• Cover: July 23, 2014
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11 Love Lessons From the Real Gatsby and His Golden Girl

Should You Take Relationship Advice from Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald?

Page: 5 of 7
  • 7. Don't be afraid to use nicknames (plural). They're often silly, almost always embarrassing, and at best nonsensical to those outside your circle of two. But Scott and Zelda are proof positive of the power of the nickname. Their love letters (especially those from Zelda) are littered with them—a revolving gallery of pet names (D.O., Deo, Do-Do) that evolved and shape-shifted but always kept their love tender, youthful, and renewable. In this, like so many things, Scott and Zelda were ahead of their time: Recent studies have shown that pet names and nicknames correspond to higher levels of satisfaction in relationships.

    8. Do conjure ghosts of happiness past and future. Even in the worst of times—while Zelda fought for her mental health in the 1930s, often despairing of her capacity to recover—Scott sought to cheer her up with memories of betters times. "You and I have been happy," he wrote earnestly, perhaps trying to convince himself as much as her, "we haven't been happy just once, we've been happy a thousand times." He insisted that spring could still belong to them, as it belonged to everyone in popular songs. He reminded her of the elegance of swans swimming, and he called her his "Swan," begging her to forget the past and turn gently in the waters and sail back to him.

11 Love Lessons From the Real Gatsby and His Golden Girl
Should You Take Relationship Advice from Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald?
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