Twilight: 14 Love Lessons We Can Learn From the Movie
Whether you're an Edward or a Jacob fan, there are lots of love and lust lessons we can learn from Twilight.
By MINA HOCHBERG
Love Lessons We Can Learn From Twilight
Loyal and romantic -- we can learn more from the Vampires in Twilight than just how to get by without sleep and sparkle in the sun -- they can also teach us a thing or two about relationships. Here are lessons -- both good and bad -- we can learn from vampire love.
Moody Guys Suck
When it comes to Twilight, we're Team Edward all the way. But in real life, we're so over the whole moody-broody guy thing. Of course, you can (and should!) forgive your man's occasional funk -- but look for someone who sees the positive side of life and your relationship. "Excessive moodiness is not a healthy sign in a partner," says Louise Deacon, author of Twilight, True Love and You: Seven Secret Steps to Finding Your Edward or Jacob. "Sudden changes in mood from cheerful to furious, without any good reason is a warning sign of possible domestic violence. Studies show that the most satisfied couples are those where both partners are stable and positive."
To determine if your beau is just going through a tough time or if his erratic emotions are part of his personality, ask your man how he'd like you to handle his moods, suggests Dr. Helen Fisher, chief scientific advisor for Chemistry.com. Or simply tell him you're leaving the room and returning in half-an-hour -- that will give him time to decompress and it will save you from getting dragged down with him.Summit Entertainment
Get That Man Off a Pedestal
Bella's love for Edward borders on worship. When she can't be with him, she places herself in life-threatening situations, just so he will come to her rescue. That's not too healthy.
While we love our guys -- we also love ourselves and would never repeatedly put their value above our own. "If there is a huge power imbalance between the couple, the relationship is going to be very unhealthy," says Deacon. "Love works best if both halves of the couple have a healthy sense of their own value." If you or your guy are overly obsessed with one another, take a breath and reexamine the relationship. It's unhealthy -- and possibly dangerous -- to place so much of your own self-worth in the hand's of someone else. If your man's on a pedestal -- get him off and put yourself up there.Summit Entertainment
Men Only Change in the Movies
Because he loves Bella so much, Edward's urges to kill humans completely disappear -- if only real-life love really did change everything. While we all want to be the woman who turns a bad man into a good one -- a fixer-upper boyfriend is a terrible idea. "You can't buy into the fantasy that the love of a good woman can cure a dangerous man," Deacon says. "If love could cure a dangerous man, there would be no domestic violence at all. If anything, loving a violent man will make him worse, not better, because it justifies his behavior."
If you're in a relationship (or thinking about getting into one) where you see the guy from behind rose-colored glasses and believe that love can cure his bad choices and actions -- think again. You're not going to change bad habits, like smoking a pack-a-day, having a messy apartment or an annoyingly-curious eye -- so decide now if it's something you can deal with or not.Summit Entertainment
We All Have Little Quirks
Let’s face it: vampires lead weird lifestyles. They drink blood. They can’t walk in the sun. They stay up all night. Bella decides to adapt to the Cullen Family culture, but that doesn't mean you have to! For a healthy relationship, you have to pick the things that you can live with and determine which ones are total deal-breakers. (According to eHarmony's study of 720,000 singles -- poor hygiene, lying, cheating, rude behavior, drug use, inability to control anger, laziness, racism and being excessively overweight were all on the top no-no's for both men and women.) Dating will help you figure out what you can put up with and what drives you crazy -- and not in the sexy way.Summit Entertainment
Wake Him Up With, Um, Some Affection
Edward is so in love with Bella, he often shows up on her windowsill simply to watch her sleep. That's really sweet -- but we think your guy craves more than your admiration while he's in dreamland (because seriously -- don't you think he's imagining one thing anyway?). Make his dreams come true by waking him up with what he really wants: a morning blow job. According to a recent survey by Redbook, performing oral sex at the start of the day is the number one wish for dudes because their testosterone levels are at their peek between 7 and 8 a.m. If you’re really ambitious afterward, make some breakfast or coffee and put it on his bedside table while he's still resting from pleasure.
A Little Jealousy Goes a Long Way
How often have Edward and Jacob butted heads over Bella? More than we can count! Jealousy can easily be a destructive force, but in small doses it can be healthy. “You don’t want to make someone so jealous that it undermines the relationship,” says Dr. Fisher. “But I do think there’s something to be said for having your partner know he’s not the only game in town. It keeps people on their toes, as long as it’s done with some grace.”
To add a little healthy jealously to your relationship try this: next time you’re out with friends, refrain from calling him until you’re heading home -- then send a steamy text. His curiosity about your whereabouts will be replaced with an excitement for your return.
Quiet Can Be Sexy
Edward is a loner, but that’s not a bad thing. Sometimes the quiet men make the best partners (and lovers!). “Quiet men are often great listeners,” says Gabrielle Bernstein, a life coach and author. “This is fabulous for women who really like to talk. I find that quiet men often have the most profound things to say.”
Quiet men may not always vocalize what they want when it comes to sex -- or they may be too respectful of your needs to throw out their own demands -- so be sure to prod encouragingly. After Edward and Bella have sex for the first time, (Spoiler alert!) Edward is so appalled by the unintentional bruises he left (vampires are super strong!), he refuses to do the deed again. While Bella prances in lingerie and places herself in sexy positions, the thing that actually gets Edward going is Bella verbally revealing what she desires. Try that trick with your quiet guy: describe your fantasies first in detail, and he’s bound to be comfortable enough to share his.Summit Entertainment
Give Good Eye
Edward is a brilliant communicator when it comes to gazing across a room: one second of eye contact says: "I want you now." Master the art of gazing to let men know how much you desire them. In her book, How We Do It: The Science of Sex Can Make You a Better Lover, sex writer Judy Dutton explains that MRI scans have shown that eye contact stimulates the ventral striatum -- the "reward center" of the brain. What's more, people lock eyes for an average of 1.18 seconds in non-romantic situations and two to three seconds in romantic situations.
Next time when you're out with your friends, try locking eyes with a guy and counting to three. It's just long enough for him to know you're interested, without giving away too much attention, too soon. A few minutes later, look his way again -- more often than not, he'll be glancing at you too, and if biology's right, he'll come over to strike up conversation.Summit Entertainment
Let Him Help You
When Bella gets bitten by a vampire, Edward sucks the poison from her blood. When she’s about to get hit by a car, Edward stops it with his bare hands. Who doesn’t love a guy with quick reflexes and first aid skills?
We're not telling you to completely ignore your feminist side, but even independent women can rely on a man once in a while. “If there is one mark human evolution has left on men, it is the tremendous desire to be needed,” says Dr. Fisher. “When a woman doesn’t show any need for them, they feel stripped of their job.” Even if you know how to grill a mean steak or solve your own tech issues, why not let your guy take care of it for you, if he's better at the tasks? You can both learn from each other's strengths. After all, knowledge is power, but being able to let someone look out for you from time-to-time is sexy.Summit Entertainment
Be In It For the Long Haul
Once Bella goes vampire, she can’t go back. Knowing that your relationship is eternal will motivate you to make things work out -- you don’t really have a choice, do you? But in real life, it's sometimes tough to adopt a "til-death-do-us-part" perspective. "We're drawn to vampires because they offer eternal love but love between humans is breakable. It doesn't make human love less valuable, but rather more valuable: Some of the most precious things are fragile but they can endure if they are cared for an treasured," Deacon says. "The mindset to have in a relationship is that if you find love, value it, look after it and never take it for granted."
Dr. Fisher says the “eternal” mindset is a handy exercise for women who perpetually leave men at the first sign of a flaw. Just like you work on your job or your waist line, whatever -- the old 'marriage is a work in progress' addage is true.
Adopt an Oral Fixation
As any Twilight fan can tell you, there’s something pretty erotic about seeing a vampire suck on a woman’s skin. Translation: Don’t underestimate the power of oral fixations. Tease him by kissing him all around the neck, then switch your focus to his favorite erogenous zone. If you don’t know where that is, try to find it: nibble his earlobes, flick your tongue on his nipples. Heck, suck his toes. When you get the right reaction, let your mouth work its magic.Summit Entertainment
Get Close to His Fam
Bella befriends Edward’s family, and it sure comes in handy when they band together to save her. Forget the whole evil mother-in-law stereotype, and get close to his mom (and dad and sibs..). It's important to get to know your man's family because they will shed insight on who he is as a person, Deacon says. "His family is the place where he learned how to operate in intimate relationships."
If they like you, you’ve got a whole new group of people who you can turn to and learn from and get support from, not only emotionally but maybe also financially," Fisher says. "Sometimes his mother’s going to stay on your side and not his.”
If you’re intimidated by the idea of meeting his family, try to arrange get-togethers on your own turf. Offer to cook his parents' dinner at home, or invite his sister to lunch at your favorite restaurant. It may also help to remember that these people have known your guy since he was a baby and can probably help you better understand what makes him tick -- as soon as they trust you with a person so precious to them.HBO
Mystery Intensifies the Passion
Edward is an expert mind-reader, but for some reason he can’t penetrate Bella’s mind -- and that drives him wild. The lesson here: You don’t have to be an open book. Mystery makes you more intriguing early on in a relationship.
“Mystery creates barriers, and barriers can intensify the feelings of romantic love,” says Dr. Fisher. “When you don’t know everything about somebody, the dopamine system, which is the brain system linked with feelings of intense romantic love, gets sustained.”
It can be as simple as how you handle questions -- when he asks what your childhood was like, just say something cryptic like, “Let’s save that story for another time.” You’ll eventually want to divulge, but it is okay to keep him guessing in early stages.
Forget the Three-Date Rule
Despite Bella’s advances, Edward insists they wait to have sex until they’re married. Well, that works for him because he's from another century -- but we'd rather test the car before we drive it off the lot. The age-old "three date rule" doesn't even apply anymore -- a study conducted by the University of Iowa found that the point you decide to go-all-the-way with a guy has no bearing on how the relationship goes. Couples can thrive, regardless if they slept together on the first or the tenth date -- it all has to do with how committed (and interested) both parties are in the relationship.