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Eight Dates: Essential Conversations for a Lifetime of Love

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  2,311 ratings  ·  255 reviews
Strengthen and deepen your love with a fun, ingenious program of eight life-changing conversations—on essential topics such as money, sex, and trust—from two of the world’s leading marriage researchers and clinicians.
Navigating the challenges of long-term commitment takes effort—and it just got simpler, with this empowering, step-by-step guide to communicating about the
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published February 5th 2019 by Workman Publishing Company
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Average rating 4.24  · 
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 ·  2,311 ratings  ·  255 reviews

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Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, wellness
John Gottman is basically a love guru. He has studied thousands of relationships, and after several decades of clinical observation and study, he can predict with 97% accuracy if a couple will stay together or divorce.

I read one of Gottman’s earlier books called The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work when my husband and I were having a rough time just after we were married. It absolutely changed the way I approached our relationship, and it helped us both better communicate so we could co
Reese Epston
Jan 31, 2019 rated it did not like it
I was looking forward to reading this but I lost all respect for this author upon meeting them. It's difficult to take relationship advice from a woman who goes about her day with such little emotional regulation of her own. Someone who snaps their fingers at a server, may not be the person to preach conversations for a lifetime of love. ...more
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I liked this book quite a bit more than the previous (and only other) Gottman book I read, "The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work." While that work was a constant stream of self-aggrandizement and conflation of his ability to predict divorce with an ability to preserve marriages, this book is far more humble, conversational, thoughtful, and engaging - perhaps because of the involvement of the three other authors (his wife, and Rachel Doug Abrams). This book walks through eight fundamenta ...more
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
great practical marriage advice book. Probably best for younger married couples, but still really helpful and useful as are all the Gottman materials.
Jan 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
Eight Dates: Essential Conversations for a Lifetime of Love, written by the Gottman's of the Gottman Institute, is a book about growing, learning about and supporting your romantic partner. The Gottman's look at some of the main sources of conflict and misunderstanding in relationships, and break these categories down into eight dates covering the following: trust and commitment, conflict, sex and intimacy, work and money, family, fun and adventure, growth and spirituality, and finally dreams an ...more
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
What I appreciate about the Gottman Institute is it is research-based, so John and Julie Gottman are not just throwing out relationship advice based on hunches or personal anecdotes but based on evidence and observation. This book is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to deepen and strengthen their relationship, whether you are newly dating or have been married for many years. Different sections of the book will be more useful to different people. The topics of the eight chapters are commi ...more
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
Amazing resource for any long-term, committed couple! I love the idea of intentional dates that are themed around major aspects of a relationship. This book is short and not super deep, but the real depth should come in the conversations with your partner that the dates are meant to cultivate. The date ideas are pretty vague, but the guiding conversation questions and exercises to go with them are amazing! My husband and I plan to work through these dates slowly and are looking forward to more i ...more
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved how practical and straight to the point this book was. I think a lot of the conversations suggested in this books are also ones we should have with ourselves. After this short read I'd definitely like to read the research behind this book and the studies mentioned in it. ...more
Kelly Long
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
I have enjoyed all of John Gottman's books that I've read so far and this one is no exception. Good, solid information for new relationships or long-term relationships. ...more
Crina Oniscu
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As anything that really matters, a relationship is something that needs a lot of work to be put in. Happy endings never happen by chance, they happen because two people trust each other so much and are willing to do the work to build a life together, with its highs and lows.
John and Julie Gottman have been studying couples for a few decades and researched what are the behaviors that can result either in break-ups or happily ever after. With some adorable examples both from their own life and the
Feb 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Accessible, well-written, with lots of helpful exercises. Sometimes I wished the exercises were more pointed, but then they would have lost their universality. Also, Angie and I agreed that one chapter seemed to have rosy-eyed glasses, but I think that's part of the point. We both learned a good deal about each other even though we've been married for over 11 years and together for 13, we developed solutions to problems, and we spent a bunch of quality time together. Strong recommend for couples ...more
Aug 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a very approachable book. Based on clinical observations & studies in the field, it shares a little bit of the science and very concrete applications of it - the dates. Each one revolves around a subject that was identified as a key factor for a happy relationship, they have concrete exercises and questions to use with a partner and even a troubleshooting section.

I think that the main advantage of this book is to make us aware of how important real conversations are. We tend to get caugh
Siobhan F.
Nov 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
3.5 stars

Review copy provided courtesy of NetGalley. Review is unbiased and reflects my personal opinion.

The premise of this relationship self-help book is that the eight conversations held within are necessary ones you and your partner should have in order to have a happy lifelong relationship. The first part of the book introduces you to the authors, the research that went into creating the exercises outlined in each chapter and different strategies for having what can be difficult conversat
Ramona Mead
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: advanced-copies
I find the title and subtitle a bit cheesy and a little misleading, although the content of this book is absolutely solid. I can't wait for it to be released in physical form so I can go through it again with my husband.

I am married for the second time, as is my husband. We put a great deal of effort into our relationship and have discussed many of the topics in this book, although we certainly have not discussed all of them, or to the extent this book suggests. I wouldn't have thought to, beca
Jan 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
While I am not in a relationship, I still found this very readable book valuable. The idea is to go on eight (8) dates to discuss the important topics (trust/commitment, conflict, sex, work/money, family, fun/adventure, growth/spirituality, dreams). Lots of practical advice and lots of questions to engage your partner to start/continue a dialogue. It would be nice if/when I begin a committed relationship with someone, we would go over (and be open to revisiting) the topics in this book.
Joyce Wheeler
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book has the potential to change your relationship for the better IF both parties can set down their pride and take advantage of it. I can see a lot of pain, reflection and understanding being processed through each of these dates but they could make all the difference. It scary to be vulnerable enough to go through these dates and it may take some prodding but the questions and topics are on point. I haven't tried these yet but I am hopeful my other half with be receptive. I suggest a pape ...more
Jenny Beason Morrell
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received an arc from the publisher in exchange for my review. The book consists of 8 dates ideas that couples can go on, and open ended questions they should ask to get to know each other better. The chapters also give background information on why the date topic is important. The author's suggest that couples who talk and date regularly have better relationships than those who don't. My husband and I did one of the dates and one of the questions/exercises brought out some of his preferences a ...more
Emily Burns
Sep 27, 2019 rated it liked it
I follow The Gottman Institute and love their content, which is why I picked up this book.

Three stars feels appropriate because the questions / prompts that the Gottmans suggest for the dates are really thoughtful and make for great conversation-starters (between anyone); however, the book is incredibly focused on monogamous, primarily heterosexual marriage, and has few citations for studies that took place in the last decade.
Carleigh Foutch
Nov 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
This has been such a great guide for our premarital counseling sessions. The best part is that you don’t have to be heading into marriage to read this. Whether you’re seriously thinking about getting married, engaged, or just feel yourself at a different point in your relationship, these eight dates are a great way to connect with your partner. Highly recommend!
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The information in this book is nothing new. What compels me to give this a 5 star rating is the presence of the chapter end questions and exercises. Completing these with my husband solidified the information and made us think about subjects around the topic of the chapter that we mayn't have discussed otherwise. It deepened our knowledge of each other.

There are 8 chapters: trust & commitment, addressing conflict, sex & intimacy, work & money, family, fun & adventure, growth and spirituality,
Aug 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-help
I'm skeptical of self-help books in general and I was reluctant to pick this up, but I wanted a resource to direct me towards important conversations to have with a partner. This is exactly that—with some extra fluff around it. I read all the chapters—nothing special to comment on from a writing style perspective, but very quick reads and generally helpful context. I ignored the quizzes and date suggestions and skipped right to the open-ended questions to discuss with a partner. I found them sur ...more
Ann T
Feb 11, 2019 added it
Thank you Workman Publishing and. Netgalley for an ARC of this book in return of my honest review.

This relationship to anyone, those in long term relationships, Jewish relationships and even those who hope to be in a loving relationship someday soon. The book is divided in eight chapters, each one called a date. The date is relevant to a particular theme within relationships, eg trust, conflict, sex, money, spirituality. Each date includes questions and exercises to ask one another.

The book is e
Jul 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quick read. You could literally read this in a couple of hours.

I strongly believe in his research and findings and think what he suggests makes sense to me. These dates as ways to connect and be curious about your partner are great ways to explore and navigate what are sometimes difficult conversations, but necessary to make sure that you are growing together even if not in agreement. It's not about having the same view point but learning to understand your partner.

these questions are great ge
Nov 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Fun ideas and solid, research- based relationship wisdom. The Gottmans are definitely some of the best in their business and this book reflects that. If you've read them faithfully (I pretty much have) some of this is old news. But there's a lot of new stuff and tips that you can put into action. Essentially, they give you easy ways to implement their discoveries and begin a conversation with your spouse, thus helping you avoid the daily rut that most people ease into. ...more
Mar 17, 2020 added it
I thought there were some good reminders here, to be aware of who our partners really are and what they're experiencing, and to make it clear that we have their back in every sphere. I did feel that sometimes the science was more decorative than practical, and that the advice sometimes incorporated some cultural biases, but I still came away with some good advice. ...more
Destinee Sutton
I found this book at an AirBnB we were staying in. I didn't read every word but got the gist from skimming. There are a lot of open-ended questions to spark conversation and we did some of those as a family.

I was already pretty familiar with the Gottman Institute theory of what makes a successful marriage, so I didn't find any revelations in this book, but it's always good to be reminded.
Jan 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to having these dates with my spouse. He’s a pastor and as I was reading this I told him I thought this would be a great pre-marital counseling resource, and encouraged him to purchase several copies.
Jan 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
Kinda basic feeling? And I would've appreciated a bit more scientific perspective, but that's not the purpose of the book so it's good for what it is. They do a great job of acknowledging the many different forms family and romantic relationships take in society and I did appreciate that. ...more
Jeffrey McDowell
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and benefited greatly from it.
Andy Myers
Dec 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A developed review will be forthcoming, following our last date. This is by far the most influential, beneficial, and enjoyable book I’ve read in a long time. I cannot recommend it enough. ❤️
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John Mordecai Gottman is an American psychological researcher and clinician who did extensive work over four decades on divorce prediction and marital stability. He is also an award-winning speaker, author, and a professor emeritus in psychology.

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