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’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?