Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

Best Dating Advice Ever…

With an opening like that, how could I not read the article?  Turns out the post, Best Dating Advice Ever From Michelle Obama, in was a really great one and I did think her was pretty damn awesome:

“Cute’s good. But cute only lasts for so long, and then it’s, Who are you as a person? That’s the advice I would give to women: Don’t look at the bankbook or the title. Look at the heart. Look at the soul. Look at how the guy treats his mother and what he says about women. How he acts with children he doesn’t know. And, more important, how does he treat you? When you’re dating a man, you should always feel good. You should never feel less than. You should never doubt yourself. You shouldn’t be in a relationship with somebody who doesn’t make you completely happy and make you feel whole. And if you’re in that relationship and you’re dating, then my advice is, don’t get married. [original source: Glamour]

What I found particularly intriguing about this post was that they put this in historical perspective, also quoting several other first ladies.  Here were the last two on the list:

Jackie Kennedy Onassis’ Advice: “The first time you marry for love, the second for money, and the third for companionship.”

Abigail Adams’s Advice: “However brilliant a woman’s talents may be, she ought never shine at the expense of her Husband.”

Wow, huh?  Talk about how times have changed.

Or have they? Maybe our expectations, as women/people, are changing.  But the realities of (most) aren’t.  Maybe the reason so many of us (a signficant minority) choose to stay single for as long as we do, and maybe even forever, is because we want to meet a man/person (I’d guess that Michelle Obama’s advice can work just as well for men in terms of what they should look for in a woman) who can live up to the Obama standard of and all we find is someone who wants us to settle for the Adams’s standard.  Hmm.

There is a poll question here, somewhere. I think.

I’d like to know what you think.  Have the nature of relationships fundamentally changed over time?  Have our expectations/what we seek in a significant other changed significantly (from “love” to needing so much more than love)?

  • Yes. Things have changed dramatically. (39 votes)
  • No. People have been falling in love and struggling to have relationships since the dawn of time. It’s not that complicated. (24 votes)
  • Other. Please explain in the comments. (5 votes)

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5 to “Best Dating Advice Ever…”

  1. VouxCroux says:

    Since you asked two questions and then wanted a “Yes” or a “no” I put other and decided to comment. I think that our expectations have changed. But not really. Our expectations are largely a product of our upbringing, which brings class, religion, education, etc. into the mix. I think more people have similar expectation, that being of love and companionship, than before.

  2. sddave says:

    I think we’ve been conditioned to want the Hollywood/Disney romance. There was a time when people looked for a good spouse with similar values, goals, and interests. Now everyone seems to want a leading man or supermodel, regardless of what they themselves bring to the table. And we all want to be famous. Not healthy.

  3. Jennifer-from-NY says:

    I’m not sure I understand your question-possibly because the answer seems so obvious. Yes, the views on what we look for in relationbships has changed over time and in each time it varies by cultural expectations.

    Relationships in the past were formed often for economic purposes, and if you were lucky you would be compatible with the person. Love was extra, or at least outside the norm. As Euripedes says in his play Medea from 5th century BCE Athens in the voice of the female lead: “First of all we must buy a husband by vast expenditure of wealth, in order to obtain a master for our body… everything depends on whether we get a good one or a bad one.” I don’t think most people look at love or relationships this way anymore.

    I’m also not sure what you mean by “needing so much more than love” at the end of the post. It seems today most people focus on love, while determination and commitment are a thing of the past.

  4. DateratLarge says:

    I vote no. I think people have and will always be seeking relationships for different reasons – some for love/relationship, some for economic or social reasons – and the nature of those relationships has and will continue to be affected by the current social, economic and cultural surroundings. The fundamentals are the same.

  5. Singletude: A Positive Blog for Singles says:

    “‘When you’re dating a man, you should always feel good. You should never feel less than.'”

    YES! What excellent advice from Michelle Obama! I can’t tell you how damaging it is to be in a relationship in which you feel like you have to live up to someone else’s impossible standard. NOT a good feeling and NOT the basis for a good relationship!

    As for the question, I think our relationships have changed drastically. It wasn’t until after the Victorian era that people started to really think of love as central to a successful long-term relationship. Even then, my understanding is that up through the ’50s or early ’60s, most people saw love as something that would naturally follow if you went steady with the attractive girl or guy next door who was polite, friendly, well-dressed, relatively ambitious, and went to church every Sunday. It wasn’t until the rise of feminism and the soul mate ideal that we started to become much more selective and concerned with finding the “right one.” Then this was reinforced by the increasing prevalence of divorce and the growth of globalized, Internet-assisted dating. So I agree with Jennifer that we’ve always needed more than love. It’s the addition of love that’s new. The bigger question is: How realistic are our expectations for it now?