Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships

A Book by Dr. Sue Johnson

Man reading book to woman on bed
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Best selling author, psychologist, relationship expert, researcher and couples therapist extraordinaire, Dr. Sue Johnson, released a book called Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships on December 31, 2013. Love Sense builds upon her 2008 book, Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love, which sheds light on some of the newly discovered science behind love and what it's all about.

 Prior to the release of Hold Me Tight, which was her first mainstream book for the public, Johnson had been working in academia as a clinical psychologist, researcher, professor, psychotherapist and developer of Emotionally Focused Therapy for couples, which has seen a high success rate in the research in helping couples move out of distress and into more secure relationships.

The Importance of "Attachment" in Adult Relationships

Perhaps you have heard of "attachment parenting," which honors a safe and secure emotional bond between parent and child. In Love Sense, Johnson likens the bond between romantic partners as that same kind of "attachment" that one might have to a primary caregiver. She discusses how crucial it is to know that one's partner will be there for them when they call, just as a child might need to know that their parent would be there. The difference with adults and children is that adults are not as physically dependent on each other as a child might be on a parent, but she quotes John Bowlby and notes that emotional needs are present "from the cradle to the grave."

A New Science of Romantic Relationships

Based on the latest research in psychology, neuroscience, and neurobiology, Johnson discusses a new science of romantic relationships in Love Sense. In some of her own latest research, she has determined how healthy relationships change our brains, and she speaks more about this in Love Sense. 

The new science of love, says Johnson, tells us this: "The first and foremost instinct of humans is neither sex nor aggression. It is to seek contact and comforting connection." She debunks the myth that dependency is a horrible thing, and notes that effective emotional dependency is actually "our greatest strength" and is "a sign of mental health." She discusses how the science of romantic relationships and all of the latest research in neuroscience and biology point back to the key point that we are ultimately dependent on each other, and that we are better off for it. "Splendid isolation," she writes, "is for planets, not people."

The Importance of Emotions

Johnson thanks technology, particularly technology which enables researchers to see into the human brain, for a "radical new view of emotion and its role in love relationships." Greater attention in the last few decades has led to an increased understanding of emotions. Throughout history, emotions have been given a bad rap. Reason and cognition were viewed as superior as they seemed to separate humans from the other animals. Johnson brings to light some of the latest research that dispels the myth that emotions are of a lower nature ​and notes that emotions are the key players in our love relationships.

She discusses how we are ultimately much more emotionally connected than we realize.


Throughout Love Sense, Johnson offers experiments for partners to try with each other. Some may seem silly, but all are intended to help couples get their relationships in line with the new science of love. 

Highly acclaimed relationship researcher Dr. John Gottman notes that Love Sense is "an absolute must for anyone who wants to understand how Love Makes Sense...Read this book and learn how to create a life that is a safe haven for love."

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