“What a charming and captivating book this is! We never stop learning about love, and so many great lessons are within these pages.”—Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love

 

 

From a Washington Post weddings reporter who’s covered more than two hundred walks down the aisle comes a warm, witty, and wise book about relationships—the mystery, the science, and the secrets of how we find love and make it last.

Ellen McCarthy has explored the complete journey of our timeless quest for “The One,” the Soul Mate, the Real Thing. This indispensable collection of insights—on dating, commitment, breakups, weddings, and marriage—gives us a window into enduring romance:

• Go Online Already—“It’s a major time suck and a black hole of rejection and ambiguity and lies. But you know what? It also works.”
• Keep It Confidential—“If you have to get something off your chest, pick someone whose wisdom you really trust, and who isn’t likely to spread the gossip to all your mutual acquaintances.”
• Be Nice—“Brewing the morning coffee, touching the small of your partner’s back, filling their car with gas. These things add up to more relationship satisfaction than a fancy dinner on Valentine’s Day ever could.”

The Real Thing features many more nuggets of wisdom, valuable information from the latest studies on commitment, candid testimonials from a variety of couples, and the personal story of McCarthy’s own search for “the keeper”—which begins, ironically, with a breakup the very same day she started as thePost’s full-time weddings reporter. Whether you’re looking for love or looking to strengthen your relationship, this book is a wonderful and clear-eyed map to the human heart.


Praise for The Real Thing


“My readers often say to me, ‘If we lived next door to each other, we’d be best friends.’ That is precisely what I wanted to say to smart, funny, self-effacing Ellen McCarthy after finishing The Real Thing. I loved every lesson laid out in a book that wouldn’t dare to call itself a field guide to marriage but amounts to as much on every page. This is a deeply useful little book.”—Kelly Corrigan, author of Glitter and Glue

“Reading The Real Thing is like sitting down with your smart, witty, honest friend for some amazing relationship advice. Ellen McCarthy is thoughtful and wise, and the stories she tells us about love and relationships are charming, entertaining, and (above all) really useful. I plan to give this book to all of my friends—married, single, dating, divorced, and anything in between!”—Jennifer Close, author of Girls in White Dresses

“Ellen McCarthy is the real thing. She has the real take on life, falling in love, falling out of love, and working hard to get back into the game and make relationships go the distance. Anyone who wants to make love last long after the honeymoon is over needs to read McCarthy’s wisdom.”—Iris Krasnow, author of The Secret Lives of Wives

“A delightful, wise, and good-hearted guide to modern romance, with the perfect balance of real talk and sap, plus just enough ‘happily ever after’ to send you away smiling.”—Rebecca Dana, author of Jujitsu Rabbi and the Godless Blonde

“A comforting, realistic, and endearing portrait of modern relationships . . . This book will not only charm those in decades-old marriages, but also inspire those afraid love will never arrive for them.”Publishers Weekly

“Straight-talking . . . dating advice for adults of all ages.”Kirkus Reviews