Girls ask their girlfriends for dating advice all the time. Some girls out there even ask their guy friends for dating advice (guilty!). And, well, I’m not a guy so I’m not really sure if guys ask their guy friends for dating advice, but I’m assuming they do too. Regardless, here is some advice I have gleaned from the pages of literature. I think you will find that there are some sound lessons which you can apply to your own life and search for your significant other.
NOTE: While this post is written based around the actual relationship dynamics of their respective stories (M-F), it does not mean that this post or it’s advice is intended to stay within those boundaries. Nor does it express the social opinion of the writer who supports all human relationship combinations and gender affiliations. Also, this post is just for fun and not actually intended to serve as advice.
Jane Eyre: Stick to your principles, even if the dude is rich. She got the man of her dreams (though the man of her dreams was a bit of a weirdo). And she proves that some guys care more about brains than looks.
Lucy Westenra: This girl knows how it’s done. She receives 3 marriage proposals in 1 day. She is known for her beauty, good nature and her purity. Unfortunately, all the men she attracts are too stupid to save her. Lesson to take from this story: You can’t just rely on the Romantic period trifecta of ideal feminine qualities to get a good man because, some day, you may be haunted by a vampire and though your man may love you, he won’t be smart enough to save your life.
Side note: Why is the smart woman ugly and the beautiful woman stupid? Ah, literature.
Elizabeth Frankenstein: Cousin and wife to Victor, the creator of “the Creature”, Elizabeth’s story proves that even smart men can be outwitted by half-dead experiments gone wrong. If she were alive today to give dating advice, she would probably say: Don’t date men who are mad scientists (I think Georgiana of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Birth-Mark would concur). And especially stay away from men who have mommy issues which express themselves in the form of the male desire to experience childbirth. Make sure your man understands that this role is left to women before you let him put a ring on it.
Desdemona: If you’re going to get involved with any man, make sure you play nice with his friends (and enemies). Otherwise, they may tell said man that you are being untrue and you will end up dying at the hand of your beloved despite your innocence. Ah, Shakespeare. Oh, and it may be a good idea to invest in some self-defense training beforehand, just to be sure you’re on solid ground.
Romeo Montague: Sometimes what we can’t have just makes us want it all the more. If you are a hot-headed youth and prone to flying off the handle, it can really get in the way of your plans with the cousin of the guy you just offed, particularly if your families are already bitter enemies. If you then decide that you must have this girl anyway and develop a secret plot to spirit her away from her family, remember that timing is everything. Otherwise, the fates will intervene and you’ll be out of luck.
Elizabeth Bennet: Guys, sometimes it takes a girl a little time to get her head straight concerning her feelings about you. She may fight with you and call you prideful, but really she just wants to marry for love. And, if she ever gets over her prejudice towards you, you’re golden.
Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy: To woo a lady, you must be a gentleman (and lose the pride thing). To woo a lady of high intelligence, you must be a gentleman who wields beautiful words. Perseverance isn’t a bad thing either.
Irene Adler: Blessed with brains and looks, she luxuriates with Kings and will dally with whomever she pleases despite the expectations of society. Watson says that Sherlock Holmes simply refers to her as “the Woman.” She must have been more renown and influential than Madonna because she doesn’t even need a first name to identify her. One of the few people to actually outwit Sherlock Holmes, Miss Adler would advise women everywhere to live the life you want and, to avoid repercussions, use your brains so no one can best, bully or blackmail you. The only thing that satisfies a girl like that is a man with more than an inkling of intelligence who knows what he’s doing in bed—a girl after my own heart.
Bella Swan/Cullen: Personally, I would not take any dating advice from this chick (nor would I call this literature). Sure, some of us enjoy being manhandled at times. It can even be kind of hot. But I have issues with the glorification of a relationship that involves controlling men who prey on a girl’s emotions. The end.
To summarize, while cavorting through life in search of a proper mate, keep the experiences of those who have gone before us in mind: Stick to your guns. Look beneath the surface. Be careful of mad scientists. Self-preservation is not selfish in a dangerous situation. Keep your temper under control and get a watch because no one likes to be kept waiting. Get your head out of your butt. Use pretty words and have the strength to persevere. Don’t be ashamed to be wholly you. And, finally, stay away from controlling bullies. Good luck!