Wondering what the best books for long-distance relationships are?
I frequently recommend books to people who ask me for long-distance dating advice. One of the reasons I do this is because books shape the way we think, and a lot of relationship problems are best solved by changing your thinking.
One helpful principle I’ve heard is that thoughts lead to emotions, emotions lead to behaviors, and behaviors lead to consequences. If you’re experiencing any difficulty with the last three (emotions, behaviors or consequences), you’ll see the most improvement by getting to the root cause: your thoughts.
The following five books are what I consider to be the best books for long-distance relationships. They’re written with a Christian worldview, which means they will help you think from a Biblical perspective. If you’re not a Christian, I would still recommend these to you because of the practical knowledge you can take from them.
None of these books are written specifically for couples in long-distance relationships, but they are still highly applicable. I pray that reading these books renews your mind and helps you understand what God desires for you while you date (Romans 12:2).
Not Yet Married: The Pursuit of Joy in Singleness and Dating
Author: Marshall Segal
Premise: Joy in dating is found through seeking joy in God.
When To Read: You’re starting a new dating relationship
Why Read This Book: This book lays out principles and practical tips for Christ-centered dating and singleness in a relevant, engaging way. If you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing (or even if you do), this is a great place to start and build a foundation.
Note: In the spirit of full disclosure, if you make a purchase using one of the Amazon links, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products that I trust and that I believe will benefit you in your long-distance relationship.
Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life
Authors: Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
Premise: Boundaries are healthy parts of all interpersonal relationships.
When To Read: You’re starting to experience conflict or other challenges
Why Read This Book: While the principles in this book are simple, they’re so easily overlooked that learning them can radically change the way you think about all of your relationships with other people. This book equips you to handle all kinds of conflicts and issues in a healthy, humble, and God-honoring manner.
The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God
Author: Timothy Keller
Premise: Marriage is all about the gospel.
When To Read: You want a deeper understanding of what Biblical marriage looks like.
Why Read This Book: Once you realize that the purpose of dating is to determine whether you should marry, you might realize you don’t actually know the purpose of marriage. This book provides a powerful and thought-provoking overview of marriage according to the Bible, and it’s one of the only marriage books that’s written primarily for people who aren’t married.
101 Questions To Ask Before You Get Engaged
Author: H. Norman Wright
Premise: The more you know about someone before you get engaged, the better.
When To Read: You’re starting to consider engagement.
Why Read This Book: One of the hardest questions to wrestle with in a long-distance relationship is, Do I really know this person? The questions in this book can help you answer that question and make a more informed decision about engagement. Since it’s much easier for everyone involved if you break up when you’re dating rather than when you’re engaged, it’s a good idea to ask critical questions before a proposal is on the table.
Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God’s Will
Author: Kevin DeYoung
Premise: Much of the decision paralysis we feel in trying to seek God’s will is unnecessary.
When To Read: You need to make important decisions about your relationship.
Why Read This Book: Long-distance dating involves a ton of difficult decisions — from breaking up to getting married. This book demonstrates that a lot of the ways that Christians try to “find God’s will” for these decisions are actually unbiblical and offers a better way. It also reminds readers that God is a loving Father who wants what’s best for his children.
As Charlie Jones said, “You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.” Grab one of these books and ask God to let it help you grow in your long-distance relationship.