If you could date anyone in history, who would it be?



Lots of people chimed in on this one.  

Below are a few choices, plus a little examination of whether that type of person is actually a good choice for dating.   
 
1.  Alexander the Great.  By the time he was thirty, this Macedonian ruler had built one of the largest kingdoms in the ancient world.  He studied under no less a scholar than Aristotle and purportedly looked very good on the previously untameable horse he rode.  His tactics are still taught by military instructors today and he is considered one of the greatest warriors of all time.  In short, Alexander was tough, sexy, and a born leader.  But would you really want to date him?  On his ascension to the throne of Macedonia, he purportedly had all his domestic enemies executed.  Uber-masculine men can be very alluring at times, but in the end, you probably want someone with whom you can actually have a conversation.  And maybe force to watch Grey's Anatomy with you at least a few times. Moreover, according to New York historian John O'Brien, Alexander was an alcoholic.  No, this doesn't automatically disqualify him.  Actively drinking or using?  Run far away.  You cannot fix him.  But if he has been in recovery for awhile, do not eliminate him as a possibility.  He may actually be a lot more in touch with his own issues than the average person.
 
2.  Elizabeth Barrett Browning.  "How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways ..."  One of the most popular Victorian writers, Barrett Browning authored the famous "Sonnets From the Portuguese," a collection of love poems written for her eventual husband, Robert.  By all accounts, Elizabeth had both a very successful career and a loving marriage.  Though she initially hid the romance from her disapproving father, the Brownings enjoyed a fruitful courtship followed by a marriage to which they were both devoted.  Their relationship was built on mutual intellectual respect and faithfulness - even as Elizabeth's health declined, Robert remained deeply attached to her.  Not a bad model for today.
  
3.  Frederick Douglass.  Born into slavery, Douglass escaped and subsequently became an adviser to President Lincoln, a famous orator, and a noted abolitionist.  He also enjoyed a long marriage and was an outspoken supporter of women's suffrage.  While living as a slave in Maryland, Douglass met the free black woman Anna Murray of Baltimore.  Inspired by her, he made an escape to New York, from where he sent for Murray.  The two married and Douglass went on to lead a remarkable life.  Handsome and erudite, Douglass was an imposing figure both physically and intellectually.  What's not to like?  It's terrific to have an intellectual companion and a partner with whom you can share ideals that are important to you.  Just make sure your significant other cares as much about actual people (read:  you) as he or she does about humanity in the abstract.
  
4.  Salome.  Fairly or not, Salome is known as a great seductress - the Biblical heroine who dances for King Herod and by doing so allows her mother to obtain the head of John the Baptist on a platter.  This event has been dramatized in art, film, and literature.  What does Salome say about modern love?  Well, obviously an attractive and powerful woman can be a great thing. But don't let your heart overwhelm your brain, like King Herod.  He was said to have promised Salome whatever she wanted after she danced, never imagining what she would request.  We all know the story of at least one friend with the nightmare boyfriend or girlfriend - no matter what they demand, the friend moans about it, but always gives in, does what they ask, and goes back to them.  Yes, trying to make your significant other happy is a good thing.  But losing yourself to do so is a bad idea.  If you find yourself questioning your own morals because of something you're doing for your partner, take a close look at whether he or she is worth it.

5.  Dante Alighieri.  Dante was a Florentine scholar and author of the renowned "Divine Comedy."  He was also famously enamored of   a woman named Beatrice Portinari, for whom he wrote several poems.  Unfortunately, he was contracted to marry Gemma di Manetto Donati at a young age and wrote the sonnets for Beatrice when he was married to Gemma.  According to historians, he never knew Beatrice well.  Have you encountered men like this?  Without even knowing you, they put you on a pedestal and cry love.  Unfortunately, this type often isn't interested in lasting romance because that entails difficult times as well as good.  And clearly pursuing someone while you are married to someone else is a big NO.  

6. Cleopatra.  Could not avoid this one.  This pharaoh of Egypt was famously seductive and powerful and has been immortalized in literature, film, and music.  Lover to Julius Caesar and Marc Antony, Cleopatra lived and died on a grand scale, eventually committing suicide by the bite of an asp.  Cleopatra was indisputably charismatic and attractive, but she may have been too much for the average man.  This type can be hard to figure.  Many men pursue her but perhaps do not know what to do if she actually chooses them (the same goes for women pursuing men like this).  Sometimes a person of this type is more appealing in theory than reality, particularly if the relationship is uneven in terms of giving and receiving.  Make sure that if you date someone very powerful, attractive, and ambitious, that they are still willing to make time for you and for the relationship.  

 

 

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Posted 05-06-2013 11:50 am by