What Queen Elizabeth I Has Taught Me About Dating


If you’re looking for a dating Tudor, she’s the best!

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.


 It started with Netflix’s “The Crown.”

 Then it was “Victoria” on Amazon Prime.

 Then it was every movie or miniseries on Queen Elizabeth I that I could find.

 Now I’ve moved on to the English-subtitled Russian TV production of “Ekaterina” (about Catherine the Great).

I’m not sure why I’ve become enamored of history’s great queens, but I suspect it’s because they had to use their wits and charm to survive and maintain control.  In a time when courtiers jockeyed for status and many men believed women were not fit to reign, ruling queens had to be twice as adept at maneuvering than their male counterparts.

I especially admire Queen Elizabeth I, who reigned from 1558-1603.  Sometimes called, “The Virgin Queen,” she never married and she never had children.  She had many suitors, but she never took a husband.

I’m aware that movies and television shows take a certain amount of literary license.  After all, they’re in the entertainment business, not the historical preservation business.  Still, there are common themes that are supported by current and historical traditions.

There’s a lot of talk these days about being a “high-value woman.”  While most of us THINK we’re high value, we’re really pretty basic.  This is why I find it helpful to have a “mentor.”  An archetype who can guide me.  For me, it’s Queen Elizabeth I.

Here’s what she’s taught me:

Expect a high standard.  Queens expect the best and don’t settle for second-rate ANYTHING.  They expect to be treated with respect and with the deference due their position.  A good queen is kind and loving, but she doesn’t tolerate inappropriate behavior.  She isn’t a dictator; she earns her subjects’ loyalty because she conducts herself as one worthy of their love and respect.

The kingdom comes first.  Queens are leaders.  Great leaders put the good of the team first.  This means they take care of themselves, but they don’t put their own selfish whims ahead of the wellbeing of their subjects.  A queen wouldn’t shirk her duties to lounge in bed all day with a man!

A man must prove his worth.  One of the reasons royals used to marry their own cousins was because royalty was expected to marry royalty.  But, not just any royalty would do!  A man had to prove he was worthy of the queen’s hand in marriage.  He had to demonstrate that he was bringing something to the table.  A ruling queen was never forced to marry anyone.  

Not everybody gets into the inner circle.  Queens don’t take everyone into their confidence.  Just because you’ve served a queen for years didn’t mean you had access to her private chambers.

Don’t beg or cower.  Queen Elizabeth’s cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots, was beheaded for plotting a treasonous revolt against Queen Elizabeth.  (A charge which has been disputed throughout history, but she was executed, nonetheless.)  Accounts of Queen Mary’s execution reveal that she was gracious and regal, even as she was being put to death.  She argued her innocence in trial, but once the sentence was handed down, she neither begged nor cowered.

Now, ladies, we are not princesses or queens.  We have no monarchy here in the United States.  But we can reign over our own lives as royal daughters of the Divine King.

Set a high standard for yourself and those in your company.  I’ve always struggled with my language; swearing is one of my many character defects.  Since studying history’s great queens, however, I have been much better with my language!

In the past, I would cut back on work to spend time with a beau.  There’s nothing unusual about that - most women prioritize relationships because we want connection and community!  The problem was that when the relationship ended, I would have shrunk my “kingdom” by turning down valuable work opportunities!  

Today, I put my kingdom first.  Stability and consistency are vital to me, so I don’t undermine my earning potential by putting playtime ahead of work time.

In the past, any guy who asked me out had a chance.  Today, I’m much more discerning.  I want to know what HE’s bringing to the table.  I know I’m bringing my own financial stability and prosperity, my healthy body, mind, and emotions, and my ability to create a great life.  What’s Mr. New Guy bringing?

And, he doesn’t get into the inner sanctum of my life until he’s proven his loyalty, his worth, and his true intentions.

Queen Elizabeth famously told an imperil envoy, "If I follow the inclination of my nature, it is this: beggar-woman and single, far rather than queen and married".

She was clear that she would rather be happy and single than married and miserable.  She CHOSE to remain unmarried.

And her reign (“The Elizabethan Era”) was one of the most important times in England’s history.  She brought stability, growth in art and culture, and raised England’s international status.  She formed an English church that still exists today.

Personally, I don’t prefer singleness.  I’d rather be married.  But I’d rather be single and happy than married to a man for whom I’ve settled.

That’s the One-Derful Life: you are peaceful and happy WHILE you’re single.  You are open to it changing, but if it doesn’t, you will still have a successful life where you flourish.

Question: would YOU rather be single and happy or married and “not happy, but not miserable”?

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