Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way

By Susan K. Perry


Loving in Flow:  How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way is about having someone you can count on to love you no matter how the moods of the day happen to fall.  It shows how couples can exist in a unique “zone,” when the bond between you feels timeless and irreplaceable.  The best relationship is having someone with whom to transcend aloneness in a random chaotic universe, and Loving in Flow proves that real couples with real flaws and inadequacies can indeed find this level of exceptional joy together.

Loving in Flow is based on in-depth interviews with more than three dozen longterm couples who rate their relationships as absolutely top-of-the-line.  The book is filled with insights and practical suggestions about navigating the transitions and crises of a relationship.

Loving in Flow differs from other relationship books: they’re often based on academic studies of college undergrads, or they’re written by therapists about the troubled couples who have come to them, without always knowing what actually worked.  As a social psychologist in the field of positive psychology, I’ve studied and written here about what worksLoving in Flow isn’t a structured program with a set number of rules, but is grounded in gritty and often amusing reality.

A sample of what you’ll find in Loving in Flow:

  • How to avoid making the same mistakes others do
  • Why it’s best to expose your true self quickly (“Putting Your Best Knee Forward”)
  • Why those early “highs” level off so quickly—and what you can do about it
  • Why you need good illusions about one another, but why some kinds of illusions are deadly to lasting love
  • How to stop the conflict—20 detailed and anecdotal explanations of techniques that work for real people
  • Why assuming good will is always the best stance
  • Exercises and rituals that really work to get couples through the toughest fights
  • How to recognize “subtle abuse”
  • Different conversational styles that get in the way of understanding and compassion
  • Why listening is so important and so hard, and how to do it well


“Susan Perry’s writing is soothing and refreshing.  It’s a book worth any ten on the same subject on the shelves. A thoughtful, stimulating, and potentially dynamite best seller!”

     —Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Ph.D., author of N.Y. Times bestseller Flow; Director of The Quality of Life Research Center, Claremont Graduate University

“With wit, intelligence and gut-wrenching honesty, Perry reminds us that the path to real love is often rocky but that the destination is perhaps the most glorious one we can achieve in a life.

     —Robert Epstein, Ph.D. Editor in Chief Psychology Today

“A work of lasting value on a topic of timeless relevance.  Perry explores the complex nuances of and challenges to achieving intimacy through an in-depth exploration of the experiences of real people. Their stories stick with you and resonate in your mind and heart.  This book [is] an enlightening and inspirational touchstone.”

     —Jeremy P. Hunter, Ph.D., Research Director, The Quality of Life Research Center, Peter F. Drucker School of Management, Clarement Graduate University

Publisher: Sourcebooks
Available in: Paperback

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