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  • Writer's pictureFiona Grignard

My favorite tools & practices : Relationships

Everyone gets into relationships. And as Esther Perel says "The quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives".

And yet, no one really teaches us about these things.

I started diving into the topic about 8 years ago, after a painful breakup. And I never stopped learning about it.

And because so many people ask me about it, I thought I'd share some my favorite resources to create and nurture flourishing relationships.

Experts you should definitely follow

1. Esther Perel

Maybe the most famous couple's therapist in the world.

She's good and she's captivating to listen to. (And I'm not only saying that because she's Belgian! )

► Where to find her?

  • Her website :

  • Her podcast : "Where should we begin ?" where you can spy real life couples in real time therapy sessions.

  • Her Masterclass on Relational Intelligence

  • She's a guest on so many podcasts too. Always great!

  • Follow on Instagram : @estherperelofficial

2. John & Julie Gottman

They have been conducted research for over 40y with thousands of couples. They are now able to predict with 90% accuracy if a couple will break up or stay together, and if so whether they will be happily together or not.

They are a must for every couple who wants practical and actionable tools.

► Where to find them?

  • Their podcast "Small things often" (episodes are less than 5min)

  • They're also guests on so many podcasts. Insightful and entertaining.

  • Some of their amazing books :

    • 8 dates - Essential conversations for a lifetime of love Such an important tool to help you address the important topics of a life together like trust and commitment, conflicts, sex and intimacy, money, fun and adventure, family, growth and dreams.

    • The Love Prescription - Seven Days to More Intimacy, Connection, and Joy Based on their research showing that happy couples do small things often, this book gives 7 habits to implement in your daily life, even if you don't have much time to create connection.

    • Fight Right - How successful couples turn conflict into connection It's all said in the title. Key skills we usually never learn and that can make or break your relationships.

    • The 7 principles for making mariage work Their best-seller, based on the research in the Love Lab.

  • Follow on Instagram : @gottmaninstitute

Attachment Theory

Stuck in repeating patterns of push and pull? Wondering why you keep dating people who seem emotionally immature? Do you have a tendency to crush fast and hard but end up feeling abandoned? Or on the opposite, do you take distance as soon as your partner seems to commit a bit too much, afraid to loose your freedom?

The attachment theory, initially developed in the 50's by John Bowlby, is probably one of the psychology theories that I have found the most helpful to help me understand my own patterns of unhealthy behaviours and insecurities in my relationships.

► Where to learn about it?

  • Google will give you more than enough on the topic. It is very well researched

  • Follow on Instagram

  • @TheSecureRelationship

  • @TheAnxiousHeartsGuide

  • @TheLovingAvoidant

  • @JimmyOnRelationships

Open relationships & Ethical Non-Monogamy (ENM)

► My 2 favorite books on the topics that mix open-relationships with attachment theory and how to create secure relationships in unconventional dynamics.

  • Polywise

  • Polysecure

Both written by Jessica Fern

Definitely the most helpful books I have read on the topic and a great read whether you're just thinking about ENM or whether you already dove in and want to deepen your experience.

► Follow on Instagram

  • @Polyamfam

  • @unapolygetically

  • @polyamory_awareness

  • @monogamish_me

  • @polyamour_euse

Other helpful resources

► Book : "How to not die alone" - Logan Ury

A step-by-step guide to relationships, from dating to breaking up to committing long term. Data-driven and full of hands-on exercises (like a relationship contract and very good questions to know if you want to stay or break up)

+ Take her quiz to find the blind spots holding you back in dating

► Book : "Too good to leave, to bad to stay" - Mira Kirshenbaum

Probably the book I've lent the most to my friends...

For when you're stuck between the decision to break up or to stay together.

36 questions to diagnose the state of your relationship and get clarity on the decision to take.

It's an old book, but I find it's still doing a really good job at making you think.

I read it once while I was in a happy relationship, just out of curiosity, and it actually helped me appreciate my partner even more and let go of the things that annoyed me and that weren't that important after all.

IFS & IFIO therapy

If you're looking for a therapy model to help work on relationships, my favorite one is Internal Family System (for individual therapy) and its sister Intimacy From the Inside Out (for couples), developed by Dr Richard Schwarz.

The IFS and IFIO model have proven soooooo efficient on myself to improve my relationship to myself and to others (including healing the insecure anxious attachment I grew up with stemming from a wound of abandonment).

I couldn't recommend a better therapy model to work on relationships.

More info and list of practitioners :

 My Spotify playlist with podcasts I liked on relationships

I listen to a lot (a lot!) of podcasts. Relationships is one of my go-to topics, I never get bored of it.

I gathered some of my favorite episodes here : Fiona's favorites

That's it.

I hope this list has been helpful.

If you tried one of the resources that I shared and you found it insightful in any way, I would really love to know about it. Really. Send me a message to let me know what you think.

I hope you'll be able to create and nurture meaningful relationships.

With love,



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