TL;DR What Makes Relationships Flourish – From The First Spark to Marriage

The Real Thing by Ellen McCarthy – 5/5

I was given this book after one of my co-workers found out about my recent break up. She told me it was supposed to be an excellent read by a quirky young writer. Honestly, that is the perfect one sentence review of this book.


Ellen writes a collection of stories about couples in relationships she has interviewed, intermingled with stories of her own relationship with her now husband. They’re very lighthearted and easy to read but provide a lot of depth. The stories add up to small but significant bits of advice that is not typical of the cliche’s one hears after a break up, or in any relationship advice medium. And they come from real people, in real relationships that last.

“Find someone who is kind”   &   “Be nice, simple but easier said than done.”

One of my favorite chapters came with the advice that the longer you spend planning your wedding, the more miserable your relationship will be come. In line with that, plan your wedding to be perfect for the both of you. Traditions are nice, but you don’t HAVE to toss your bouquet, you don’t HAVE to have a first dance. I think when it comes to weddings we are so used to the typical plan, we forget that it’s a day to celebrate your unique love for each other, and that should be at the core of the planning.

I read most of this book sitting on the couch, or at the pool, next to my ex-boyfriend (now back to being my boyfriend) taking in our relationship, our break up, and why/how we were back together. Taking in all the experiences and advice I was reading about really helped me re-evaluate my thoughts/feelings and our relationship for the better, and re-confirmed that our love IS the real thing.

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One thought on “TL;DR What Makes Relationships Flourish – From The First Spark to Marriage

  1. […] The Real Thing by Ellen McCarthy: I think when I read this, I was desperate to see something in my own relationship that wasn’t there. What it really taught me is what I should be looking for instead. […]


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