The Marriage Test: Our 40 Dates Before “I Do” by Jill Andres and Brook Silva-Braga is an honest and entertaining read about a young couple who hilariously put their long term relationship to the test before committing to marriage. If I had to categorize this book, I’d say it’s a mixture of marriage advice, inspirational, and humorous non-fiction genres.
The Marriage Test is organized into 40 chapters and corresponding dates. Each chapter follows Jill and Brook (the authors) as they test their compatibility and strength as a couple in areas like trust, communication, money and sex. Each chapter gives a very honest (but still charming) account of the date from both Jill and Brook’s perspectives. The dates themselves seemed ridiculous at first: speed dating with other people at the same event, having friends act out your relationship in front of you like a bizarre theatre show, or even not touching or speaking to each for twenty-four hours. Each scenario brought up really interesting questions and issues, though, which the authors might not have considered if it weren’t for each of their 40 dates.
One of the things I really loved about this book was how vulnerable and open the authors were with their viewpoints. Jill and Brook both seemed down to earth and relatable, which made reading The Marriage Test pretty fun, especially compared to some of the more bleak books that usually line the shelves of this genre. Throughout the book, the authors were easy to commiserate with. It’s clear that they struggled to overcome the same issues that the rest of us do in love and life. And even with all the pressure of the dates, the authors managed to keep the overall feel of the book very lighthearted. There’s also a guide in the back of the book for readers and their significant others to complete the 40 dates, too.
Any couple who’s contemplating marriage and isn’t sure if they want to take the next step should definitely read this book. Hell, anyone looking to build a more intimate, transparent relationship should read it, too. This book is truly a fun, inspirational read that left me contemplating what it means to be close to my significant other. The Marriage Test left me considering what matters most to me in a relationship, what kind of partner I am and want to be, and whether my partner and I are truly honest about how we feel. I love that when I turned the last pages of the book, I felt uplifted and hopeful about putting effort into strengthening a relationship. Overall, this is a very charming read, and I truly think most couples will end up better off for having picked it up.
FYI, Homeys: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review