Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Benjamin Franklin's Dating Advice

Benjamin Franklin is known to have been a man of many talents. Statesman, scientist, diplomat, postmaster, printer, and horticulturist were just some of his titles. Franklin's diverse life experiences also made him a great source of wisdom, much of which he compiled in (Poor Richard's Almanac). One of the most fascinating yet often overlooked topics within the Almanac is that of love.

Franklin's conflicted attitude towards love and marriage was reflected both in his writings and in his personal life. Franklin opted to forgo a ceremonious marriage and instead participated in a common law marriage. He had two children with his common law spouse, Deborah Read. Although Franklin only publicly acknowledged having one illegitimate son, it was widely rumored that there were more, both at home and abroad. His wariness of traditional marriage can be seen not just in his affairs, but also in his writings. "He that goes far to marry, will either deceive or be deceived," and, "Where there's marriage without love, there will be love without marriage" are just two of his aphorisms that express an ambiguity towards the institution of marriage (Poor Richard's Almanac). Franklin even seemed to express mixed feelings towards love. "If you would be loved, love and be lovable," was tempered by, "If Jack's in love, he's no judge of Jill's beauty."

Franklin's  complex views on love and marriage are further evidenced in his 1745 letter entitled, "Advice to a Friend on Choosing a Mistress." Franklin begins by encouraging the unknown reader to opt for a traditional marriage. If he insists on maintaining his sexual freedom, however, then Franklin recommends the company of older women. Franklin's seven reasons why he prefers older women to their younger counterparts are as follows:

1. They are smarter, more worldly and better conversationalists.

2. As older women become less attractive with age, they become more subservient and useful to men.

3. One need not worry about impregnating an older woman (and illegitimate children are an "inconvenience").

4. They are more skilled at maintaining secrecy during an affair.

5. Although the face and upper body are the first to droop with age in women, their lower bodies are still "firm." Thus, simply place a basket over the woman's face and upper body and "regarding only what is below the girdle, it is impossible of two women to know an old from a young one."

6. It is less sinful to have an affair with an older woman.

7. Sleeping with an older woman will make her happy, whereas sleeping with a younger woman might make her feel guilty.

Benjamin Franklin: Proof-reading the Declaration of Independence or editing a dating advice letter?

Despite listing no less than seven (quite scandalous) advantages to sleeping with older women, Franklin is careful to cover his tracks by concluding his letter, "But I still advise you to marry directly."

Franklin's attitude towards love was conflicted. He praises the virtues of marriage and encourages his friend to wed, yet also provides detailed advice on having affairs. He was married with two children, yet he engaged in affairs and fathered illegitimate children. Through these actions and writings, Franklin perhaps reveals the true nature of love and marriage - that they are indeed paradoxical.

Additional Resources

"Advice to a Young Man on the Choice of a Mistress" (Benjamin Franklin)

Poor Richard's Almanac (Benjamin Franklin)

14 comments:

  1. Of course, I respect the man for what he has done for America, yet his advice a little outdated because modern men have become too lazy to do it. They should first read the how to get rid of laziness here http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/advice-on-how-to-overcome-idleness-and-procrastination_us_583a4acbe4b0c2ab94436a3a and only then start to get acquainted with women.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The attraction between men and women are as natural as the rising and setting of the sun.ActiveMan Dating Tips

    ReplyDelete
  3. Numerous pre-judgements and choices are as of now made at that time. Look at the initial three insider facts, to stop you getting killed in the first
    online dating tips

    ReplyDelete
  4. Singles date all over the country in major cities such as London, Manchester, Bristol, Birmingham and Liverpool, never arrange to meet a new date for the first time somewhere that you do not feel safe. Public places are always safest. https://dubaiescortstars.com/

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh, the most of these tips slightly smell of mold, in modern society, relations are less religious but more sentimental.
    I was lucky enough to meet my wife, one of the most attractive ukraine girl for marriage https://deepinlove.date. I hardly thought about her age, or about future our children. I just saw her photo, and after several hours of talking together, I realized that this is the girl I was looking for.
    This is life, and in it, there are many sharp turns...
    But what is this life without love?)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Therefore, as you look for the best agencies, know how many members there are and also the ratio of male and females. www.datingrussia.net

    ReplyDelete
  7. As I read the blog I felt a pull on the heartstrings.
    blind date

    ReplyDelete
  8. I just love these two colors together, especially for this look, and they just blend together so well and pop and actually last for a really long while. hochuzamuzh.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. I tried dating briefly after I left my marriage (bringing the kids with me). And I had the exact same problem with guys who had no ambition, it's like they were ready for a pipe and slippers and that was it. Now I don't have time and even if I could make the time, it would have to be someone pretty special to make it worthwhile! advice for singles

    ReplyDelete
  10. I really enjoy simply reading all of your weblogs. Simply wanted to inform you that you have people like me who appreciate your work. Definitely a great post. Hats off to you! The information that you have provided is very helpful. russian woman stereotype

    ReplyDelete
  11. Chennai Escorts Angels is an adult escorts agency in Chennai and we are comes to take more different girls whose know very well that how to treat her clients and how to give full sexual satisfaction her adult customer. Our all Chennai call girls are well mannered, well educated, fully experienced and so hot.

    If anybody wants to book her services then you may visit our official website and whatsapp us directly without any hesitation.

    Chennai Escorts
    Celebrity Escorts in Chennai
    independent Escort in Chennai
    Escort in Chennai
    Chennai Call Girls
    Callgirls in Chennai
    Best Chennai Escorts
    Hot Escorts in Chennai


    Website: - https://www.chennaiescortsangels.com

    Whatsapp us at: +918088806661

    ReplyDelete