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A look at the many alternative models of relationships apart from the conventional, committed, monogamous, happily-ever-after fairytale

To Helen Croydon, the idea of marriage and kids has just never appealed. Casual encounters don’t appeal, yet the shackles of commitment seem terrifying, not to mention boring—but that doesn't mean she doesn't want to fall in love. Through immersive reportage, startling new research, and tales from her own colorful love life, Helen argues that the de facto cohabiting marriage with 2.4 children is no longer appropriate, nor desirable, in our modern fast-paced world. She finds mounting evidence that more people, like her, are saying "stuff the fairytale!" and finding alternative relationship lifestyles. Highlights of her mission include a polyamorous commune in the Scottish Highlands (where she has to carry out a sexual pact), a wife-finding tour to Ukraine with European men looking for Russian brides, infiltrating a network of single professional women who've chosen to give up on love and get a sperm donor, and interviews with psychologists, evolutionists, asexuals, swingers, philanderers, long-term marrieds, mistresses, and 40-year-old virgins. Helen traces the history of relationships, showing how marriage was never supposed to be about love anyway, she investigates the prevalence of mistresses across different eras and cultures to see what we can learn from infidelity, and she explores the science of falling in love, discovering that it has the same effect on the brain as crack addiction.

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