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Jane Austenís Advice: Choose the Right Man and Live Happily Ever After
Townhall.com ^ | April 18, 2012 | Rebecca Hagelin

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.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: culturewar; feminism; happiness; janeausten; janeaustin; marriage; moralabsolutes
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To: Ann de IL
Hey, I’m a gal and I totally agree with you.

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.

221 posted on 04/18/2012 5:36:58 PM PDT by Navy Patriot (Join the Democrats, it's not Fascism when WE do it and the law is what WE say it is.)
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To: shorty_harris

That’s beautiful and thank you for sharing your story.


222 posted on 04/18/2012 5:37:39 PM PDT by Shimmer1 (Every time a liberal gets pissed off an angel gets their wings.)
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To: RatRipper

Don’t give up. !!! As long as there’s a “me” out here, you can find her.


223 posted on 04/18/2012 5:42:28 PM PDT by Shimmer1 (Every time a liberal gets pissed off an angel gets their wings.)
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To: heartwood
Wow! That is extremely good advise, succinctly put. I'm going to keep that. My daughter is engaged and she needs to hear just that.

I would add one thing- intimate relations. Men need it to know they are loved.

224 posted on 04/18/2012 5:57:14 PM PDT by fini
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To: Kaslin
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?"

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."

225 posted on 04/18/2012 5:59:52 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (In most cases, revenge is not a good thing. In other cases, it's the only thing.)
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To: Shimmer1

You’re welcome. A serious, life-threatening illness sure puts things into perspective.


226 posted on 04/18/2012 7:30:26 PM PDT by shorty_harris
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To: Osage Orange

haha how so?


227 posted on 04/18/2012 7:34:20 PM PDT by Black_Shark
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To: Shimmer1

Is there a reason you didn’t ask for his?


228 posted on 04/18/2012 7:54:53 PM PDT by flintsilver7 (Honest reporting hasn't caught on in the United States.)
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To: trailhkr1

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.


229 posted on 04/18/2012 8:00:23 PM PDT by little jeremiah (We will have to go through hell to get out of hell. Signed, a fanatic)
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To: Harmless Teddy Bear

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.


230 posted on 04/18/2012 8:05:52 PM PDT by little jeremiah (We will have to go through hell to get out of hell. Signed, a fanatic)
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To: Shimmer1

You single?


231 posted on 04/18/2012 8:26:17 PM PDT by yldstrk ( My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: fini

and that’s why they buy “it” from hookers? Please explain


232 posted on 04/18/2012 8:30:35 PM PDT by yldstrk ( My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: Kaslin

Mr Wrong was wronged.


233 posted on 04/18/2012 8:30:35 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
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To: yldstrk

Yes, I’m single. See my homepage. :)


234 posted on 04/18/2012 11:09:44 PM PDT by Shimmer1 (Every time a liberal gets pissed off an angel gets their wings.)
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To: flintsilver7

Yes, he mentioned a girlfriend!


235 posted on 04/18/2012 11:10:59 PM PDT by Shimmer1 (Every time a liberal gets pissed off an angel gets their wings.)
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To: Kaslin
Mr Right!


236 posted on 04/19/2012 12:18:45 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
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To: little jeremiah
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.

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.

237 posted on 04/19/2012 1:25:44 PM PDT by trailhkr1 (All you need to know about Zimmerman, innocent = riots, manslaughter = riots, guilty = riots)
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To: trailhkr1

You are very young and have a lot to learn. I’ll leave it at that.


238 posted on 04/19/2012 3:48:16 PM PDT by little jeremiah (We will have to go through hell to get out of hell. Signed, a fanatic)
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To: Shimmer1
Because many men really dislike women, as your post shows.

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.

239 posted on 04/20/2012 1:52:05 AM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: trailhkr1

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.


240 posted on 04/20/2012 4:21:07 AM PDT by Pinkbell (Rick Santorum For President (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N89LGhm-Ztc))
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