What classic novels can teach us about modern day love

Amy Yew


People who are single often tell me how hard it is to find a good mate these days. They’re met with modern day challenges such as internet dating and plain old changes in what a relationship entail and look like. It seems like things are quickly changing but the problem remains the same: how do we find a good partner and make it last for the long haul?

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It turns out the answers may already be familiar to us. Taking a page out of stories (or even movies) we’ve seen or read may shed new light on our modern day dating woes. For example, classic love stories like Romeo and Juliet and The Great Gatsby teaches us not to leap our hearts ahead of our head. It also teaches us that life is more than just finding a great love and the dangers of putting all your dreams into your mate. Dreaming of what could be could steer you away from what is and we can start to lose a sense of self. Having a fickle minded mate or one that’s easily excitable might also not be such a good idea as we learned from these classics.

When it comes to drama and the highs and lows of love, we can count on author Nicholas Sparks to keep us yearning for more with books such as The Notebook and Dear John. These stories teaches us that love cannot thrive without adversity through time.  Having perseverance and embracing new meaning to how each couple defines love is a central key that kept the spark going for his characters. In true Nicholas Spark form, the heart wants what it wants. 

Modern day movies such as how to lose a guy in 10 days lets us know that love can come from somewhere unexpected while Disney’s UP teaches us the importance of moving on from loss and the transformative role of love. 

There’s many takes on finding and keeping love one can choose to adapt. It’s been a long standing theme that dating is a “game” and if we somehow abide to certain cardinal rules that love will be at our reach. Only when we win the game that we’re dealt the ultimate prize. Movies such as Two Can Play That Game and Think Like A Man are all about the power struggle between sexes. There’s no doubt that power struggles occur everyday in relationships but it’s not as simple as winning or losing a war that will get you to relationship bliss. Couples who successfully navigate through conflict often listen, understand and can pick up on cues that allow for opportunities towards growth of the relationship. This means you can’t always win them all. 

When it comes to love, perhaps the pages of classic stories had it right all along. 

Amy Yew is a registered clinical counselor and relationship therapist. She is also the author of a fashion and lifestyle blog Style Du Jour. Tell us what you think and submit any questions you have to amyvancouvercourier@gmail.com.

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