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.
It is for me bro
I am frugal
Will say no if awakened in the middle of the night or if mauled suddenly after being treated like chopped liver all day, but otherwise as loving as anyone and
a Believer to boot.
Modern "overbearing" men (and that's all of us, ya know), can easily see the life lessons, ethics and morals in her works are equally valuable to men, but we can't get through the shrill nasal whining to tell the gals so.
So it's off to Hooters for wings.
Pretty much....No American woman would put up with their crap. And there are ton's of great American women out there as well as men.
There was a show on TV last year on these mail order brides. The guys just looked strange and gave me, a guy a very uneasy feeling. 65 year old ugly, fat men trying to woo 22 year old fairly attractive women. One woman just had a look of disgust on her face when this guy tied to talk to her..even she could not stomach it.
Humphf - hellava lot of good this will do when more and more relationships seem to be between members of the same sex!
A person of character is a person of character without the bribe, bro
Navy, you single?
No not California, I grew up in rural farming area midwest and that was the zip I used. You live a sheltered life. Again, lot's of bi women out there.
That's my personal observation of several relationships, both successful and not.
Ya had to ask, didn't ya?
We’ve been developing the perfect companions for thousands of years. At some point in the future, happiness for women will be a man with the brain DNA of a cat, and for men, women with the brain DNA of a dog.
I would never put up with it either. I don't know how he does it.
“The good men are in the friends zone.”
There is way too much truth to that. I’ve known a lot of women who consistently put nice guys in the friend zone. The lesson more men are learning is to treat women like crap, or get no where.
Men will become what women teach them is needed to be successful. Today, you have to be human trash, or you’re labeled desperate.
As a 22 year old senior at a major research University, I can vouch for the accuracy of this article. The VAST majority of girls on campus are complete sloots and will screw anyone who buys them a drink, especially the sorority girls. Trust me on this, I’ve been to quite a few fraternity parties considering I was in one and the sorority girls present...yeah...
However, I was lucky to find a woman who hates this feminism crap. Case in point, she cooks me dinner, has a high libido, doesn’t nag, lets me work/watch tv/play games, and looks great! 4 years into the relationship and the above still applies.
I also have to tell all of you fathers with your daughters in college; What they say to you and what they do are two completely different things. I know that she’s your “little girl” and “doesn’t sleep around” but, based on my experience, 80%+ of girls on campus exhibit slootish behavior when not around parents. Want to see for yourself? Walk onto any college campus around 11am-12pm and find the “main” gathering spot. When you see the wardrobe of choice, you’ll begin to understand.
No offense meant and I’m sure that the majority of you raised your daughters with proper morals and virtue but sometimes ignorance is bliss.
Again, I speak from my 4-year experience in University. It is nigh impossible to find a woman who hasn’t been the village bicycle.
My husband scores 100% to those standards. He’s a good guy. I’m blessed.
I was precisely clear before we got married what acceptable means as far as bedroom stuff. Twice a week. Once a month lingerie, and occasional surprise in a dress and heels when I get home from work. I was clear, I was precise, and she agreed.
That was four years ago. Not one time in the dress, maybe 4 times with the lingerie after I bugged her, and maybe once every three weeks at all saying yes, after I nag her which makes me feel like some kind of rapist or something.
Last night she told me she'll never wear lingerie or put on a dress for me again because it makes her uncomfortable.
Literally ten minutes later she asks me to measure her for a bridesmaid's dress for a friend, I kid you not.
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.
Maybe some ladies will see this post and some good can come from it.
I met my husband at 27 and we were married when I was 28. We had our son by the time I was 29.
Your daughter will meet someone likely soon I’m sure. It takes time.
It would be nice if that’s all men had to do. In my own family, two women in good marriages to good men became dissatisfied, dwelled on their resentments and escalated them, initiated divorce and broke up the foundation of their children’s lives. Their husbands wanted to try to save the marriage even after it got really bad, even after infidelity in one case.
This is my advice to women:
Find a good man.
Marry the good man.
Now comes the important part:
Spend the rest of your life appreciating him and being thankful for your good fortune.
You know his weaknesses - never attack him there.
You know his strengths - build them.
Make love to him often.
Feed him well and healthily.
Don’t be a control freak. Minimize criticism and nagging.
Forgive all the little things. Don’t let resentments build.
Teach your children to hold him in honor and respect.
If there are problems in your marriage, and they are not because he is abusive, adulterous, addicted, or abandoning, try changing your own behavior first.
Positive reinforcement is better than negative reinforcement. (look that up in terms of animal training.)
Let him see your happiness with him.
Jane died young in her 40s, possibly from Addison’s disease, a spinster/single.
Taking marital advice from her doesn’t make a lot of sense (or sensibility).
This^^^^^. One older guy I know was telling me one day how good his daughter is, blah blah blah, Her feet have spent so much time in the air they could get frequent flyer miles...and I know this for a fact.
GREAT ADVICE! +1,000,000
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