I recently read Mark Michaels and Patricia Johnson’s new book Designer Relationships and loved it! A deceptively modest little book, it is short enough to read in one long sitting or several shorter ones. Do not be fooled by the demure length, however, because Michales and Johnson pack some huge ideas in to this pint-sized readers’ treat.
Designer Relationships is such fun to read in part because what it contains, and in part because of what it does not. Written in a very direct and approachable tone, the book is filled with information and straightforward explanations of complex ideas. I mean big, big ideas about love, freedom, happiness, and personal fulfillment. While I was reading I had to stop every once in a while to reflect on my own thoughts about what they had written — the mark of a truly interesting book, in my opinion.
Missing from Designer Relationships is the holier-than-thou attitude all too common in some other books on polyamory or alternative lifestyles. This refreshing omission means that Johnson and Michaels discuss the details of the various relationship options they identify, without privileging one over the other. Their main point is that people have choice in how to structure their relationships, and thoughtfully negotiating a consensual relationship that truly works well for those people involved means that one size does not have to fit all.
If you are looking for a thoughtful and informative discussion of the various ways in which people can structure their relationships, without blame, shame, or judgement, then Designer Relationships is the book for you.