Love, Self

How To Love Like Jackie O And Marilyn Monroe

jackie or marilyn pamela keogh book cover

"No serious interests, but I'm always interested…" – Marilyn Monroe, when asked if she was dating or in love.

"Jackie had more men per square inch than any woman I have ever known." – Letitia Baldrige

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Marilyn Monroe were two of the most famous women of the 20th Century, and even today, their celebrity and glamour is so absolute that they are still known by their first names, "Jackie" and "Marilyn."

Marilyn and Jackie were World Class when it came to interpersonal relationships. And you can bet that neither Jackie nor Marilyn ever fell into the demeaning He's Just Not That Into You single-gal construct that has been mythologically created today. Whether dating, navigating marriage, dealing with a director or meeting Nikita Khrushchev, Marilyn and Jackie always had the upper hand in relations with the opposite sex.

Here's a few relationship tips modern women can learn from these two icons:

While you're single...
Perhaps the single greatest mistake women make today is acting as if you are married (or engaged) before the ring is on your finger. Instead, take a tip from your mothers or grandmothers and do like Jackie and Marilyn:

  • Date a ton of men at once. As an aspiring starlet in Hollywood, Marilyn routinely scheduled three dates a day—that's drinks, dinner and late-night dancing with three separate beaux. While being courted by then-Senator Kennedy, Jackie was engaged to John Husted, a stockbroker in New York City. "Don't believe all that stuff you hear about Jack Kennedy," she assured him. The Sex You Should Have Before Settling Down
  • Discretion is the better part of valor. Or something like that… by which we mean—until you get engaged, mum's the word on who you might be dating, or serious about. This means: no Facebook relationship status updates (boring…), no tweeting about the super-romantic dinner you had last night. Nothing, nada, zip.
  • If it's not working for you, split. Dating and courtship are supposed to be the fun parts of the relationship! Keep your eyes open, allow him to reveal his hand and if you are not happy (for whatever reason), leave. If it is not fun after the first six months of dating, imagine what it will be like in twenty years! A corollary to this: Not to get too Oprah, but, when someone tells you who he is—believe him. Use your innate Jackie conversational gambits and draw out your possible partner… to find out what his goals are, how he sees his place in the world, where you fit into the picture. As a bonus: all men love to talk about themselves, and you will gain a reputation as a scintillating conversationalist.

After you are married...
Whether you are a stay-at-home mom, a career woman or (like most of us) somewhere in between, nurture yourself and develop your interests and talents for the sake of you and your family.

  • Don't let yourself go (physically or mentally). No matter who she was married to (James Dougherty, Joe DiMaggio or Arthur Miller), Marilyn's career as an actress was vitally important to who she was as a person. Whether marred to JFK or Aristotle Onassis, Jackie always maintained her independence—horseback riding in the Virginia countryside when she did not feel like doing boring First Lady stuff, thumbing her nose at the photographers who stalked her, even skinny dipping in Skorpios. "Jackie is a little bird that needs its freedom…" said Ari. And he was right. Oh, and whether they were married or not—have you ever seen a picture of either Jackie or Marilyn having a bad hair day, shlubbing around in sweatpants and Uggs? We didn't think so. And in case you are worried about doing fun stuff for yourself (something neither Jackie or Marilyn ever had a problem with) look at it this way: What is the old adage? "If Mama's not happy, nobody's happy." Healthy Relationships Lead To Healthy Lives
  • Being a Mrs. is no excuse to squash your innate Jackie or Marilyn-ness. By this we mean that just because you are married does not mean that you stop being charming or (dare we say) flirtatious. Marilyn never stopped being the number one sex symbol in the world when she was married to DiMaggio and Miller. At a State Dinner where Jackie met Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev for the first time, he began talking to her about schools in Communist Russia. "Oh, Mr. Chairman," she turned to him and said breathily, "don't bore me with statistics."

And remember, whether married or single, actions speak louder than words. Frank Sinatra, a longtime friend and admirer of Marilyn's gave her a little white french poodle that she named "Maf" (a sly takeoff on Sinatra's supposed underworld connections). After their marriage, Onassis gave Jackie (we kid you not) a flawless 40.42 carat diamond ring. (Later sold at auction after her death for $2.5 million.) So whether you are single, married, dating, widowed, divorced or taking a breather—the most important thing is to cultivate your inner Jackie- or Marilyn-ness and shine your innate fabulousness on the world.

Are you more Marilyn or Jackie? Take our quiz to find out.

Pamela Keogh is the author of Are You A Jackie or A Marilyn? Timeless Lessons On Love, Power, And Style (October 28, Gotham Books). Find out more about her on her website.

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