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.
Strikingly absent from this Austen technique, is the -slightest- thought as to what makes a man feel loved and happy, and how she can create that for a man she likes. Selfish selfish selfish,,, the whole matter in a nutshell.
You are absolutely right .
Your list, please....
Sorry, but I’ve seen it too many times. It isn’t the man’s looks. As for manliness, that sees to now mean being a jerk. To me, manliness is about being responsible and hard working.
Women are choosing human trash with an excess of testosterone and the manners of a dog.
I don’t plan on getting married in my lifetime. As of right now, as the law stands, there are no advantages to my getting married, only disadvantages.
I’m actually quite the fan of cohabitation as the article mentions and for good reason. I’ve seen/heard of the damage that a divorce does to a man and have no desire to experience this myself.
It’s sad really. I would prefer to get married however I am scared to death of the “what ifs”. What if she leaves me in 20 years with all of my money? What happens to the kid(s), if there are any? What advantages does marriage have over cohabitation at this point in time vs. my life time assuming marriage laws are static?
So, in answer to your statement, 4 years in a relationship with no plans on marriage and at max cohabitation. I’ll let you figure out the rest.
I am so sorry for your loss. Prayers.
Oh, I’ve read almost everything Twain wrote at one time or another. Some was pretty good, some rather mediocre.
But now, if you think that “Huckleberry Finn” was uninteresting (I’m willing to let “Tom Sawyer” pass), then you and I have very few points of literary tastes where we can intersect.
If it were just me, I’d get it. it isn’t just me. That’s how I know I’m right.
Who in the world said I talk politics to women? My experience is that’s risky, since most women have a slightly liberal side. The nurturing mentality tends to make women a little softer on some issues. Women and men aren’t the same.
Plus, you can meet plenty of foreign women here in the US and don't need to marry them to get together. Learn just enough of the language to break the ice and go to foreign bars. Most of them will actually speak decent English anyway. They will treat you extremely well and beg to marry in a few months but don't give in.
A good rule today for any man with property and/or a high income is don't even permanently live together unless she is pregnant. She can stay as long as she wants but no moving her stuff in or getting her mail delivered. And don't get married until the kids are a few years old.
Not all women are evil but marriage today gives them too much power. Power can corrupt even the purest of people. There was a time when men depended on women for affection and women depended on men to provide for the kids. Now a court can order a man to provide for a woman and kids. Marriage is hard work for both but it makes some women become lazy, controlling and inattentive to a man's needs because a court will still force him to provide no-matter how much work she puts in.
I can't even count how many friends I have who are stuck in controlling, loveless marriages. “You will do as I say or I'll sick the lawyer dogs on you tomorrow”. About half are with foreign women who they married after a few months.
I will go without and be miserable, and sin out of weakness and desperation.
Think of your son and of your eternal soul. Please try to get some counseling. If she won’t go, go yourself. You owe it to yourself and to your child.
I think it may be hard wired.
Feminists love to rant about "the Patriarchy", but if you look at human history, for most civilizations up until the last few decades, Patriarchy (rule by fathers) seems to have been what held things together. Up until the last few decades, fathers had a lot to say about who was permitted to see their daughters, and had as one of their important roles to ensure that their daughters married responsible men and minimized exposure to "human trash".
Nothing wrong with it if someone is in a committed relationship. No, I'm not comparing this to a one night stand.
Do you really think in the scheme of things God is going to condemn you to Hell if a couple expresses their love before marriage? What about in the days before people actually got married?
I prescribe to the notion God has more important criteria on judging people...how well you treat people in life, your actions such as being honest that sort of thing.
In other words I don't think God sweats the small stuff.
of course if I am wrong I will have plenty of company as 90% of people out there have premarital sex...maybe more.
Austen is what they had before chick flicks. A mile wide and half inch deep. Mostly a true waste of time,,, except to keep women occupied
No, I love men. Please don’t be offended, as I don’t know you at all. I was just going by what I have observed over my long adult life. Just trying to give you something to think about.
And please note that I said that the situations I outlined are usually one or the other and not both. Sounds like you don’t fit into situation #1.
Very true,, I know it pains people here,,, but marriage is a bad bad deal for a man. Its a contact solely designed to ensure you get a good solid financial raping at divorce time.
I understand the emotions and religious implications,, but imagine a contract where you agree to a joint venture in business with someone. And there were clauses that started that the other party could break the contact at any time, for any reason, and in most states,, no reason need be given. At that point they get half the business, even if they did very little to make it successful. And then they get a salary for several years,, sometimes forever.
Its so one sided that its insane.
Movie gave us memorable lines like this;
And who could forget this touching scene;
Vast majority of men(and women looking for men) are not this superficial. Don't be mislead by popular media/magazine covers on what people are looking for in a mate. Most men will date a women with a flat chest and won't think anything about it and will love her -it definitely is not a deal breaker...not even close.
Levin mentioned he would not date a 200# woman and neither will I. I'm not being shallow but I am a gym /fitness nut and I have found past GF who were say "thick" dragged me down. Tried to get me not to go to the gym or break my eating habits and eat unhealthy-that sort of thing.
My gf is also a fitness nut(that is how we met) and we are on the same page. Oh, and she is a marathon runner with literally no boobs. Does not need a bra(literally)and I love her more than anything. Don't pigeion hole all us guys in the same bracket.
My list would be something involving being a fun human being, enjoying sex, life, and not working morning, noon and night to change me.
For every constructive criticism she verbalizes, there should be about 5 she stuffs inside. She should remember that i’m a man, and my mission in life is not to leave my family behind to join her clan, its the other way around.
I’d prefer someone who doesn’t think its their job to organize my free time with a helpful list of tasks.
She should remember that naps are legitimate and accepted worldwide. So is reading more than one page without an interruption.
She should remember that being extremely critical, speaking of my shortcomings to others, and withholding sex are guaranteed love killers.
She can expect fun, devotion, and happy days, and profound appreciation.
"A Diamond is Just a Piece of Coal That Did Well Under Pressure. A Husband is a Man Who Didn't."
We both laughed pretty heartily at that...:)
I didn’t write “Sex/intimacy”, I wrote “sex”. There is a big difference. Social bonding with a couple is, and should be, very potent, and a large part of that is intimacy, as distinguished from actual sex.
I was more amused than offended. So many women who hate men now days.
Your mistake is basing today on your long life. The relationship between men and women has changed a lot even during my 35 years. Women aren’t the same as they used to be, and men will change themselves to win with women.
My singles group, fabulous women I wish were much younger, discuss the changes in relationships regularly.
It bothers me a lot to see so many christians date by the world’s standard.
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