science of love, interventions to repair relationships, and forgiveness. Dr. Johnson is the primary developer of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), a highly effective, research-backed ...more
“Being the “best you can be” is really only possible when you are deeply connected to another. Splendid isolation is for planets, not people.” 17 likes
“The greatest gift a parent has to give a child—and a lover has to give a lover—is emotionally attuned attention and timely responsiveness.” 8 likes
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