All love stories—somewhere amidst the heated late-night rendezvous, tragic betrayals, and blind spots — have morals, even when the lovers don’t.
1. Romeo and Juliet—Communication is Key.
Romeo and Juliet can teach us a thing or two about passion, but that’s not the lesson here. What R and J really could have used was a lesson in communication. A simple “I’m going to pretend to kill myself, Romeo” followed by a “Cool, I’ll just play along” could have gone a long way. Take heed: just because you love your star-crossed lover, it doesn’t mean he can read your mind.
2. Henry the 8th — He’s Not Going to Change For You.
He’s the one who went through six wives trying to have a son. You feel bad for wives number one, two, and maybe three, but wife number six could have used my advice: He’s not gonna change for you. Just like Henry, if your guy’s dated/broken up with five different girls, what makes you think your relationship is going to be any different?
3. Jack and Rose—Let Go.
Before you post a scathing comment about how offensive this lesson is (given the circumstances), hear me out: the story of Jack and Rose teaches an important lesson in letting go. Yes, you may have had the college equivalent of a romantic sea voyage, but it’s good to know when something is over, be able to say goodbye, actually let go, and then whistle for the nearest lifeboat. Trust me, it can be hard, but it can (literally) get you out of some pretty rocky waters.
4. Harry and Sally—Sometimes Friends Make the Best Lovers
Although your leading man might be less of a George Clooney and more of a Billy Crystal (less appealing, I know), take a step back and look for the Harrys in your life. They’re charming. They’re silly. They might be of average height and curly-haired instead of tall, dark and handsome, but they’re the keepers. Friendship and fate can often come together to bring you the love of your life.
5. Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester—Be Wary of a Guy with Baggage
All college guys have some version of a Mrs. Rochester in their metaphorical attics—crazy exes, a promiscuous reputation, mother issues. The key is to avoid the really scary baggage, the kind that threatens to burn the whole house down. Ultimately, you can still make it work, but there might be some damage done along the way. Don’t ignore the red flags that pop up.
6. Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler – Don’t Fall In Love when it’s Too Late
While Scarlett chased after a man she would never be able to have, she continued to be stubborn and oblivious when it came to the one man who loved her for who she was – Rhett. She failed to understand what love was until the very end of the novel – when Rhett’s love for her had already worn out. Women, get over your old flame and appreciate the men who are in your life right now before it’s too late. Don’t fall in love with the perfect person; fall in love with the right one.
7. Bonnie and Clyde – Love Isn’t a Crime Spree.
Just give Romeo and Juliet a couple of guns, a car full of gas, and a thousand miles of interstate highway, and you’ve got yourself a modern pair of partners in crime – Clyde Barrows and Bonnie Parker. The lesson here is not to date a girl who would rather hold a .38 revolver than your hand, or who would rather rob a bank than go shoe shopping. The lesson we can learn from this dynamic duo is there are other ways to add excitement to your relationship besides robbing banks and murdering people. Do crazy things and live every day to the fullest – together.
8. Jacob and Bella – Staying in the Friend Zone
I know these books/movies aren’t about what happens in real life, but there is one lesson to be learned here. Sometimes you might have to be understanding if there’s already a man in her life. Move on, and realize that you and she are better off staying friends.
9. Clark Kent and Lois Lane – Honesty is the Best Policy
You might think your guy is a modern day Superman, but it’s not all about the heat vision or the ability to fly. Some might call it lying; some might call it “withholding information.” Either way, be honest and open with your better half. You might not want to spill all the beans in the can, but locking up those dark secrets and hiding the key will cause some trust and honesty issues in your relationship.