Skip to comments.Jane Austenís Advice: Choose the Right Man and Live Happily Ever After
Posted on 04/18/2012 6:59:33 AM PDT by Kaslin
Culture Challenge of the Week: Finding A Good Man
Call it the lament of the young, single woman: there are no good men left. Or if there are, where are they? And how can a young woman pursue a healthy, marriage-minded relationship in a singles culture of casual sex and perpetual adolescence?
In her new book, The Jane Austen Guide to Happily Ever After (Regnery Publishing, 2012), Elizabeth Kantor provides some answers. She writes, “Of course it’s no secret that modern mating rituals have gone badly wrong.” And indeed they have: the number of cohabitating couples has doubled in the past twenty years, and the marriage rate has dropped precipitously. Many singles find themselves on a path to lifelong singlehood, not necessarily by choice. And even within relationships, time-honored ideals---like fidelity—increasingly fall by the wayside. (A recent Match.com survey found that only 62% of men believe that sexual fidelity is a “must have” in a relationship. In comparison, 80% of women say fidelity is a must for a successful relationship.)
Happily Ever After offers a thought-provoking, encouraging, and often witty take on what’s wrong with today’s dating patterns. Even better, Kantor draws on the wisdom and insights of Jane Austen’s heroines to mark out a confident path for young women who want a good man and a relationship that will deliver a lifetime of happiness—and love—in marriage.
Kantor asks, "What is it that Jane Austen heroines do (that we’re not doing) that makes really satisfying happy endings possible for them, and not so likely for us?"
The author’s interpretation of Jane Austen—whose old, romantic novels became modern box office hits--suggests a model for young women who want lasting, happy relationships. Modern-day Jane Austen “heroines” should cultivate “true elegance” instead of “hotness,” demand love without humiliation, develop competence about men, respect their own female psychology, and take relationships seriously.
How to Save Your Family: Share Happily Ever After
Today’s singles often seem clueless about what makes a relationship work or even what they should hope it will include. And for women, it’s even more confusing. Feminist thought urges women to plan their futures with a single-minded career focus, leaving little room for men, marriage, and children. Young women may fall into the trap of pursuing personal autonomy and career success with little thought about relationships, marriage, and family—until they find themselves lonely and alone.
Kantor resists the notion that a Jane Austen-style approach to relationships requires “a life of pre-feminist misery and oppression.” But she stresses that it’s reasonable for women to “spend significant intellectual and emotional capital on our relationships—but in the right way, not the wrong way.”
What’s the right way? Neither romantic illusions, nor Victorian repression, nor modern cynicism. Instead, Kantor writes, women need to understand the real meaning of love and happiness—and settle for nothing less.
Sprinkled throughout the book are “Tips” for “Janeites,” little nuggets of good advice, like these:
-“Stop making the same old bad choices about men before those choices ‘fix’ your character, freezing you into habits you may not be able to break out of.”
-“Drama is not the same thing as love.” (Who really wants a Kardashian-style relationship?)
-“Keep your distance, not to increase his love by suspense—but so you can make up your mind about a man while you can still see him clearly.” (An important point for a generation that too easily moves from the bar to the bedroom to sharing an apartment.)
At the end of each chapter, Kantor frames questions to help readers assess their own relationships. In easy to read bullet points, she helps women probe the strengths and weaknesses of their current relationships. And in true Jane Austen style, she urges them to have the boldness to “arrange their own marriages”—to choose wisely and decide fearlessly if a relationship is likely to secure a happy future.
And the Jane Austen promise? That love and happiness go together: women can live “happily ever after” marriages if they recognize, expect, and pursue true love.
ShareThe Jane Austen Guide to Happily Ever After with your daughters – and all the single women you know.
(....but I didn’t see anything about cooking and cleaning, and laundry....)
I’m sure the usual kerfluffle has erupted, but I think this could be an interesting book for my teenage daughters. We can pull up the costume dramas on the Netflix beeber, too.
I liked the point that “drama” is not the key to a good relationship. Many of the popular songs they listen to treat drama as the main attraction, overriding character, humor, common interests ...
Feminism in some degree had some value at first though today it is way, way, overboard. I would never want to go back to the 40-50's style of life where women were hurt in the workforce and left out of job opportunities just because they were women.
Divorce is the same way. We have way too many divorces today and people take their marriage vows way to lightly but I would not want to go back to the 1940-50's where people stayed in unhappy or abusive marriages due to social/religious pressure to do so or they (women) did not have career prospects to fall back on.
Ok, went back and read it. No problem.
Literature for people who don't read. Lovely.
"What's on this afternoon?" he asked tiredly. She didn't look up from her script again. "Well, this is a play comes on the wall-to-wall circuit in ten minutes. They mailed me my part this morning. I sent in some box-tops. They write the script with one part missing. It's a new idea. The home-maker, that's me, is the missing part. When it comes time for the missing lines, they all look at me out of the three walls and I say the lines: Here, for instance, the man says, `What do you think of this whole idea, Helen?' And he looks at me sitting here centre stage, see? And I say, I say --" She paused and ran her finger under a line in the script. " `I think that's fine!' And then they go on with the play until he says, `Do you agree to that, Helen!' and I say, `I sure do!' Isn't that fun, Guy?"
Hmmm. Did you have a problem with porn before you married her? If so, the problem is not her. Perhaps she feels that you're using her as a substitute for your porn fantasies rather than relating to her personally in the bedroom.
You need to talk to her about this issue. I mean talk...not demand. That means finding out EXACTLY what is bothering her about the lingerie/dress thing and why does it turn her off. Does she feel that you're making love to a stand-in i.e. one of your porn figures?
Talking about it is very hard to do...because neither she nor you may be able to articulate well if you haven't discussed it before. It may take time to formulate your thoughts. But this will likely continue to be a problem for you (the evidence is that you say it happened with Wife #1 too so may be a pattern) until there is some real verbal communication in this area which admittedly is often one of the most difficult things for couples to discuss.
Maybe if you're planning on dating Carrie Nation.
I met the most intriguing man on the plane the other day. sigh. But he didn’t ask for my number. Too bad! He’d have been such a good fit here, that’s how intriguing he was. LOL
He’s Just Not That Into You was the book that opened my eyes. NOT the movie, never saw the movie. Just the book.
Because many men really dislike women, as your post shows. Yikes!
That’s sad, because it’s true too, too many times. I don’t like the broad brush thing against women, because a broad brush would catch many a man, among whom are sometimes those who are doing the most complaining. But your post is true. sigh
There is a FReeper who married a beautiful, young Filipina who did that very thing. Used him to get citizenship papers and left him for a young man. Broke his heart. But oh no, American women are stinkers. And here many of us sit, with traditional values and passed by because other women are superficial.
We were both wonderin’ LOL
That’s so sad. I’m sorry.
You didn’t laugh at him to his face, did you???? LOL at the way you put it.
Wow...totally not in my world. EVER!
Apparently you did the impossible......
Well, it's the way I logic it out. I should add that I'm perfectly OK with it, I am willing to build and fight for my (culture's) women, and I'm also not trying to blame women for everything that happens.
According to feminists, I have committed two unpardonable sins here. I have objectified women as "reasons" (in a group of constructs such as societies, buildings) instead of persons, and I have possessed them by declaring them mine.
I'm a bad boy, but not the kind "liberated" gals are interested in.
That’s beautiful and thank you for sharing your story.
Don’t give up. !!! As long as there’s a “me” out here, you can find her.
I would add one thing- intimate relations. Men need it to know they are loved.
She stops the story at the wedding.
My parents who are getting ready to celebrate 50 years together once gave me the best advise about marriage. It. Is. Work.
You thought the courtship was work? Ha! You ain't seen nothing yet.
You can marry your perfect mate and guess what? At some point they are going to get on your nerves.
They are going to say something that just pushes your buttons.
They are going to be stubborn when you are being perfectly reasonable.
They are going to leave their shoes where you can trip over them.
They are going to criticize the way you do things.
They are going to want to paint the house a color you just hate.
If you don't go into marriage knowing that you are going to have to work at it for the rest of your life you are in for a rude shock.
And the most shocking part is when you find out you can't change your spouse so you are going to have to change you.
If both parties are not willing to work at making a good marriage then you are not going to get that "Happily Ever After". Oh you might stay married but you won't be happy.
Happy marriages are built day by day and action by action. You learn to ignore things.
You learn to do things differently.
You learn to never allow a argument to be carried into the bedroom and to end it before you go to bed. Never carry a argument over to the next day. Even if you are right. Sometimes especially if you are right.
You learn to wake up every morning and thank God for your spouse and then think about what you can do that day that will make your spouse happy.
It doesn't stop until one of you dies. And only then will you find that yes, you actually did "live happily ever after."
You’re welcome. A serious, life-threatening illness sure puts things into perspective.
haha how so?
Is there a reason you didn’t ask for his?
Actually, the very first purveyors of feminism were either lesbians or communists or both. It has always been a bad thing. I went to 3 meetings in the late 60s in Berkeley CA. A room mate invited me, I went because I was up for anything in those days, “Wymyns’ Liberation” included. I survived for 2 or 3 meetings since there was free weed.
But at the 3rd (or maybe 2nd) meeting they all started ranting and raving about how they all hated Evil Patriarchal Males and the Evil Patriarchal System and then revealed they all lusted after other women (oops, “wymyn”). The truth is that feminism is not about “rights”, it’s about destruction, communism and perversion. It’s about envy of men and destruction of the family, and abortion is the holy sacrament to them.
Betty Frieden, the author of the “Feminine Mystique” which was an early and very influential book of the feminist movement, was actually a Communist Party member, it turns out.
Even the very early feminists in the 19th century were weirdos, sex perverts and what would pass for communists had communism been invented then. It has no value whatsoever. The only thing useful is the same pay scale for men and women IF THEY DO THE EXACT SAME JOB which is often not the case.
In the 40s and 50s most women did not WANT to work and did not HAVE to work because taxes and cost of living were lower and the husband could earn enough to support a wife and family. Most women did not want to work.
Affirmative action has stuffed a lot of women into jobs they are not suited for. Affirmative action is another attack against men and is harming not only many individuals but many jobs that most women just cannot do well and now being done by women, poorly. Men and women are not exactly alike and are not interchangeable.
Good list! Here are a couple more a wise friend listed years ago:
Strive for perfection yourself but do not expect it from your spouse.
Apologize first even if the other is more wrong.
and that’s why they buy “it” from hookers? Please explain
Mr Wrong was wronged.
Yes, I’m single. See my homepage. :)
Yes, he mentioned a girlfriend!
Agree with the one wage earner back then but do you have any documentation to back up the statement that women did not want to work back then?
Affirmative action is another attack against men and is harming not only many individuals but many jobs that most women just cannot do well and now being done by women, poorly
Maybe some hard physical labor jobs but I work with 10-15 women on a regular basis and they do the job 100% better than the men I work with-they tend to b more detail orientated. Vast majority of jobs out there 90-95%, women can do as well as men.
I agree with your comment about left wing feminism but many middle of the road and far right women have taken advantage of inroads made by those women.
Oh and the vast amount of women I know do want to work outside the home AND be a mother/parent or at least have the opportunity to have the same advantages as men in the workforce.
You are very young and have a lot to learn. I’ll leave it at that.
Not really. For instance, I like the ladies on FR. To prove I love ya all, here's a gif(t) for all the ladies. Nude Men Clock.
I may have seen that same show. I think it was Dr. Phil who had these men on who want mail order brides. They were older and quite creepy, and they more or less said they wanted women who would be submissive to them. It was quite obvious to me the women were with the men as a ticket to the United States. I recall one man having spent a lot of money on his wife as she had health problems, and then she up and left him anyway.
This just doesn't sound romantic to me at all. It sounds so legalistic like you've laid down these demands, these twice a week, once a month quotas that she has to meet. I think if it was laid down like that to me, I wouldn't be in the mood either. Maybe she feels like when she puts the lingerie and the dress on, you're looking at her as more of an object than a person. She might feel like a player in a porn fantasy. Perhaps you could just sit back, be kind to her, and let her come to you in her time, even if it takes several weeks. If she feels like putting the lingerie and dress on aren't a demand but something that will make you and her happy, maybe she'll be willing. If not, perhaps you could see a counselor to help you work it out. One thing is for sure, porn is not the answer. It's dehumanizing and contrary to God's plan for humanity. It might make you happy in the short term, but in the long term, it's going to lead you down the wrong road.
You’re the type of man every woman hopes for.
Yeah no kidding. I need alcohol just to deal with female craziness...
That is the absolute truth. Women love chaos and drama and nice guys don't provide that. I noticed from very young that the nicest prettiest women were always attached to the biggest jerks....(ie Sandra Bullock and Jesse James) and conversely nice guys seemed to always be attached to real bitches.
Signed "use to be a nice guy until I learned the ways of the world"....
You have to understand that complaining about their men is a sport to women...and to remove that is like telling a man he can't watch NASCAR or NFL. There is a good reason a term used for women also means to "complain"...(b***h). I give them fodder by always doing two things: never give flowers and avoid Valentine's Day like the plague...that gives most women enough to complain about for the whole year. You can be pretty nice the rest of the time. Works like a charm!
Yep you can come home from work and find her in your bed with the pool boy Hot Balls Gonzalez and if you divorce she gets paid for doing that to you...gee wonder why men don't want to marry??
Many if not most women love to wear this type of clothing because it accentuates their body and it makes them ALSO feel good to do so.
Men for the most part are not buying this lingerie their gf's/wives are.
A guy in my dorm several years back was really good looking(no homo on my partLOL). He would treat women like absolute crap, just abuse them emotionally and they would do anything for him. Use and abuse them for sex and they would be at his door in 10 minutes if he called them back.
Oh the stories I could tell how he used woman and the crap he pulled...so much so that
That’s a good reason.
I just hope you weren’t adhering to some arbitrary societal limitation that says men can approach women but women can’t approach men.
Oh no, I promise you, that wasn’t the case.