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.
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.
oh wow, we like you too!
Yes that is more often the case than not...and I have seen exactly the same thing over the years. People can deny it all they want but you can't convince me otherwise. I've been around long enough to see how things really work no matter how much some insist it isn't true...
I don’t think so, but in this case, it sounds very peculiar to me. He’s told her the amount of times she has to have sex with him and wear lingerie. There is nothing romantic about that at all. Secondly, he has admitted to watching porn, and because there is this “rule” set down that she has to wear lingerie once a month for him. Maybe she feels he is looking at her more objectively than lovingly, and/or perhaps there is a reason she is uncomfortable with lingerie stemming from an incident in her past or discomfort with her own body. There’s a reason why she doesn’t want to, and I think the poster should talk with her about it.
What you said. Word for word.
Just reading the comments on this thread shows what seriously deep do-do we (as in “we the society/country”) are in.
You have to understand that complaining about their men is a sport to women...
Sadly, what you say is true about far too many women.
Not this woman, however. I have the world’s best husband, and I tell him so quite often.
Keep praying. Everything is in the toilet. We need an intervention beyond human understanding.
Absolutely, Albion. We are lost without His intervention. I pray daily, many times for His justice and mercy to prevail.