Our Book of the Month is, as seems only appropriate for February, a book about love. A book about romance, connection and intimacy, about how to find these things, keep them and improve upon them. A book by a former Vedic monk and current leading light of wellness and purpose. Our Book of the Month is 8 Rules of Love by Jay Shetty!

So much of the time, we are left to navigate love – and everything that goes with it – with but the haziest set of touchstones and the most unavoidable battery of misconceptions to direct us. You know, all the songs, all the cinematic moments and repeated cliches, that tell us over and over again that love is something that happens. Bam! There it is. Lightning strikes, the soaring strings soar, the camera pans woozily and there love just is. Delivered immaculately by the stars. But isn’t it more likely that it is something that takes work? Isn’t it more truthful to suggest that there are skills you can learn to make it all make more sense? And wouldn’t it be nice to know that those skills are relatively straightforward? Well…

Given that few, if any, of us were ever sat down and given a comprehensive education in love, its many guises, complications, pains and beauties – because, after all, how would that even go? – Shetty’s new book is a major comfort. 8 Rules of Love realises that the whole business of loving and being loved is too enormous a thing to be communicated all at once, so it wisely breaks it all down into eight steps that we can actually take, things we can actually do, to help ourselves along in this department.

Drawing on the Vedic wisdom and the experiences that have informed his life and approach to love, Shetty takes us through the whole cycle of a relationship. From those tentative and nerve-wracking first dates through to the point at which two lives meld, and without shying away from what happens when a relationship dissolves and we have to start again, he helps us to build the skills we’ll need to craft something lasting. And, more than that, he shows us how to avoid the pitfalls and fallacies that can trip up a relationship no matter the phase it’s in.

Let’s be clear: this isn’t necessarily a book about dating. And it certainly is not about seducing. This is about the joy and fulfilment that can be found in loving more fully… and more realistically.

All in all, 8 Rules of Love presents a wealth of workable guidance tailored by insight and science to help us more effectively and lastingly love each other and ourselves. And when could that ever be a bad thing to learn? Maybe it’s just what this month needs… we certainly think so.