The DNA of Relationships


I have a hunch that I will read this book again.

One, because it was a Valentine’s Day gift from my beloved fiancé. (Please forgive the mush, but I have to be honest, don’t I? ) Second, because it has improved my understanding of the dynamics – or DNA – of relationships and this is something of great interest to me.

Although it is pre-marital guidance book #3 on gribook, it is actually the first book on relationships my fiancé and I have started reading together. It was recommended by two couples we have great respect for. 

The DNA of Relationships, by Dr. Gary Smalley.

There is one thing I really like about the book and one – I don’t. Here they are.

 What I liked

Dr. Gary Smalley doesn’t just tackle superficial issues or give cheap advice – he goes deep. He writes about our core fears, helps us identify them and warns us of the Fear Dance that is at the root of the vast majority of conflicts. He urges us to take responsibility of our own actions and convinces us of the importance of making people around us feel safe. He teaches us how to implement a no-losers policy and how to love our dear ones by taking good care of ourselves. What he’s basically saying is that if you want a flourishing relationship, there’s some serious digging and changing to do. Yes. We’re talking about DNA-deep stuff here.

What I didn’t like

We never got too far reading it as a couple because of the very long chapters. We appreciated the multitude of examples that illustrate Dr. Smalley’s points and the fact that he explains a principle until it’s clear to even the dumbest of readers. Yet, the fact that he repeated the same idea over and over in his lengthy chapters seemed a little too much for the very smart us.  To his credit, they did stick.

To sum it up:

The DNA of Relationships is for people who want to build a strong foundation for their relationship, not just repaint the walls.

Have you read the book? Any thoughts on it?

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