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.
Well...you have my respect! ...and she probably has no idea of what you could’ve done to her and how much restraint it took not to. For a woman to do that, well...it’s exactly what I’m talking about.
There’s a harmony that is required for a marriage to succeed. I think for both genders, in many cases, this has been lost.
Again, I think the #1 criticism I have of “young ladies” is that they’re ultimately selfish creatures. They think the world revolves around them and feel they can do whatever they want to guys.
Semper-Fi - thanks for your service!
You're acting like a "nice guy". She is confident that she has you wrapped around her finger, and can therefore safely treat you with contempt.
>>Again, I think the #1 criticism I have of young ladies is that theyre ultimately selfish creatures. They think the world revolves around them and feel they can do whatever they want to guys.<<
I’m glad my girls are being raised to understand that the world doesn’t revolve around their dupas.
I was crazy about her, and told her often. She was crazy about me, and told me often. She got sick early in our marriage, and eventually was unable to work or even cook or clean...so I did it all. It drove her crazy to not be able to, but she appreciated that I did.
I loved her deeply and was happy to do what I did for her, but during the more stressful times, I would remember the vow I made on my wedding day...to God, to her and her family and friends, to my family and friends...that I would care for her in sickness and in health. She would have done the same for me.
We were married (the first and only marriage for us both) for over 26 years before her death in 2010.
I recall Proverbs having a litany of desirable traits to the contrary.
Conservative men seem to gravitate to liberal sluts...maybe you can catch them after their first divorce, but then you’ve got HER to deal with, too.
I have a sign in my office I can read right now as I eat my lunch.
“21 Suggestions for SUCCESS” and it has things like “Give people more than they expect, and do it cheerfully”, “Be decisive, even if it means you’ll sometimes be wrong”, “Become the most postive and enthusiastic person you know”, “Don’t do anything that wouldn’t make your Mom proud”, “Stop blaming others, take responsibility for all areas of your life”, and so on.
You know what the #1 thing at the top of the list is?
“Marry the right person. This one decision will determine 90% of your happiness or misery.”
I think that is 100% true.
Hey Dilbert, a good friend of mine is engaged to a young Dominican girl. He has been married two times. I asked him what he will do with her when he moves her to L.A. He said, “I’ll keep her away from American women.”
LOL! Of course, that is EXACTLY what I meant! (My brain seems to mash things up, nowadays...:)
One rule for dealing with women: ignore what they say and watch what they do. If she loves you, she shows it by making an effort to make you happy. If she's unwilling to make an effort to make you happy, then she doesn't love you, and it's time to either change her attitude or leave. (and yes, it works in the other direction too).
>>Last night for the first time in years, I looked at porn. I’m scum and going to hell, but so is she. Same old crap the first wife did that drove me to the same place.<<
Seriously, before you go onto any more porn, go talk to your pastor. Because you sound like you’re doing everything right. However, either you aren’t seeing the big picture or she is taking total advantage of you.
Don’t lead yourself to sin out of spite. You’re better than that.
I don't know if that is completely true. Perhaps this is truer: "...Conservative men seem to gravitate to
Hm. Well, that isn't quite right, either.
How about: "...
Conservative men seem to gravitate to liberal sluts..."
There. Fixed it.
I knew a guy with a Romanian wife, she was very beautiful, and they were very happy.
What some older men do is to retire overseas. One favorite blogger, Fred Reed, retired to Mexico, married a woman about 20 years younger, and seems very happy with her. Of course, not being in the US and subject to US divorce laws means that she has more incentive to keep him happy.
I will stay with her and keep taking it to protect our two year old son.
I will go without and be miserable, and sin out of weakness and desperation.
Then I will die and go to hell.
Most women are too busy chasing Mr. Goodbar to stop and look around at the ones who are worth while... Ya get what you are looking for....
And most men are too busy chasing the “hot” woman to stop and look around at the ones who are worthwhile.
Same here. I’ve read Austen’s work twice, and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Having read both Twain and Austen, I prefer Austin to anything by Twain, except “Tom Sawyer” and “Huckleberry Finn”
Too many females are looking for guys that look like Clark Gable, have money like Gates, party, party, party. They need to look at the real world, get off of this dream world of theirs and look for qualities in a man. Look for the most ambitious, hard working, common sense, best ditch digger so be it and someone who has faith in God and you will be happy. Most females are too phony to know what they could be happy with.
And how many men are looking for the drop-dead gorgeous woman with the long blond hair and silicone-enhanced chest? Then they seem shocked that she cares more about her manicure than about keeping the house clean or cooking his supper.
Has your sex-starved friend gone to marriage counseling with his wife?