5 Love Lessons to Learn from Elizabeth Taylor

elizabeth-taylor

Elizabeth Taylor (1932-2011) was an American actress known not only for her films, but as a symbol of classic Hollywood glamour. She was also famous for her love of love: Elizabeth married seven men, eight times, besides her many engagements and romances.

Some may call Elizabeth’s love life a whirlwind of drama, secrecy, and restlessness, fit only for a soap opera or romance novel. But as stormy as they were, there are vital love lessons to be learned from Elizabeth Taylor’s many failed relationships.

1. Take your time

Elizabeth first married when she was 18 years old, after having been previously engaged to another man. But beyond her age at the time, Elizabeth was not mentally or emotionally ready for marriage and barely knew her fiancé. She met, engaged, and married her first husband, Conrad Hilton, in less than a year. Both were abusive towards each other and the relationship was shaky from the beginning. As a result, she filed for divorce almost as soon as their honeymoon was over.

Never rush love, and especially commitment. Get to know your partner, and yourself, first.

2. Never act when vulnerable

After the death of her third husband, Michael Todd, Elizabeth became involved with his best friend, Eddie Fisher. Eddie consoled her in her time of grieving. She soon married the already married man, breaking up his marriage. But again, Elizabeth acted too quickly: as soon as she met Richard Burton on the set of their film Cleopatra, she began an affair with him and her marriage Eddie was left behind.

Don’t make commitments in love while going through a hard time. You’re more likely to change your mind later, so save yourself and any potential partners the trouble.

elizabeth-taylor-paul-newman3. A steady relationship can be a good thing

Elizabeth’s first and second marriage to Richard Burton was legendarily abusive, so much so that they were nicknamed “The Battling Burtons”. While their relationship was exciting and dangerously romantic, it lacked a solid base to hold it together. They divorced and remarried, only to divorce again.

Passion and lust may begin a relationship, but a real foundation is what keeps it going over the long run. It’s not all about the chase.

4. Sometimes it just can’t work

Elizabeth and Richard divorced and remarried the next year. Although their relationship was unstable, they couldn’t see that they weren’t meant to be together. That is, until a year after their remarriage, when they divorced again.

You may love a person and they may love you, but if they are not right for you, you can’t force the relationship to work.

5. Always believe

Despite her many unsuccessful relationships, Elizabeth still believed in love. She entered every relationship as if it were her first, always believing that this one would be the last. She loved with all her heart, and even when she broke up with a lover, continued to love them. After her eighth marriage, she never married again, but never gave up on relationships entirely.

Love can be difficult sometimes, but there is hope if you simply believe in it. Even if you fail many times, who is to say that your lucky one isn’t soon to come, or that the experience of loving wasn’t worth it?

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17 thoughts on “5 Love Lessons to Learn from Elizabeth Taylor

  1. FIRST: what a bloody GORGEOUS creature. She had such an abundance of sex appeal. I clan’t stop starring at her!
    SECOND: what a lady!. She never regreted anything she did. I want to be just like this as I believe every experience is a learning one, even if it’s repeated!.
    THIRDLY: they don’t make women like her anymore. What a pity. I blame the media LOL

  2. foosrock,

    Indeed, she was beautiful. I admired her way of never regretting anything, of continuing to keep doing what she wanted, even when others were saying how “wild” she was.

    “they don’t make women like her anymore. What a pity. I blame the media LOL”

    It’s a new era… 🙂

    True, a lot of the classic feminine appeal of decades past has been traded in for more… obvious appeal.

  3. Excellent post! And good tips…

    True, a lot of the classic feminine appeal of decades past has been traded in for more… obvious appeal.

    I agree.

    I have a pic of my grandmother (who died before I was born) and she was so beautiful in that classic way… My mother and I joke about her looking like a Hollywood actress in that picture (I might post it for you to see what I mean). But this kind of thing is rare now, I think. First of all, I understand men and their love for breasts and butts and legs; I really do. But there seem to be so many guys that don’t pay much attention on a girl’s face * (her eyes, her smile)… And these things can make a woman very beautiful.

    * At least guys in my culture (but I’ve heard American women talking about the same thing happening with WHITE American men).

  4. A former best friend of mine could very much use the advice of #1. She’s only 21 (she’ll be 22 in a couple of days), and she’s already had 3 engagements. She’s supposed to be marrying this last dude (I thought it was happening in March, but according to FB it hasn’t happened yet), but I find it ironic that for someone who insisted she’d never get married that she ended up so desperate for attachment.

    (I’m not saying getting married young is always a bad idea, but the first guy was from high school and had already gotten a girl pregnant and the second 2 were both rebound guys, so I question her judgment.)

  5. Mira,

    You’re so right that there is less attention paid now to the face (at least it’s particulars; people still judge whether or not the woman could be considered attractive).

    Jasmin,

    “A former best friend of mine could very much use the advice of #1. She’s only 21 (she’ll be 22 in a couple of days), and she’s already had 3 engagements.”

    Wow. Like true, serious, we’re going to get married engagements? She must’ve went through them quickly. 🙂

    “I’m not saying getting married young is always a bad idea, but the first guy was from high school and had already gotten a girl pregnant”

    Getting married young can be good for some people. Certainly, in decades past people got married in their late teenage or early twenties years and their marriages weren’t disastrous. Such as my mother: engaged at 19, and married at 20.

    But it seems there is less maturity nowadays, and people get married early simply for the desire to be married, not understanding all that marriage entails. And marrying a guy who already had a child (out of wedlock?), at that age just doesn’t seem very wise. It’d be a different story if they were 30+ and he had already been married.

  6. Alee,

    Well she moved to Florida for college for the first one, considered transferring to school in Cincinnati for the second one, and I believe she got rings from all 3, so yes. 🙂

    The first guy went to high school with us–he was a junior when we were freshmen, and that year he got his sort-of-girlfriend, a sophomore, pregnant. She left school (this was Catholic school), and he took up with my friend (they were just hooking up) around Spring Break of that school year. (We went to Hawaii on a band trip.) The next year, they were still hooking up, and he took up with another girl (a freshman). Why they got into a “battle” over this guy I don’t know–people are dumb.

  7. Jasmin, wow she takes “rushing into things” to a whole new level.

    At that guy — : X. There are no words to express my sincere bewilderment.

  8. Alee,

    He was the definition of a scrub, and he wasn’t even cute! Not that it would make his behavior any better, but I couldn’t understand why they were fighting over someone so mediocre.

  9. That guy… I have no words.

    Marrying/engaging so young is very unusual in my culture. People simply can’t afford it at such a young age (you’re happy if you find a steady job and can afford to move out your parents house in your 30s), so people don’t really think about marrying at 18. I was very young when I got married (I was 24 and a half). My mother married when she was 29 and got me, her only child, at 32.

    And I am shocked even more about the pregnancy thing… I am not saying this doesn’t happen here, but teenage parents are still relatively rare thing (and sadly, it’s not because kids take care of themselves/use condoms- but because of the abortion rate).

    In any case, rushing into this is not a good thing, imo. Let’s face it, 18 today is not the same as 100, or even 50 or 30 years ago. I am not sure how many people have that kind of maturity at such a young age. By all means, I am not against it, but it looks like Jasmin’s friend is not mature enough. Ok, one guy, first love, want to spend your life with him – it’s all good. But three guys? She should really take some time for herself and realize what is that she really wants.

  10. Jasmin,

    “he wasn’t even cute!”

    Okay, now I’m really confused! 🙂

    Must’ve been his personality…

    Mira,

    Some women just want to feel loved, want to be mature, and/or want to be able to say “I’m married”. So they rush into marriage, and the divorce rate skyrockets… it has been demonstrated that the younger you get married, the more likely you are to divorce.

  11. Some women just want to feel loved

    It’s me, it’s me!!!

    want to be able to say “I’m married”.

    You see, this is the thing I don’t get. I mean, it might sound silly, given the fact I was young when I got married, but I really don’t understand the hype. I mean, you should not do that just for the sake of a ring and a paper saying you’re married.

    it has been demonstrated that the younger you get married, the more likely you are to divorce.

    Oh, no. 😦

  12. Mira,

    “It’s me, it’s me!!!”

    Lol. Me too.

    But I wouldn’t get married for the sake of feeling loved… would you?

    “Oh, no.”

    That doesn’t mean you definitely will get divorced, and I think that mostly applies to the U.S. and UK. Plus, your age at marriage is right around the average (i.e. not young) here which is 25/26.

  13. But I wouldn’t get married for the sake of feeling loved… would you?

    No. But now that I think about it, I am not quite sure why i got married instead of just being in a long term relationship/living together. Just living together without marriage was sure more socially acceptable in my situation.

    To be honest, I think we both did it because we wanted to start a new family. It might sound lame, but since both of us lost one parent during childhood (while the remaining one developing a drinking problem), I guess we wanted to have a new family, to belong to our new family. I guess it sounds silly now that I explain it this way.

    Plus, your age at marriage is right around the average (i.e. not young) here which is 25/26.

    It’s not just the early age, but the conditions. You should graduate from the college, find a steady job and then marry. But since my country is crazy (in a bad way), there’s no guarantee that it will ever happen (I mean, finding a steady job that can help you raise your family), so in a way, I am glad I didn’t wait for it. I am just nervous because I will be 30 this year, and I still don’t have kids. I’d really like to have children.

  14. I definitely agree with the points that you just made. I have been reading about Elizabeth’s life and career. Every decisions she made in her relationships point to her childhood. A pushy stage Mother and an alcoholic, physically abusive, spineless, closet case of a Father. After going through much psychoanalysis, the common opinion of most therapists is that we act out our childhood traumas in the relationships we get into. In Liz’s case, she picked men who she perceived as “strong”, take-charge guys, but they were really just as weak and insecure as her Father was. The abuse that she endured in each relationship was her playing out her childhood over and over again. I guess the main point is that we all have baggage from somewhere and we take it with us with each new person we get involved with. The only way that that the cycle can be broken is if we are consciously aware of this and make a concerted effort to learn from our mistakes.

  15. Hi funkystarkitty. I’m glad you’ve decided to join us. 🙂

    Very eye-opening details about Elizabeth’s childhood. It does make a lot of sense when you connect that with her persona and her relationship choices.

    “In Liz’s case, she picked men who she perceived as “strong”, take-charge guys”

    She did seem to love the macho types. Too bad many of these men weren’t the type to provide the stability that she really needed (but didn’t know she did).

    “we all have baggage from somewhere and we take it with us with each new person we get involved with. The only way that that the cycle can be broken is if we are consciously aware of this and make a concerted effort to learn from our mistakes.”

    I definitely agree with that: you have to first be conscious of your baggage and then make an effort not to let it weigh you down.

    Your comment reminds me of Mary J. Blige’s song “Baggage”. (She sure had lots of her own, but she’s a good case of conquering your baggage and not letting it conquer you.)

  16. Just a small correction, Elizabeth Taylor is not American, she’s a British immigrant.

    And I wonder if she had been a black women, since her relationship drama, aside from actually getting men to propose, seems so like the foolishness so many black women put up with, if you would have considered her story a series of life lessons on LOVE or a just yet another case of a woman picking drama over substance and too emotionally immature to ever know what a real man is to go choose one…?

    Found your blog off a discussion revolving around a black woman who was proposed to by a white man and was having second thoughts because he didn’t have the “swagger” of a black man…

    Nice blog otherwise but just always liked the fact that no matter what she isn’t, what Liz Taylor is, is an immigrant who came here and made something out of nothing with her life. 🙂

  17. Hi Eloquence. Welcome. 🙂

    “Just a small correction, Elizabeth Taylor is not American, she’s a British immigrant.”

    Ehhh… She was born to American parents living in England, then she and her family moved back to the U.S. when she was 7 years old. So I consider her American, since her ancestry is American and she grew up in the U.S. But I guess she could be considered British-American (or American-British), if you’re going by the place of birth.

    “And I wonder if she had been a black women…”

    Definitely I would still consider her relationships something to learn from. It’s true that many black women put up with unnecessary relationship drama in their lives. But I don’t know too many that have been married 8 times, often to men who were already married or involved, and who were so abusive.

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