Originally published by YourTango.com
You won't regret it.
There are 2 types of guys: the John Tucker and the other Tucker. If you remember the seminal classic teen movie John Tucker Must Die, you’ll know what I mean.
Over a decade later the comparison still holds true and can shed light on your dating life. For those who forget, John Tucker is the most popular and attractive guy in school as well as the star of the basketball team.
Known for dating the most beautiful young women, at the same time, he best describes himself as "Girl is my type."
On the other hand, his younger brother, played by a pensive Penn Badgley, has more of an artistic soul and a deeper, moral proclivity that allows him to truly be open to love, rather than simply to date a girl for her looks.
For all those who fall for the John Tuckers, you’re in good company. Most women do, but my grandmother gave me the opposite advice from a young age: "He should love you more than you love him."
I’m sure that you’ve heard this before from your granny or Aunt Martha tapping on your shoulder with unwanted dating advice. This proverb can be irksome when you first hear it. You may think, "It’s the 21st century, I want to fall in love with the man I want."
While measuring who loves who more at any given time in a relationship is impossible, as a personal Matchmaker at Matchmakers In The City, I have found surprising truth to this saying that you can apply to dating without sacrificing your own feelings of attraction to a man.
We can best illuminate the wisdom in your grandmother’s adage through analyzing Elizabeth Gaskell’s novel Sylvia’s Lovers, about a woman deciding between 2 men 200 years ago.
It’s the turn of the 18th century in rural England where men are dropping like flies to serve in the British military with Napoleon on the loose. All of the remaining young men of the village want gold haired Sylvia and flock to her at the market.
Yet Sylvia only has eyes for the town hero, Charlie: tall, burly, and bronzed from his voyages at sea, the John Tucker of her neighborhood. Charlie kisses her at a New Year’s Eve party, and she feels like she’s reached heaven. Yet, when Sylvia leaves for the night, Charlie chooses the next prettiest young woman in the room to dance with.
Philip, on the other hand, worships Sylvia. He tutors her from a young age and waits years for her to warm up to him. He detests his rival, Charlie Kinraid. Before Charlie leaves the town, Charlie and Sylvia pledge their love for each other.
Yet only a few days later, Charlie gets captured at sea, and the whole town believes that he has died. Despite the fact that he knows that Charlie is still alive, Philip seizes the chance to wed Sylvia, and they have a comfortable, but far from passionate, marriage.
Spoiler alert: as if alive from the dead, Charlie comes back, eager to claim Sylvia as his wife. Sylvia is torn. Her husband had lied to her, but she had already wed Philip. Bitterly, she swears to forget both of them.
A few months later, surprise surprise! Charlie marries another pretty young women while Philip enlists in the navy and spends years mourning over his relationship with Sylvia.
In these years of solitude, Sylvia realizes how easily replaced she was for Charlie in comparison with the depth of love that Philip has for her. She begins to miss Philip’s constancy and to regret throwing him out. When she finally sees him again. However, it’s too late.
On his deathbed, Philip begs for Sylvia’s forgiveness, and she does the same, finally experiencing the passion that she longed for in her marriage. Reconciled, Philip dies in peace, leaving Sylvia brokenhearted. She realizes that she had her John Tucker’s brother all along, but had fallen for the John Tucker.
The good news is that you can learn from Sylvia’s mistake to open yourself to the good Tucker instead of getting hypnotized by the looks and charm of the Johns of the world.
Of course, attraction is important, but you want a man who pursues you. I understand our grandmothers’ wisdom as simply that: you want a man who pursues you over time.
If you’re running after him, he’s probably chasing after other girls. If you’re anything like Sylvia, you have the capacity for a faithful, deep romance that can only be fulfilled with a man who shares that yearning. You want a man who fights for you instead of forgetting you as soon as trouble arises.
A man’s character reveals itself over time, but pay attention to your sweetheart’s reputation. Both Charlie and John Tucker were known for being womanizers, Philip and the other Tucker for their steadfast loyalty.
Falling in love takes time. It’s a process, and if it seems too intense too quickly, tread lightly. Of course, you want to love your man, but for women, you’ll love him more the more you feel loved.